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!
I ate at Mr Chew’s Specialist Restaurant one evening during a visit to Bangkok in September 2007.
This small Chinese restaurant is located on the corner of Yaowarat Road and Thanon Song Sawat right in the heart of Chinatown. It is located a couple of minutes walk from the Shanghai Inn Hotel (where I was staying), on the opposite corner to the 7-11 store.
It is a simple restaurant, straddling the middle ground between the food stalls on the streets and the more upmarket restaurants of Chinatown. The tables are unset (no tablecloths or napkins), with just dishes and chopsticks laid out, and there is little in the way of interior décor. There was a small TV in one corner of the room, and this place had all the feel of a small family-run establishment.
For the entirety of my meal, I was the only diner in there. The restaurant didn’t deserve to be as empty as it was: the food was good, the value for money was excellent. I guess the location is a little unfavourable; there were few tourists in Chinatown, and lots of competing foodstalls on the streets to attract the locals.
Two speciality dishes feature highly on the menu: shark fins and abalone. I had to Google the latter to establish that it is a type of mollusc. Judging by their expensive prices, these are both highly desirable foods.
There are also plenty of cheaper Chinese staples to choose from, especially fried rice and noodle dishes. You’ll find the usual selection of soup noodles (with prawns, chicken, crab meat…), as well as goose legs and a variety of stir fries featuring seafood, chicken, beef, pork and vegetables.
The waitress was very friendly and spoke English extremely well. The service was relaxed and unhurried, I even had to wave at the waitress to distract her attention away from the book she was reading to get her to come and collect my plate and allow me to settle my bill. When I’m on holiday, I often prefer the service to be like this, rather than too attentive and rushed.
Favorite Dish I opted for:
Special fried noodles with prawns - Cost: 80 Bahts (appox. 1.20 GBP)
A plate of thin fried noodles, with diced carrot, bamboo shoots, pieces of chicken and 4 large prawns. The meal was tasty and filling. Being a Westerner, I was offered a fork to eat my noodles with, but I preferred to use the standard issue chopsticks.
Singha beer (bottle) - Cost: 90 Bahts (appox. 1.40 GBP)
Pepsi (bottle) - Cost: 30 Bahts (appox. 0.45 GBP)
I also received a complimentary pot of Chinese tea.
Excellent value food in a low key Chinese restaurant. Highly recommended!
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:
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
Very Chinese thai simple decor,not much to cry about.Authentic teochew thai food with thai influence as the Chinese settles here for few generations.Teochew food originates from a certain part of the southern Guangdong province of China.In an area bordering fujian province ,the locals speak a dialect called teochew,a bit similar to the Hokien neighbour.Their style of cooking is famous for bring out the natural flavour of the dishes as they use light flavouring n spices ..especially steamed fishes.In Honkong known for chinese food connosieurs,this style of cooking hold it's rank and can be found in some up market Chinese Restarants.Been back there several times over a period of 2 yrs. the place is still as crowded attesting to it;s popularity.The patrons are mostly locals of chinese origin withe the occassional expats/tourists.The last time i was there i almost mistakenly walk innto another establishment.Fortunately i remeber the waitresses'uniform and also this restaurant do niot have a uniformed ursher at the door as is common with most places.
Favorite Dish Prices are cheap.The sharkfin soup with sprinkle of fresh beansprouts cooked in a clay pot is simiply delicious .At 300B to 500B a pot ,enough for 4 persons, it is a BARGAIN price!The soy sauce braised duck /goose is ender and suculent,typical teochew style.
As you walk the main street in Chinatow you will see a big sign reading "Royal India" but funnily enough, no indian restaurant attached to it !
This is because the restaurant itself is in a smelly, wet and dirty alley and you would never guess there is a restaurant there, let alone a good one..
Don't be put off by the looks and the smell of the alley itself. Just trust me and go on and into the restaurant. The settings are very simple and not luxury or anything too special but the food is for my taste outstanding.
Very well priced and homemade, from the bread to the lasi, you will enjoy a genuine North Indian meal, vegetarian or not. All options available.
But just a word of advice, higyene is not the strong point of this place. Do not be put off when you see the lady who serves the food stamping her fingerprint inside your glasses when bringing them to the table o when they touch the bread with their hands to put them in your dish.
If you are picky or hipocondriac don't come here. There is no point as you won't enjoy your food.
The toilets are also best avoided, unless you are in a real hurry. Don't ask me why. Just take my word for it.
Favorite Dish The vegetarian dishes in general were great.
My husband had the bread and enjoyed it v. much too.
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
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.
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.
A friend of mine went to this restaurant in Chinatown recently and warned us against it. She was terribly disappointed with its food and price. They were walk-in customers. The shark fin soup cost about US$15 was a great disappointment. Only a few strain of fins could be found. She noticed another table of diners were also scoping for fins. She also ordered lobster which was frozen in the freezer and cost about US$28.00.
Favorite Dish Not worth to try