Mookata restaurants used to be widespread all over Bangkok. But many of them have since closed due to increasing cost of produce. And rent increases have put pressure on many restaurants that rely on keeping prices down to draw in customers. Plus it doesn’t help that more Thais are becoming big eaters. All are major factors in contributing to the fall of many 888 Family Mookata restaurants. Except for the last one near where I live. At least I think its the last.
888 Family Mookata on Phahon Yothin Road could be the last place to have a buffet bonanza for only 99THB! They used to be so popular with locals and foreigners as it’s such a bargain and a great place to hang out to eat and drink with friends.
Today a lot of mookata restaurants are indoors. Usually inside of malls under the Sukishi restaurant name. There’s also the Family BBQ restaurant but it’s also indoors as well. And prices in these types of restaurants start at about 300THB per person. It’s a whole lot cleaner too eating indoors with air condition. But the cost of dining in the comforts of air conditioning and cleaner environment will increase the final bill.
This particular 888 restaurant I frequent about twice a month is just a bit further away from central Bangkok. You can’t get there directly via the Sky Train or MRT train systems. However, both train systems can get you close enough to save on taxi cost and time. Because without a set of wheels you can’t get there at all. Not unless you want to take the bus that has a stop just a short walk from 888.
Phahon Yothin road is well known and all taxi drivers know of it. I don’t know how dead set you are about heading out there for a cheap mookata dinner. But if you’re feeling adventurous, I’ll show you how to get to one of if not the last outdoor 888 Family Mookata restaurant in Bangkok.
Directions for 888 Family Mookata on Phahon Yothin Road (For the Brave, Adventurous and Really Hungry Only)
By BTS Sky Train and MRT subway (via public bus or taxi):
**Important** Before heading out, have someone at the place you’re staying at call to see if this restaurant is still open. The phone numbers are 02-3952158 and 081-3540210.
BTS Sky Train: Take the train to Mo Chit station, it’s the last stop and right by Chatuchak Weekend Market. From there you have the option to take a taxi or bus.
Bus can be a bit trickier especially since you have to wait. And on the evening and night time rush hour you’re not going to get a seat. And the buses are packed. Make sure you have someone at the hotel write down in Thai “Mayo Hospital- Can you please tell me when to get off” because that’s where the closest bust stop is to 888. As I said, this is only for the brave and adventurous. If you want to continue on, look for buses number:
#39 – Yellow colored bus has air condition and cost fare 12THB. Pink colored bus has no air condition fare cost 8THB
#63– Yellow colored bus has air condition and cost fare 12THB. Red colored bus has no air condition fare cost 6.5THB
#26– Yellow colored bus has air condition. Fare should cost about 12THB but don’t remember, I don’t ride this bus that often.
Getting on the bus is the easy part. Finding the stop to get off is the tough part. There is a fare collector on the bus and can show them the piece of paper with Mayo Hospital. Once you’ve reached the Mayo Hospital bust stop continue on foot the same direction as the bus. You will see Mayo Hospital on the right hand side. Continue walking another 3 or 5 minutes and you’ve reach 888 Family Mookata.
MRT: Take the train to Chatuchak Park. Get out from exit #2 and follow the BTS directions above for getting a taxi or bus.
Taxi: This is of course the easiest way to get to the front steps of 888. However, if you’re expecting to get there in a breeze during evening rush hour you will be disappointed. Phahon Yothin road’s traffic congestion is bad like any other major roadway in the city. With no traffic, from Chatuchak to 888 would probably take 10 to 15 minutes and cost about 70THB.
With traffic that same ride would probably take 45 mins if not an entire hour. You might end up paying 100THB and that is even if the taxi driver accepts the mission to take you there. No taxi driver wants to be stuck in traffic either no matter how much you’re hungering for a mookata feast. You might come across a driver who will take the task of getting you there for a set rate off the meters.
Mookata Prices at 888 Family
The restaurant is completely outdoors so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding it. The regular price cost 99THB only per person. If you want to add on a seafood smorgasbord with live swimming shrimps and several types clams the total cost per person is only 199THB. There’s a kids price too but I don’t remember off hand. And you can pretty much eat until they close around midnight.
Restaurant staff do not speak English so you’re going to have to make do. There are very little foreigners eating there and they don’t expect a lot of tourists. But I know somehow someway you’ll figure it all out after making it all the way out there.
A small bottle of water cost 20THB, a bucket of ice cost 50THB and a large bottle of Singha beer cost 95THB. They have these little wet packets of hand towels on the tables. You might think those are free like it is in Japan but those cost 20THB each so if you open those it’s going on top of the bill.
I like paying for the extra seafood option. It’s not that much more expensive and I love to eat grilled prawns that you can catch in the tank. Tongs are provided to snatch the little critters out of the tank. I remember the first few times I had such tough time catching one. Then you drop the live prawns into iced water to knock them out before you put them onto the hot grill on your table.
If you choose the seafood option you get a nifty little 888 Family Group sticker placed on your shirt. So I wouldn’t attempt to fiddle around in the seafood section if you’re only paying for the regular buffet.
Which leads me to add that you should bring your own moist towels and even a bunch of paper tissue. Chances are you will be eating with your fingers and you don’t want to cross contamination between the raw and the cooked. Eating mookata can be a messy affair and the small flimsy paper tissue provided by the restaurants are useless.
And remember there is also a 10% service charge on top of the bill as well. Which is quite alright because the restaurant staff are quick to clear away empty dishes.
Some other few mookata dining tips is to search out a table with fans nearby so you won’t be sweating it out next to the hot skillets. If you’re visiting Bangkok during the rainy season (April to late October) be sure to sit further in where there’s a roof over your head.
There are many smaller mookata restaurants that I have seen in the suburbs of Bangkok. And I’ve eaten in quite a few of them too but those places are further out and even harder to let everyone know how to get there. I mean you really have to be foolhardy to even make an attempt to head out into the boonies.
So I’m glad that 888 Family is within easy reach for me and I hope they stay where they are for many more years to come. Because I’d hate having to search out a new place for my mookata fix.