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Bangkok cuisine blog


Bangkok cuisine blog

Recently, a colleague of mine...flabbergasted at our stratospheric properties prices....exclaimed "Damn !! ...I could have sold my house , buy a nice apartment in Bangkok and eat in restaurants for every meal with the profit..."... Well....yes, the slick apartments are certainly tempting in the Land of Smiles, where our 1 room flat can buy you a swanky freehold 3 beds with condo amenities ...especially those located just stone throw from the BTS...BUT...every meal in restaurants ????

Are you kidding me ???...in Bangkok....the real food gems are in the streets...that's where the treasures are, besides great dining spots in more lofty joints. Bangkok to me...is my quintessential heaven for food and photography...where I can eat-shoot pictures-eat-shoot pictures... In this blog, I like to share some nice food and where to find it...just a little, as it will take volumes and loads to cover this amazing foodie city, which never sleeps.....

 

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Som Tam -  It is a popular spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. Can be found readily at most streets...you can adjust your degree of spiciness by asking for more chillies...yes...those little chilli padi (nam prik). Location - this was shot at the Pratunam area, at the overhead bridge that links Pratunam shopping and The Platinum Fashion Mall.

 

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Tom Yum Koong - How can one visit Thailand and not savour the original clear spicy soup? My all-time favourite has to be at Baiyoke Sky Hotel Sky Cafe (level 18) or Bangkok Sky Restaurant on 76th & 78th floors and Crystal Grill on 82nd floor.. While not exactly street level & price...it's really superb, balanced and favourful without being overly spicy. Baiyoke Sky's tom yum soup is the winner of Gold Medal of the international competition of THAIFEX & HALFEX which was organized by Department of Export Promotion, Ministry of Commerce. 

 

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Another must-try item is their fancy Phad Thai , a stir-fry rice noodle dish. It essentially soaked dried rice noodles which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped tofu, and flavored with tamarind pulp,fish sauce, dried shrimps,garlic or shallots, red dried chillies and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roasted groundnuts. It usually also contain other vegetables like bean sprouts, garlic chives, coriander leaves, pickled turnips, and raw banana flowers. It's main meat may be prawn, chicken, crab, etc.  My Thai friends told me it's easily to prepare phad thai...but perfecting it is another story...

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Whenever you in Yaowarat (Bangkok Chinatown), you just have to tuck in a bowl of bird nest. My fave bird nest eatery would be at Nam Sing at 471-473 Yaowarat Road. The range goes from 300B, 500B and 1000B. Personally, the 500B blood birdnest (as above) represents the best value...You can't miss this eatery as it located just steps away from a popular seafood joint T&K Seafood, where hordes of peoples, both locals and tourists queue patiently for up to an hour for a seat at either the indoor dining or street side.

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Nam Sing Bird Nest ....please avoid the  Shark Fin Soup... which they are also famous for. It's not helping the world eco-system. I have stopped eating shark fin in 1989, when I took up scuba diving.

 

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Crowds at T & K Seafood....

 

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 T & K Seafood staff hard at work...

 

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Crab tang-hoon (vermicelli) ...one of T&K Seafood signature dish...lip-smacking ah roi mak khrub (delicious, in Thai).

 

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The street-side convivial dining ambience is "infectious"...passerby without a food direction will want to join in...

 

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Once you are done with the seafood at T&K and bird nest at Nam Sing...the sweet tooths will not be able to resist the dessert stall... in the picture above, a wide range of option of hot (ron) and cold (yen)....just 30B-50B...

 

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Bua Loy Nam King (Mochi Rice and Sesame Balls in Ginger Soup) served with various add-on, in a potent ginger soup. You will wonder where that extra space in your stomach came from ...

 

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One of Thailand most popular classic dessert - Khao Neow Mamuang (Sticky rice with mango). My personal fave is at Mae-Varee located at 1, Thong Lor (Sukhumvit Soi 55). You can access this 24-hour shop via BTS Thong Lor station. http://www.maevaree.com/maevaree_eng.html.

 

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At 100B per packet, it's not cheap...but you get premium quality and a taste that's a class above the rest. The shop sells plenty of fruits and other desserts and snacks...but only takeaway. You can eat it at a few cafes located down the street, which has a sizable Japanese community.

 

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Across the Thong Lor BTS, is the famous Sukhumvit Soi 38, where the lane is closed off with food stalls setting up business in the evening. However, I chanced upon this nondescript eatery at the start of the lane...

 

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It was the one of my trips best reward...this stall serves absolutely delicious tom yum soup (30B) and phad thai -fried noodles (30B) !!! I felt blessed by the food gods...

 

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The pickled chillies....must-have accompaniment to any Thai dishes...besides the chillies powder, sugar and nam pla (fish sauce).

 

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A plate of awesomeness...

 

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Great duck , sausages, pork...mixed meats at Prachak Roasted Duck ....a long time establishment packing in the crowds since 1897 !!! located at 1415, Charoen Krung (around Silom vicinity). Prachak's roast duck is legendary. The tender meat is served on rice, but there are also other items to choose from on the menu such as great wonton soup or fried egg noodles with sauce. It's not aircon and an eat and go joint, as the crowds keep piling up and the waiting staff must be one of the hurried fellows around..and yes, the duck is well worth the trip across town for. Come early as Prachak closes at 8pm (opens 8am) but often runs out earlier than that. Perfect for lunch after you go for a boat ride at the Chao Phraya Pier where you access via Saphan Taksin BTS.

 

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You can't miss the Prachak red awning...amid the cacophony at Charoen Krung Road...just right opposite the green Robinson Shopping Mall.

 

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Tod Mun Pla (Thai Fish Cake) - a must-eat street snack. This is an icon dish and rightly so...pop one in your mouth and you see why. The reddish orangish tint is due to the red curry paste used in preparation. Served drizzled in sweet tangy spicy sauce...you will love it. Readily available when you see street side food stalls (about 10-20B, for a small serving)...

 

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Khanom Krok - another one of my favourite street food snacks. This can be loosely translated into English as Coconut Pudding. It is basically a mixture of flour batter and coconut cream cooked in a pan over a charcoal fire, served with corn, green onion, taro or just plain. Definitely comfy snack wherever you can have it.... taste best and melt in your mouth, when it's hot. Usually 10B for 10 pieces.

 

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Khao Tom Mud (Banana Leaf Sticky Rice) - It’s made from sticky rice, coconut milk, sugar, sweet black beans, all candied in a banana leaf wrapper and ready to eat... talk about fast dessert :)

 

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Khao Lam (Sticky Rice in Bamboo) - Sticky rice is sweetened with black beans and thick coconut syrup and roasted in a bamboo poles over low fire. After the Khao Lam is roasted, it’s hacked open with a machete and ready to be served. About 10-20B for 1 stick. You can find in many places...like Yaowarat or Khaosan Road....

 

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Like to end this blog with a Wai (Thai greeting) ... a red-clay figurine shot in Koh Kret, a subject matter in my future blogs.. stay tuned and have a Happy National Day and Selamat Hari Raya loon weekend break...

 

 

 

 

 

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