Whatever the budget, Bangkok is a food lovers paradise!
POSTED BY JENNIE
In Bangkok, food is definitely the main attraction, but what makes it even more attractive is the price. Some of the yummiest and tastiest food on this planet can be enjoyed in Bangkok – for loose change.
At the weekend market Jatujak, be sure to include these 2 incredible items. The first one is a Thai snack called Miang Kam which literally means a bite of food wrapped in a leaf. The snack is made up of 3 components. First is the leaf, usually a wild betel leaf with a distinct fragrance. Second would be the filling, made up of finely chopped ginger, lime, shallot, chili, dried shrimps, roasted peanuts and coconut meat. The third and last component is the caramelized sauce made of water, palm sugar, shrimp paste, galangal root, lemon grass and shallot. So much work really for so little money.
It’s spicy and salty and sweet with different textures from the peanuts, the coconut and the leaf itself. I would say it’s a real gourmet experience.
The other item is a dessert, something you’ll surely appreciate in the heat of Bangkok. It’s called Thap Tim Krop or Red Rubies. The red rubies are actually water chestnut coated with tapioca and a sweet syrup which is eaten with coconut milk and crushed ice. What makes it unique is that the coconut milk has a smokey flavour.
For under $10 you can get the most flavourful, most filling meal that you will most likely put on your list of favourites.
For Thailand’s national dish, Pad Thai, follow the queue. Pad Thai is a rice noodle dish flavored with shrimp oil, cooked with fresh deep sea prawns and topped with coriander, peanuts, chili and a wedge of lime.
Pad Thai Thip Samai in Bangkok has developed quite a reputation and you certainly cannot miss it because of the long line made up of locals and tourists alike. When the doors open at 5pm there is already a crowd of hungry customers. Standing in line is an experience in itself and watching each cook man his work station is quite entertaining. There are different cooking stations for the shrimp, the sauce, the noodles and the egg and these guys are experts at what they do. Remember to eat it right away, it’s best when eaten piping hot.
Soi Polo Chicken makes a wicked fried chicken! Crispy and golden brown on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. It is topped with loads of crispy fried crushed garlic and served with sticky rice and because there is always a line for take out, the chicken never has a chance to sit and get cold, it is always served right after it is fried, chopped up and topped with that amazing crunchy garlic.
This restaurant is an institution in Bangkok and any local would know where it is. Kalpapruek means wooded area and these grounds, although now in the middle of cosmopolitan Bangkok used to be a wooded area. The restaurant, an actual royal residence was opened in 1976 and the food served here are the recipes served in the royal court. Presentation is fantastic, the food is delicious and the prices are so reasonable.
Now here’s a tip, they serve a chocolate cake that people have been coming back for through the years so be sure to order that as well.
If you want to go high end, Bangkok has that too. Lots of it.
For fine dining in a colonial setting, there’s Blue Elephant, a cooking school and restaurant housed in an imposing yellow building. Highly polished wooden floors, ceiling fans and crisp table linen add to the colonial ambiance. The set menu will give you a little bit of everything and is a great introduction to Thai Royal cuisine.
Issaya Siamese Club, #21 on the list of Asia’s Top Restaurants serves modern Thai Cuisine created by celebrity chef Ian Kittichai. Entering Issaya Siamese Club is like stepping into another century. The gardens lead to a 105-year old Portuguese colonial house which has been lovingly transformed into a fine dining restaurant.
Go for Chef Ian’s signature Glazed baby Back Ribs simmered in Tom Yum stock or his Massamam Lamb Curry Shank which is slow cooked for 12 hours.
Another restaurant on the list of Asia’s 50 Best restaurants is Nahm coming in at #5.
It is known for combining big, bold flavors with meticulous attention to detail, fresh local produce and traditional cooking methods. Recipes at Nahm are Influenced as much by the street food of Bangkok as by centuries-old cookbooks belonging to private Thai households.
Spice levels here can be sweat inducing and eye popping so be warned! But it’s authentic for sure and there is layer after layer of flavour and texture, not to mention gorgeous plating. Two dishes to try – Nahm’s Pomelo Salad with Kingfish and their Muslim curry of oxtail with fresh nutmeg, ginger and eggplants.
From street food to high end dining, food in Bangkok is always presented with care. From the way they stack their fruits, or cut their vegetables or put together condiments, whether it’a a $2 snack or a $30 dish, food in Bangkok is always a work of art.