Squeezed down a dank alleyway in the backstreets of old Yaowarat (that's Bangkok's Chinatown district) is Ba Mee Jub Kang, loosely translated to Workers' Noodles, an apt name that fits the portion sizes and typically labouring workers who lunch here.
This old-school noodle joint has been knocking out the good stuff for decades, but it's rarely patronised by foreigners because a) it's somewhat tricky to find and b) those who do stumble upon hastily continue rarely knowing they've passed one the district's best food finds.
Be warned, this is not for the faint hearted. Don't expect a sparklingly clean outdoor kitchen area. Nor any discernible eating area bar a scattering of old metal tables shared with a few hungry locals. What it lacks in perceived hygiene standards it makes up for with a certain back street charm that's hard to find in this quickly modernising city and I suspect it won't be around for that much longer - a shame because the lovely family that have dedicated their lives to these springy egg noodles deserve more recognition.
One of the interesting parts to Ba Mee Jub Kang is their ba mee noodles and soup are both cooked over an open fire pit which gives a smokiness you just don't find elsewhere. The slow-cooked pork broth is rich addition to the egg noodles, but you can also order them dry. Both come topped with slices of tender pork and boiled Chinese mustard greens. And you can't argue with the price. It's astonishingly cheap for such enormous portions. Just 45 THB (around US $1.45) gets you a bowl large enough for a labourer's lunch or good for two wandering tourists.
This smoky outdoor kitchen may seem chaotic, but it's a well oiled machine that cooks and serves hundreds of portions of ba mee noodles every day. It's also easier to find than you think, particularly because of its proximity to the newly opened Wat Mangkon MRT Station just across the street.