Founded in 1909, Prachak at Charoen Krung Rd, Bangrak has been serving pet yang or “Cantonese-style” roast ducks, heavily-tweaked to suit the Thai palate, of course, for more than a century. This little place is extremely popular, so try and avoid peak lunch periods. The eatery opens at 7.30am, so one can have roast meats with rice - where it’s called khao na ped (Thai: ข้าวหน้าเป็ด, which translates as “rice topped with duck”) or noodles for a substantial breakfast, if one chooses.
Prachak also has mu daeng - the Thai take on HK-style BBQ pork. The Thai version is poached. fatless lean pork drenched in a sweet dressing, rather than the caramelised, roasted version one gets in HK, KL or Singapore.
There is also mu krob - crackling skinned roast pork belly. The Thai version here was actually quite close to the Cantonese-Chinese one.
But the piece de resistance at Prachak will always be their pet yang (roast ducks_, done the way they’ve been doing it since 1909.
My choice of breakfast: Bamee (wanton egg noodles) with mu krob (crackling-skinned roast pork), mu daeng (“red pork” or"char siew") and kaew (wanton dumplings). The “dry” version.
One can also opt for the soup version, although the soup broth would taste nothing like the more sophisticated ones in HK which used dried scallops and dried shrimp eggs for flavouring. The one here, unfortunately, tasted more like a school canteen version, in comparison.
The roasted duck here comes drenched in a bean-sauce dressing heavy with cassia bark, cinnamon and other Chinese aromatic spices - it was too strong for ordinary Chinese tastes, but may be what Bangkok’s locals prefer. Cucumber and pickled ginger garnishes were served on the side.
Condiments: fish sauce, sugar, pickled chillis & spicy chilli flakes in serving glasses on every table, are a must for Thais to have with any noodle dish.
Mu daeng or “red pork” is the Thai-Chinese version of Chinese marinated, barbecued pork or “char siew”. Theirs was a fatless version, all lean meat and seemed parboiled instead of roasted, and with no caramelised effect. Honestly, I think these were strictly for the Thai palate, which are used to the drier texture. The Thais would also sprinkle chili powder or spicy chili paste on the meat before eating - scandalous to any true-blue Cantonese “char siew” connoisseur.
The main dining area looked cramped, but service was good and, with rather fast turnover, it’s a rather pleasant place to grab breakfast or lunch.
1415 Thanon Charoen Krung
Opening hours: 7.30am – 8:30 pm daily