Jok Kitchen is without a doubt the
Despite its most unlikely location, it requires reservations weeks in advance; this is because Jok's Chinatown spot is also one on the smallest, most unusual and most talked about small restaurants in Bangkok: it can only accommodate 10 to 16 guests. To add to the mystery, you don’t even get to choose the menu. All you need to know is that it's Thai-Chinese seafood and the Chef decides what's for dinner tonight. So there.... what is all the fuss about?
NOTE: You need to book weeks in advance.
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To get to Jok Kitchen, you better know how to get there - and once you actually find the street where the map took you somewhere in Chinatown, you still have to walk down a rather dark alley that smells of cat pee. At least four cats were sitting on now empty market stalls staring at us walking by. The narrow alley is a market at day and looks really abandoned at night. Further down, a sign, all in Thai, indicates an even smaller alley. I can imagine how a tourists coming to Bangkok for the first time would feel about this place... probably turn around and run for the closest KFC.
Once you've found it, the restaurant is not exactly impressive; small, white and brightly lit with neon lights with two large round tables so typical of Chinese restaurants. The whole set makes it pretty clear that you are here to enjoy food with friends and family, not the decorum.
The first dish soon arrives and all doubts are suddenly dissipated. The food is Thai-Chinese, simple and just like the restaurant, presented without unnecessary frills. First we were served a delicious light appetizer made of Ginko nuts with fried shallots on top, but the slices of abalone in a light wasabi sauce that followed was a real eye opener. The fried rice with crab meat with a smoky taste to it was the most simple yet hugely popular among my Thai friends. Fresh shrimp dumplings with deep fried garlic, one of the best snow fish I ever had (
Chef Jok is a humble and very friendly
Note that Chef Jok hinted us about a restaurant relocation. We suppose the place would be easier to find but if it were the case it might lose a bit of its ‘hidden charm’. Whatever happens, we will go back as long as the food remains the same.
- Opening Hours: daily 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:30 - 10pm
- Location: Chinatown
- Remarks: Reservation necessary
- Address: 23 Soi Isara Nuphap, Phlab Phla Chai Road
- Tel: 02-221-4075, 081-919-9468