Clear Soup with Vegetables in Bangkok, Thailand

Clear Soup with Vegetables

by Yentafo Noodles, Bangkok (Old Town)

I don't always plan where I'm going to eat when I set out to find content for this blog. Sometimes, I just choose a neighborhood and walk until I find something that looks good. This was the case the other day when I was on a quest to find the most famous o-liang coffee in Bangkok. On my way to the city's most famous Chinese-Thai coffee house, I passed a small local noodle shop on the corner of a quiet street in the old town. The staff welcomed me and handed me an English menu. Hungry, I sat down at a little table that looked out at an ancient Buddhist temple, and placed my order.

Thai vegetable soup (60 baht)

The restaurant is named "Yentafo", which is a type of Thai soup that has a distinctive pink hue. Yentafo noodles are good, and since it's the shop's name, maybe I should have ordered a bowl, however I was in the mood for something a little different. Instead, I decided to order vegetable noodles with clear soup (#5 on the menu). This comes in two sizes: regular (60 baht) or "special" (70 baht), which is a bit larger. I ordered the regular. After choosing the soup (9 options), you can pick the type of noodle (5 options) that you like. It's all printed on the menu in both English and Thai. 

vegetable noodles

The broth was hot, fresh, and savory. It was a bit oily, which is exactly how I like it! The soup was full of fresh beansprouts and chopped spring onions, and there were a few crispy fried veggies which added body and flavor to the soup. It was really delicious!

I also ordered a cup of ice ("nam kaeng"). There was a big metal teapot on the table, which was full of fresh pressed lotus root juice, a healthy herbal beverage that's popular at Thai noodle shops. Once you have your cup of ice (10 baht), you can fill it up with lotus juice as much as you like. It's a weird pink color, but it's naturally sweet and has a really good (slightly herbal) sort of taste that I find really refreshing.

lotus root juice on ice (10 baht for a cup; free refills)

I love Thai noodles, but even after living here for 7 years and speaking some of the language, I find it complicated to order with all the different types of broth and noodles. I really appreciated the menu with English options! The staff is really friendly and helpful, and they can speak some English as well. Prices at Yentafo are reasonable (pretty much what you can expect at any Thai noodle shop), the food is good, and the atmosphere is excellent.

Yentafo Noodles menu
Yentafo Noodles menu

The shop itself is clean and easy to find, and there is seating indoors or outside along the street (covered). I chose to sit outside and enjoy the atmosphere of a late morning in Bangkok's vibrant old town neighborhood.

Yentafo, a noodle shop in Bangkok's old town neighborhood

Just a warning, though. Even though it says "vegetable soup", if you are purely vegetarian, I don't recommend this dish. Even though it's made with lots of vegetables and bean sprouts, there were also a few fish balls in the soup. If you are pescatarian, it is fine, however.

the noodle shop where I had lunch is located beside a historic Buddhist temple

small - 60 baht ($2)
large - 70 baht ($2.25)

Yentafo Noodles

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Traditional Thai iced coffee at a historic Chinese-Thai coffee house