Seemingly unbeknown to anyone living from On Nut to Siam, there is a lot more to Bangkok than the good old Sukhumvit road.
In fact, if you want to sample some traditional Thai food in a local area, while watching locals go about their daily business, then I suggest you forget the shiny malls of Phrom Phong and Asok and head across the river to one of my favourite streets for food in the entire city (and not just because I live around the corner), Charoen Nakhon.
Charoen Nakhon runs parallel to the Chaopraya river on the opposite side to Charoen Krung. It’s jam packed with options for traditional restaurants to try, but today I’ll be focusing on one of my personal favourites – a generations old Chinese-Thai shophouse called Nai Soon.
Nai soon specialises in stewed duck (bped palo), and goose (han palo) served with rice or in noodle soup. On this particular day, I went with both with rice.
The stewed duck came first with a side of rice and a little bowl of homemade chilli and garlic vinegar (prik nam som).
It comes covered in a thin, light soy based sauce which is rich and salty. In fact, when I tried the sauce by itself, I thought it was too heavy, but once it’s mixed in with the rice and you add the sour, spicy chilli vinegar, it all comes together nicely. The duck is very moist and tender with excellent flavour, and at 60 baht a plate you really can’t go wrong.
The chilli and garlic vinegar is a must, but there’s a hell of a lot of garlic in it so maybe swerve this place if you’re going on a first date!
Seriously, though, It was nice and sharp with just a little sugar which is perfect for me, as I don’t like my sauces too sweet. And, as I said before, it rounded off the salty flavour from the soy based sauce.
Next up was the equally tasty goose. Again, the meat was very tender, perhaps a little fattier than the duck but not a huge difference in taste. The goose is served with the same sauce as the duck, so If I were going to get just one, I’d probably go with the duck as the goose is 90 baht, whereas it’s only 60 baht for the duck. Then again, that’s a 70 pence difference in the real world, so why not have both and decide for yourself!
To get to Nai Soon, you can get a boat across from just outside Saphan Taksin BTS Station. It’s the same place where the private boat tours go from. Just tell the Khlong San, and they should show you where to go. The ferry is 5 baht to the other side, and it’s a 5 minute walk from there.
Nai Soon is pen every day from 10 A.M – 5 P.M.