We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A victim of its own success but incredible food”
Review of Raan Jay Fai

Raan Jay Fai
Ranked #828 of 12,544 Restaurants in Bangkok
Cuisines: Chinese
Dining options: After-hours
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We ate at the restaurant after making a late afternoon reservation via their email address several months before our visit.
The restaurant is easy to find and is on a main street about a mile walk out of Chinatown. The restaurant was also easy to spot as it had a crowd of tourists and prospective diners outside it jostling for position.
We arrived for our reservation early and quickly learnt the crowds were mainly people who had just turned up and were waiting for their turn in ‘walk up’ book.
No staff acknowledged us, smiled or attempted to differentiate us from the mob outside.
It got to approximately 10-15 minutes after our allotted time and I ended up forcing myself in to the attention of a waitress who was doing her best to avoid eye contact with anyone.
The staff were all very busy, they were rude and went to great lengths to avoid questions, conversation or eye contact.
On first glances the restaurant appears to be struggling under the weight of its own success. Staff including Jay Fai did not look happy to be there, there seemed to be an underlying resentment and palpable contempt for diners. Jay Fai was segregated away behind partitions (presumably due to tourists getting in her way and distracting her in the past). Do not expect any interaction or smiles - she was just busy doing her thing and looking like she wanted to be somewhere else.
We were eventually seated at our table, 15 minutes later we ordered some beers and our food. In this interaction we at least got a smile from one member of staff before she rushed off.
We ordered one crab omelette, one portion of drunken noodles with prawns and one bowl of tom yum soup with prawns.
Service was staggered and we received our items about 10 minutes apart - however that said it took some 40 thirsty minutes or so for our first dish to arrive. During this time staff walked by avoiding eye contact and avoiding attempts to politely ask for their attention for drinks service. One waitress even looked at us both, then our empty beers, then our empty glasses and walked off.

The food was absolutely delicious;
The crab omelette was piled full of sweet, perfectly cooked crab meat, it was decadent tasting but not too rich and was also served with a chilli dip that was a perfect accompaniment.
The drunken noodles were fantastic, perfectly cooked with huge juicy prawns, fierce fragrant spice and amazing cooked stir fried vegetables and greens.
The tom yum was very authentic, was fiercely hot and spicy and had a fragrance unlike any other tom yum or other Thai dish I’ve ever tasted. I like spicy food but actually had to leave some of the broth as my mouth and head were practically on fire.

As other reviews suggest the restaurant is extremely expensive when compared to restaurants of similar food, style and comfort level. For three dishes between two people and 4 Singha beers we paid approximately 3000 Baht.
The food tasted like it was worth the money and the incredibly large succulent seafood used can’t be cheap however it did leave me wondering where the money goes in a restaurant with no air conditioning, not enough staff, an obviously unhappy and segregated chef and one toilet with no taps or soap.

I’m glad we came and just like most people; I’ve wanted to eat at the restaurant since seeing it featured on Somebody Feed Phil. However I would strongly advise you to only book in advance. Also come expecting terrible service and unfriendliness and then it will at least not be a surprise.

1  Thank Daniel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (306)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

11 - 15 of 307 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2018 via mobile

Had a full day planned on Raan Jay Fai's side of town which included, a visit to the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho. Our first stop was the Grand Palace, and then we broke for lunch. The Grand Palace would be the last attraction we would see as the roughly 3 hour wait at Raan Jay Fai consumed the entire day ; however was an experience well worth it all. We arrived via taxi from the Grand Palace at about 1:45pm for their opening at 2:30pm, where we were able to get our names on the waiting list at # 7, as # 2 said they had been there waiting since 11am. My wife who is a "must eat on time person" was surprisingly motivated to wait and led our charge in waiting the unknown period. Be advised this is a very small street side place so at opening they called #'s 1-5 plus 1 email reservation and the place was filled. A nervous energy fills the place as if you are 60 seconds late to your call you may be out of luck as the hostess is very efficient. The mood also intensifies as Jay Fai emerges from their back alley prepping area, and begins to fire up her charcoal fired woks. The droves of onlookers also arrive just wanting to get a glimpse of her. From that point we waited possible another 1.5 hours to be seated and ordered quickly as we had so long to read over the menu. By that point the list was somewhere around 25 I felt for those folks. Nonetheless we ordered the Tom Yum Goon, Drunken Noodles, Crab Omlette, and Basil Chicken, and a few Chang's and soda water to wash it down. The food took another hour to come, as Jay Fai cooks all the main dishes herself and the assistants just help with prep work. Every dish was fantastic and the quality of the food was by far the best we had in Thailand witj very large portions. FYI this is not cheap as the entire meal was just short of $100 usd. Not typical in Bangkok under any circumstances, but worth the experience if you can afford it. As you know Y.O.L.O (you only live once). The feel good story of the day was a Swedish man who had to catch a flight home in a few hours, but just stopped by to try his luck and was #10 on the list. Given the time of his flight his chances were slim, but #2 had ordered so much food that they gave him a free $30 crab Omlette which he gladly accepted and went on his merry way. Everyone had a great laugh at his luck. Great time!

2  Thank jbones718Brooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2018 via mobile

Is the food good? Yes. Is it so much better than the stalls 20 meters away? Not for me. Prices are 5-8 times higher and you just don’t know when it’s going to be your turn. Saying it’s 1 to 6 hours wait is not professional by any standard. Never to repeat the experience.

5  Thank Francesco V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2018

My Foremost Advice: DO NOT visit with an empty stomach or when you are very hungry.

We arrived confidently without a prior reservation, partly because the coordinator among us had the wrong contact number. We walked in at 1:45pm, saw that it only opens at 2:30pm, joined the queue at 6th spot on the list, and still waited for the next 2.5 hours.

But I must say it is the best street food I have ever tasted in Bangkok after visiting the city for the past 30 years, and it is also one of the most expensive. The 4 of us spent 4,780thb on about 7 dishes.
Food setting tells how and why it deserves Michelin Award. Although every dish tasted delicious, but only 2 to 3 were extremely awesome to us. Ingredients were fresh and generous. For example, we had the first Seafood Kway Teow (noodles/pasta) which saw the ingredients more than noodles. It could be called Kway Teow Seafood instead.
90% of the diners were foreigners. While waiting, we saw 1 in every 10 dropped the queue and walked away.
I'd strongly recommend to try at least once. But I probably won't return unless I need to impress someone or my bring my family for a revisit, because the queue is really a dread.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GeorgeJorgimoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2018 via mobile

Definitely one of a kind crab egg omelette I’ve ever tasted. We went late at night and got the last seats. Waited for an hour for the food to be served, because apparently there’s only one chef cooking, none other than the Jay Fai herself. She’s really dedicated to her cooking and I think it’s a well deserved michelin star award for her.
Definitely worth visiting when u’re in Thailand.

1  Thank esuw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Raan Jay Fai also viewed

 
Bangkok, Thailand
 

Been to Raan Jay Fai? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing