Ayutthaya, the ancient Thai capital, and located about 1 – 1.5 hours drive from central Bangkok, is extremely famous throughout Thailand for its freshwater prawns. Thais that visit Ayutthaya come to visit the temples, but many would not miss the opportunity for a prawns feast. On my latest trip to Ayutthaya, Ying and I ate at a restaurant known as Ruay Goong Pao (ร้านรวยกุ้งเผา). Although it was located a bit out of the city, it was definitely worth the trip to get there – and if you love prawns / shrimp, you’re going to love this restaurant.
The restaurant is located along the slow moving river, so the atmosphere for chowing down couldn’t be better either. There’s a dining room located in the house on the shore, but we chose to sit on the floating dining room, located in the river. The scenery was great, and the relaxing atmosphere was perfect for freshwater prawns feasting. For our trophy dish, we ordered the Goong Pao (กุ้งเผา), or roasted prawns. You could either choose, 3, 4, or 5 prawns for 1 kilo, and we chose to go for the biggest ones, just 3 prawns for 1 kilo – so these guys were monsters! All they did was slice them in half, and grill them on the shell side down until they were perfectly cooked. They were insanely delicious, some of the most amazing tasting things I’ve ever had in my life. The meat of the freshwater prawns was sweet and firm, and the yellow orange colored head oil was rich and creamy – the combination was outstanding.
In addition to our platter of goong pao (กุ้งเผา), we also ordered a plate of kam goong pad cha (ก้ามกุ้งผัดฉ่า). Since these freshwater prawns were so jumbo big, they had equally huge tentacles (or maybe they are claws). So after the shrimp were roasted, the claws were then deshelled, and the meat from them was stir fried up with fingerroot, onions, garlic, and green peppercorns. It was an equally amazing tasting dish. For vegetables, Ying and I ordered Pad sai bua nam man hoy (ผัดสายบัวน้ำมันหอย), lotus flower stems that were just stir fried up nicely with garlic and oyster sauce. It was delicious as always, and made a nice accompanying dish to our roasted jumbo freshwater prawns.
Ayutthaya is famous throughout Thailand (and for visitors), for its temples and its history, and while that is great to see too, when you’re in Ayutthaya, you should not miss the opportunity to have an insanely delicious freshwater prawns (กุ้งเผา) feast!
Ran Ruay Goong Pao
Thanon Samkok-Sayna, Tambon Maitra, Amphoe Bang Sai, Ayutthaya
Open hours: 10 am – 8 pm daily
jumbo prawns – 1,500 THB
lotus flower stems – 80 THB
ที่อยู่ 74 หมู่2 อาคาร ตรงข้ามศูนย์ศิลปาชีพบางไทร ถนนสามโคก-เสนา ตำบลไม้ตรา อำเภอบางไทร อยุธยา
โทร. 08-6007-1451 , 03-574-1042
เปิดบริการทุกวัน 10.00 – 20.00 น.
กุ้งเผา กิโลละ 1,500
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