[Bangkok, Thailand] Pet Yang (Roasted ducks) from 107-year-old Prachak, Charoen Krung Road

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.
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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.

Address
Prachak
1415 Thanon Charoen Krung
Bangrak,
Bangkok, Thailand
Opening hours: 7.30am – 8:30 pm daily

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Thanks for the report. What is the preference of the Thai palate- spicy and strongly flavored?

How did the soup taste like?

Did you like the char siu?

The obvious defining feature here is sweet - the Thai version is sweeter than the usual Chinese/HK version. This is also a Thai-Chinese dish, so it’s not spicy like native Thai dishes.

The soup was savoury - like a very light broth/consommé - lighter than HK-Cantonese ones as they’d dropped Chinese ingredients for the soup like dried shrimp roe (ha chi), dried scallops and/or dried flounder when boiling the stock.

I must say that I “appreciate” the char siu for its uniquely Thai characteristics, rather than actually liking it. It can be regarded as a separate dish altogether from the Cantonese char siu prepared elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, where the original charred, caramelised effect comes though. I’d order it again. I’ll also try not to compare it with char siu as we know it :smiley:

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I visited Prachak a couple days ago and really liked it! I ordered the egg noodles with pork wonton, roasted duck and red pork, just 70 Baht! Service was quick and friendly. The pork wontons were pretty good but the duck and the red pork were delicious! The egg noodles were a great base for the meal, they soaked up the juices and were as tasty if not more than the meats on the plate.
I really like this place!
I hopped the Chao Phraya Express to get there and it was slow but interesting. Now that Uber is easy to use in BKK, getting around is a breeze. Going from Prachak to just south of Phra Arthit Pier was 180 Baht because of the lunch rush. Most trips around downtown BKK are around 110 Baht.

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Really good to hear that you enjoyed it. I often wondered how foreigners take to authentic local foods targeted at native Thais/Bangkokians. Anyway, any place which has been operating for more than century and still packing in the crowds must be doing something right. :blush:

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thank you for this, it was really wonderful, the best meal I’ve had to date in bangkok. This is an absolute must for anyone staying in the sathorn area (we’re at the eastin) .

best,

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Good to hear you enjoyed your meal there, @vinouspleasure. Charoen Krung Road, being one of the oldest thoroughfares in the city, has quite a few old eateries worth a visit, besides Prachak:

Bangkokians will know to get their khao niew moon (mango with sticky rice) and khanom babin (coconut pudding) from Sor Boonprakob ([Bangkok] Khao niew moon (mango with sticky rice) from Sor Boonprakob Panich, Charoen Krung) on 1474 Charoen Krung Rd.

They will also buy the traditional Thai desserts like khanom chan (a steamed nine-layered sweet pudding), khanom mo kaeng (a steamed egg custard flan) and khanom piak poon (a firm sweet pudding topped with shredded coconut) from Khub Luang Nart nearby on 1478 Charoen Krung Rd.

Besides rice congee from the 6-decades-old Jok Prince ([Bangkok] Pork Congee from Jok Prince, Bangrak.), “kluay khaek” or Thai-style fried bananas from Jay Noi, braised pig’s trotters from Jay Pon and “Roti Mataba” from the 7-decades-old Muslim Restaurant on 1354 Charoen Krung Road, one can traverse Charoen Krung and see new cafes side-by-side with old Chinese-style coffeeshops with hawker stalls. Very interesting neighbourhood indeed.

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dang peter, we walked right by both places, we’ll have to try them next time we’re in town. Another well-known place in the area is Volcanic Fried Mussel and Oyster, right across from robinson dept store.

our tour guide mentioned a lot of food tours are exploring this area and in fact, I passed one on the way to pet yang.

best,

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For comparison’s sake, the one in Penang is closer to the Cantonese original, with its subtler marinade, compared to Prachak’s Thaified version.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold