Monday, November 10, 2008

Kuay Tiew Rua restaurant: Tasty 'boat noodles' a real steal

If you haven't heard the term kuay tieu rua ('boat noodles') before, I recommend visiting a restaurant called Ting's Kuay Tiew Rua located on Dinso Road near Ratchadamnoen Avenue, just a short walk from Democracy Monument.

The reason the noodles got their name is because they were once sold along the kingdom's waterways by vendors who got around using small boats.

Run by a lady called Ting, Ting's Kuay Tiew Rua serves up a delicious blend of noodle soup, which includes a choice of pork balls, meat, or liver in a rich stock. Fresh basil leaves and condiments are provided at your table to adjust the flavor of the soup accordingly.

The chef here usually mixes in about half a spoon of dried chili while preparing each dish. If you prefer to avoid such a spicy end-product, ask your waiter or waitress to ask chef to omit the chili or reduce the amount used if you prefer.

It's not a bad idea to bolster your main noodle dish by ordering some side dishes of pak boong fai daeng ('fried morning glory') and khaep moo ('crispy pork skin'), which you can add to the soup if so desired.

Ting's mother is responsible for passing down this recipe – indeed, she used to sell the noodles herself from a boat located on a canal alongside Victory Monument. This area has been one of the most popular places over the last 30 years to enjoy this dish. While all the vendors were relocated to solid ground many years ago, many continue to set up their stalls on an original boat in order to keep the original theme alive.

Eating boat noodles can really be great fun. Just about anyone should be able to manage between three to five dishes in order to turn it into more of a meal. Ting says she has seen some youngsters manage to consume between 10-15 bowls during ambitious contests among their friends.

If you're in need of refreshment following your noodles, consider ordering up one of Ting's herbal juices, or even a Thai dessert featuring shaved ice and syrup. Many diners feel that ice desserts can provide an effective way of washing away a strong aftertaste.

Ting's Kuay Tiew Rua opens Monday through Saturday during 10 am-8 pm. A bowl of noodles, a side dish, and an iced dessert cost just 10 baht (US$0.28) each.

Ting also provides catering services for party functions and fairs.

Transport connections:

Bus: Air conditioned bus numbers 44, 60, 70, 183, 503 and 511 all pass Democracy Monument, which is just a short walk from Ting's Kuay Tiew Rua. Regular (non air- conditioned) bus numbers 2, 15 and 60 also pass the landmark. Just head towards Dinso Road and walk down the street for about 200 meters. You'll see the restaurant on your right-hand side.


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