A Menu of Culinary Passion at Bangkok’s Yong Lee Restaurant (Sukhumvit 39)

By Mark Wiens 9 Comments
Yong Lee (ย่งหลี)
Yong Lee (ย่งหลี)

One of the ways to search for a worthy restaurant in Bangkok is to analyze the menu, that is when they have one. A menu that looks like Yong Lee’s (ย่งหลี), meaning it’s been handled by more than a few greasy hands, is always a positive sign.

Remember the menu at Today Steak?

Yong Lee (ย่งหลี) restaurant is primely located close to Phrom Phong BTS station (Dwight mentioned it briefly in his Bkkfatty Diary Day 3 food journal).

As Dwight say’s, “It’s an old school shop house” dinery that’s been frying up the same menu for generations. Despite the area of  Phrom Phong being full of modern trendy Japanese restaurants (not saying that’s bad), Yong Lee remains traditional and homey, and as soon as you catch a whiff of the cooking you know it’s all about their culinary passion.

Pla Kapong Pad Prik Dam (ปลากะพงผัดพริกตำ)
Pla Kapong Pad Prik Dam (ปลากะพงผัดพริกตำ)

We started things off with one scrumptious dish that set a positive mood for the rest of the meal, a piping hot plate of Pla Kapong Pad Prik Dam (ปลากะพงผัดพริกตำ).

The fish was so un-fishy and firm that I actually had to double check to confirm it was indeed fish and not chicken. Either way, I was happy.

The fish was initially deep fried and then stir fried in a generous amount of crushed chili peppers and sweet salty sauce.

Beef Tongue Stew
Beef Tongue Stew

There were a number of exotic dishes on the menu, things you could never find at just a normal Thai restaurant, dishes that you could tell were born from a serious passion for food.

The beef tongue stew, mentioned by Bangkok Glutton included thumb sized chunks of tongue simmered in a full fat thick white gravy. The meaty flavor was arousing and the pieces of tongue were so tender I could literally chew them without even needing my teeth.

Boo Jaah (ปูจ๋า)
Boo Jaah (ปูจ๋า)

As a lover of seafood I was particularly fond of their boo jaah (ปูจ๋า) or crab cakes, something Yong Lee happens to be quite famous for.

Crispy on the outside, soft and crabby on the inside – can’t get much better!

pad jab chae, (ผัดจับฉ่าย)
pad jab chae, (ผัดจับฉ่าย) 

Their rich protein oriented menu can be supplemented by a few veggie prominent dishes like pad jab chae, (ผัดจับฉ่าย) which was on the salty side, but full of addictive flavor.

I’m sure they fried it in a little porky goodness to make it so delicious, but I won’t complain about that!

Thai Chinese Food
Yong Lee (ย่งหลี)

Here’s an outside photo of the restaurant, nice spacious open air area, and they even have a little side section that has air condition.

Just to be warned, there’s a jungle of potted plants on the outside of the restaurant, so make sure you don’t walk right past Yong Lee (Dwight had to pull one of the plants back just to take this photo)!

The Bottom Line

Classic restaurant serving warm hearty Thai-Chinese and just straight food lovers’ dishes. The food is tasty, the service is relaxed and it’s just an all around satisfying dining experience.

Yong Lee Restaurant Sukhumvit 39

Address: 10/4-5 Soi Phromphong Sukhumvit 39
Hours: 10 am – 8:30 pm on weekdays, closed on weekends
Phone: 02-258-8863
Prices: Expect to pay 100 – 200 THB per person

How to Get There:

Take the BTS to Phrom Phong Station, Exit # 3. Walk to Soi 39, walk across the street, make a left and Yong Lee Restaurant is just a little ways down Soi 39.

Here the map to make it easier (it’s the RED pin):


View Bangkok Eating Thai Food Map in a larger map

9 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • joseph howe

    5 years ago

    This is a world class cuisine that does not need a Michelin to star.

  • Frances

    8 years ago

    When I was there, to my surprise they advised the porkchop..which indeed was good, if you’re after a piece of tender porky meat. But it wasn’t as “Asian” a dish as I wanted at the time. The other food was great though..especially the Pla Kapong Pad Prik Dam.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Glad you made it here Frances, and enjoyed the food. Yes, they do throw in seemingly out of place Western influenced dishes, but with a Thai Chinese twist to them – very meaty dishes!

  • Jerry Holt

    8 years ago

    The Yong Lee restaurant at Sukhumvit and Soi 15 has the best duck noodle soup I’ve found.

  • Vinod

    8 years ago

    There’s another restaurant by the same name on the corner of Soi 15. In fact, they serve up a tongue stew that looks almost the same!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing Vinod, I’ll have to try that out sometime!

      • Josh

        5 years ago

        Yep and it’s the older and better of the two.