Talat Phlu Ocha is an old school, no frills shophouse restaurant selling excellent beef noodle soup, located on Lat Ya Road in Bangkok’s Khlong San area which is on the west side of the Chao Phraya River. If you’re staying on the Thonburi side of Bangkok, you have to check this place out, you’d be hard pushed to find a better kway teow neua anywhere else in the city.
What to Order?
You can order your noodles with all different parts of the cow; liver, heart, intestines, you name it, they’ve got it. I, however, like to keep mine simple by going for the stewed beef, nuea puay (เนื้อวัวเปื่อย) and fresh beef slices, nuea sod (เนื้อวัวสด) alongside my favourite noodles for beef soup, Sen Yai (wide rice noodles).
The staff don’t speak much English but they are very accommodating so if you don’t speak Thai, you can just point to what you want and say ‘ow’ if you want it and ‘mai ow’ if you don’t (this will come in handy everywhere!).
The soup broth is fantastic at Talat Phlu Ocha, nicely spiced with cinnamon and star anise and it’s very savoury. The broth is a little lighter than some of the other places I go to in Bangkok for beef noodles and I actually prefer this style as I find the thicker stocks can be a little overly salty sometimes. As good as the soup is, as, with all noodle soups, it benefits from some work. A big dollop of the homemade chilli vinegar (prik nam som) and a spoon full of chilli flakes (prik bon) takes this already tasty soup to the next level. The sour vinegar helps to cut through the salty rich broth and I can’t eat anything these days without a fiery kick from some kind of chilli!
The stewed beef is the star of the show here. It’s not just the fact that it’s incredibly tender and flavoursome, it’s the sheer amount of meat that comes with the soup that sets it apart from anywhere else I’ve been. Throw in some thinly sliced, fresh steak slices (think Vietnamese Pho) and you’re on to a winner.
It’s very rare that I’m full up from one bowl of noodle soup but at Ocha, I’m stuffed everytime I leave. For 60 baht a bowl (£1.40 / $1.85), and it’s a big bowl, this would have to be my choice for best value beef soup that I’ve had in Bangkok. For another 10 baht (£0.23 / $0.31) you can have a bowl of steamed rice to mop up all the lovely soup at the bottom of the bowl, this is highly recommended!
You can check out the full video review on my YouTube Channel here. Don’t forget to subscribe so that you never miss another video!
How to get to Ocha
The restaurant is located on Lat Ya Road, Soi 18 which is a short walk from The Millenium Hilton Hotel on Charoen Nakhon. There’s no MRT or BTS nearby, the closest would be Wongwian Yai or Krung Thonburi, both of which are a twenty minute walk away. The quickest way to get here would be a taxi, especially if you are staying in the old town (Rattanakosin, Chinatown, Khaosan Road etc.) but it is easily accessible by boat. Take the Orange Flag express boat to Si Phraya pier, cross the river on the ferry and it’s a five minute walk from the pier at Khlong San Market.
Here is a map with directions to the restaurant.: