I ate at China Town Scala Restaurant on my first evening in Bangkok during a visit to the city in September 2007.
This large Chinese restaurant is located on bustling Yaowarat Road, right in the heart of Chinatown, and right next door to the Shanghai Inn Hotel where I was staying.
The Chinatown area is awash with simple stalls selling food on the streets, and there are a handful of simple Chinese restaurants. China Town Scala represents one of the most upmarket dining options in the area, but the prices are still very reasonable, albeit much higher than at the street stalls.
China Town Scala is particularly renowned for its shark fins and birds nests. I was told that the restaurant is very popular with Chinese visitors who believe the shark fin to be an aphrodisiac, and in fact there is a whole area of the restaurant devoted to people who are there to eat shark fins.
I opted to go into the other side of the restaurant where there was a full menu of Chinese dishes. These included the usual selection of appetizers such as hot and sour soup, chicken and corn soup, dim sums, prawn toasts and spring rolls.
Main courses consisted of a variety of stir fries containing chicken, beef, prawns, squid, fish, or vegetarian options. These included the usual selection of sweet and sour sauce, black bean sauce, oyster sauce, chilli sauce and stir fried vegetables. There are countless fried rice and noodle dishes to choose from.
The service was friendly and efficient, the waitress spoke English very well and the menu was available in Thai and English, with pictures accompanying some of the dishes.
Favorite Dish: I opted for:
Prawn toasts - Cost: 150 Bahts (approx. 2.35 GBP)
As there was no photo accompanying this item in the menu, I was expecting to receive small pieces of toast with mashed prawn and sesame seeds. That is what I think of as prawn toasts. Instead, I got 5 large rings of mashed prawn, covered in breadcrumbs and served with a tangy dip and salad. They were very nice and contained lots of prawn.
Egg fried noodles with prawns and chilli sauce - Cost: 300 Bahts (approx. 4.70 GBP)
I ordered the small portion for 300 bahts, but it was plenty for one person. I can only assume the larger portions are meant for sharing. I got about 10 large prawns, partly shelled in a very tasty, but not too hot, chilli sauce. The sauce had a great kick to it, but wasn't so hot that it burnt my mouth. In fact, it perfectly straddled the middle ground between being bland and being too hot to eat. Very nice! Served with plenty of thin egg fried noodles and stir fried green vegetables.
Singha beer - Cost: 120 Bahts (approx. 1.80 GBP)
I ordered a large beer, but the waitress appeared with a fairly small glass (maybe 250ml - 300ml) of cold beer. However, as I was half way through it, the waitress appeared and topped my glass up from a large bottle. Eventually, after three or four top ups, I had finished the whole of the large bottle. It seems that I couldn't be trusted to be given the bottle and drink at my own pace! ;-)
Excellent chilli prawns in the heart of Chinatown. Very highly recommended!