Kuay Teow Ruea a.k.a. Thai Boat Noodle is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand, and is definitely a MUST TRY item if you want to get a taste of classic, authentic Thai local cuisine. If you are in Bangkok, the most recommended place to get authentic boat noodles is usually the line of shops in Victory Monument area. You’ll be amazed of how many shops selling boat noodles around the neighborhood, and still, almost all shops are very crowded and I personally think it’s troublesome to go there.
Luckily, my father-in-law brought us to this food court alike restaurant VERY close from home, which apparently sells original Ayutthaya Boat Noodle!
This restaurant is located inside SD BAR BQ restaurant complex, which occupies a very spacious area. The SD BAR BQ itself is a kind of Thai-style All-You-Can-Eat grilled stuffs and only opens from evening to midnight everyday, while during daytime only few stalls open selling few local dishes like satay, pork rice, boat noodle and some other stuffs.
A little history about Thai boat noodle which I find very interesting, let me share to you.
In 1942, there was a big flood in Bangkok, and basically everyone had to ride on boats for transportation. One day, a person sold a noodle to a government parliament staff from his boat. Because the flood continued for a while, government encouraged more people to learn and sell it.
Originally, the only meat used in the boat noodles was beef, and the reason why it’s served in small bowls is to prevent spilling and make it easier passing the bowls from boat to boat.
It’s also said that to make the dark, rich-flavored broth, Thai people use no less than 10-th herbs and spices. The original reason why they used a lot of herbs and spices was to reduce the bad smell of other ingredients such as meat and such.
In a boat noodle shop, it’s common to see stacks of bowls, a big pot of broth, and meatballs. The broth itself is usually already very tasty, but of course the actual taste depends on how they put the seasonings into the bowls.
Kuay Teow Ruea (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ) Thai Boat Noodle THB 15/bowl
Although I have never tried the boat noodle in Victory Monument area before, I was blown away by the strength of flavor here. The soup was dark-colored, thick, rich, flavorful, and SPICY. I was told that the original boat noodles are usually not this spicy but this one was super good for me because it had extra kick!
For the noodle, we can choose Sen Lek (the original version use this), Sen Mi (smaller rice vermicelli noodle or what we call “bihun” in Indonesia), Sen Yai (big, wide noodle) or egg noodle. I actually like all versions but everyone in the family seems to be big fans of Sen Mi, after eating some bowls, I think I agreed that Sen Mi was actually the best because it absorbed the flavorful broth very well.
Eating boat noodles are better with additional fresh vegetables provided in the shop too, we just need to chuck them into our bowls according to our liking.
Don’t forget the crackling pork chips, it will make your boat noodle 1,000 times more fun and delicious!
READY TO EAT!!
Although the portion of boat noodle is very small, don’t worry because we can always add more bowls until we are satisfied! I heard that usual Thai people eat 3-5 bowls and basically if the price is only THB 15/ bowl, they only need THB 45 to 75 for a satisfying meal. Mr. K said that some people (usually men) can eat about 20 bowls alone, and that’s seriously amazing! I thought I can eat more than 10 bowls too but in the end I gave up after 4th bowls because the flavor was too strong and made me full faster!
When your new bowls batch come, just put the contents of new bowls into your own bowl to make the broth even stronger.
In the end, make sure to put the bowls into stacks and count them afterwards!
Khao Kha Moo (ข้าวขาหมู) Braised Pork Leg on Rice THB 45
Pork leg on rice? Who can resist that?
The pork leg was soft and tender, very well seasoned, and had a nice peppery flavor in it. I usually think food in Bangkok is slightly sweeter than my liking but this one was a big hit.
Drinks are available but I recommend to stick to water. The drinks like we ordered below are mainly instant drinks and they were very sweet, like, seriously. Remember: stick to water.
Iced Thai Tea THB 15
Longan Juice THB 15
It was a simple yet delightful lunch with our small family. The place is good, there is an air-conditioned room, the food were great and memorable. The highlight is, we don’t need to take all the trouble going so far to Victory Monument area just for the sake of authentic Thai boat noodle anymore, because we have few popular ones near home! If you happen to be in this area, check this out, if you are a spicy food lover, this couldn’t be more perfect!
Currency Rate: THB 1 = +/- IDR 400 = +/- USD 0.028
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
** This review is written based on our visit on 20 January 2016.
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SD KUAY TEOW RUEA ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ
(Inside SD Bar BQ)
695 Sukhumvit 71
Ph. +66 2 713 0264