On Lok Yun is a 80-year-old institution in Bangkok which specialises in serving traditional breakfast. It reminds us of Yut Kee in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the now-defunt Chin Mee Chin Confectionary in Singapore—places that are as old-fashioned as they can get.
The shelves have rusted badly; the colours chip with every tick of the clock. Discoloured ceiling fans and faded milo tins, deity figurines and flowers, faded photos and an old photo of the Thai king.
It is like time stood still here, and Thailand never advanced. On Lok Yun is every bit old school, but it radiates a charm like no other. Run by the third generation now, it “expanded” from serving just eggs and toast to American breakfasts of bacons and sausages.
We’d say skip that, though. Stick to what made On Lok Yun famous, stick to the good ol’ breakfast.
The menu is concise, with few options to ponder over. We liked the kaya bread, or in their words – egg custard. The bread and spread are served separately – a dollop of sweet kaya atop a layer of evaporated milk on one plate, and bite-sized pieces of traditional pillowy bread on the other. Dip as you wish.
The toast with butter and sugar stole our hearts too. It is a fair balance of crisp and softness. Scrape the sides with your knife and you can just hear the traces of dextrinization. Bite into the toast and you know the trip here is all worth it.
You can have a compete breakfast by adding on soft-boiled eggs (THB25) and a cup of Cha Yen, or what is better known as milk tea.
On Lok Yun is a quintessential breakfast spot in Bangkok, and the locals will show you so. Some get their quick fix and gulp their eggs down in seconds, while some flip their morning papers while dipping their bread in egg custard.
Mornings are meant for leisurely savour like this, indeed.
On Lok Yun
72 Charoen Krung Road
Daily: 6am – 4pm