In Wattana Panich, some of the old stock is kept and continued to stew the next day. The noodle shop has a 47-year pot of stew this year in the Michelin guide.
Beef noodle is a popular dish in many Asian countries, including Thailand. In each country, beef noodles will have different processing methods, but in general, they need to stew meat and bones for many hours to have the most delicious broth to serve other foods.
But with Wattana Panich, the stewing process is more than that because the broth here is accumulated and stewed for 47 years. And it is to bring a unique taste as well as create a brand for Wattana Panich among the many delicious restaurants in Bangkok.
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The story of the pot of broth has been passed down from father to son for 3 generations
Wattana Panich is a restaurant located right in front of the busy Ekkamai neighborhood in Bangkok. From afar, the aroma of stewed beef and when approached, is a huge broth pan estimated to be 1.5m wide, 0.7m deep, filled with meat with dark brown broth, which is what attracts visitors the most. .
In order to place the pan, the restaurant has designed its own kitchen to cook, over time, the cement covering the kitchen mouth is now shiny because the beef fat is left in the cooking process, serving visitors. That should be enough for you to understand the age as well as the daily service of the restaurant. Some visitors are afraid of the greased kitchen, but for many, this is a feature of the restaurant.
Wattana Panich is famous throughout Bangkok for its 47-year-old pan of stewed broth. That means every day, the shop keeps a small amount of old broth that has filtered out the residue and debris during the cooking process and then continues to stew the next day with new ingredients.
Just like that, this process has been repeated for 3 generations, ever since his grandfather Nattapong Kaweeantawong, a man who is passionate about food and loves beef, decided to open a restaurant for a while and then passed it on to his father and came here. Now it’s Nattapong Kaweeantawong’s life to take over.
The stewing over and over of a pot of broth with the same amount of time as a middle-aged person may surprise many people, but in fact this stew has appeared in many cultures. This type of stew can be called the “perpetual stew” method with the belief that the longer the stew, the sweeter the broth and the stronger the flavor.
But re-brewing a portion of the previous day’s old broth is just one thing, this beef noodle shop has its own recipes for delicious bowls of noodles. Specifically, each day Wattana Panich will process up to 68 kg of beef, of which the amount of stewed beef is up to 25 kg. This meat will when cleaned will be stewed for about 7 hours.
According to Mr. Nattapong Kaweeantawong, the meat after cleaning will first be stewed in large chunks for more than 3 hours. The meat is then cut into bite-sized pieces and stewed again for more than 3 hours before the finished product. Along with that, this beef noodle pot also needs about 10 spices such as garlic, cinnamon, black pepper and cilantro root to produce a dark brown and fragrant broth as it is today.
There is a truth about the secret to creating the flavor of this restaurant that although it has been sold for 47 years, through 3 generations of fathers and children, Wattana Panich does not have a standard ingredient recipe. Third-generation shop owner Nattapong Kaweeantawong said: “Ever since my grandfather’s time, we never really had a specific recipe for how much of each ingredient to put in. So the person who cooks the broth will constantly have to taste it to know what needs to be added.”
Yet somehow miraculously or because the tongue has been trained for many years, the taste of beef noodles here is still preserved without a standard recipe. And now, Wattana Panich has been listed by the Michelin guide in 2018 and 2019, and at the same time, the restaurant is also attached with the Shell Shuan Shim logo, a logo that recognizes the quality of Thai cuisine, similar to a star. Michelin.
Types of noodles at Wattana Panich
Wattana Panich has a very diverse food menu. Although famous for beef, the restaurant also has goat meat. In the menu of the restaurant, you can find stewed goat noodles, beef hot pot, some dishes with various fillings of beef, chicken, and pork for international visitors. However, the most popular dish here is kuay teow neua beef noodles (ก๋วยเตี๋ยว ) usually served with two types of rice noodles “sen yai” or “sen mee”.
Beef kuay teow neua noodles can be considered the star of the restaurant and also the way to fully enjoy the beef dishes of Wattana Panich. In the bowl of kuay teow neua, in addition to the noodles, there are also rare beef, beef balls, stewed beef, bean sprouts, broth and a little more beef fat in a 47-year-old broth pan.
Although the age of 47 years is a challenge for many diners, it is also a special thing that makes many people addicted to the taste of this place. Many people say that the rich sweetness and fatty taste of the meat is what makes Wattana Panich’s noodles so special.
Not only Asians, but also many European tourists at first just tasted but then were also conquered by the taste of the old broth at Wattana Panich. Chris Brady is an Australian businessman who got to know Wattana Panich about 7-8 years ago. After tasting, Chris Brady was hit by Wattana Panich and visited the restaurant every 3 to 4 times per year, which corresponds to the number of business trips he has in Bangkok.
A portion of noodles at Wattana Panich costs from 100 to 150 baht, depending on the large or small bowl, equivalent to nearly 70,000 to 100,000 VND/bowl. Some diners commented that the bowl was a bit small and had to eat up to 2 bowls to be full. However, to discover and try a special dish and receive many compliments, this is not expensive.
Well, one more thing you must note when coming to Wattana Panich is that this is just a long-standing traditional restaurant, the tables and chairs are clean but have been tinged with time. And as mentioned, the kitchen area will be greasy during long-term cooking, so maybe not everyone is as satisfied as visiting the restaurant.
However, the owner of the restaurant, Mr. Nattapong Kaweeantawong, said that the restaurant cleans the cooking pan every day. Not 47 years of stewed broth means 47 years of not washing the pot, so don’t worry too much. In the end, whether to eat or not to eat, is still your choice.
Address: 336 – 338 Ekkamai Rd, Bangkok
Sales hours: From 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.