Tom Yam on Steroids! – Review of Pee Aor Tom Yam, Phaya Thai
Now I was under the impression that a tom yum soup came with either prawns or chicken. That was until I stepped foot in Pee Aor Tom Yam. The first thing I noticed when sitting down was a picture of a massive bowl of tom yam with a big, fat rock lobster sat in the middle of it, surrounded by mussels, prawns, squid, and salmon! I was getting excited now; as if I wasn’t already after walking by the massive pot of tom yam bubbling away at the entrance!
When the girl came over to take my order, I pointed to the picture of the lobster and said my obligatory ‘ow anee khap’ (I want this please). She started laughing and steered me to the price; it was 1200 baht! She then pointed to a table of girls who had ordered one, and I realised why she was laughing; It was huge!
Now ordinarily, I would have just ordered The Giant Bowl and forced it down. However, this being my first day back from a two week stint in the U.K, I’d already eaten three meals before I’d got here to make up for lost time so I decided to go for the standard Tom Yam Koong, priced at a more affordable 60 baht!
Luckily the girls on the table let me take a few snaps and even let me try the soup! It was so creamy and rich; the taste of the seafood was present, but not overpowering. I look forward to bringing some guests here to try it in full!
My tom yam came with two large freshwater prawns and thin rice noodles. The first thing that struck me was that there were no significant chunks of any vegetables in the soup. No galangal slices, massive pieces of lemongrass, or big tomatoes. There was lemongrass, but it had it’s stewed to the point that it’s soft, so no getting bits stuck in your teeth. The dish is topped with oyster mushrooms and sawtooth coriander, so you get all the classic tom yam flavours. The stock is amazingly creamy, with a massive hit of sour lime, you can really taste the stewed galangal and lemongrass. The broth here isn’t overly spicy, but if you do like it a little hotter like me, then there is plenty of dried chilli on the table.
I did a little video for my Instagram story explaining the flavours of the Tom Yam. The owner, who speaks excellent English, thought I didn’t like the tom yam because I said it was sour, spicy and salty, and he offered to make me another one so I could leave happy. I told him that I was VERY happy, played him back the video and showed him my empty bowl. I swear I would have licked it clean if no one else was there, it was that good!
He was happy once I’d played back the video and told him it was the best tom yam in Bangkok!
I love tom yam, in fact, it’s one of the dishes I order the most. The version here is one of the best I’ve had so I would highly recommend that you stick it on your list!
Pee Aor is located in a backstreet of Bangkok’s Phaya Thai district. It was a little hard to find; I followed my google maps down various alleyways and eventually found it. On the way back I discovered a shortcut to the BTS station, which cut the walk time in half. Take the BTS to Phaya Thai and leave at exit one. Directly on your right is a big building called Phaya Thai plaza which looks like this:
Walk down the side where the white truck is coming out of and go all the way to the gate at the back. There is an opening onto a street. Turn left and walk up about 50 meters. Soi Phetchaburi 5 will be on your right. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see lots of Islamic restaurants. Pee Aor is on the right about halfway up.
Here are the directions on Google: