Before coming to Bangkok we tried to read as much as we could about the city. But through all the blogs and vlogs, it was a post by Mark Wiens that inspired us the most. We watched him eat all sorts of noodles, insects, meats on Youtube, and dreamt of doing the same.
Now we're finally here in Bangkok and our first week has been spent mostly tasting things. Some meals have been great, others not so much. But today we're here to tell you about a delicious encounter with a Thai roasted duck, recommended by none other than Mark Wiens himself.
Prachak Pet Yang (ร้านประจักษ์เป็ดย่าง) is just about 15 minutes walking from Marvin Suites, where we are staying. Like many other vendors on the street, the front of the restaurant features a display of full roasted ducks. A crowd of people was blocking the entrance to the dimly lit inside of the eatery. A few confused words later we were inside. A man in a medical mask opened a back door and said "upstairs." Tomy, having read the blog, led the way.
I've got to admit, the setting is less than inviting. A creepy white light hovers above the heads of people eating in a silent space. All eyes on us, the only white people in the room. The backdoor leads to a sort of kitchen area with stairs that definitely don't look like they lead any place for guests to sit... but they do. Ten horrifying seconds later we were upstairs in a sunlit space. An older man in an apron dropped off two menus with English descriptions.
It didn't take long to figure out what we wanted to try, even with tempting items like duck feet on the menu ;). A plate of roast duck pieces, two pork buns, and egg noodles with crab. Each course came separately, but probably not on purpose. First the pork buns (which are nothing like the ones you get at Chinatown in San Francisco, in case you were wondering. No sauce) then the noodles with crab. Neither of those dishes was very hot. The noodles were at room temperature for sure. Neither of those were particularly special... but the duck! The duck came swimming in a wonderful sauce of tasty bliss.
"It's probably the best duck I've ever tasted," says Tomy with confidence. I agree, the duck was truly delish.
When you visit Prachak Pet Yang, make sure to set your expectations aside and order one to two portions per person. The prices are fairly low for a sit-down restaurant. For the meals we mentioned above we paid 165 Baht. If you don't speak any Thai, point to items on the menu and us your fingers to show how many you'd like. Pay for your meal at the door.