Chinatown, Bangkok

4 out of 5 stars 15 Reviews

Yaowarat Road and Sampeng Lane

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  • Dim Sum baby!
    Dim Sum baby!
    by seoulgirl
  • China Town Scala interior
    China Town Scala interior
    by SWFC_Fan
  • China Town Scala Restaurant, Bangkok
    China Town Scala Restaurant, Bangkok
    by SWFC_Fan
  • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo

    China Town Scala Restaurant: Superb Chinese food on Yaowarat Road

    by SWFC_Fan Written Oct 6, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    China Town Scala Restaurant, Bangkok
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    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!

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  • kielorla's Profile Photo

    Anywhere in Chinatown: Dont miss these delicious food

    by kielorla Written Apr 21, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Along Chinatown, you could see a lot of chinese restaurant selling shark fin and bird nest. Just pop into one of these chinese restaurants to enjoy the food. As shark fin and bird nest are consider high-end chinese crusine, you can eat these at a very cheap price in Bangkok.

    Well one tips if you dont know which restaurant to go, just look inside if the restaurant is buzzling with people, that is the one you are looking for.

    Favorite Dish: Oh my fav of cos is the blood bird nest. It is consider the best quality of bird nest.

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    Eating out in Chinatown: Bangkok's China Town -- Don't miss!

    by WaRPer Written Jun 28, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the MUST things to do in Bangkok nights out. You'll find an endless street vendors all across the street and soi (lanes). If you're into Chinese food, try the fish maw soup (Kra-Poh-Pla) or shark fin soup (Hoo-Cha-Laam) and finish it up with Ginko in sweet syrup (Pa-Kuay) There's also a very good Pad-Thai in front of the Kikuya (ask the locals they know everything) (Tue-Sat only).

    Here's the list of food you should try:
    Pad-Thai (kikuya)
    Pork Rice Porridge (opposite kikuya)
    Fishball Noodle -- Song Waad Lane
    Chinese Dumpling (Kanom-Jeeb) -- Song Waad Lane, in front of 7/11
    Grilled satay pork -- The largest food lane, I don't know it's name
    Chinese Chestnut (Kao-Ludd)
    Chinese Herbal Dessert (Tao-Tueng) in front of Verasu Tower

    Favorite Dish: Everything here is good.....really

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  • Mahieu's Profile Photo

    Especially in Chinatown: Eating on the street

    by Mahieu Written Nov 28, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    During the evening, Chinatown changes into a big open-air market. It seems like every inhabitant of this area takes out his pots and pans to make dinner for the rest of the street. The smell is very attractive and the food is delicious too. I had no stomach problems at all after eating here. Try the delicious fresh fruit juices!!
    For me, being terrified by bugs, it was a real adventure walking through these streets, because lots of small creatures were also attracted by the food ;-))

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  • herzog63's Profile Photo

    So many to choose from: Chinatown Munchies

    by herzog63 Written Jun 10, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    You can get all sorts of chinese food in Chinatown. I like the open air style places that have noodle soups! In some of the places that offer a more varied menu you will see pictures on the wall of what there is available. If your Chinese or Thai is a little rusty you can just point to the picture on the wall and voila it will appear on your table. Here in the photo is my son and my friends Pla and Ooy from Bangkok.

    Favorite Dish: I don't have a favorite really as I don't even know the names of half the stuff that I've eaten there. Some times I'll just say make me anything. I think they must get that from other foreigners too as I've always been happy when I've done that!!

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • JanetChan's Profile Photo

    Chinese Food: Chinatown !! Food Haven!

    by JanetChan Written Sep 19, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chinatown in Bangkok is really a Food Haven at night!! Please go Chinatown and try the food there! I stayed in Grand China Princess Hotel for a few couple of night when i was in Bangkok. And i am never in my room till maybe 1-2am in the morning. Why??

    Hehe, because being a food lover but a small eater. I enjoyed walking along the busy street in Chinatown, "sampling" any nice delicious food that caught my attention! Hehe, but i could do that because i have a "big eater" travel buddy with me :P

    There is a stall selling Bread along the street. They sell all different kinds of bread and my buddy love it so much that he report to the stall every night. And there are a couple of fruit stalls who sell BIG sweet "Lychee". Other than that, there are porriage stalls, seafood, chicken rice, wantan mee....etc

    This is a food haven...Go there, if not, you would miss another type of experience in Bangkok. Price is pretty standard there which means normally we would pay the normal price just like the locals unless for fruits. :P

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Study Abroad

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  • Audrey118's Profile Photo

    ?? not sure becos it is written in CHinese: Chinese Meal

    by Audrey118 Written Dec 31, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    map on how to get there

    This place we stumbled by accident. We wanted to go to Chinatown and I chose to have lunch here becos they had clippings from Chinese magazines featuring some of my favourite Hong Kong TVB filmstars dining there.....

    Favorite Dish: I love to have crabs - so crabs with vermicelli in a claypot, and also individual claypot of sharkfin soup with bean sprouts. all yummy. But the bird nest dessert is not good. The place is not flashy but the food - not bad. The bird nest cost about 1500 baht each.

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  • Yijie's Profile Photo

    Eating out in Chinatown - New Man Chai: Good Seafood at Pleasant Restaurant

    by Yijie Updated Dec 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Photo on the restaurant's wall
    4 more images

    We heard that one definitely have to try some seafood in Chinatown at Bangkok so we made our way there. There are a lot of shops selling seafood, some cheap, some grand but too expensive. There are a few open stalls whose tables are stretched out in a row on the street but they look a bit unhygienic. In the end, we settle at this modest looking restaurant, simple but pleasant to the eyes. The food is affordable, not the cheapest but you can still have a seafood feast without bursting your budget. The owner is friendly and also explain the dish prices to us while ordering.

    I visited it again on my last trip and the food still taste great. Managed to take some pictures.

    Favorite Dish: On the whole, the dishes that we tried are all quite delicious. We had seafood fried rice which had plentiful of crab meat, shark fin soup of reasonable quality and crabs. It was really worth the price and we had a very full dinner.

    Dishes to try:
    Crab meat fried rice
    Tom Yum soup
    Oyster omelette - remember to dip in the chilli provided
    Stir-fried crab vermicelli
    Barbecued prawns

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    by aussiejen Written Sep 13, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Noodles with pork
    1 more image

    A trip to Bangkok would not be complete without eating local street food.
    We wandered along the streets of Chinatown trying to decide where to eat. There were so many choices! Finally we were so hungry that it was a case of "this looks good let's eat"!
    We were certainly not disappointed, it was so yummy.
    Even if it hadn't been good it wouldn't have done damage to the budget. It was very good value at only 35baht.
    The young guy doing the cooking was very patient explaining to me what was in the meal. He directed us to sit at the table behind his little stall.
    I think we were a bit of a novelty on the street that night. We certainly stood out from the locals being so much taller than most of them!

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Food and Dining
    • Budget Travel

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  • Joe_mong's Profile Photo

    Eating out in Chinatown: Clean,Air Cond,Fresh Food,No more street food

    by Joe_mong Updated Feb 15, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ChinaTown is a very busy place with lots of Food.....but if you are tired of the street food.....& afraid of getting food poisoning..... go over to Grand China Princess Hotel intersection of Yaowarat(walk straight from boat pier till you reach the intersection, On the Lobby Floor a private Deli namely CAFE CAFE

    Very Fresh Real Fruit Juices(i saw them pressing the juices, no water or sugar added), Dammm good toasted sandwiches......Some Thai food ....pastas.....tasty smoothies.....very cold beers

    The place is fully aircond,staff speaks English & looks realy clean.....Im surprise its not a franchise....Owner is a malaysian...had a chat with him....speaks good English....& very helpfull .Gave me loads of travelling tips.

    Favorite Dish: The Huge Fish Burger
    Triple Decker sandwich
    Pad Thai

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  • hana_aya's Profile Photo

    If you want know where is the...

    by hana_aya Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you want know where is the best place in BKK ...Oh so hard question !!! Because you can find something to eat everywhere everytime and anykind of food and any price.
    On footpath in the evening
    My farvorite place is Yaovarat -the biggest china town in Thai not far from The Emerald Buddha and grand palace.
    You will found the place toeat along Yaovarat road
    Best time to go there is on the evening.

    Favorite Dish: My favorite is Suki hot dish and seafood , it's delicious fresh and not expensive.

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  • Audrey118's Profile Photo

    just go to any restaurant in...

    by Audrey118 Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    just go to any restaurant in Chinatown of Bangkok which is around Yaowawat or Yaowaraj road.
    Feasts your eyes on numerous sharkfin shops.

    Lai Kee restaurant is more than 50 years
    Chinatown Scala specialises in bird nest, sharkfin.

    Favorite Dish: individual urns of sharkfin soup, l also love glass noddles stir fried with prawns or crab and also love dessert birdnest.

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  • bulldogtwo's Profile Photo

    River front and Chinatown restuarants in Bangkok

    by bulldogtwo Updated Apr 4, 2011

    There are tons of places to eat in this area. Anythiung from stall food to 5 star places. There is the Oriental Hotel, know for it's chefs and food, good but pricey. There are several seafood places alongf the river and you can refer to the guide that I have posted with this reply to see place and map. There is also Chinatown not too far away that, again, has tons of great restuarants, from DimSum to seafood, noodle shops, and peking duck.
    Also understand that for every restauarant listed on the web site that I have provided, there are probably 10 or more in the same area not listed that are just as good. To be honest, I look at web sites for places to eat before I head to Bangkok. I usually am wasting my time because I always get side tracked to other restauarants that I find on the way or see during my treks around the city. I think I may have gotten to two places that I initially intended to get to and usually disappointed. In Bangkok, retsuarants are everywhere and so many great ones not listed on any web site.

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  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Chinatown: Street vendors

    by leffe3 Updated Jul 14, 2003

    Sample the delights of the street vendors that come out at night, set up the calor gas stove, the giant woks and a few tables and chairs directly on the street. Simple food - noodles and vegetables - right through the impressive array of fish and sea food. Its cheap, its good and there's a lot of atmosphere.

    Favorite Dish: Just wander round and take your pick

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  • seoulgirl's Profile Photo

    Chinatown hotel restaurant: Cheap! Dim Sum

    by seoulgirl Written May 20, 2010
    Dim Sum baby!

    This restaurant serves dim sum and has cards with picture of the dish on it so you know what you are getting. It's ultra cheap too, 15 baht for most basic dim sum. Two of us had 12 or more dishes and one beer for 10 dollars.

    Favorite Dish: The fried dishes are fried perfectly, not oily. And we loved the Morning Glory greens, really exceptional.

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