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Jan, Jack And Dta (The Finest Restaurant In Bangkok?)

  • Written by Papa John
  • December 3rd, 2003
  • 6 min read


Jan, Jack & Tda (The Finest Restaurant In Bangkok?)



This article is totally my opinion, but is based on quite a few years of visiting the Land of Smiles, and visiting this particular restaurant among many others. It is not about sex, but many free ladies can be approached at this restaurant, and indeed will be happy for you to do so. In addition, this place is not affected by the 2 AM closures, and if you wish you can drink until 6 AM.

It is not a fast food place, but the food does come quite quickly, and is delicious, and cheap. You will not be asked to vacate your table. You can see the food being cooked, and if she is not too busy, the cook would be happy to come and have a chat with you, and even happier if you buy her a drink.

Many people have complained about bad service and bad attitudes in Thai restaurants, but in this one I can guarantee that unless you are a particularly awkward bastard you will be satisfied in all respects.

When approaching this establishment the first person you notice will probably be Jack, unless he is engaged with another customer at that moment. Jack is the head waiter (maitre de I think they call it in USA), PR man, and translator. He speaks excellent English, and of course Thai, and has had a university education. He will normally be the one who will take your order, and I would advise that you wait for him unless you only want a drink, because he will make sure that you get what you ordered. To make sure that you recognise him, Jack nearly always wears a white T shirt, has no hair (I believe he shaves his head), and baggy blue jeans. Yes the restaurant is absolutely informal as to any dress code. You can wear what you like.

The lady in charge of drinks is Jan, and she is one of the owners. You will see Jan standing near the drinks trolley, unless she is serving a customer. Jan has a sweet smile and one of those genuinely pleasant dispositions. She speaks English, perhaps not as well as Jack, but you will not have a problem ordering a drink. You can just point to whatever drink you want if you so wish. The drinks are very cheap, and there is a wide range available, but there is no wine. She has “Wine Coolers”, but that’s the closest you can get to wine. I am quite partial to Kloster beer, and a large bottle is 90 baht. I also enjoy a few Sang Som whiskies, and a large bottle is 320 baht including two bottles of soda, and as much ice as you like. I have never had a stomach problem after using the ice here. I have a typical farang digestion, so I think she must make the ice from bottled or boiled water. As I mentioned previously, Jan will continue to serve you after the 2 AM watershed, but after that time she has some specially made paper “condoms” to fit over any bottle you may have on your table. This is in case any of the “boys in brown” visit. If they do happen to call while you are there after 2 AM, don’t worry. You won't get any hassle, but Jan might.

The very talented cook is called Tda. This is my own spelling in an attempt to get close to the proper pronunciation of her name, which starts with a cross between a “T” and a “D”. Tda is the co-owner with Jan, and the loudest and most extroverted personality of the three people described. She is probably the busiest member of staff, as she is kept cooking most of the time, but if she is free for a time invite her to have a drink at your table and she will be delighted, especially if you have a good word or two about the food. She cooks everything in plain view, and the smells coming from her magic wok are wonderful, unless she is cooking something which contains fermented fish for one of her Thai customers. That smell is not too pleasant for our uneducated farang nasal cavities, but not to worry, the powerful air conditioning soon wafts any smells away. Tda is 32, and she would love to have a relationship, maybe marriage with a farang. I hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does he'll be happy with his food at least.

Now there is one slight drawback at this eatery, and that is there is no menu. If you know the Thai for a dish that you like, no problem, Tda will make it for you. If you don’t know the Thai, explain to Jack exactly what you want, and that’s what you’ll get. I have tried to defeat her with dishes I wanted cooked (trying to be as awkward as I could), but if she had the ingredients, she cooked it, and it was scrumptious. She once made me an omelette with tomato, celery, garlic, onion, basil, chilli (nit noi pet – little bit hot) and chicken, and I must tell you it was really good. So just tell Jack what you want, and she'll cook it for you.

Well I've kept you long enough before telling you where the restaurant is, and I didn’t want it to sound too much like an advertisement for this place ( although I suppose it is). But just before I tell you, I want to explain that this is written because of the delightful times I have had there mostly due to the social interaction with the three people I have described, and with the customers, who wander in and out all through the evening ( plenty of ladies), and early morning. My only problem has been that I am so reluctant to leave, and have often retired to bed at 5 AM.

The place is between Sukhumvit Soi 13 and Soi 15. It is right in front of the building site that used to be Clinton Plaza, and the backdrop is the blue metal wall they have erected to separate the building site from the street. Yes it is one of the many open air pavement (sidewalk) restaurants in Bangkok. I got to know it so well because it is very close to the hotel I always use. It is also very near the Thermae, and hence the constant stream of ladies visiting or even just passing by. If you would just like to sit and wait in comfort for the lady of your choice to come by I can’t think of a better place. Just throw her a nice smile, and bingo, you're made for the night. It’s happened to me a few times, and is now my method of choice. So to make sure you are at the correct place, just walk from the Thermae towards the building site, and it’s the first set of tables you see.

There is so much more I can tell you about how they operate, but it would be too long. If you are interested, go along and visit them a few times, and you will soon become a friend, as I am privileged to say that I am.

Stickman says:

I bet a lot of readers with a case of the late night munches have enjoyed it there.