May 15, 2013

Tastes of Bangkok

A trip to Bangkok is always a lot more fun, sampling the best that only its cuisine can offer.

Food was definitely on our itinerary. We came across some wonderful discoveries and delectable finds that my mom, brother, and me enjoyed to the fullest. I had to let my guard down and savor the authentic flavors of Bangkok, even in the streets.

The first interesting food find that we had was Som Tam Nua in Siam Square. We were there for a quick afternoon snack so we decided not to order a lot. Of course, we had to try its famous Thai Papaya Salad, which was awarded a CNN Best Eats Awards. The papaya and tomato's flavor brought out a mix of sweet and tanginess to the salad, while the nuts and fried pork fat added the extra crunchiness and texture. This dish deserves my praise!


While inside Som Tam Nua, check out their cute pastry corner!

I truly enjoyed our lunch at the Tha Chang Pier. I normally wouldn't agree to such an open and outdoor dining, but Bangkok has been known for its street food - with travel agencies even offering tours on Bangkok's best street food! My mom ordered the fishball and noodles in curry, my brother the pad thai, and I the chicken fried rice. The curry was mildly spicy and was just right for my tolerance. 

The fried rice took some time to prepare but it was worth it. The serving of the chicken strips were quite generous. I'm normally used to the Chinese way of preparing fried rice where the egg or the taste of the meat overpowers the taste of the other ingredients. The one I had in Thailand was a good mix that I loved. I was surprised to pay just around fifty baht for the fried rice! I was already told that food in Bangkok was going to be cheap but I was surprised to know how low the prices are!


The lady who prepared the Pad Thai was amazing. She knew the preparation by heart and was simply grabbing the ingredients left and right, throwing it all in the hot wok. My brother felt that the Pad Thai needed the extra spiciness, but I liked how it was not at all salty. It was quite fresh since the shrimps and vegetables in the dish were still quite crunchy. 



It was a hot sunny day in Bangkok and I had to satiate my craving for a cold cup of Thai milk tea. The guy selling the milk tea placed a lot of ice in the cup. I thought that what I might be drinking was going to be flavorless with all the ice in it. But to my surprise, the amount of ice balanced the sweetness of the milk tea, turning it refreshingly sweet.

Come nightfall, we went to Yaowarat for the evening street food that Bangkok's Chinatown has been known for. I was so amused that even at late night, people were still swarming to the area to get a table and have dinner - or midnight snack, I guess.

We ordered the beef noodle soup. A lot of people were waiting to be seated and my curiosity was hyped up. Sadly, after we tried the dish, we were not satisfied at all. The soup had a strong taste of ground pepper - like light beef broth mixed with copious amounts of ground black pepper. I'm not sure if the Thais like that taste but I wasn't impressed at all.

The best that I ordered that night was the mussel omelette. The batter was freshly mixed as the eggs were cracked open after I ordered. With an abundance of mussels fried in the egg, I was delighted with every bite. Whatever was in the mixture, it made the aroma delectable, and my order delicious.

My brother was enticed to buy a bottle of fresh pomegranate juice. Fresh fruit juices were available at almost all corners of Bangkok's street food areas. The colors were quite vibrant and in Bangkok's hot weather, it was ok for us to pay around ten baht for a bottle and cool down.

At one area of Yaowarat Road near Phadung Dao Street were countless people enjoying grilled seafood and other seafood orders. We only found out about it after we chose to eat at the portion of Yaowarat Road near Ratchawong Street, and was walking to the MRT station. This is a must try for me next trip I have to Bangkok.



One of the most delightful finds that we had was another version of the Thai Papaya Salad. This time, instead of fresh papayas, friend papayas were mixed into the salad. The papayas were like crunchy chips in the salad. There was a strong lime flavor, adding a more tangy taste to it.

I was about to give up when, during my entire stay in Bangkok, I have not even tried my all-time favorite Thai dish, Tom Yam Goong. It would've been weird for me to be in Thailand and not even taste it at all. Fortunately, our last dinner was pretty unplanned. After walking around Pak Khlong Talat, we stumbled upon this small side street eatery that had a crowd of people in its tables. My mom urged us to check if they served Tom Yam Goong. I was relieved to find out that they do! In our sheer excitement, we immediately got a table, and, even if the servers had a hard time understanding us, we pointed our choice of dishes in their English menu.

We had another round of fried rice and my mom ordered the fish in yellow curry. I didn't care anymore what they wanted since all I was craving for was authentic Tom Yam Goong! The taste of the Thai basil, lemon grass, mushrooms and seafood, blended with whatever spices they used to create the soup, was simply divine. It was a literal 'save the best for last' moment and it was worth the wait.

Bangkok has a peculiar and amazing array of food choices that surprised me. Actually, one of my concerns in going to Thailand was the food. I knew that they used an abundance of spices in their dishes, and the flavors I might not be what I'm accustomed to. I was afraid to eat something really hot and spicy, or something quite sour. 

I was quite intrigued how exciting my epicurean adventure in Bangkok was. There were still a lot of places I wanted to try but my schedule was quite limited. Still, I was amused at how I allowed myself to experience street food dining, enjoying food bought from different stalls in Bangkok since I doubt I would do it in Manila. Other than shopping, I realized that dining is an itinerary worth pondering on when planning a trip to Bangkok.



No comments:

Post a Comment