BANGKOK – Customers packed Jay Fai, a longstanding eatery in Bangkok’s old quarter, after midnight on Friday after the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star.
It was business as usual for the owner of the restaurant that bears her name, even though the restaurant had only been recognized two days earlier with the Michelin star as the first Bangkok Guide was launched.
Jay Fai, as the owner is casually referred to, was cooking non-stop late on Friday night to serve a large number of customers who filled up some 10 plastic dining tables, both under the roof of the decades-old shabby-looking townhouse as well as out on the sidewalk.
The owner had to make sure that the crowds gathering nearby waiting for tables to free up would not run out of patience. The food on offer must have been worth the long late night wait, as no complaints were heard, an epa photographer reports.
The street joint Jay Fai – known for dishes such as the 25-dollar crab omelette and other popularly common dishes of curries and wok fry-ups, received one star from Michelin, whose appreciation went beyond the place’s nondescript attitude.
“Jay Fai is a place that both taxi drivers and foodies wax lyrical about and it’s easy to see why. Wearing her signature goggles, the local legend that is Jay Fai continues what her father started 70 years ago and makes crab omelettes, crab curries and dry congee,” according to the Michelin Guide’s description on its website.
Other eateries including Bo. Lan, Ginza Sushi Ichi, L’atelier de Joel Robuchon, Nahm and Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin were included in the Bangkok Guide.
Restaurants in the firmament of the Bangkok food scene such as Gaggan, Le Normandie and Mezzaluna were given two stars.
The first Michelin Guide was created in France in 1900 as an initiative of a tire company with the same name to promote the use of automobiles, and from 1923 onwards it started to rate restaurants.
After expanding throughout Europe, Michelin published its first classification of restaurants in the United States in 2005 and two years later, it stepped into Asia with a guide for Tokyo.
Japan, with 32 restaurants with three stars, leads the rankings in the guide, followed by France, which has 26 three-star restaurants.