Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Bangkok - Feasting Along Chinatown's Plaeng Nam Road

We didn't have to go far to find food in Bangkok - what with all of the food around Yaowarat Road and the side-streets off of it.

One side-street in particular, Plaeng Nam Road, captured our attention. One night, after having already eaten earlier but needing a little something extra, we were seduced by a satay place.

Beautifully tender and flavorful pork satay with a luxurious peanut dipping sauce. We inhaled these.

We had passed by a place serving up food on hot, steaming skillets a few times and eventually stopped in one night for dinner.

Chilli basil noodle:

Not super attractive, but certainly tasty. Savory and spicy.

We also had their fried oyster omelet (Hoy Tod):

Also very good. Here is the setup where they were getting the skillets piping hot:

When you can eat like this without going much more than a block from your hotel, you know you picked a good place to stay!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bangkok - Fried Fish Balls, Market Streets and Khao Moo Daeng

Our first morning in Bangkok, we rolled out of our hotel hungry. Fortunately, we found a guy frying up fish balls on a little side-street off of Yaowarat Road:

Served up hot with a sweet and spicy sauce, these were a perfect way to start the day.

At least somewhat fortified, we set off wandering around the Chinatown alleys, where all sorts of stuff was for sale.

Including a place that specialized in pork rinds - I don't think I'd ever seen this much pork rind in one place before.

Lunch was Khao Moo Daeng (red pork rice):

Three types of pork - sausage, bbq pork and pork belly, served over rice and topped with a really flavorful sauce.

The place we had it was called Si Morakot, not far from Wat Traimit (a temple housing a ginormous gold Buddha). Khao Moo Daeng is all they make, and they do it well.

The place was efficient, friendly and bustling with locals having lunch - exactly kind of spot where we love to eat.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Bangkok - Getting our bearings in Chinatown and Kuai Chap Uan Photchana

Our first evening in Bangkok, we headed out from our hotel on Yaowarat Road in Chinatown into the bustle of the evening street food scene.

Lots of activity, and lots of food. Our first snack was from a stall that was serving up both sweet and savory versions of what I think was Kanom Buang:

We opted for the savory version. Almost like a taco, we weren't quite sure what was in them, but they were tasty.

We had dinner sitting out on the street in the overflow of a place called Uan Photchana.

The dish here is Kuai Chap, a peppery pork soup with a really interesting style of spiral-rolled rice noodle. Served with pieces of pork, a variety of pork offal and an egg, it was delicious.

Right by our hotel, this seafood place was doing a crazy busy business, with a whole brigade of cooks working out on the street:

The next morning, you would never have known it had been there:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Chiang Mai - Warorot and Muang Mai Markets

We visited a couple of markets during our stay in Chiang Mai. First up was Warorot Market - just a short walk east of the old city.

There was plenty of stuff to see, including this massive banana stand we came across just before we hit the main market:

Our primary focus, however, was on looking for the food court so we could have some lunch.

We finally found it in the basement. We checked out a number of stalls before ordering a papaya salad from this one:

It was hard to resist this friendly lady working in front of a giant picture of herself.

The salad was very tasty, with lots of chunks of some kind of pork sausage. She also didn't hold back on the chili level, which we appreciated (she held up a chili as a question, and we gave her an enthusiastic thumbs-up).

We accompanied it with a dish from another stall:

Described as a "spicy lemon noodle with pork", this dish was not very spicy. It was delicious, however, and different from anything we'd had before - minced pork, sliced pork, pork balls and some crackling. The broth had a nice combination of creamy sweetness from coconut milk and bright acidity from the lemon.

Another day we were walking in the same area, but a bit farther north and came across the Muang Mai Market.

The market was quite large - sprawling across multiple blocks.

We were there in late morning, so a lot of stuff had already packed up, but there was still a lot going on.

It would be amazing to spend more time in a place like this and be able to shop for cooking ingredients. On this visit, however, we had to make do with feasting with our eyes.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Chiang Mai - SP Chicken

We had been wanting to try some Thai roast chicken, so one afternoon we stopped into SP Chicken and got ourselves a bird:

We were lucky we weren't any later, as we got their last chicken. People who came in just after us left disappointed.

There wasn't anything really wrong with our meal, but we were underwhelmed. The chicken was tasty enough, but didn't live up to our high expectations.

We didn't get a chance to try it anywhere else, but hopefully there are better options in Chiang Mai.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Chiang Mai - Northern Thai food at Tong Tem Toh

One evening in Chiang Mai we ventured a bit outside of our normal old city stomping grounds to the Nimman district. The reason was to have dinner at Tong Tem Toh, a restaurant that specializes in Northern Thai food.

The setting was very nice, and the place was busy - which gave us a chance to peruse the menu as we waited for a table.

The heart of our dinner was a massive Northern Thai food sampler plate:

In the center are two bowls of Nam Prik - Thai chili dip. The one in front is Nam Prik Ong - made with minced pork, tomato and chili. The one behind it is Nam Prik Noom, which is primarily made from very hot roasted green chilies.

Both dips were very good with the provided veggies and pork rinds - we particularly enjoyed the green Nam Prik Noom.

Also on the plate was some Sai Oua sausage (which was better than the version we had tried earlier) and some Jeen Som Mok Kai - a fermented pork and egg mixture that we were not particularly fond of.

We also ordered Burmese pork curry:

It was absolutely delicious, as was a plate of grilled pork:

They were grilling this out front of the restaurant while we were waiting and the smell was irresistible, so we had to order some even though we ended up with too much food.

Overall it was a delicious and very interesting meal in a nice atmosphere.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Chiang Mai - Street Food Snacks

Outside of regular meals (and sometimes in place of them), we sampled various street foods during our time in Chiang Mai.

One evening, after having some beef noodle soup near the Old City south gate, we saw a stall (pictured above) selling various grilled meats. We'd been wanting to try some Thai sausages, so we grabbed some Sai Oua.

On our way back to our hotel, we saw a little cart grilling up another type of sausage - Sai Krok Isan.

Neither sausage was amazing, but they made for a nice late-night snack.

On another day, we found ourselves walking about and saw a guy grilling up squid skewers.

It was around the time school got out and he was being well patronized by the local kids, so we figured it was a good bet and grabbed ourselves a few skewers.

A bit chewy, but really nice flavor and a fun street-side treat.

We had seen various stands selling coconut-flavored rice pancakes, and we finally pulled the trigger on some:

Soft and sweet with lots of coconut flavor.

We had also seen pieces of durian for sale all over the place. We'd never tried it before, so we had to get some:

We liked it a lot - it had a really nice custard-like flavor. The smell was not off-putting at all. It was not durian season, though - maybe they are more pungent then?

Our hotel was very firm on the durian issue, so obviously it can sometimes be a problem...