No new street food vendors were honoured with a star at the second Michelin event in Bangkok on Wednesday. The only Michelin-recognized street food chef, Supinya Junsuta,retained the coveted stamp of approval from the oldest guide for restaurants. The 73-year-old’s food stall in Bangkok’s old town, Jay Fai, became an instant hit when it got the award during the Michelin Guide’s launch in the Thai capital last year. The star was seen as a validation of the country’s vibrant street food culture – ranked best in the world by CNN Travel in August.
“I was shocked at first, but now I’ve adjusted myself better,” said Supinya, better known as Jay Fai, referring to the long queues and packed shop since receiving the award. “I’m not surprised that Jay Fai was the only one with a star,” said Chawadee Nualkhair, a Bangkok-based food blogger and author. “They [other street food chefs] are not on her level. To do everything on her own is amazing. She [Jay Fai] is just unique,” she added.
Many street food stalls were instead featured in the so-called “Bib Gourmand,” a list of restaurants offering “exceptionally good food a tmoderate prices.” Thailand’s 2019 Michelin Guide also expanded to include the two southern cities of Phuket and Phang-Nga. Four restaurants, including Gaggan, an Indian restaurant which toppe dAsia’s 50 Best Restaurants for four consecutive years, were awarded two stars, while 23 others were given one star. Thailand is among 32 countries on Michelin’s list in over a century of guide book publications by the French tyre maker. — DPA