As a foodie, it is always difficult to remember a neighbourhood where no delicious food can be found. In the past, I did not realize at all there was a place called Kubon in Bangkok. It was until last week when I drove past Kubon Soi 38, then I got to know this place. However, Kubon is now mapped to the food geography of Bangkok in my brain. Why? It is all because of Ah Kei Braised Duck (อากีเป็ดพะโล้).
Driving past Kubon Soi 38 while having no idea where I could find a decent place to satisfy my empty stomach, a white-and-red signage caught my eyes. The traditional Chinese characters for ‘Hong Kong’ struck me with great interest.
Immediately I followed another signage and turned into the parking space right in front of the shop.
Stepping into Ah Kei, I was totally impressed with the friendly service from the owner. He is from Hong Kong, my hometown. Confidence on what I was going to be served filled my whole body. The idea that I would enjoy authentic Hong Kong cuisine absolutely excited my taste buds. What I did next would also be what other foodies would do – ordered whatever they had from the menu.
Why Ah Kei Pot-Stewed Duck becomes one of the recommended local restaurants?
(1) Quality cuisine made from quality ingredients
Ah Kei uses premium duck from BR Group. Every single piece of duck is tender, juicy and aromatic. Apart from the ducks, Ah Kei uses that best brands for their noodles, and other quality ingredients they can source from the market and suppliers.
(2) No MSG, No syrup, No extra sugar
Many local noodles shops in Thailand serve sugary soup with heavy use of MSG. I believe they have wrongly thought that what we, Chinese, regard as delicious soup is some liquid that contains sweetness from sugar and MSG. Sorry, none of the soup recipes in Chinese cuisine involve putting in sugar as sweetness booster. The sweetness is totally from the bone broth that boiled for hours. Here, at Ah Kei, I can tell immediately from the first sip of the soup – delicious clear bone broth with aroma and without any layer of animal fat.
Duck noodle: THB 40 only
Duck leg noodles: THB 70 only
The duck leg will put you in awe! It was super big! The biggest duck leg I have ever seen in any duck noodles shop in Thailand. Every single bite of this duck leg tatooed ‘Ah Kei’ deeper and deeper in my food geography of Bangkok. The duck leg is tender and juicy. Aroma of herbs used to braise the duck was fully absorbed. It was delicious!
I also tried their clear soup with duck and lemon (THB 50). My taste buds enjoyed clear layers of tastes. Bone broth scented with fresh lemon juice. Eating the boiled duck meat with the scented soup stimulated my appetite!
(3) Authentic taste of Hong Kong cuisine
Hong Kong-styled char siu (barbequed pork) and crispy roast pork: THB 120
This dish did make me think of Hong Kong. Char siu was marinated perfectly. The quality belly pork Ah Kei used for crispy roast pork guaranteed satisfaction for my craving stomach. A dish that you should order at Ah Kei!
Braised duck: THB 120
The best dish at Ah Kei is the braised duck! Slices of duck contained aroma of the herbal braising sauce. I couldn’t help spooning the sauce in my mouth. A dish that brought back memories of my mum’s cooking!
(4) Local delicacies with Chinese culinary techniques
Bamboo shoots fried with chillies: THB 50
It was not very hot and spicy. Spices and chilies were used just right to bring out the original sweetness of bamboo shoots.
Sweet pork: THB 50
This dish is my favourite. The belly pork melted in my mouth with sophisticated tastes. Mild ginger aroma gave a satisfactory aftertaste to every bite of the pork in my mouth.
(5) Super reasonable price
As a Chinese, I could tell days of preparation have been devoted for each dish served at Ah Kei. With all the premium quality ingredients used in every single dish, I have nothing to complain about their prices! I only wish that I could live near Kubon!
We highly recommend Ah Kei Braised Duck (อากีเป็ดพะโล้) to you all.