The Ultimate Crispy Pork in Bangkok at Mr Joe
Is there anything better than crispy, deep fried pork belly? I’m not so sure! Moo krob as it’s known in Thailand is sold all across Bangkok, but I keep hearing about the so called ‘crispiest pork in Bangkok, ‘ and I thought it was about time I went and checked it out for myself.
Mr. Joe Crispy Pork is located on Chan Road, just off Charoen Krung Road in Sathorn. I walked from Saphan Taksin BTS Station. It’s a solid 20 minute stroll to the restaurant which I don’t mind as I like the area; it reminds me of a quieter China Town. There are a couple of lovely temples to check out on the way if you want to break up the journey. In particular, Wat Yannawa rivals any temple in town, without having to put up with the crowds.
It was already pretty busy by the time I got there at 10 A.M, and the staff were working away with some serious teamwork to get the orders done. There were clearly a lot of takeaway requests to get through as more bags were being prepared than there were people in the restaurant.
One of the friendly waitresses seated me and handed me a menu with English translations. The first thing that I noticed was the other dish Mr Joe is famous for – Guay Jub. It’s a peppery, dark noodle soup of Chinese origins with pork entrails, offal, and crispy pork. Now, I’m not a massive fan of offal and entrails; I’ll eat them, but I’d rather have chunks of stewed meat if I can. I was pleased to see that they had this option on the menu already, with the English translation next to it. Maybe I could even get my wife to try a bowl!
So on to the soup itself – I’d read on Mark Wiens excellent blog that the soup broth wasn’t all that peppery. It was perfect for me, though; not overly salty from the soy sauce, a gentle heat from the pepper (obviously I added my own dried chilly and chilly vinegar) and loads of stewed and crispy pork. The rice noodles are rolled into thin cylinder shape reminiscent of pasta al ceppo but made with rice flour, and the soup comes packed with them!
The stewed pork is really tender and flavoursome, but the star of the show is the crispy pork. Even after sitting in the soup broth it was still crispy! I finished the bowl satisfied, but I couldn’t resist ordering a portion of the crispy pork belly with sweet soy sauce.
The moo krob is even better eaten by itself – Crunchy, crispy, fatty skin giving way to soft, melt in the mouth pork meat. This pork is going to take some beating! I feel that the pork is seasoned well enough, and moist enough, that it doesn’t need the dark soy sauce for dipping. I’ll let you make up your own minds.
Each dish cost 60 baht a piece, yes that is £1.40 each!
On a recent return to Mr Joe’s, I decided to give their bbq pork buns (sa la pao moo daeng) a go as the friend I was with is obsessed with them and wasn’t going to leave without trying them. I’m probably not the right person to critique the quality of pork buns as I’m yet to find one anywhere that I really enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, the buns here are decent as far as buns go but for my own personal taste, they are far too sweet. If I’m going to eat a sweet pork bun, I want it filled with custard, that way I know it’s a sweet treat. When I’m having a savoury bun I want it to be just that…savoury! Don’t let me put you off ordering them, though, if you’re a fan of these type of buns as I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
If you do want dim sum, take my advice and head around the corner to Tuang Dim Sum on Charoen Krung for your dim sum fix as it’s my personal favourite in the area.
If you have time, you can check out my video review of Mr Joe’s below. If you love authentic local food, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.
Mr. Joe is open every day from 8 AM to 4 PM and gets extremely busy on weekends.
Here are the directions for Mr. Joe Crispy Pork: