Yen Ta Fo – Thailand’s Beloved Pink Noodle Soup at Nai Uan Restaurant (นายอ้วนเย็นตาโฟ)

By Mark Wiens 7 Comments
Yen Ta Fo (เย็นตาโฟ)
Yen Ta Fo (เย็นตาโฟ)

Yen Ta Fo (เย็นตาโฟ) is a distinctively pink noodle dish in Thailand.

While it’s not quite as popular as boat noodles, it’s still one of the more popular local soup noodles, and retains its share of loyal connoisseurs.

While you do have the possibility to order Yen Ta Fo with a choice of different rice noodle, sen yai, the Thai wide rice noodles, are most common (and I think the best in this dish).

I recently went to a famous restaurant known as Nai Uan Yen Ta Fo (นายอ้วนเย็นตาโฟ), located walking distance from the Giant Swing near Chinatown Bangkok (video).

Thai Yen Ta Food noodles
Nai Uan Yen Ta Fo (นายอ้วนเย็นตาโฟ)

One of the best things about a bowl of Yen Ta Fo (เย็นตาโฟ) is the assortment of tasty toppings.

Chunks of pork, fish balls, slices of squid, fried tofu, slices of water morning glory, rectangles of coagulated blood, and a big crispy chip, were all floating around in this particular dish.

That’s not even including all the other flavoring ingredients like the fermented soybean paste, chillies, vinegar, fish sauce, and pepper that combined to form the flavor.

So Why Is It Pink?

The pinkness comes from the fermented soybean paste that’s added to every bowl of Yen Ta Fo.

When combined into the soup mixture, it gives a lightly sweet, almost flowery essence to the broth. Other than that, to me it still remains a mystery as to why it’s so pink.

Also, this bowl of yen ta fo was not nearly as pink as some others I’ve seen.

Nai Uan Yen Ta Fo (นายอ้วนเย็นตาโฟ)
Nai Uan Yen Ta Fo (นายอ้วนเย็นตาโฟ)


Now, be sure to watch this video so you can really see the food and the atmosphere!

Thank you for watching!

(Yen Ta Fo video on YouTube)

The Bottom Line:

This is a well known and long standing establishment in Bangkok that serves Yen Ta Fo. The noodles are excellent and even though I’m not the biggest fan of yen ta fo broth, I really liked all their high quality toppings and the fish balls in particular were wonderful.

What to Order: Get a bowl of the Sen Yai Yen Ta Fo (เส้นใหญ่เย็นตาโฟ)

Prices: A bowl of noodles is 40 THB, which is a little high for most places in Bangkok, but they are famous and located right in the heart of town.

Nai Uan Yen Ta Fo (นายอ้วนเย็นตาโฟ)

Address: 41 Soi Nava Thanon Saochingcha, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok, Thailand 10200
Phone: 02-2229701
Hours: 9 am – 9 pm on Weekdays, 9 am – 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday

41 ตะนาว เขตพระนคร, กรุงเทพ 10200

เปิดวันจันทร์-ศุกร์ 09:00-21:00
วันเสาร์-อาทิตย์ 09:00-16:00

How to Get There:

Taking a direct taxi or the local bus are the best ways to get there. The restaurant is just a few hundred meters down the road from the Giant Swing and is about a 10 minute walk from Democracy Monument.

View Bangkok Eating Thai Food Map in a larger map

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

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  • Ani

    3 months ago

    It’s so pink because they add pink food color additive. Probably an artificial one.

  • Panna

    2 years ago

    I am salivating. I had this soup in Kang Khoi, in front of the movie theatre. My sister went there recently and found out the vendor has passed away. It was so good & I still taste it after all these years.

  • Julie Nicolay

    5 years ago

    I LOVE this soup, and was introduced to it in Seattle at a little place called Pop Pop Thai Street Food (you can read my review on Trip Advisor if you want)! I’d never seen it at any other Thai place in all my years, and a friend posted a picture of it on her FB page, and I just HAD to go have it. It’s called Red Sea Soup on the menu, so I didn’t know the Thai name of it until recently here in Cincinnati when I went to a Thai place near my house and asked about it. They told me the proper name, and said though it wasn’t on the menu, they’d be happy to make it for me! I can’t wait to go back and have a big bowl, for it’s one of my very favorite dishes. The version at Pop Pop is VERY pink and VERY delicious. They wide noodles are present, and the fish balls were amazing (my favorites are the ones with the eggs inside). I’m so looking forward to saving up to get a bowl here soon. And Jason’s comment about it not being a special Thai dish? Well, Jason, it sure is a special dish to ME! I am now craving a bowl and if it weren’t after closing for them, I’d get in the car and go get a bowl right now. : )

  • Rebecca Chan

    6 years ago

    OMG I’ve been looking for this soup in the U.S. for years since my trip to Bangkok but never figured it out because I kept calling it “purple noodle soup” and nobody had the good sense to ask “pink?”. THANK YOU! I’m ordering it tonight from a place nearby.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Rebecca, cool to hear you figured it out, enjoy!

  • Jason young

    8 years ago

    Yen tá for is the corrupt word for Niang Dou fu 酿豆腐 which is stuffed tofu, a traditional Hakka dish. People like richardbarrow, who doesn’t know enough history of a lot of the dishes, think and call it a special Thai dish but it’s not.