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Why Jek Pui, the ‘musical chair’ restaurant, lives up to its Netflix hype

Foodies, along with those who loved playing musical chairs growing up, will undoubtedly be jazzed on the idea of dining at Khao Gaeng Jek Pui or Jek Pui Curry — also known as the ‘Musical Chairs Rice and Curry Cart.’

Having been open for over 50 years (with some rumours saying it’s over 70), the time-tested curry cart nestled within the old street of China Town is known for its scrumptious array of Thai curries. Yet more and most importantly, it is noted for its iconic no-table, red-stool-only dining concept, where diners are provided with only about 20 bright-red chairs to sit, quickly finish their meal, and leave.

For those who never paid a visit to this oasis of curry and rice and are currently wondering if it truly lives up to the hype, the greatness of this place could also be visibly measured by its presence in Netflix’s latest Street Food show. The series documents Asia’s street food culture and is directed by David Gelb, the very same guy behind Chef’s Table. Although Jay Fai was highlighted as the star in the Bangkok episode for Street Food, Jek Pui was also given ample screen time. It has its own tale that constitutes the age-old Thai culinary wisdom and values which have been embedded evidently in street-side cooking.

Proving that the musical chairs curry lives up to its hype, we’ve curated a gallery of Jek Pui’s dishes and a sense of ambience for you to see why it is arguably one of the most well-suited representatives of Thailand’s street food culinary and culture. 

Hero image credit: Unsplash/Jason Leung

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Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.