Raan Jay Fai is led by a 72 yrs old lady named Jay Fai, this shop-house restaurant is the stuff of Bangkok street-food legend and a new culinary sensation nowadays. Located just steps away from the ever-popular Thip Samai: Pad Thai Pratu Phi in the Old Town, this restaurant looks and operates not unlike your local tam sang (stir-fries made-to-order) joint, only the prices are much, much higher. That’s largely because these typical Thai dishes like pad kaprao, pad khee mao and tom yam kung are dressed up with super-fresh, giant-sized portions of crab, tiger prawns and other seafood delicacies.
Of course, you’re also paying for an experience. In the open kitchen, the energetic Jay Fai works her magic just like she has for the past 40+ years: donning her iconic oversized goggles and grabbing her wok to provide a fire show over the charcoal brazier. She cooks every single dish of the restaurant herself. The showmanship is spell-binding, but doesn’t really make up for the fact these flavors aren’t that amazing—especially at prices more befitting a fancy Thonglor restaurant than a no-frills shop-house. Recently Michelin gave Jay Fai one star by breaking their tradition. With this Raan Jay Fai became the most expensive street food shop in Bangkok. Jay Fai is a phenomenal street food genius, no doubt. No wonder Michelin broke their tradition by giving her a star.
This Old Town stronghold may not be the culinary masterclass some people claim, but it’s still an experience like no other, well worth a visit if your pockets are deep enough. No outside drinks allowed.