Jatujak Bangkok Street Food
Address: Jalan PJU1A/3K, Taipan Damansara 1, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya
It’s Friday evening and our usual “what to eat-you decide-no-you decide” headache ensues. Doesn’t help that all major roads in and around our area was jammed packed and gridlocked.
We decided to head over to Oasis Ara Damansara.
En route, somewhere inside Ara Damansara, we saw a very (and I mean VERY) brightly lit corner shop with lots of people eating inside and outside with copious amount of smoke from grill floating about. It looked like some street party was going on. We turned in.
Found ourselves at Jatujak Bangkok Street Food (obviously a play on the famous Chatuchak Market in BKK), a new establishment (owner told us opened 20 days only) serving grilled and Thai street food. Much of the menu was in Thai too. All the workers was Thai. Owner (or the guy who we think was the owner as he was essentially running the place) was a Chinese guy who spoke fluent Thai with a Thai wife (we assume) running the place. Decor was minimal, and it had a no-frills, authentic Thai street corner joint. Best of all, it serves pork and Chang / Singha. I was sold.
It isn’t your Erawan or Ayuthai or any of those fancy Thai restaurants you’d get here where they serve rice in that shiny silver bowl and commercialised Thai soothing music lilts in the background. No, here the cutlery, bowls and utensils were very basic, minimal and reminiscent of street vendors and the wait staff would be shouting and hustling about in Thai trying to get orders out fast.
As there were only 2 of us, our food capacity was confined to only 4 dishes. We had Papaya Salad, which was sweet, tangy and came with numerous flying kicks in the mouth spicy explosion from Thai cili padi. This was proper spicy and a prelude to things to come.
Next was Grilled Pork Shoulder, seasoned well and cut in strips. This wasn’t spicy, and the accompanying sauce was fish sauce mixed with Thai chilli. Sweet and succulent.
Highlight was the Clear Tomyum with Pork Knuckle. This was kickass. Very flavourful, will hit the right spots if you’re craving Thai tomyum and the bonus is of course the gelatineous and tender pork knuckle meat and fat that was swimming in this gorgeous medley of fresh herbs and more cili padi. Careful, once again, extremely spicy. The cili padi were also all mashed up so there is no way to avoid them with every slurp. It has a slow but escalating burn which crescendos into a warm glowing sensation that gets tingly near the end. Superb.
Lastly, we had Pandan Chicken. Very tasty. Pandan flavour infused right into the deepest of its meat, which was tender and juicy.
All of that with white rice and washed down with Chang beer while Dilys had pandan lemongrass served in a mini pot.
Outside, several groups took up the outside tables to have their own Thai BBQ party, ordering rounds and rounds of delicious smelling pork and seafood. They even have crabs and big prawns. Must try the next time I come back.
Zero atmosphere, as its not one of your atas places and it’s actually the only brightly lit shop along a dark row of shop houses that were all closed at night. Parking is aplenty. Feels more like a place to lepak with big groups of friends.
There was also a couple of friendly stray dogs who seemed really comfortable with the patrons, indicating that they are probably well cared for by the Thai staff.
Would recommend this place to lovers of unpretentious, casual, porky & seafood Thai street food or anyone near Ara Damansara. Am recommending this place for a selfish reason also, coz it’s new, near me and I really want it to be around for a long time to come.
So come, come. Not all Thai food are same same coz this one’s different. No happy ending, just happy tummy.
Pricing: 9/10 – Very cheap (compared to other Thai food outlets around) and good value for money.
Quality: 8.5/10 – Very authentic and spice level is not for the faint-hearted.
Environment: 7/10 – Nothing fancy, very basic, very decent (still new) and no-frills street food outlet.
Service: 6.5/10 – Due to it being very new, the wait staff looked a bit flustered, disorganised and got certain seating orders wrong. However, they were very apologetic and the famous Thai courtesy was there for all to see.
Location: 8/10 – This is very biased because it’s almost a few stones throw from me. For the rest, it is in Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Just off the main road. You won’t miss it. Great spaces with lots of parking. Area is almost deserted at night except for this place.
Comeback Factor: Hell yes