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Must-tries: how Zong Ter brings a Chinese touch of nostalgia to the plate

Once a distribution supply business in Yaowarat, the 1962 Song Ter has been transformed from a three-storey building within Leng Buai Ia into a trendy cafe. Touched with old-school Chinese charm, and bearing a new yet similar name, welcome to Zong Ter.

[All images courtesy of Zong Ter]

Just a few steps from Yaowarat MRT Station, the cafe is hidden among the hectic market of China Town, in between the dried herbs and pickled vegetable sections. You would hardly notice Zong Ter’s existence at first, since the outside blends rather seamlessly with the stalls around it. Once you step inside, however, the venue roars with a gigantic Chinese lady painting on the wall, a booth with neon lights, and red lanterns studded throughout the space. There’s something oriental and subtly glamorous about Zong Ter.

At a glance, the menu offers a variety of Chinese snacks and teas, spanning all home-style meals and drinks enjoyed in typical Chinese homes. From a selection of plum teas to rice dishes and dim sum, the food here will give you a glimpse into the Chinese family’s authentic way of eating. Recently, we got a chance to check out Zong Ter and tried some of the best new dishes the venue has to offer. Here’s a list of must-tries you need to order.

Steamed Shrimp and Pork Wontons with Soup and Spicy Seafood Sauce (THB 65)

If you love good wontons with warm broth and hot sauce to dip and dunk, this dish should be your go-to. Stuffed with a mixture of minced pork and shrimp, the wontons then get steamed until they are cooked through but not overdone; perfect once paired with the hot soup.

Sam Gok (THB 39)

If you don’t know what to pick or what to order, get this. A medley of dumplings, Sam Gok is comprised of fried chive, fried radish, and steamed taro dumplings, all stuffed with a bit of pork to give you a tasty sensation.

Steamed Pork Dumplings (THB 45)

May appear ordinary but is extremely delicious. Steamed pork dumplings are second to none when it comes to the level of comfort they can provide. This version at Zong Ter is basted in their special signature sauce and topped with bits of fried garlic for extra taste.

Fried Steamed Bun filled with Salty Egg Custard Cream Lava (THB 29)

For ooey-gooey deliciousness, this steamed-then-fried bun filled with salted egg lava cream is very, very satisfying.

Baked Chinese Steamed Bun Toast with Butter served with Salty Egg Custard Cream (THB 40)

If you’re anything like us, and you can’t get enough of all things salted egg, then this is another dish to opt for. The plain Chinese steamed bun gets slathered in butter then baked until the exterior yields a pleasant crispiness and gold-shade colour.

Rice with Salty, Boiled Chicken Thigh served with Eggs (THB 139)

For a more substantial bite, tuck into this rice set served with fish sauce-braised chicken thigh, boiled egg, and a side made out of pickled mustard green, olive, and shiitake mushroom. Having been braised in a flavourful broth, the chicken is tender and packed with umami. The set also comes with hot oolong tea or iced pandan tea, so it’s really an all-in-one meal you can enjoy.

Zong Ter’s Signature Plum Tea (THB 60)

Zong Ter offers a variety of teas, but if you love the punch of plum flavour and colour, their signature plum tea should be the drink of your choice. The dried fruit beautifully spikes the tea with fruity, sweet, and tangy notes.

Zong Ter, 111 Soi Charoen Krung 16, Samphanthawong, Bangkok, +662 226 3149; Open: Mon-Sun, 9 am-7 pm.

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.