Bangkok always surprises me. Like seeing a rainbow at night, the impossible is possible in Bangkok, especially when talking about food. One night, when exploring around Charoenkrung Rd in Chinatown, I came across a Chinese opera playing in a narrow alley. The symphony of colour created by the players’ costumes combined with the dramatic stage backdrop was surprising enough but that was just the beginning.
In a nearby side street, a little food cart, swathed in smoke and the unmistakeable smell of a red-hot wok, lured me away from the drama onstage towards a different kind of gastronomic opera. Mr Weng is the man behind this deliciousness. He is famous for his crispy omelette oyster, or hoy tod, which he has been turning out for more more than 50 years. Normally, he is to be found on Soi 29 at the beginning of the bridge but on this night he had been drawn away from his usual spot by the thrill of the opera.
His speciality dish is a mix of flour, oysters and eggs all fried together like an omelette. But the secret to getting this dish just right lies in finding the perfect balance between these simple ingredients. His hoy tod is famous among locals because of its crunchiness,crispiness and the sweet aroma that emanates from the mix of fish sauce and white pepper.
His other secret is the cooking oil: in place of ordinary vegetable oil he uses lard (known in Thai as nam mun moo), mixed with garlic and fish sauce.
Mr Weng has the timing of true master. He flips the hoy tod at precisely the right moment before adding a sprinkling of beansprouts.
Check it out: Mr Weng sets up his shop in front of Charoenkrung 29 after sunset and stays until almost midnight every day except Sunday.