Pad Thai Narok Taek, located on Lat Ya Road in Bangkok has long been my favourite spot for Thailand’s most famous noodles and now they’ve been given the title of ‘Bangkok’s best pad Thai’ in a blind taste test by a panel of Thai and western bloggers and foodies (including myself) at the Market Experience at Yodpiman Flower Market. You can read all about the other restaurants in the blind taste test by clicking here.
So what makes Pad Thai Narok Taek ผัดไทยนรกแตก so special, and why have I been banging on about this place for so long?
Well, first of all, the owner and chef, Aom is a certified wok master and it’s worth the trip down to Lat Ya just to see him manoeuvring his wok majestically around the ridiculously high flames he cooks over. It really is quite a show. As you know, though, I’m not into gimmicks, all I really care about is how the food tastes. Aom’s pad Thai passes the test and then some!
Aom is extremely proud (rightly so) of the special Pad Thai which comes served with massive freshwater prawns, prawn crackers, fish maw and fried vegetables. I actually prefer the standard Pad Thai goong sod – Pad Thai with fresh river prawns as I find it has just the right amount of ingredients for my personal taste. You can also get Pad Thai goong haeng – Pad Thai with dried shrimp for a bargain, 40 THB (£0.95 / $1.20).
Whichever variant you go for, the noodles are the same. Aom’s secret Pad Thai sauce is amazing, it’s packed with freshly squeezed tamarind pulp making it really tart and sour. There’s a sweetness to the sauce without it being overly so. Couple that with the char from the high heat cooking and the perfectly cooked, plump fresh river prawns and you have a true Thai street food masterpiece. What really sets the noodles here apart from anywhere else in Bangkok is the unique topping. Aom fries shallots with dried red chilli and lime leaves to create the most morish, crispy topping for the Pad Thai you could ever imagine. It all comes served in a cute little egg basket with a dollop of prik pao chilli paste. The presentation wouldn’t be out of place in a high end Bangkok hotel.
I may be guilty of getting overly excited when I eat something I like, especially on video when I have no time to process, but I can hand on heart say that after three years of visiting Narok Taek, they serve the best Pad Thai I’ve tasted anywhere in the world. You can quote me on that as well!
I have to mention Aom’s team as well as they all work really hard to make sure things run as smoothly as possible. Aom cooks, his wife sorts the money and he always has at least two staff members plating up bowl after bowl of noodles. It really is a military style operation. The restaurant gets crazy busy and you can expect to wait up to an hour if you come at peak time so I would suggest getting there bang on five when they open to avoid the queues.
Put it this way; Pad Thai wouldn’t make my list of my twenty favourite Thai dishes due to the fact it’s made so badly in so many places (If you eat Pad Thai on Khaosan Road, you haven’t eaten Pad Thai) and I eat at Narok Taek once a week!
Make sure you don’t miss the blind taste test video, we had so much fun!
You can check out my full video review of Narok Taek below:
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Open daily (except Monday) 5pm – 10pm
Here is a map with directions to the restaurant:
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