Successes of 5 Legendary Red Pork-Crispy Pork Restaurants Revealed! Sharing the Secrets to Capturing the Hearts of Customers across Generations and Keeping Them from Getting Bored

Sep 20, 2021
Rice with red pork-crispy pork is an all-time popular à la carte dish you can find anywhere. But have you ever noticed that all the legendary red pork restaurants have been operating for decades, with some of them having been passed down for generations? The stories of how these legendary restaurants have been gathering generations of customers are fascinating. Today, MHA invites the owners of five top red pork-crispy pork restaurant to come and share their secrets to success that made them legends!!
Si Morakot Red Pork Restaurant
The legendary restaurant that has captured the hearts of many through its flavors, Si Morakot Red Pork, has a long history of over 70 years. It started as just a stand and then moved into a commercial building in the Trok Rong Mu area. This restaurant has been recommended by social media users, “You have to try it at least once in your life.” Mr. Wanlop Kaeosimorakot, or ‘Hia Piak’, the owner passing on to the next generation is here to share with us his secrets for capturing customers’ hearts.
  • The first secret is the sauce. It shouldn’t be too sweet or salty, but well balanced. We simmer a pork bone stock and use it as a base. The ingredients include peanuts, sesame seeds and Chinese herbs which is the restaurant’s secret recipe.
  • All of the pork needs to be grilled the traditional way on a charcoal grill… Whether it’s the red pork, crispy pork or Chinese sausage, we’re still using this method todayl because charcoal grilling gives the food a nice aroma that’ll impress customers.
  • For the red pork, we use only the loin and tenderloin… We use fresh pork every day, no leftovers. The pork is marinated for hours in white soy sauce, pepper, garlic and over 10 kinds of Chinese herbs for added flavor.
  • Use food coloring when boiling eggs… Our restaurant’s boiled eggs are soft-boiled duck eggs. We boil them in water mixed with food coloring. Other than the iconic orange color, the food coloring also helps reduce the odor.
  • What lets a restaurant survive for so long?  Apart from flavor, it’s probably meticulousness. Although you have to dedicate some effort and time, don’t use shortcuts. We’re still using the traditional methods, such as charcoal grilling and marinating pork using our secret recipe which takes hours.  That’s why we get flavors that impress customers.
  • You need perseverance to last a long time in sales… No matter how bored or tired you are, you need to persevere. 
  • Maintaining standards is the key… I do everything my father taught me. We try to maintain our standards. If we couldn’t do that, we probably wouldn’t have lasted for so long.
Thanee Red Pork & Crispy Pork Restaurant
A red pork-crispy pork restaurant spanning over five decades, Thanee Red Pork & Crispy Pork started in 1973. It’s another one of Bangkok’s vintage restaurants. All of the elderly customers say the flavor hasn’t changed. Mr. Suchet ‘Pop’ Srikitprachai is the second-generation owner who inherited the flavors from his father, the pioneer of the first branch in the Pradiphat area. Today, they have three branches, the Phahonyothin 5 branch managed by Mr. Pop’s uncle-in-law, the Chokchai 4-Soi 28 branch and the Ladplakhao Rd. branch managed by Mr. Pop himself.
  • Our restaurant’s unique selling point… is the crispy pork’s crispiness and the sauce which is unlike any other restaurant. My father told me that when crispy pork is made, the skin is usually pricked with a fork. The skin was so tough that the fork would bend, so he scored it with a knife. That’s how this shape is made. I’ve never changed anything. I’m still using the original method.
  • The person inheriting the flavors and the business should know how to do everything… Otherwise, you won’t be able to communicate with the employees. In the old days, I trained every day for years. I did everything from marinating the pork and grilling the pork to making the sauce. The toughest part was making the crispy pork. We grilled the pork for 5-6 hours from midnight to 6 am. It was so brutal that I almost gave up. Since my father used a charcoal grill to grill both the red pork and the crispy pork, we had to keep an eye on it at all times. If we didn’t, the flame would flare up and burn the pork.
  • Maintain quality… Paying attention to every step and stay honest in our dealings with customers.  That’s why we’re still here today.
  • We serve with our hearts… We’re friendly and have good customer relationships.
  • The most important feature is flavor… It needs to be as delicious as the first time they ate it. If you can do that, the customers will keep coming back for more.
  • Don’t sell too expensively… or else they won’t eat it. I think the raw ingredients getting more expensive and becoming an obstacle to maintaining the quality is a normal market mechanism. One day, when you can’t maintain the price any more, you have no choice but to raise your prices along with the market. But you cannot take advantage and sell at exorbitantly high prices. Plus, you have to maintain the quality of your ingredients. You can’t lower your quality.
  • Maintaining consistent quality… That’s how to be sincere and honest with customers. I believe these things can be communicated.

Original Nai Sai Restaurant on Prachachuen
A legendary red pork-crispy pork restaurant in the Taopun area and on Prachachuen Road, it’s been in operation for 40 years. It’s renowned for such juiciness and well-balanced flavors that people have spread the word that it’s the best crispy pork restaurant in the neighborhood. The business and flavors of Original Nai Sai Restaurant on Prachachuen have been passed down for three generations. It’s currently run by Mr. Thara ‘Nat’ Ngoenlangthawi.
  • Passing down flavors customers love… We try to maintain our standards and quality, from the ingredients we use and the freshness of the pork to the cleanliness in our processes for the safety of our customers. However crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside our pork was back then, it’s still the same now. The taste of our sauce also has been unchanged since 1978. We do everything the same way, passing down the flavors through generations, unchanged.
  • Our signature selling point is the crispy pork… The rind is crispy and the meat is juicy instead of dry. The sauce is not too sweet. The flavor is very well balanced. It’s my grandfather’s recipe.
  • Our red pork is a natural color… We use pork legs freshly marinated and freshly grilled in the morning. We don’t leave them overnight and don’t add any artificial colors. The color is all from soy sauce.
  • The most important thing is paying attention… Take our crispy pork for example. We grill it one day and fry it the next. In the meantime, we have to pay attention to the pork. The method we use is charcoal grilling with flames that aren’t too strong. We slowly add the charcoal and stoke the fire. We have to tend to it constantly.
  • Our soups also sell well… Whether it’s the vegetable soup or the bitter gourd soup, we cook them over a charcoal stove and slowly simmer it until the texture is tender. It takes 2-3 hours to make each pot by slowly adding charcoal and using heat that’s not too strong. The result is a savory soup with tender vegetables. It’s another dish customers love.
  • How to cook delicious rice… We mix sao hai rice with fragrant jasmine rice at the ratio of 60:40 because the rice would be too tough if we use only sao hai rice and too soft if we used only use jasmine rice. This ratio is just right.
  • If you want repeat customers, you need to cater to their needs… Knowing what customers want is key. Some customers have been with us for decades. When they walk into our restaurant, they know what they want to eat. It’s also about our customer relationships.
  • Emphasize delicious food at a cheap price for customers… Our profit margin is small, but we focus more on sales quantity in order to convince customers to stay with us as long as possible.
  • An obstacle for us right now is ingredient prices… The price of pork, in particular, is constantly rising. However, we try to keep our prices for as long as possible because we emphasize inexpensive food. People should eat our food and then come back a couple of days later for more. They shouldn’t come just one day and then disappear. We can’t survive like that. If customers can’t do it, neither can we.
Nakhon Pathom Red Pork Restaurant (Sam Yan Original)
The restaurant was pioneered by his parents 50 years ago in Hat Yai. Later, they moved to Bangkok to make a living. Finally, they found a location inn the Sam Yan area, settled down and have been there since. Nakhon Pathom Red Pork Restaurant (Sam Yan Original) is renowned for its flavors and accepted by many people. Mr. Pathom ‘Jiab’ Luechaudomkiat is the current second-generation owner who inherited the flavors.
  • For our sauce, we use several spices… like palo powder, Sichuan pepper, pepper and monk fruit. It’s our secret recipe. We don’t use MSG. We add pork bone stock for a well-balanced flavor.
  • We select only lean pork belly… We bake it in a charcoal oven. Once it’s cooked, we prick the skin and then bake it again to make it puff up. Once the pork is well done, we fry it. The hard part is constantly watching it, tending the fire for the right amount of heat.
  • The secret to tasty red pork… We use pork loin because it’s got a good amount of fat, making the pork tender. We marinate it with sweet black soy sauce and sugar until it gets the natural color and then bake grill it on a charcoal grill to make it fragrant.
  • How to make rice with a good texture… We mix sao hai rice with fragrant jasmine rice because if you use only sao hai rice, the rice will be too tough and if you use only jasmine rice, it’ll be too soft. You need to mix it to get a good texture and flavor.
  • Customers love it because they get generous serving sizes… We slice the pork into pieces that are rather thick. When customers eat it, they feel like it’s worth their money. We don’t sell expensively. You can get a good meal for just 40-50 baht. We emphasize friendly prices and good quality.
  • Another reason we’ve lasted for so long is that we sell wholesale… Other than selling at our store front, we also have regular customers who are red pork-crispy pork restaurants. They buy our food to sell. We don’t rely solely on customers who eat at our restaurant. In addition, during this Covid crisis, we also get customers who buy food to sell at their condos and neighborhoods.
  • Give importance to customers… We’re really casual with the regulars at our restaurant. If they want something, we give it to them. For example, if they want extra sauce or rice, we don’t charge them extra. It keeps them coming back to our restaurant. We emphasize being casual to all our customers.
  • The profit margin is small, of course… but we put an emphasis on sell out. We sell in large quantities so that our customers will stay with us for a long time.
  • If something goes wrong, we always take responsibility… For example, if a customer orders ten servings and we’re one serving short, I give it all to them for free and also pay for the transportation.
  • I never pick a fight or have issues with customers… If we make a mistake, we own up to it. Some restaurants sell well, so they don’t try to reconcile with customers and it turns into a big issue. That’s not how we do it here.
Saeng Thong Red Pork & Roast Duck Restaurant
A legendary figure for deliciousness, Saeng Thong Red Pork & Roast Duck Restaurantstarted in 1957. After pioneering and selling to Hat Yai locals for over ten years, they moved and opened a restaurant in Bangkok in Khithao Alley in the Bobae area. When the restaurant started to feel too small, it moved to the Suthisan area. From the day it was founded until today, it’s been 64 years. In addition, they’ve received certification prizes from several organizations. The person who’ll share their story with us is Mr. Praphot Trichanthong, the second-generation owner.
  • The onion sauce is our signature… It’s a special fragrance we get from using onion powder sent directly from China. We order this ingredient through a pharmacy in Nakhon Pathom.
  • The secret to the balanced flavor of the sauce… We make soup stock using pork spine and chicken frames. We mix them together and simmer it for one night. In the morning, we use it to make our sauce. The key is to make it fresh daily. Any day we have left-over sauce, we discard it. We never keep it overnight.
  • For the red pork, we use pork hip… because it has the right amount of fat on it. It'll stay tender, even if we grill it for a long time. It’s not like using lean cuts. As for the marinating, we marinate the pork for one night in advance and grill it in the morning. But, mainly, other than salt, pepper and soy sauce, we also use simmered coconut sugar in the marinade. It helps add flavor and a nice fragrance and it can also make the pork look juicy.
  • In the past, we used Nakhonchaisi yellow rice… but when this type of rice got harder to find, we were forced to use yellow rice mixed with fragrant jasmine rice for good texture. What’s the ratio? There’s no fixed ratio because each batch of rice we get is different. The key is to taste it and estimate the ratio for each batch to make the rice not too tough or too soft.
  • Don’t get carried away by success… It’s true that our restaurant has been awarded numerous prizes. These things guarantee quality and may help with publicity to make your restaurant known. However, the key is to maintain the quality of your food.
  • After doing it for a while, you’ll feel like every day is the same… but it’s actually not the same, because there are many obstacles each day that could lower your quality. You need to constantly overcome them in order to maintain your quality.
  • You need to know your ingredients inside out… in order to maintain quality. Once you can do that, when something spoils, it can go.
  • Remember how your regulars like their food… If you have long-time regulars at your restaurant, you need to remember which one doesn’t like Chinese sausage or vegetables. It’s a small thing but it means a lot. It’s all about maintaining a good friendship and relationship with your customers. You have to pay attention and give importance to your customers.
As you can see, all of these successful and legendary red pork-crispy pork restaurants that have been operating for decades have their own signature flavors.  But if there’s one thing they all agree on, it’s maintaining quality and friendship with sincerity in dealing with customers. It’s the key to capturing the hearts of customers across generations. If you want to follow in the successful footsteps of these famous restaurants by opening your own red pork-crispy pork restaurant,Makro Horeca Academy offers the ‘Red Pork & Crispy Pork (Restaurant Recipes)’ course, an online course that’ll turn you into a pro and an owner of a successful and profitable red pork-crispy pork business. Sign up to learn for free!!“
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