I have not heard about Jok’s Kitchen until recently. Even though this is listed as a must go place by an American (and a lot of Asian distrust recommendations by any Westerners in general…lolz), I believe many local Thai’s and even Chinese folks in Asia also recommends this place. Be warned that you need to book about 2 months in advance it is basically a small shop house with a few tables. Any number of persons from two will do, but you don’t get to eat as much if you have only 2 persons.
Overall, I must say that the food was really great with fresh ingredients diligently prepared with very well-flavored dishes. Even though these are Teochew dishes, the flavors are really awesome compare to what I can get in Singapore. For 10 of us, we each paid about 1,600 baht each which a steal for the number of dishes for about 15 dishes and with lots and lots of crabs. At the end of the meal, we could hardly eat anymore because they are really generous with the portions.
As we left the restaurant walking into the narrow street, I get the impression that the food vendors are not particularly impressed by the restaurant as much as we are. I am not a bit surprised, after all we are smack in the middle of a Chinese/Teochew area and perhaps those dishes that we ate is what a lot of them ate as they grew up and in their families.
That said, the trick just like many of the places in Bangkok is getting there! The restaurant itself is in the middle of soi Trok Issaranuphap flanked by two main road Phrap Phla Chai and Charoen Krung 21, near the China town area (see the photo of the name card for details). It is already a challenge to take a cab to this area as most drivers don’t really know the road names in those area too well. Also the roads around there has notoriously bad and one way traffic; I will be so happy when the MRT finally become operational there. The lane which the restaurant is located is only human walkable, so you need to stop at the lane and walk in. Just ask any of the sellers there and they can point you to the right direction.
Okay, as I said, the restaurant is really a small family business and its helps for Chinese speaking folks that the bosses can speak Teochew. We were seating in a room just by ourselves as the food is being served. The dishes came fast and furious and in large portions to. The problem with that is that you cannot slowly eat your food because the table fills up very fast and everyone is trying to clear the dishes before the next one come along. End up some of us are quite full almost half-way through the courses, unfortunately the food is so delicious that we just continued eating!
Sauteed sweet ginko nuts
The first dish a load full of sauteed ginko nuts. The nuts are pretty expensive in Singapore, so to have load of them in a dish is steal for us. The nuts are soft and yet chewie, not too sweet which is just nice and don’t have the bitterness that comes with the nut. In Singapore, you will probably need to pay through your noses for a dish like this. A great appetizer
Enough said, this is probably one of the best prawn dumplings that I have ever eaten! The dumpling skin was thin and smooth with prawns (again) packed into each bite. Not only that the minced pork is marinated packed full of flavors that complements the prawns and make the whole dumpling simply irresistible.
Fried Prawn roll
A must have in any Teochew restaurant. The fillings are packed full of well-flavored prawns which is crispy on the outside and soft and yummy on the inside. I wonder would it be too much to ask them to wrap the roll in traditional pig lining instead of tofu skin though. lolz
Smoked duck and pork
A lovely dish of well-smoked meat. I cannot really describe what the smokiness is like but it is aromatic from the smoking with great umami taste. However, we felt that we couldn’t really distinguish between the pork and the duck meat as their taste are too similar. Nevertheless, this is an interesting dish and I never had meat with this time of unique smoked flavors before
Stewed goose web in noodles
This one was a slight disappointment for me as I felt that the noodle did not get infused with the flavoring enough. However, the goose web was perfectly done; soft and falls off the bones, great flavors and not too salty.
Crab in yellow curry
The chef gave us this this complementary dish for us and he seems pretty proud of this dish. The curry sauce was thick and eggie and the crab was fresh and sweet and it falls off the shell very easily. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really a distinctive dish by itself.
This is perhaps the only really disappointing dish. Although the prawns are fresh and sweet, but grilling left them too dry for our liking. We wished they are steamed instead.
Steamed crabs claws and meat
This is probably what everyone is waiting for! And finally everyone gets a claw or two for themselves. The crab meat is really fresh, firm and sweet. Just a well executed and simple dish. Crab dishes should all be like that!
Deep fried cod with sweet soy sauce
Well executed dish with fresh fish meat that is crispy on the outside and meat that melts in your mouth. The sweet and savory sauce for that flavors the fish was well-balanced.
Stir fried fish maw
The fish maw to me was perfectly done. The fish maw has absorbed all the flavors and is well infused with the fragrance of Chinese rice wine. One of the best fish maw dishes I have ever eaten.
Kailan or Kale with bamboo clams
Okay, I am not really sure if this is bamboo clams, but its clams for sure. Surprisingly for a vegetable dish, it was really well done. The sauce was great, the clams was cooked just right and so are the vegetables. I could eat just this one dish with rice and that’s good enough for me.
Fried rice with smoked meat & custard peach bun
What can I say, even though we were filled to the top, the fried rice was absolutely fantastic. The “wok hei” (or wok heat) was there and the smoked meat infused well into the rice. Each grain of rice is coat with flavors.
Its quite strange to serve a dessert with the rice though, but I think it makes the dish looks nice overall. The custard center was soft and creamy. Nice.
Fish is Teochew sour soup
A good typical Teochew style soup with sour plum. Great soup to clear up your taste buds a bit at the end of the meal. However, we were really too full at that point to take anymore in.
Or-nee (Yam paste) with ginko nuts and glutinous rice
As expected, you cannot not have a Teochew course without Or-nee. We started the course with sauteed ginko nuts and end it with more ginko nuts. The dessert is a bit different from what we have in Singapore; it like half of the yam paste or Or-nee on top of sweet glutinous rice, then topped with a sweet meat of date and ginko nuts. Overall, a good combination that don’t overwhelm your taste buds.