New Chicken Feet Noodle Restaurant in Sukhumvit Soi 36 Has Fast Become a Local Bangkok Favourite

     From working at 1-2 Michelin-starred restaurants in Bangkok to serving braised chicken feet noodles, Kate (Pikun Wangsantia) plays footies with a local favourite.

          Settling in at a cozy three-storey bright orange building located in the middle of Sukhumvit 36, we sat down with Kate, Pikun Wangsantia, cook/owner of Boonlang Braised Chicken Noodles restaurant where a steady stream of customers, of all ages and nationalities, trickled in.

          Kate graduated from hospitality school and began her full-fledged fine dining industry career in 2015 as a Restaurant’s Front Desk at Suhring restaurant,. “I was part of the launch team first at Suhring (2 Michelin Star 2020 Guide Thailand) restaurant before I decided to join Canvas (1 Michelin Star 2020 Guide Thailand), Kate said “.. during that time, a friend approached me and told me about Canvas. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to come in for an interview.” Still today you will find her working the floor at Canvas providing the kind of service, a Michelin Guide diner expects.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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          “In my shop, we provide exquisite service the way Michelin-starred restaurant gives with a kick of homie and family vibe into it because people don’t want to eat in luxurious restaurant regularly, am I right?”

          In August 2019, Kate opened her own noodles soup shop, armed with the experience of working extensively in fine dining establishments. The restaurant is located in the middle of Soi Sukhumvit 36 between condominiums, a recycling plant and mum & pop shops and convenience stores, but Boonglang Noodle is hard to miss with its eye-catching bright colours and large vinyl sign which drops down from the second floor. Stepping in, the place feels warm and welcoming with minimal but practical decor; wooden tables and seats with kitchen in the back.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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          “It was horrible! When I took the lease, we had to fix up the whole building and it was so messy. Everything was so old and worn down. It was absolutely horrible. We went through three constructors to finally get it the way it is today. But in the end, the location was right. Cooking has been my passion since I was a girl. I wished to have something of my own and then I saw the building came up for lease. Well, it’s also close to where I work, so why not!

          But why chicken feet we pondered? It’s a particular and unappealing limb to serving up in a restaurant, particularly those who enjoy the finer things, or maybe not? Kate reflected, “At first, I was thinking to sell beef noodles but thinking it over, A lot of Thai people don’t eat beef, whether it’s religious beliefs or whatever, so I thought it would be best to serve chicken instead, so anyone can enjoy and I know many Thais also love them. It’s a unique and almost fun experience to nibble on the properly braised chicken feet. I can really eat them forever!”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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          So what is so special about Kate’s chicken feet soup that has avid fans addicted? Kate said, a lot of people thought that because my soup looked dark, it would be salty but it really isn’t.” Said Kate, “It’s dark because of all the herbs I added to the stock. Besides, I prefer dark soup rather than the clear one. I think it looks more appetising and more inviting and that’s why I decided to serve dark soup.” The soup has at least 8 herbs which 2 of the 8 are clove and cinnamon, and you can smell and taste them right away.

          The soup was, indeed, dark yet sweet; a beautiful blend of scents and flavours from various herbs she puts into the soup as her ‘experiment’ with the chicken bone stock. The fall-off-the-bone braised chicken was flavourful in every bite. The egg noodles, vegetables and all that chunky cut radish steeped in the soup added very well to the overall texture. Especially, when you suck the skin off the feet.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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          Customers who frequent the place are mostly made up of the locals living nearby both Thais and foreigners alike and Kate seems to already know most of them by name and exactly how they like their order, a camaraderie she developed from being a popular figure in the fine dining service industry. Some saunder down to the store on foot during their lunch or free time, some of them drive up in their Mercedes or have their drivers pick up their orders, one gentlemen we witnessed during the interview, stepped out dripping in designer clothing to order his take-away.

          “Some of Boonlang Noodle’s customers are old customers of mine but, at first, they didn’t know that this is my shop until they saw me. But yes, my customers are various; from white collars whose offices are nearby to business owners.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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          When asked what’s her plan in five years from now, she simply replied, “I don’t know what else I would do if not doing this.”

          Other than the chicken feet noodle, there are many more Thai favourites with reasonable price to choose from such as Lotus Stems Som Tam [ส้มตำสายบัว]—crunchy lotus stem made into Som Tam-style salad that offers bursts of sweet, sour and spicy flavours in every bite; the crispy fried wontons with sweet plum dip on the side was also great to snack on; the spicy “Seafood with Glass Noodle Yum” [ยำเส้นแก้วทะเล] that was a perfect blend of sweetness and sourness with a kick of hotness. We couldn’t stop eating; and the stir-fried clams and roasted chilli paste spaghetti.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Boonlang Braised Chicken Noodles
Sukhumvit Soi 36 Lane 5

Tel: 092 362 639