Samyan is a century-old community of Thai Chinese in central Bangkok. One of the neighborhood’s iconic landmarks is Samyan fresh market, which has been here for four decades at one of the busiest roads in Bangkok. Given the area’s gentrification, Samyan market has been relocated next to Chulalongkorn stadium.
The two-story market features a great selection of tropical fruits and fresh seafood produces at affordable prices. It is normally vibrant with crowds of students and office workers in the afternoon and evening, emerging a wide range of renowned dishes, such as a huge portions thick bacon in Thai style and Pad Muen Li (stir-fried glass noodles with a mix of seafood and Thai kales seasoned by chili oil). This reinforces its position as a food heaven.
One of the most renowned restaurants here is “Jeh Na kitchen” which means Big sister. It has been with Samyan market for more than 40 years since the establishment of the market.
Hiran Ahikiat or Mhee, a founder of Jeh Na kitchen told dtac blog that: “I’ve been deeply associated with since I was born closed to the estuaries of the Chao Phraya River. I helped my dad prepare live edible crabs for sale. Our family sells almost everything from the sea. My dad is an expert in seafood having the ability to identify whether it’s fresh, carrying eggs and organic. It’s unexplainable how he gets this gift. Whereas my mom is good at selling. She sells only top-quality produce. If they don’t meet her requirements, she will throw them away.”
“I’m the oldest child with five younger sisters. After my sisters were born, our family business grew exponentially thanks to our affordable price ranges. We expanded our business from seafood wholesaler to operating a restaurant. We gained only a little amount of profits from the restaurant but we’re so happy that customers give us good feedback, allowing us to be a part of their daily happiness.”
Jeh Na says his mom and dad are both true foodies, but his dad does most of the cooking. Love and empathy are in every process of how they make their food. That is why Jeh Na kitchen has been long lasting until today.
Stir-fired sea bass with a mix of ground pepper, garlic and coriander’s roots is one of the highly recommended dishes. A fish fillet is deep-fried, then stir-fried with deep-fried shallot, fresh chili, garlic and pepper. You can smell the aroma of Thai herbs from the hot wok as they through them in. Stir-fired squid with salted egg yolk is another must-try. The chef grounds salted egg yolk with a large spatula and stir-fries it with soft and chewy squid. It is then seasoned until an intense flavor appears.
In addition, we also recommend stir-fried vermicelli noodles with water mimosa and prawn. Again, the sear of the wok will make this dish aroma enriched with smoky notes, before being garnished with sliced chili for that extra kick. Crab fried rice is common comfort food in Thailand. But it is hard to find the right one. Jeh Na impressed us with its signature of jasmine rice fried in the wok with Chinese cooking techniques. The succulent fresh crab meat with scallion and lime combo add the perfect fresh flavor.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve been inevitably facing a tough time. We’re focusing on delivery services. Fortunately, we have a huge fan base, helping us to get through this difficulty. I believe that our sincerity and empathy with clients is paid off ultimately,” said Mr. Hiran.
“I strongly believe that good food starts from good ingredients, particularly when it comes to seafood. The ice used to maintain freshness must also be very clean. And seasoning sauces must be added with perfect dosage and timing, ranging from spices, Chinese rice wine and sesame oil. They will add extra dimensions to foods, giving aromatic scents both on a wok and on a plate. Aromatic is the first stimulus before eating. And freshness is the impression. This is the concept of our restaurant…Simply delicious,” he added.
In our #SaveStreetFood series, dtac, as a member of the Samyan neighborhood’s community, is fulfilling our mission to connect people to what matters most by featuring the area’s most delicious foodie spots. dtac customers can join #SaveStreetFood by ordering through GET FOOD, foodpanda and skootar with a discount redemption from the dtac app.