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 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 excited enough 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 massive!
Now ordinarily, I would have just ordered it and forced it down but 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 – What?! This is so creamy and rich. The taste of the seafood was there, 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 big chunks of any vegetables in the soup. No galangal slices, massive chunks of lemongrass, or big tomatoes. There was lemongrass but it had been stewed to the point that it was soft so no getting bits stuck in your teeth! The dish was then topped with oyster mushrooms and sawtooth coriander, so you get all the classic tom yam flavours. The stock was so rich, with a really nice hit of sour lime, and you could really taste the galangal and lemongrass. The stock here isn’t overly spicy but if you do like it 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 very good English, thought I didn’t like it because I said it was sour, spicy and salty, and was offering 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 found 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 half way up.
Here are the directions on Google…..