A classic favourite for many in Thailand is pad thai. Sweet, nutty and full of varying texture, this stir-fried noodle dish is a must-try when you visit the land of smiles.
Of course, some places do up the dish better than others and one place that is dubbed to have the best pad thai in Bangkok is the legendary Thipsamai. The pad thai here is so famous that they have even earned themselves a Bib Gourmand award by the Michelin Guide.
Located on the outskirts of Chinatown, Thipsamai has been around since 1966 and the store is constantly flooded with both tourists and locals. However, like every other hyped up establishment, the real question is, are the insanely long queues really worth it?
Thipsamai has recently been renovated and the spanking new space now looks fresh and more spacious. It is now even air-conditioned!
We recommend coming about 15 minutes before the store’s actual opening hours before the massive queue builds up.
Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by the kitchen which is located right in front of the restaurant, just like how it was before the renovation. Here, you can watch the chefs at work while they cook up plates after plates of scrumptious pad thai.
We tried the Pad Thai with Dried Shrimp and Egg (75 Baht), which is essentially their most basic rendition of the dish. Each plate of this comes full of springy noodles that are tossed together with chives, dried shrimp, beansprouts, tofu and egg.
The noodles had soaked up all that deliciously fragrant sauce while maintaining its chewy, springy texture. We also love how the different components added varying textures to the dish — the crunch from the beansprouts and chives, the chewiness of the tofu and the softness of the egg — which all came together to create an interesting mouthfeel.
Our only gripe was that the portion size was a tad too small. Our bottomless pits would have appreciated a much larger serving!
Next, we had the Pad Thai with Shrimp Oil and Fresh Deep-sea Prawns Wrapped with Egg (120 Baht).
What we love about this dish is how the pad thai comes enveloped in a thin, fragrant layer of egg. Break apart the egg to reveal its enticing contents and give the lot a good mix for maximum enjoyment.
The pad thai here is essentially the same as the Padthai with Dried Shrimp and Egg that we had previously, but we have to admit that the simple addition of the egg wrap was genius and it completely elevated the entire dish. We love how the egg provided the pad thai with a decent amount of sweetness without it being too overwhelming as well as a satisfying added texture and bite.
All in all, we can see why Thipsamai is so popular amongst both locals and tourists. However, we feel that it isn’t as great as what many people have hyped it up to be. We do recommend you popping by to give it a try but we doubt that it will be on the top of our must-do lists for any future trips to Bangkok.
313 315 Maha Chai Road
Khwaeng Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 226 6666
Daily: 5pm – 2am