Musings: Bangkok Eats Part I

Long ago I made up my mind I wouldn't try and visit the same destination twice when traveling unless necessary. There's been many countries, cities, and locations I've wished to come back but the sole place that has drawn me back, repeatedly, has been Thailand. I don't even know how to best explain my love for the country, the people, and the food but something about the land, since I first stepped foot on it back in 2010, has drawn me to it over and over again.

My most recent visit this year was my third now which was brought about by a minor project I was commissioned but mostly because I just needed to clear my head a bit and do some refocusing along the way. Even more blessed is the fact that some of my most respected, admired, and loved friends reside there and they all went to so much length again to let me have a good time, take me around, and let me chill and crash at their places along the way. 

One of the best things I love about Thailand is the food and I was spoiled for choice in my meals. On this trip, I wanted to move on beyond the pad Thais and such and uncover more of the wide scope of Thai cuisine. My friends more than helped me do so by taking me to so many of their favorite joints. As such, my appetite kicked into gear in ways it hasn't been since middle school and I was, of course, a happy camper. :)


So, without further ado, here's the first part of the look back on all the things I ate there. I've tried to make note of the names of the dishes, the places, and such but I'm still learning my way around Thai cuisine so bear with me if I can't recall some of the info (or feel free to help me out with the names and such!)


Ironically, the first meal I had on my first full day wasn't Thai at all but American at the ever-so-popular Dean & Deluca. My motto is always to go local when traveling so this wasn't my choice at all but it turned out I had some friends from Korea who just so happened to be in town and they had already made plans to come here. So I trekked it out to see them and have my first meal here.



Iced coffee

Hawaiian pizza and pepperoni pizza

Cobb salad

Steak and kidney pie with guinness

Lasagna

Full spread

The pizza and cobb salad were average but the lasagna and beef pot pie were (as begrudgingly as I'd like to admit) quite good. The lasagna wasn't overly salty and had a nice range of flavors and texture. The beef pie was my favorite with the golden, flaky crust and hot beef filling inside. The addition of the Guinness did wonders in both texture and flavor and I was reminded of all the delicious pies I had in London long ago. 

So yes, I suppose if you traveled all the way out to Bangkok and felt insistent on having Dean & Deluca, there's certainly no one to stop you. But it's still pretty much the same there as it is anywhere else in the world, except a few minor menu additions or modifications. 

I should say though, long after my visit, a close friend of mine living in Bangkok had a really bad experience at this same store where the staff tried to covertly charge more and some issues with the manager as well. So perhaps a red flag in terms of the service and staff at the Sathorn location? 

Dean & Deluca
84 Naratiwasrachanakarin Road
2 023 1616

Unlike Korea, you're spoiled for choice if you have a sweet tooth in Bangkok as an array of dessert cafes are just about everywhere you turn. On this day I met up with friends to hit up Another Hound Cafe inside Siam Paragon mall. Sampling some unique fusion Thai desserts like...

Sakoo piek- coconut sago, coconut sherbet with water chestnut

Lod-chong Singapore
Jack fruit and coconut milk

Some... sort of drink I can't remember ㅡㅡ;;

Tub tim krob

Even though I'm not a big dessert guy, I thoroughly enjoyed all the desserts here which utilize a lot of local fruits and ingredients that are just about impossible to find in Korea. I like how Another Hound puts their own creative twists on some favorite local desserts that are visually appealing without being pretentious. Definitely worth a checking out if you're at Siam and looking to get your blood sugar going again!

Another Hound By Greyhound
1st Floor, Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand (Pathumwan)
21294409
http://greyhoundcafe.co.th/

There was a bit of time left until it was dinner time so I followed my friends to their hotel, the swanky new Sofitel So Bangkok, to kill some time at their bar- the Park Society. Located high up in the hotel, the bar has a very lofty yet chic feel to it with occasional bursts of colors in design that could otherwise make the bar a rather dreary looking place at night. 

Killer views from the bar

The bar was doing some sort of before dinner promotion where guests could order complimentary drinks and help themselves to a light finger food buffet. I had planned on just paying for my own drinks but the manager graciously allowed me to just be counted as a hotel guest. Score! I didn't abuse the hospitality and only had two or so drinks but they were quite fantastic cocktails even though I'm not a big cocktail fan in general. 






Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to remember the names of the drinks but they were all on the whimsical and creative side including unique twists on old favorites. The staff and service was top notch and you can't really argue with the view either....

Park Society at Sofitel So
2 North Sathorn Road, Bangrak Bangkok, Thailand
+66 2624 0000
http://www.sofitel-so-bangkok.com/en/park-society.html

With a happy buzz, we moved onto dinner to be rejoined by our Thai friends in the Silom area. Our Thai friends' pick for us was Vanilla Home Cafe which is run by Vanilla restaurant brand as its first-ever take on Thai eats and street food.

The omelette rice with pork basil and Chinese sausage is a popular option at Vanilla Homecafe and I think it was the most popular dish of our group that night. I love pork basil and you can't really go wrong when it's mixed with Chinese sausage slices and a nice fluffy omelette, right?

Lava omelette rice w/ pork basil & Chinese sausages

The pork and crab dumplings were also popular and reminiscent of a dish you might get at dim sum. Nice bits of crab in there to give the whole thing a semi-sweet edge.

Pork and crab dumplings (Kanom cheep)

You can't see in the picture below but there's mackerel and greens inside the wrap. I was worried the mackerel might be a bit overpowering but you can't go wrong with the Thai green chili sauce for seafood which always manages to mask any fishy smell!

Mackerel roll salad (Meang pla too)

If you ask me, there should be more pomelo and grapefruit used in salads. The spicy, sweet chicken salad is elevated a whole another level with the bits of pomelo which adds a slightly sour and bitter note to really make the salad 4 dimensional. Perhaps the spices and pomelo may prove overwhelming for those not accustomed to such bolder flavors in a salad but if you're looking for a flavor wallop, this is your dish.

Pomelo salad (Yum som o)

The shrimp paste seems to draw a lot of buzz at Vanilla Homecafe and one of their popular dishes includes the Thai mackerel, vegetables platter with the shrimp paste dip. Think of it like a Thai version of crudite. I have to admit, a dip made of shrimp paste doesn't exactly make you jump on it but once you try it, you realize why it's a popular option. Slightly savory, slightly sweet, the dip is taken further with the crunch from the vegetables while the pan fried fish is seasoned and cooked to perfection.

Spicy shrimp paste dip with pan-fried Thai mackerel (Nam phrik kapi pla thu thod)



The aging Silom Complex doesn't exactly entice as much as the other newer, flashy malls in and around Bangkok but Vanilla Homecafe is a nice treasure tucked in the basement of the building. I hear they have some fine drinks and desserts as well. Their FB page.

Vanilla Homecafe
Silom Complex, B17 Basement Floor,
191 Silom Rd., Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
(0).2231.3168

For after dinner drinks (the ones before dinner don't count, of course), we were taken nearby to a really neat, and nifty bar that had recently opened called Vesper (yes, named after James Bond's love).



I can't rave enough about this fantastic bar which was wonderful in every way from the inside decor to the very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly staff.

The real highlight of Vesper though, are their list of witty and original cocktails. Featuring everything from potions to smoke and "cigars" to their own take on an alcoholic's high tea, Vesper really is a place where  fun and good times are produced from the bar. Seriously, just read through the menu and how can you NOT want to go?

Alice in Wonderland style "Drink Me" potion


"High Tea" alcoholics style


The Hunt

Portofino

I loved how Vesper went to great lengths to not only serve you a great drink but to give you an experience. All of us raved about the bar and I still badly wish there's a bar as fun and innovative as Vesper in Seoul...

I do want to point out that the noise level is on the raucous side (though that may have been because a couple of birthday groups were there on the night of our visit). Either way, as fun as it is, I wouldn't say it's the best place for some lovey dovey time for couples and better suited for going out with friends.



Vesper
10/15 Convent Road, Silom,
Bangkok 10500
(0) 2.235.2777
www.vesperbar.co

On a Saturday, my friend Noo graciously drove me and my friend to Pattaya to take us to the island of Koh Larn. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much since my past visit to Pattaya had revealed to me how frightfully dirty Pattaya can be but the island was a much cleaner, if not still crowded, beach side.

In a rush to get there, we skipped breakfast so we arrived to Pattaya absolutely starving. I mean, really famished. I was just about ready to start gnawing on the seat cushions and my friends know all too well Stew becomes a Mr. Crankster when he's hungry.

But my expert Thai friends took me right away to a local mom-and-pop joint for a quick meal. After entrusting my friends to order whatever they recommended, I waited eagerly with fork and spoon in hand.

VERY spicy baby peppers and garlic cloves. These are often found on tables for patrons that want some oomph

Iced black coffee, no syrup. I don't know how they get it so black but these drinks are such an effective yet inexpensive way to get a jolt in your systems

My friend's noodle dish was the first to arrive and at first I was quite boggled at the sight. A clump of noodles was surrounded by some snipped greens and fish balls but it was covered in a pink liquid coating and in a pool of pink broth. Yen ta fo, as I learned, is actually a Hakka Chinese derived dish and gets its distinctive pink color from red fermented bean curd. Variations of it exists around the SE Asia region where it's a popular quick and easy meal to eat on the go. 

Despite the jarring visual it has a very mild yet sweet and slightly aromatic flavor to it. The visual is bolder than the taste and is quite delicious. I ended up even buying ramen in this flavor to bring back home later on! 

Yen ta fo

A lighter fish ball noodle soup with extra thin noodles was also brought to the table. Light yet filling, the broth was heartier than it looked and very tasty. And taking a bite out of a fish ball in between always brought a welcome addition to the flavors in your mouth.


The barbecue pork slices with gravy over rice is another Hakka Chinese derived dish and what was my personal favorite. Despite not being a huge pork fan I downed that dish so fast and so clean that my friends ended up ordering another plate for me.... which I then downed again...

The crispy skin yet succulent and moist meat inside, the light gravy that acted as the glue of sorts for the pork and rice... it was so good I just about danced a jig right then and there. 


In my defense, the average serving portions in Thailand is a bit smaller than Korea but still, after my wondrous meal, I couldn't help but feel like a glutton surrounded by all the empty plates and bowls...

I just about saved the dishwasher most of the work from my dishes and utensils...

Getting to Koh Larn was quite the trip which had us walking, taking a 30 minute ferry, and then riding on the back of a motor bike. 



But we finally managed to get to one of the beaches on Koh Larn!



Interestingly, as reflective of the strong Russian population in Pattaya, most of the beach goers there were Russians too. The water was much cleaner and less noisier than Pattaya however, and it was great to take a dip in.

Frolicking in water always brings about an appetite and we treated ourselves to a light snack meal by the beach. 

We started off with the local Leo and Chang beers. A culture shock many foreigners visiting Thailand receives is from the fact many places serve beer with ice as a way to keep it chilled. Sure, it defies all the proper "etiquette" of beer drinking but when temperatures are in the 33+ degrees with humidity, the ice comes as a welcome reprieve from the unforgiving Thailand heat.


For eats, we decided to go with steamed mussels and som tam. Shellfish in general has been a food category that's only in recent years begun to grow on me but one of my favorite condiments to go with seafood is the Thai green chili sauce that's almost always served with seafood dishes in Thailand. Tartand extra spicy, it's a bold yet light enough sauce that pairs so well with so many critters from the sea. It's quickly become one of my favorite condiments in recent years. I gorged myself on mussels with sips of my beer in between to try and tame the spiciness.



Feastin by the sea!

Som tam, or papaya salad, is one of my favorite Thai dishes and the ones served here by the beach was excellent but hands down the most spiciest som tam I've eaten yet. Even for a spice lover like me I was gasping and gulping down my ice beer in between bites. Whether it's because of a hidden masochist side in me or what though, I couldn't stop eating it though. Sigh, I love som tam.

Don't let the innocent look fool you, this was the spiciest som tam I've eaten yet.

In addition to my wonderful friends, we were joined by this little guy who promptly plopped himself right in front of us (and our table with food) as soon as our dishes arrived. Right away he started making the saddest face you could imagine and I'm surprised actual tears weren't streaming down his face. I should have recorded a video but this guy just about deserved an Oscar award for his acting. When he saw we weren't giving in though, he promptly got up and walked over to another group with food before dramatically collapsing on the floor and doing his act again. Clever, clever.

A masterful performance from this guy

Unfortunately our trip was only a day trip so after a few hours we had to take the tuk tuk, ferry, and walk back to the car before poor Noo made the 3 hour drive again back to Bangkok. That Noo, always a trooper!

Back in Bangkok, we finished off our day with yet another meal at a local joint, which was more like a feast.

Congee

Cockle shells (pad pat hoy)

Fried glass noodles (pad woon sen)

Minced pork and olive stir fry (kao pad nam liap)

Fresh coconut


From this meal, the cockle shells and minced pork and olives stood out the most for me. 

The sauce in the cockle shells were spicy and pungent that played so well with the delicate shell meat. The minced pork and olives is very savory and at first I wasn't the biggest fan, but it grew on me over the meal and I really enjoyed it as the meal progressed. 

On another day I was taken around the Siam area for lunch where, after three visits to Thailand, I made my first visit to the touristy Som Tam Nua and Mango Tango.

Stepping in, just about half the patrons were Koreans with guidebooks in hand. Famed for its different varieties of som tam (I think there's like 9 or 10 varieties), the place has been around for decades- though locals will tell you the taste and price has changed drastically since its budding popularity and accolade. You can expect lines during most lunch and dinner hours. Our dishes for this meal included

Som tam... I forgot which kind

Fried chicken wings


Laab moo

Pork floss over noodles (Pad kanom jeen)

The fried chicken was the best of the meal. Like I had been forewarned, the tastes at Som Tam Nua seemed heavily adapted to non-Thai tastes with dishes like the som tam (ironically their signature dish) being too sweet even for my taste. The pad kanom jeen's pork floss and cracklings were nice but the noodles were rather overcooked. The laab moo was just ok but you could certainly get better around town.

Overall, aside from the fried chicken, the dishes at Som Tam Nua were average and perhaps more suited if you have kids with picky taste buds or don't like spicy dishes.

Som Tam Nua
291/14 Siam Square Soi. 5 Rama 1 Rd. Pathumwan, Bangkok
+662.2514880

No proper touristy course wouldn't be complete without stopping at the nearby Mango Tango for some mango desserts.



Mango Aloha - Diced mango in milk sago topped with mango sauce



Mango Tango - Mango sorbet, mango pudding, and fresh mango


Nothing absolutely mind blowing about the desserts but for a mango-starved mango lover like myself living in Korea where mangoes are exorbitantly priced... no complaints. Just looking at all the fresh mangoes alone behind the counter made me salivate. If I could get my mango fix in Korea at these prices, I'd be the first in line everyday. Sigh. But for now, I'll occasionally splurge for the 4 or 5 mangoes which goes for about 10,000 won here...

FYI - Interestingly enough, the light fixtures at Mango Tango are the traditional tools used to harvest the mango fruit.

Please give me one mango picker and a full, thriving mango tree... and I will be a happy man

Mango Tango (Silom branch)
Thanon Rama I, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
+66 2 658 4660

But an absolutely fantastic drinks and dessert place I did go to that same day was a place called Roast Coffee and Eatery in the Thong Lor area.

It was my friend Ying who recommended and drove us here and I really loved everything about this place from the environment to their baked goods.



In lieu of a traditional menu, Roast prints a newspaper-like menu with tidbits, info, and seasonal items and such. So quirky and fun. Drinks, and desserts were all fantastic.







Roast Coffee and Eatery
251 Thong Lo 13 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
+66 2 185 2865
http://www.roastbkk.com/

On a particularly fun day, I met Noo near her office in Silom where she took me to a nearby market and eatery area that she frequents. I'm pretty sure I was the only non-Thai there that day as I rubbed elbows and sat with locals getting their chow down.

Looking back, it's amazing to think how I handled the heat in this non-air conditioned, open air building but I surmise it's because I was distracted by all the delicious food and scents.



Noo took me to one of her favorite stalls to get noodle dishes for us.

Noo ordering like a boss




Interestingly enough, they ran out of the flat wide noodles for pad see yew, but thanks to Noo's special request, they made it for me anyways with thinner noodles.

Again, embarrassingly, I scarfed down my food so fast that Noo took me to another stall where she ordered up some minced pork and basil (pat krapaow moo sap) and soy sauce seasoned eggs (moo palo) for me.

You can't go wrong with minced pork and basil and I loved eating it with rice with the savory but creamy eggs. The moo palo is very similar to the soy sauce braised eggs in Korea so it almost felt like a Thai and Korean (second) meal for me.



Just as I started eating, Noo disappeared for a moment and came back with fresh fried fish cakes coated in a sweet and tangy sauce (tod mun pla). Fried fresh before you and placed in a bag with a few cucumber slices, these are such a delectable treat! The bits of herbs and seasonings negates any fishy smells while the sweet and tart sauce is finger lickin' good. Definitely another one of my favorite things I ate this time around.

Tod mun pla

Noo also took me to a mart near her old university to explore. Though a lot cleaner and neater due to a recent renovation, she explained to me it's still a very traditional Thai mart.



I was particularly intrigued by all the different fruit, many of which I had never seen before. I fell in love with a lot of the fruit here including salacca, longan, and mangosteen, which you can read in-depth about from my previous post.


Meeting up with old friends for dinner, we met at a wonderful restaurant called Khua Kling + Pak Sod- a family-run restaurant in Thong Lor that specializes in southern Thai cuisine. As I understand from my still very small comprehension of Thai cuisine, the flavors of the south are bolder and fiery than the north, and I was quite excited to get my first full southern Thai food experience!

Just like our conversation, the food was flowing and we ended up enjoying a real feast!

Spicy pork ribs fried in spicy paste (Khua kling)

Leang leaves and eggs (bai leang pad khai)

Braised pork leg with tofu and eggs

(Kanom jeen with crab curry)


Giant lump crab meat in the super spicy curry

Shrimp stir fry with stinky beans, kapi, etc (Gung pad kapi sai sataw)


Turmeric fried fish with garlic chips


???

Shrimp with tamarind sauce 

The meal was a wonderful myriad of flavors from savory to sweet to tart. My friends were especially concerned if I would be able to handle one of their signature dish, the spicy yellow curry with crab. It was definitely very spicy but not something the Korean in me couldn't handle. I loved how plump and generous they were with the crab lumps in the curry.

Standout dishes for me though were the shrimp with stinky beans and shrimp with tamarind sauce. It was my first time trying sataw beans (stinky beans) which I hear draws just as divisive an opinion among Thais as foreigners. The stinky part comes from the pungent flavor of the beans which I thought tasted a bit like raw garlic cloves. But I love garlic anyways so I enjoyed the strong flavors of the dish. The shrimp with tamarind sauce didn't look like much but love the sweet and savory tastes and how fragrant it was.

For those wary of the heat, dishes like the leang leaves and eggs stir fry, tumeric fish, and braised pork and eggs were still delicious without the fire so don't let that be a deterrence from trying out this wonderful place!

Khua Kling + Pak Sod
98/1 Soi Thonglor 5, Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok, Thailand
+662 185-3977
https://www.facebook.com/KhuaKlingPakSod

For after dinner drinks, we hit up a really nifty spot called Tuba Bar and Restaurant nearby. Non-conformity is the theme here and the eclectic design, props, and decor really leaves you marveling and gawking at everything around you. With such clashes in art and design, you'd think it'd be more of an eye sore but somehow it all comes together to create a really neat, chill vibe.

Beer and cocktail lovers alike will be happy here with the extensive menu of European draft beers and for their enormous cocktails. Their 1+1 happy hour seems to also attract a lot of buzz. As eye-popping as the cocktails were, they were a little too fruity and juicy for my taste so if I ever hit this place up again, I think I'll go with the draft beers.

Please note though, strange for a Bangkok bar, Tuba allows smoking inside so non-smokers may want to keep that into consideration.



Enormous cocktails.
My phone, which is already considered quite huge, looks tiny compared to the drinks!

Noo who is always putting up with my shenanigans

Tuba Bar and Restaurant
34 Soi Sukhumvit 63, Sukhumvit Rd. Ekkamai 21, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
+66 2 711 5500
http://www.design-athome.com/

I was graciously treated out to lunch one day at the much buzzing Spice Market at the Four Seasons to another delightful meal. The Spice Market has garnered a lot of press and popularity from locals and tourists alike. The Four Seasons is impressive as is already while the Spice Market, located inside the hotel, goes to great lengths to resemble a traditional spice market from the past. It also helps it's situated right next to a beautiful courtyard.

Beautiful courtyard at the Four Seasons

Interior of Spice Market

Various spices adorn the wall for decoration


Nifty details such as a spice scale lamp for added touch

Service is exceptional with friendly and helpful wait staff who are both attentive and brings about a sincere welcoming presence. The atmosphere was rich and luxurious but not overbearing.



The meal started off with complimentary miang khem, a Thai favorite appetizer/snack consisting of betel leaves used as wraps for peanuts, dried shrimp, lime, shallots and other goods. Spice Market's was fresh and its colorful draw was immediate and a wonderfully fragrant way to kick off the meal.

Betel leaves with peanuts, dried shrimp, lime and other assortments (Miang Khem)


The tom yumg goong was filled aplenty with straw mushrooms and prawns. The soup was a lighter color than usual but it was no less lacking in flavor albeit less spicy and "cleaner" tasting.

Tom yum goong

The green curry was creamy deliciousness and even better with the soft, steamed rice.

Green curry with chicken (Gaeng Kiew Warn Gai Rue Moo)

Curry and rice

This meal was my first tasting of kaow tang na thang- in which rice crackers are accompanied by a creamy dip. In Spice Market's case one is made of shrimp and the other with tuna. I had my doubts about the dips as they looked eerily similar to the fermented jeot-gal in Korean cuisine which is used as an ingredient in cooking for its fishy and salty tastes. But both dips here were surprisingly mellow with a delectable creaminess from the coconut milk. Just spoon a bit of a dip on the nicely toasted rice cracker and enjoy the crunch and taste. I'm surprised this dish isn't more popular as an appetizer in Thai restaurants!

Rice crackers with two dips of minced pork, shrimp and tuna (Kaow Tang Na Thang)

Closeup of the two dips

Delicious!

The som tam moo krob (papaya salad with crispy pork) came with plenty of perfectly crispy pork belly slices which were tantalizing in every way. The som tam itself was a bit on the sweeter side but held up well against the fatty pork belly bits. 

Som Tam with crispy pork (Som Tam Moo Krob)

Closeup of the som tam moo krob

The pad thai at Spice Market is presented a bit differently than usual with the most visually noticeable aspect being the nifty criss-crossed egg net the stir-fried noodles comes wrapped in. The rest of the fixings- including the mung bean sprouts, lime wedge, and chives- are provided on the side for mixing as is the giant prawn head on the side. It's a creative spin on the foreigner favorite and its striking visual entices one's eyes and utensils to it right away.

Prawn pad Thai wrapped in egg (Phad Thai Khai Hor)

You could tell whoever cooked the dish was an expert with the pan as the noodles were cooked to that right point of tenderness before it gets too mushy. I would've preferred the flavors of the egg cooked into the pad thai like it's usually done but props to the chef for getting that egg net so soft and gorgeously yellow.



Full meal

Overall I did feel the bolder flavors of Thai cuisine were subdued only a slight bit towards non Thais but even with adapted tastes, Spice Market's dishes would blow the Thai restaurants in Korea out of the water. All the dishes were still superb, extremely fresh, and a delight to the senses. I would have liked to have gone with some bolder and newer choices for the meal but as I was being treated I didn't really have a say in the dish choices but they were all excellent. For food, service, and atmosphere, the Spice Market did not disappoint!

Spice Market at the Four Seasons
155 Rajadamri Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10330, Thailand
+66 2 126 8866

My awesome friend Noo took me to another wonderful Thai restaurant for dinner one night in the Thonglor area called Supanniga Eating Room. The owner is the grandson of the owner of Supanniga Home, a boutique hotel in Thailand's Kohn Kaen province, making Supanniga Eating Home a "cousin" of sorts to the original. The dishes here are done in the style of the grandmother's hometown of Trat in eastern Thailand. As such, the dishes heavily utilize ingredients from the eastern coast including dried shrimp, shrimp paste, tropical fruits and vegetables and the restaurant's famous fish sauce.

The two story building is mostly wooden with a sleek edge but just enough coziness to make it feel like you're dining as the guest  of someone's home. I always trust Noo's food choices when it comes to Thai food so I let her surprise me with the dishes for the meal and here's what came out.

@_@ so much food!

The yum cha plu sardine is an interesting salad of sardines, chili, shallots, tomato sauce, and cha plu leaves. Cha plu leaves apparently doesn't have an official English name but is sometimes called wild betel. It is, however, not to be confused with betel leaves which are more intense in flavor.

I couldn't really make out the flavors of the cha plu leaves but the earthy yet savory dressing was wonderful with the meaty fish bits. The spices and flavorings helped mask any fishy tastes yet didn't overpower the sardine meat. What a way to dress up the humble sardine!

Sardines in chili dressing with cha plu leaves, tomato sauce (Yum cha plu sardine)

The choo chi pla nue aon was the most visually striking dish of the meal with its fiery red color. It also ended up being my personal favorite dish of the meal. In this dish, nue aon fish is deep fried and then sauteed with chili and curry to transform into a feisty and fun dish. The flavors change into intriguing tastes as you chew on it while the spicy kick is quite addicting. I found myself reaching for it repeatedly during the meal.

Nue Aon fish deep-fried then sauteed with chili and curry (Choo Chi Pla Nue Aon)


The tom kloang pla nue aon krob is reminiscent of tom yum goong but with a smokier depth from the smoke dried nue aon fish. The smoky notes adds an interesting dimension to the flavorful soup which was bit overwhelming on first taste for me but it grew on me as the meal progressed. The mix of spices and herbs may prove too much for those who are still getting to know the broad spectrum of Thai cuisine but if you can see through the seemingly brazen tastes and scents, you can reach the eye of the flavor storm and see how it somehow just all comes together. I definitely would like to revisit this dish in the future! 

Smoke-dried nue-aon fish, deep fried and boiled with traditional herbs (Tom Kloang Pla Nue Aon Krob)

Another crudite-reminding dish was the tao jiao long goong sub. This, like the nam phrik kapi pla thu thod, I had at Vanilla Homecafe, opened my eyes to a new world of fish, shrimp, and other seafood-based dip that I learned could be used to make some tasty dips. I'm normally a bit averse to strong fishy scents but something about the coconut milk and other spices really makes these dips a mellow yet delightful seasoning to eat with your vegetables. 

Minced shrimp and pork, salted soy beans, and coconut milk with vegetables (Tao Jiao Long Goong Sub)




Supanniga Eating Room
160/11, Soi Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
+66 2 714 7508
http://www.supannigaeatingroom.com/

I had my first Swensen's experience this time around too to get a hold of the mango desserts. I forgot what this was called but it was pretty good with some sticky rice, coconut stuff, and whatnot although I would have been fine with just the mango sorbet. Or just plain mangoes. Man, I love mangoes.


I thought this green thing was a fruit at first but I learned it's some sort of Thai sweet. I noticed them being sold in supermarkets and such later on.



Dessert is always sweeter when you're sharing it with some of your favorite people!

Whew. That's a lot of eating. But damned if I'm not drooling looking back on these pictures again!

This was only the first half of the things I ate during my trip so be on the lookout for part II of my Thailand eats! Man, I just got super hungry again from writing this up... 

Comments

  1. First time commenting, I believe. :)
    Thanks for the post! I love reading about all your adventures in the wonderful world of Asian cuisine. Your pictures especially enhance the posts. Just out of curiosity, what camera do you use? The resolution is amazing...not to mention the shots themselves. Thanks again!

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  2. Hi! Thanks for commenting and glad you're enjoying the posts and pics. In some of my posts, such as this one, it's actually a mix from my phone, friends' phone, and my camera, but the good quality pictures come from my Sony NEX-5R mirrorless camera I got about 2 years ago. I used to lug around my DSLR for pictures but these mirrorless cameras really are something. If you're looking into getting a camera I would definitely suggest a mirrorless camera and Sony is top notch stuff.

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