Our ultimate #SaveStreetFood pick: the authentic Chinese flavors of Hokkee Pochana

It has been more than two months after the spread of the novel coronavirus entered to Thailand, resulting in the government’s lockdown and social distancing measures. Restaurants and street food stalls are among those who got affected economically. We have seen a lot of business adaptation to survive. But one thing that still remains in their hearts is delivering happiness through food.

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 in the series #SaveStreetFood throughout May. And the last episode goes to the legendary Chinese shophouse restaurant, Hokkee Pochana. What makes this 40-year old-fashion eatery become famous is the aromatic five spice goose or Haan Phalo.

Malida Mongkholchaiwiwat, the owner of Hokkee Pochana, told dtac blog: “The restaurant is founded by my dad, Hong-Ieng Sae-Low. His job is a chef in Chinese restaurant in Shan Tou City, a coastal city along South China sea. When he sought migration to Thailand in 18th century, he brought his Chinese culinary skills to survive in Thailand as a fish maw soup hawker. A few years later, he found a good location to operate a Chinese restaurant, which is the current location at Soi Chula 34. Here offers a great selection of Teochew style Chinese food with the well-known dish of aromatic stewed goose.”

Geese are generally larger than ducks with thicker skin, firm texture and heavier flesh. This is the reason why stewed goose offers sweeter, juicier and more tender taste than duck. The meat here is lean and at the same time juicy with just enough fat under its skin. The five spice broth has a delicious balance between sweetness and saltines.

Much on a slice of goose meat with freshly steamed rice and chili vinegar. It is a truly heaven on earth. Here is another fruitful heritage of overseas Chinese community in Thailand since 18th century when people in southern China was suffering from floods and droughts.

Chinese food offers a different taste depending on diverse background of location and knowledge. In Shan Tou City, where the settlers came to Siam in large numbers, the coastal city takes a geological advantage to offer a wide variety of seafood dishes, which most of Thais are familiar with. It is known as Teochew style food. Stewed goose is one of them along with oyster omelette, stir-fried fish maw with bean sprout and stir-fried Chinese fruit and nuts.

Oyster omelettes are the second to none. it has a gooey texture to the omelette while the taste of oysters is fresh and subtle, with the absence of any raw taste. A delightful indulgence indeed.

Hong Kong style stir-fried noodles here is one of the best in town. The noodles themselves are cooked perfectly like al dente pasta. When they are wok with shrimp and cabbage on a strong fire, giving you a glimpse of burnt smell. And that is truly a charisma of Chinese cuisine.

Fried turnip cake also brings us back the fond memory of my childhood seeping a pot of bottomless tea in the dim sum house every Sunday morning. The turnip cake is crispy outside and yet tender, almost melting in the mouth inside. Before that, dipping with black sweet soya sauce is savory.

A big meal like this, don’t forget a vegetable dish. We want to recommend you stir-fried Chinese spinach with oyster sauce. Although it is a simple dish, but it can prove culinary skills of the chef. How strong fire should be? How long does it take for the wok? When should it be seasoned? But here at Hokkee Pochana, it is superb. Tender yet crunchy. It has a bit of sweet and a bit of spice to blend with the bite of garlic. It’s perfectly eaten with hot steamed rice.

Ms Malida said: “Hokkee Pochana is also one of those who affected by this unprecedented time. Although the eatery reopens for dine-in operating for lunch (11.30-14.30 hrs) and dinner (16.30-20.00 hrs), but there were only a little number of customers coming in. Like today (24 May), It is already 11.45 hrs, there is no any single customers even the strict restriction on health measures are implemented. Luckily, there were a moderate number of customers contributing over the weekend. We’re welcoming you to visit and have an authentic taste of Chinese cuisine at affordable prices.”

For those who wants to join us effort helping members of Samyan community to survive their business, you can go straight to their restaurants and buy some food. We guarantee that you will enjoy deliciousness with affordable prices we featured in the previous episodes. At the same time, you will also help prolong those small businesses too.