Rua Thong Noodle – Boat Noodles At Victory Monument
If I had to pick the most eaten dish by the local residents of Bangkok, I’d have to go with boat noodles. For all of you that aren’t familiar with what boat noodles are, I’ll explain:
Boat noodles or kuay teow reua as they’re known in Thailand are a noodle soup dish that contains both pork and beef, as well as dark soy sauce and Chinese five spice. Locals eat it with meatballs (look chin) and pig’s liver, although I tend to swerve these and just stick with the meat!
The boat noodles are also thickened with pig’s blood, which also gives a lovely rich flavour to the stock. It can be a bit daunting to us westerners thinking about blood in our soup, but it’s pretty much the same as eating black pudding back home!
Kuay teow reua usually comes with fresh bean sprouts, Thai basil and the usual condiments for Thai soup; chilli in vinegar, dried chilli, sugar fish sauce. It’s traditionally served in small bowls.
The story goes that back when Bangkok was navigated by canals, noodle soup was sold directly from the boats. The boat sellers would have to do everything themselves in a one man operation, from making the noodle soup, to serving, to cleaning up! Serving the noodles in a small bowl meant there was less chance of any accidents whilst passing the soup from boat to land!
Anyway enough of the history lesson and onto the review! Perhaps the best place to try boat noodles for the first time is the famous ‘Boat Noodle Alley’ near Bangkok’s Victory Monument. There are dozens of shops down there serving small bowls of this delicious soup for 12 baht a bowl. That’s 25 pence in England so you can afford to order a few!
I don’t think you can go wrong down there, whichever shop you end up in, but my go to place is Rua Thong Noodle. They are situated on the canal but also have an air-conditioned restaurant inside for when it’s too hot to sit out. There is also a khao soi on the menu so that is always bound to swing my vote!
The menu at Rua Thong Noodle is pretty good. You can choose from pork or beef boat noodles, tom yum noodles, yen ta fo (pink sauce noodles), khao soi, Chinese stewed beef and loads more. The best part is they come in tiny bowls for 12 baht so you can order loads and see what you like! They also have very good crispy pork rind (kap moo), which is a must for me when it comes to boat noodles.
The menu has English translations and the staff are friendly and helpful too. To get there take the BTS to victory monument and follow the skywalk past the roundabout, past the market on your right, past Ratchawithi Road and then come down the stairs and there should be a 7-11 right in front of you. Turn back on yourself then follow the path by the canal.
So get down to Rua Thong and see how many 12 baht bowls you can eat. My record is ten and I’m sure you can beat that!
Here’s a video of a recent trip I took there with mick from bkkjunk.com
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