Eiah-Sae (Est. 1928) on Thanon Phat Sai, off Thanon Yaowarat (Bangkok Chinatown) is perhaps one of the last two traditional coffee-shops in town. It’s a rather dingy, if atmospheric, spot patronised mainly by older Teochew-Chinese men - tradesmen, writers, local politicians, teachers, retirees, restaurateurs, people from all walks of life in Bangkok Chinatown, Samphaeng.
The signboard at the front entrance bears the name “Eiah-Sae”, inscribed in Thai but meaning “Fortune Incoming”, a Teochew-Chinese term. Below it, also in Thai, is inscribed “Freshly-brewed daily”, whereas the Thai inscription on the top-right corner of the board states “60 years of good coffee” . The board was put up in 1988.
Offerings are the typical Hainanese kopitiam fare such as those served in many Singaporean and Malaysian traditional Hainanese cafes: thickly-sliced, toasted white bread, slathered with margarine and either sprinkles of white sugar or a thick drizzle of sweetened condensed milk, or that favourite Hainanese egg-jam spread - ‘sangkaya’. Eiah-Sae does all of these very well.
One can also order soft-boiled eggs (‘kai luek’)
It also offers the traditional Hainanese hot beverage called “nor kao” in Thai - a mix of coffee and tea (in Singapore or Malaysia, this is called a “cham”).
Eiah-Sae is a short distance up the street from the Hakka Association along Thanon Phat Sai, and is hard to miss since it’ll always be full of customers, mostly elderly Teochew-Chinese men.
103-105 Thanon Phat Sai, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100
Tel: 02 221 0549
Opening hours: 4am-9.30pm