“If it’s an excellent noodle dish you’re after, there’s a place just around the corner you should try,” said a sweet voice from out of the darkness. So began my introduction to Ban Mor’s to-die-for kuay tiew kua kai cart.
It was on a night out at Pak Klong Talad, the city’s photogenic 24 hour flower market, that we found it. Hunger had struck, and my friends and I had decided to head away from the main flower-selling strip on a tasty noodle hunt.
After a couple of wrong turns – and one good tip-off –we soon found ourselves ordering from a little food cart propped up against an alley wall in the heart of Ban Mor, a quaint community of old two-storey shophouses.
What impressed me was not only with the shop location, but also the focus of its proprietor and the story he had to tell. Khun Mit inherited the recipe for this stirfried wide noodle dish from his sister, who in turn had inherited it from their father. In total the recipe has been filling hungry bellies for over 40 years.
All this he told me while working intently: fanning the charcoal to make the flame’s stronger, prepping the dish’s main components (eggs, chicken, sauce and noodles) and then slow-cooking them all together in a pot. In his right hand he held a pair of chopsticks, in his left hand the pot, and they moved in tandem to ensure that every bit of the mixture got heated evenly. Such was his concentration that it looked like he was playing a zither over a red fire.
Then, once ready, he carefully scraped out every last morsel of the soft but slightly crisped brown noodles in to a bowl containing a bed of green lettuce. How did it taste? Let’s just say that the zen-like manner in which he made our kuay tiew kua kai was matched by our enjoyment at eating it.
“I don’t think my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps,” he said with a hint of sadness as we bid farewell, a little lost but very happy. My advice to you, therefore, is retrace our footsteps while you can, as, for now at least, this is one of the best versions out there.
Kuay Tiew Kua Kai is on Thanon Ban Mor, about 300 metres past the intersection with Pahurat Road. It’s down a little alley on the right hand side. Opening hours: 6pm-9pm Mon-Sat and 9am-6pm Sun