My friend Mauricio, who is one of the very few Thai food chefs in Brazil, told me about this duck place while discussing his favorite solo lunch places in Bangkok. Thinking I had stumbled on a sparkling new discovery, I asked my friends if they would be up for a bit of exploration.
“Oh that place?” said James (who lives across the river and also gave me the title for this post). “I always take my guests there before we get on the boat.”
It’s Duck Noodle House, but locals know it by its real name, Ped Thun Jao Ta (Stewed Duck at the Pier, 945 Soi Wanit 2, 02-233-2541) or, more simply, “the duck noodles at Talat Noi”. The most popular order is, for sure, the bamee (egg noodles), served simply crowned with slices of tender duck in a Daffy-rich broth, but plenty of diners also opt for the plate of sliced stewed duck paired with a simple bowl of white rice. Goose is also available, but it’s clearly a second-class citizen in this joint. Indeed, so popular is the duck that the pile of roasted birds that greeted me upon entry to this shophouse was nearly depleted when we had finished our meal, about 30 minutes later.
What excited me, though, was the guaythiew kua ped (fried rice noodles with egg and duck), which I had never eaten before. This is Mauricio’s favorite lunch in Bangkok, and what I had set my heart on.
I have to say, guaythiew kua in its normal form is not my favorite street food dish, although I do enjoy a nice big faceful of grease every now and then. Although duck is also quite a fatty, rich meat, it felt totally at home with this silky, uber-comforting plate of soft slicked rice noodles, unhindered by a negligible amount of egg and paired with a little bowl of Sriracha sauce (Sriracha Panij, to be precise). Or, I could just have been hungry. It was a revelation to me, at least.