Food photo: Herbs, stink beans (patai), and several types of fish and crab eggs to add to this restaurant’s local Sriracha style Thai food
When I first learned I’d have to drive my fiancé to the Sriracha district, I got that tingly spider-sense sensation on the back of my neck. Just hearing the name of the province arouses my foodie parts and I immediately begin to look for some napkins and stretchy pants to pack in advance. I just imagined in my food obsessed brain that the province would be paved in the red ‘rooster sauce’ now infamous around the world. Not only would the streets be Huy Fong Foods red, they would only be interrupted by giant rooster effigies.
How could I not be excited to visit the home of the original cock sauce?! After all, it’s the sauce that opened a world of Asian food to me at an early age. I would eat any number of bland Chinese American dishes if there was a nearby bottle of the stuff. Smelly soup? Squirt sriracha sauce and sip. Unidentifiable dim sum? Tap a few drops of fiery red glory on top and down the hatch it goes. The stuff probably even works on Chinese medicine!
Food photo: A Spicy and Sour Four Egg Salad (ยำสามไข่)
I could feel myself getting a little too excited, so I decided to message Thai street food guru Chawadee of Bangkok Glutton. She tried to calm me down, recommending places with no mention of any special sauce. Incredulous, I inquired further until she finally broke the news I’d hoped not to hear saying:
“It wasn’t so memorable…”
That’s foodie speak, for abort mission! Give it up kid! If you’re dreaming about finding a Hoy Fong theme park, sorry you’re looking for rooster rides in the wrong place! I appreciated the harsh truths, but surely there’s some explanation, yeah? Well I guess the same giant and unrealistic expectations I felt about going to Sriracha district in Chonburi, are similar to how many people feel about coming to Thailand for the first time.
Shouldn’t the home of sriracha sauce have a bottle on every table? Yeah, no. I’m sure there’s a perfectly Thai explanation like the sauce being created by a Vietnamese dude, a bad business deal gone wrong with Thai partners, and a decades long vendetta manifesting itself most obviously in an import ban. Not only do you hardly see Hoy Fong’s Sriracha sauce in Bangkok, you will surely not find it in Sriracha, Thailand either!
Food photo: Unlike the small eggs of the salad, this sour ‘gaeng som’ was filled with much larger, saltier, and creamier eggs of big fish (แกงส้มไข่ปลาเรียบเซียว)
So I went to work researching restaurants in Sriracha to visit and only came up with a hand full of options. In the town there’s a giant night mark near the Kasetsart campus, but not wanting to fight the crowds I narrowed the options between the original location of Mum Aroi (มุมอร่อย) and Jay Aod Seafood (เจ๊แอ๊ด ซีฟู้ด). Both of the restaurants seemed like good options for tasty seafood, a consolation prize of sorts for a town without the sauce of it’s namesake. I decided on Jay Aod which seemed a little less touristy than the larger Mum Aroi and had seating where you could peer out across the Gulf of Thailand.
A Collision with Destiny
On the way to Jay Aod, however, I hit a few problems— literally. First, the directions led to a tiny street which slowly became more narrow. As I drove down the tiny street with Mark Wiens hanging out the window snapchatting, neither of us noticed the mirror of one of the parked cars which made a loud popping sound as our car hit it! Not only did I hit somebody’s car, but the family who owned the car was all outside watching the entire incident. Thank the sauce gods for retractable mirrors on Thai cars, so there was no serious damage done, but the family pointed us further down the street to the restaurant. We pulled up at about 9pm, only to find the restaurant had been closed already for nearly an hour.
Food photo: Deliciously fragrant ‘pad cha’ fish curry (ผัดฉ่าปลา)
Now what? Took 10 minutes to turn the car around on the terribly narrow street, but then we headed back to where I’d hit the car earlier. The family was still sitting there chatting it up, probably about foreigners driving poorly. We rolled the windows down to ask for a restaurant recommendation. Their first suggestion was Mum Aroi (the same as I mentioned above), but when we told them we were looking for something simple the gave us some EXACTLY what we wanted— sketchy directions to an amazing restaurant with no name.
Food photo: A whole grouper steamed in hot pot to round out the meal which was mostly fish egg filled dishes (ปลากระพงนึ่งมะนาว)
Enjoy the photos and find the few details we have about this amazing local restaurant below. Take your compass and search it out if you pass through Sriracha, just half an hour away from Pattaya. Don’t forget the moral of the story is that dreams don’t always come true, but if you run your car into enough things, you may eventually find fish egg filled happiness!
AUNTIE JOK’S SEAFOOD (ร้านป้าจก อาหารทะเล)
Address: 7 Jerm Jom Phon Rd. (approximately) 7 ถนน เจิมจอมพล (ถ.ทางเข้า รพ.สมเด็จฯ)
Directions: Find this place on the road leading to the entrance of the Queen Savang Vadhana Memorial Hospital. The road will loop toward the hospital, but before it does try to find Auntie Jok’s in the first 400 meters or so on the right (if you came from the main Sukhumvit Road).
Phone Number: Yeah, right…
Hours: No Idea Dude
Price Range: 200 – 300 THB
Foursquare Locale: ร้านป้าจก (อาหารทะเล)
Note: Even the staff admitted the restaurant didn’t really have a name. However the location listed it as Auntie Jok’s. There were enough check-ins with photos to make us confident we come to the right place. If you use google street view, yes, it’s the place that looks deserted and has a for sale sign out front lol.
Protip: After you’ve been here if you still need to satisfy your egg fetish, check out the Sriracha district’s padthai restaurant which piles each plate with crab eggs (here’s the Thai name —> ร้านอ้นผัดไทไข่ปู ต้นตำรับ ศรีราชา but it’s commonly called Pad Thai Kai Boo).