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Bangkok Street Food Vendor Awarded Michelin Star

28 December 2017

Earlier this year international foodies wept, for it was reported that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration would be banning all street food vendors across the city. This threat loomed due to fears regarding cleanliness and health and safety. Whether this controversial move will go ahead remains unclear, although it is fairly unlikely, with many suspecting that the vendors are more likely to be regulated than outright banned.

It is certainly lucky that these restrictions have not yet been put in place, as one such Bangkok street food vendor has recently been awarded with a Michelin star. Jay Fai, a seventy-two-year-old Thai street food seller, has won the prestigious award for her restaurant of the same name. Jay Fai becomes only the third street food restaurant in the world to have won the star.

It is no surprise though, as CNN have named the restaurant ‘the best street food destination in the world’ two years running, and food bloggers refer to Jay Fai as ‘the Queen of Thai street food’. Running a tiny open front restaurant in the Banglamphy district of Bangkok, Jai Fai is an eccentric character who wears ski goggles to cover her eyes from the hot oil splashing out of the large woks dominating her compact kitchen.

With a reputation for fine dining, street food is not commonly commended by awards such as the Michelin star. Only two other street food vendors have ever been awarded; a dim sum hole-in-the-wall in Hong Kong, and a chicken rice hawker in Singapore.

While the location and dining style may not be fine dining, the pricing certainly is, with a well-filled crab omelette being sold for around £20. The large portions seem to contribute to these costs, and locals are happy to splash out on the tasty treats made by ‘Auntie Fai’. Jay Fai prepares every dish in this restaurant that she has run for the past 40 years. The restaurant is also open until 2am every day!

With this newfound fame, Jay Fai has found her small streetside shop overwhelmed with diners looking for a bite of her renowned seafood omelettes. Many have had to wait around three hours for a table, but people seem happy to as the food is worth it!

Watch her in action here!

What do you think about a street food vendor being awarded a Michelin star? Let us know on social media! If you want to try Thai food in the UK, take a look at the range available at Oriental Mart!

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