At one particular junction in Chinatown, Bangkok, the scent of grilled seafood permeates the area, with two rival seafood restaurants – T&K Seafood (green shirts) and Lek & Rut Seafood (red shirts) competing right next to each other.
We picked T&K Seafood because it seemed to be the more popular one, looking at the vast number of tables that spill onto the road, where patrons order food like there is no tomorrow, and more patrons waiting along the roadside for an empty table – so it’s gotta be good right?
Lek & Rut will have to wait till next time.
Having had our share of grilled seafood in Hua Hin, we opted for other non-grilled items. Freshness is the ultimate criteria for superb seafood – and having that in mind, I picked Raw Prawns Marinated in Fish Sauce (200 Baht) as a basic indicator for freshness of seafood in this restaurant.
Despite the prawns looking exceedingly raw with the opaque, grey-ish tail shell still attached, they turned out to be wonderfully sweet, tasting very similar to “amai ebi” in Japanese cuisine. These prawns are about triple the size of amai ebi, and you can imagine the explosion of sweetness is tripled as well as you bite into the bouncy flesh. The only thing was – the heavy seasoning of fish sauce, garlic, lime juice and chilli did not mask the inherent “raw” smell of the prawns; unlike the amai ebi which is sweet with both scent and taste.
Next up was Steamed Squid in Garlic Chili Lime Juice Soup (150 Baht). The innocent looking dish had us fooled because the little green chili paddi were ground to bits and clung onto tentacles and gridded flesh of the squid so there was no escape from the unaltered fiery flavors of Thai cuisine. As spicy and sour as the dish was, we enjoyed it immensely, drinking up all the garlic chili lime juice soup too, along with many gulps of water in between. The dish was kept hot with a small fire underneath.
Our last dish, looking more like scrambled eggs, was actually Curried Crab Meat (300 Baht). While the dish was totally unphotogenic, looking like a big lump of yellow goo, it was luxurious where every mouthful was a fulfilling sensation accompanied by a tiny bit of happiness because the crab meat was so readily consumable, and I could eat it so elegantly without having to crack open the claws or pull the body apart.
Some of the seafood on display.
T&K carries an extensive seafood selection in the menu, be it grilled, steamed, cooked in coconut milk or tom yam – there will definitely be a next time for us. Most of the dishes range from 150 to 300 Baht per dish, while crab dishes are in the range of 300 – 600 Baht.
More Info on T & K Seafood
Address: 49-51 Soi Phadung Dao, Yaowarat Road, Bangkok
Opening Hours : Daily 6 pm – 10 pm.
Getting there : MRT Hua Lamphong Station.