The Price of Fame: Thai Street Food Vendor Wants to Give Back Michelin Star

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As incredible as it sounds & seems but Raan Jay Fai – a Bangkok restaurant which was recently awarded one Michelin star intends to return back the accolade. The woman behind this legendary food joint is 72 year old ski goggles-wielding Supinya Junsata, popularly known as Jay Fai in that area. The “crab omelet queen” & her iconic eatery is renowned for the local recipes centered around crab meat & omelets for clients who spend over $25 per roll.

Crab Omelet at Jay Fai

But this had always been a foodie hotspot for locals & tourists alike, long before receiving one star Michelin award in the Bangkok street food category late last year despite its relative high prices. Jay Fai’s story of cooking goes way back when she was a little kid who eventually took over the business from her father. Carrying forward, the legacy of the Thai eatery that had already long earned the reputation of cooking with some of the best ingredients sourced from the fresh supplies available in the area is what has kept the consistency in taste besides their original preparatory methods. Seafood such as, Rad Na that’s typically prepared from rice noodles is also among a few other major hits off of her restaurant’s menu with prices going as high as $300 for an abalone dish on the higher end of menu orders.

Rad Na

In a turning point, she now wants to return back the star. Ever since the award, tourists have flocked in to experience the food. As a literal direct result of this price of fame, they have had to introduce an all new reservation system to manage the inflows. The waiting times could now stretch as long as upto a few hours for a place with less than a dozen tables & three waiters working to serve. And guess what? Her daughter even had to quit her day job to share in the work load full time at the restaurant. Adding on to the struggle, not everyone’s genuinely interested in eating & trying out her food which is what has gotten her the recognition in the first place. There’s been a flood of Instagrammers & food bloggers who have increasingly started visiting her just to click pictures & talk to her with no intentions of ordering whatsoever. Given this sudden uptick in fortunes, the tax officials & regulatory authorities have also paid a visit to her small restaurant to check on her operations to ensure everything was okay.

However, Jay Fai doesn’t want to raise prices in light of this recently bestowed rare recognition for any street food joint simply because she doesn’t want to price out some of her most loyal customers who were with her long before she earned a star.

Image Credit: YouTube | Wikipedia | The Times

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