Bangkok restaurant’s 50-year-old soup goes viral

Bangkok restaurant’s 50-year-old soup goes viral
via @tonsil
Iris Jung
April 21, 2023
A video of a Bangkok restaurant has gone viral on Instagram for its special soup that has been continuously simmering for almost 50 years.
Uploaded on April 3 by Instagram user Tonsil (@tonsil), the video shows popular restaurant Wattana Panich and its famous broth in a huge pot that measures 2.5 feet deep and approximately 5 feet in diameter.
The restaurant’s chefs have “kept the same pot of broth simmering for 50 years by 3 generations of family,” the video’s onscreen text says.
With fresh meat and tripe added daily, the restaurant can go through about 150 pounds of beef per day. 
Located in Bangkok’s Ekkamai neighborhood, the restaurant is two floors high and attracts a large crowd. While there are other options on their menu, the Kaweeantawong family’s signature beef noodle soup is typically their customers’ first choice.
 
According to third-generation owner Nattapong Kaweeantawong, his family does not have a specific recipe for the soup.
He explained to NPR in 2019 that each person responsible for the broth tastes the soup and adds ingredients accordingly. Some of the ingredients include garlic, cinnamon, cilantro root, black pepper and almost a dozen Chinese herbs.
“When I first started in the business, my dad would make the soup and the broth and I would taste it, to understand what the perfect taste is,” Kaweeantawong added. “Nowadays, I can just look at it and know what’s missing.”
The continuous stewing is meant to “bring out all the flavor from the bone they put inside, all the herbs, for any ingredient, any condiment that they put inside there,” Thai tour guide Ussanee Seesod told NPR.
For Indi Rakamnuaykit, a customer of Wattana Panich since he was 11 years old, the beef noodle soup continues to be his favorite dish at the restaurant. 
“You really taste the marrow and the fat,” he told NPR. “That’s what makes the soup so good — the quality has never changed. And I’ve been coming here for a long time.”
However, while some may be worried about the cleanliness of the age-old dish, Kaweeantawong reassures that it is safe to eat.
“Lots of people think we never clean the pot. But we clean it every evening. We remove the soup from the pot, then keep a little bit simmering overnight,” he explained.
The impressive soup didn’t go unnoticed on Instagram, with @tonsil’s now-viral video garnering over 8.7 million views and 408,000 likes as of this writing. 
“Scrape the bottom for me. Want a lil history in my bowl,” one Instagram user commented. 
“If it’s been boiling for 50 years then it’s good,” another user wrote.

 
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