You’ll never know what’s inside a wonton until you taste one. It’s simply made, a sheet of flour wrapping around assorted excitement. But, at Kiew Jeen, which means ‘Chinese wonton’, there are plenty of variations.
The restaurant is within five minutes’ walk from MRT Lumpini station, situated on a block of townhouses with two-storey seating. It’s not the prettiest restauarant in the area and the smells from the kitchen are potent, but the whole experience is elevated by the food and its taste.
Although it’s called Chinese Wonton, the food is more Liaoning cuisine, a sub-Chinese cuisine in the Northeast of China, which has its own distinctive flavour, although there’s plenty on the menu that resembles Thai or other commonly found Chinese dishes.
The crispy eggplant french fries (B110) sound weird but after they’re cooked, they are lightly coated with sweet black sauce, giving off sweetness and a little salty taste. Another vegie dish, the fried beans (B110), has a strong taste – the bean itself is sweet but it comes mixed with a salty seasoning. and a hint of garlic.
If those dishes aren’t strong enough, try the spicy bean curd (B110). It’s a tofu with minced pork stir-fried. This dish comes out hot and is a favourite for diners who can’t get enough spice in their lives.
Save the best for the last, though – the wonton menu is what keeps the customers coming back. and is something that shouldn’t be missed. The xiao long bao (B100) is a steamed stuffed bun, served hot. Each one of these is juicy, with the soup inside released with each bite. There are different ways to cook a wonton, whether steamed, fried, or baked, and the taste of the wonton varies accordingly depending on the method. If you find the food too greasy or cheesy, have them with Chinese tea or chrysanthemum tea.
Overall, it’s a dining experience not found many places in Bangkok and Kiew Jeen is a very small restaurant, so call for a reservation if you don’t want to be left waiting. Don’t expect much from the service and don’t order take-away unless you’re happy to eat it cold.
Sathorn Soi 1 (Soi Ngam Doo Plee) | 02-679-7019 Daily 11am-2pm, 5pm-9pm