BANGKOK — Egg noodles with roasted pork and dumpling is one of the most popular Chinese foods that have gone ‘native’ in Thailand for a long time. It’s a common enough dish, but few mastered it throughout the test of time.
One of those lucky few is Chuan Savoey on Bangkok’s busy Silom Road. They have been selling the dish for over 40 years, seeing Silom grow from a sleepy orchard area into the bustling financial district. Three brothers and a sister now run the place with half a dozen staff.
Known in Thai as bahmi giew moo daeng, the dish originated from China’s southern coastal provinces. Brought to Thailand by migrants from those parts of China, the dish is now well integrated into the Thai street food culture.
Those migrants include the grandparents of Chuan Savoey’s Opas Yotjiranand, 57, who keeps the shop churning out this staple dish along with roasted pork with rice and red gravy sauce.
We certainly recommend its egg noodle, particularly with not just roasted pork but with blue swimming crab meat, which is known in Thai as pu mah or ‘horse crab’. A sign in front of the shop proudly stakes its claim of “100% original” noodle.
Pork-bone soup is prepared every morning at 7am in accordance with the recipe of Opas’ mother, Jae Aeng, who is now 83 and no longer active at the shop. The egg noodles may not be homemade but it’s slim and adequately chewy, unlike the more pedestrian shops.
Its soup is light and goes well with the Thai habit of adding dried red chili, chili vinegar, soy sauce, and – God forbid – refined white sugar. This is how Thais localized the dish and our advice is stay away from the sugar unless you have a serious sweet tooth and can’t have enough from the dessert.
Some places will offer you fish sauce, but the more Chinese-oriented egg noodles houses will only supply you with soy sauce, as in the case at Chuan Savoey.
We like the place because its soup and the crab meat is fresh and succulent. Although you don’t get a lot of crab meat, what is delivered is fresh and juicy. And when the price is 50 baht for crabmeat egg noodles, we don’t think you can really complain.
The place is very popular particularly during lunchtime on weekdays when office workers from around Silom vicinity would descend to the noodle shop. Expect to queue outside on the pavement. Even during the ongoing coronavirus, the shop seems to be doing a good business.
But how long Chuan Savoey will be serving delicious bahmi is anyone’s guess; Opas himself said none of his children, or those of his siblings, have expressed an interest in taking over the shop once the second-generation owners retire.
Chuan Savoey is located 207 Silom road. It’s a 20 seconds walk from BTS Sala Daeng Station Exit 2. It opens everyday from 8.30am to 3.30pm, except Sunday. No reservation is accepted and the shop has no presence on social media.