Michelin-starred Thai street vendor wants to hand star back

Raan Jay Fai on the pans.
Raan Jay Fai on the pans. Photo: Kylie McLaughlin

For chefs, it doesn't get any better than being awarded a Michelin star. Or does it? For Thai street vendor Jay Fai, the "crab omelette queen" has bemoaned life before the star was better, and she'd quite like to give it back.

When Michelin announced they'd be publishing a guide to Bangkok, speculation centred around whether street vendors would be recognised. One was. The modest Bangkok eatery Raan Jay Fai went from being unassuming to unmissable, with queues for the famous crab omelette and drunken noodles wrapping around the block.

But life making omelettes under starlight is not all it's cracked up to be.

According to the Eater website, "the distinction has drawn the attention of tourists, foodies, and even a couple of curious tax department officials to Raan Jay Fai's small space."

"I wish I could give the star back already," Eater quotes 72-year-old Supinya Junsuta, otherwise known as Jay Fai, as saying. "Many people come just to see and take pictures and not necessarily to eat."

The tiny eatery has also been forced to take reservations, and is fighting the pressure to raise prices despite the unprecedented demand.

Despite the extra strain, Jai Fai's daughter Supinya Junsuta wants customers to know: "Before or after Michelin, we see ourselves the same way. Jay Fai is still Jay Fai. When the customers to come us and say that they love our food, we are rewarded a million stars that matter every day."