Traditionally served on the boats that travel through the canals of Bangkok, boat noodles have become one of the most common street food items in the Southeast Asian vacation hotspot. Those who aren’t traveling to Thailand can still experience a very close approximation of this classic noodle dish at First Thai Boat Noodles.
The broth of the noodles—the main cause of our mild addiction to this dish—packs a ton of flavor. The broth is made from scratch using pork bones, lemongrass, pandan leaves, ginger, coriander seeds and roots, Chinese five spice, black pepper and about eight more ingredients. The dish is completed with Thai rice vermicelli, slices of pork meat, liver, meatballs, minced pork, morning glory, bean sprouts, parsley and Thai chili to create fifty shades of brown in the bowl.
Previously located near the Bund, First Thai Boat Noodles has now moved to the basement of SOHO Xintiandi. It doesn't have that same mom-and-pop feel anymore, but the noodles are as tasty as we remember them to be.
Their ordering system is quite confusing. They use a set of tokens for soup bases (original flavor, seafood, etc.) and another set of tokens for the type of noodles you'd want (thin or thick vermicelli) and/or double portions. You'll be better off pointing to what you want to eat. Order the original pork bone base (猪骨黑汤, RMB19) and the type of noodle. We recommend the thin vermicelli (传统细米条, 100g/RMB9 or 150g/RMB12).
What: First Thai Boat Noodles
Where: B1-22, 388 Madang Lu (near Fuxing Zhong Lu) 马当路388号SOHO复兴广场B1-22 (近复兴中路)
This article was originally written by Dominic Ngai, October 2015. It has since been edited by Rachel Gouk, January 2018.
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