COCONUTS HOT SPOT – Mantis shrimp may not be a dish you ever thought would whet your appetite. However, my advice is “Get yourself familiarized with this critter ASAP for something delicious has just arrived into town.”
Rayong’s famous “Kang Ban Phe” recently opened its first ever branch outside of its seaside turf. Located in a hip spot just 500 meters into soi Ruamrudee (from the main Sukhumvit road), this renowned restaurant has re-branded itself and fits perfectly into downtown Bangkok’s vibe.
Warning: the lines during lunch hours are always long. But curious urbanites will no doubt give in to temptation and check out this brand new hot spot. Although the restaurant is certainly not a place for a quick lunch, it is the place right now for a chic lunch.
Both floors of the restaurant are air-conditioned and stylishly decorated with wood boards and fishnets, which is the exact same look and feel of the branch in Rayong’s Ban P้e district.
To me, however, all of these fancy ornaments are quite unnecessary. All that matters are the fond memories of each and every one of the dishes, all of which immediately left me yearning for more. It seems there is nothing quite like the Kang Noodles in a 50-kilometer radius.
After a long long wait, I was finally saved from starvation by the first arrival, which was unexpectedly one of the most outstanding pad Thais I’ve ever had. The color is fire red, but it’s not red from chili or anything spicy. I can’t quite put my finger on what made the dish such a daunting shade of red, but, the taste is surprisingly sweet, and the flavor of pad Thai’s most important element—the peanut paste—is distinct.
Other items slowly followed and none of them disappointed. The restaurant’s signature tom yum noodles lives up to its legacy—sour, spicy, and savory. The toppings are plentiful, piling together like a work of art. My goodness, it’s the Gulf of Thailand in a bowl!
On a very hot day, when you don’t really feel like having hot noodle soup, there are always other amazing alternatives. Dry Tom Yum Noodles with Crab and Mantis Shrimps, Mantis Shrimp Fried Rice, Fried Noodles in Yellow Curry, Boiled Mantis with Spicy Dip—all of these await your visit.
On a final note, if my idea of a perfectly cooked shrimp—crunchy, bouncy, and hardly-opaque—is also applicable to mantis shrimp, then the Kang Noodles may want to consider cutting down a few seconds from the mantis shrimp’s hot tub time. As much as they already sit well on the noodle bed, if perfectly cooked, these little critters could be true superstars.
BTS Phloen Chit