Bangkok is a food hub where you can find a variety of food; southern Thai food, northern Thai food, general Thai food and also international food. The first few Thai dishes that would come up in your mind when thinking of Thai food are Tom Yung Kung and Pad Thai. No, they are not our everyday meals and yes, they are tasty but that’s not all we eat. Let’s try something else when you are in Bangkok and here are 5 bites you should definitely try.
Khao Kra Pao Gai:
Stir-fried chicken with basil and chili (Khao Kra Pao Gai) served on top of rice with a fried egg (some people prefer omelette) is our default dish when we cannot think of anything else. Don’t get me wrong, this meal will never let you down except if you found a shitty restaurant. It is simple, delicious and a full meal in one plate. You can order sliced pork, minced pork, beef, seafood or even vegetarian. Whatever you like.
You can find this dish in any Thai restaurant in Bangkok from cheap to fancy ones. Some places might add other vegetables, which for me, is unacceptable. It has to have only basil leaves and chili. If the place you go to cannot make this dish well, don’t ever go back there again.
Best Place to eat: “Boon Song” is one of the best Thai street restaurants in Bangkok and their famous dish is all Kra Pao menu. It is located in Pinklao district opening from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. on Sundays to Fridays. https://www.facebook.com/ตี๋-บุญส่ง-556028044451548/
Kway Tiew Nahm Moo:
Bored of rice? Try our pork noodle soup (Kway Tiew Nahm Moo). Influenced by Chinese, Thais innovated our own noodles. Pork noodle soup is our favorite (second would be beef noodle soup). The pork bones have been boiled for few hours and that stock is the key. Then you have 4 types of noodles to choose from; rice vermicelli, egg noodles, thin rice noodles and wide rice noodles. The key ingredients are minced or sliced pork, pork balls (some places put fish balls), bean sprouts and then topped with fried garlic flakes and coriander. You can season with chili flakes, sugar, fish sauce and vinegar.
Best Place to Eat: “Kway Tiew Moo Rung Rueng” down in Sukhumvit 26 (about 50 meters from the main street) is a place to go. They have been open for decades and their soup is so good. Please go there before 12 noon or after 1pm because this place will be packed with Bangkokers. They open everyday from 8.30 a.m. to 16.30.
Khao Niew Moo Ping:
The bite I’m about to tell you about is the all-day grab for everyone. This one is grilled skewered pork with sticky rice (Khao Niew Moo Ping). It is cheap and easy to find on the streets of Bangkok. Some marinade pork with milk to make it softer and some marinade with their own secret recipe. The pork is juicy, sweet and soft but it cannot be completed without sticky rice. Normally, they sell it 5 baht per stick and 5 baht for sticky rice. Just 3 – 4 sticks and a small bag of sticky rice, you will be full and it costs you only a dollar.
Best Place to eat: If you stay on Khao San Road or somewhere nearby, head to Pra Arthit Road for the famous pushcart. She’s been selling Khao Niew Moo Ping at this spot (in front of Soi Rambuttri) for 26 years. Her recipe is different as she dips a banana leaf into coconut milk then coats the pork with it. That is why her pork is very savory. She offers you a choice of 2 dipping sauces; sweet or sour. You can even mix those 2 sauces together but I recommend no sauce at all so you can experience the real taste. One more thing, the owner is deaf so just show how many skewers you want with your fingers and point to the sticky rice and dipping sauce if you want one. Just point and smile!
Gai Tod Ta Krai:
So, after the full meal, you want to chill out and have a cold beer at a bar. Surely you will order Thai beer like Singha, Chang or Leo and maybe they will give you some roasted peanuts. But that is not what we do in most Thai bars. We order some appetizers or snacks. Fried chicken with lemongrass (Gai Tod Ta Krai) is our to-go-for dish. Fried chicken is already good with beer but we put it up to another level with fried lemongrass. So you end up eating the whole plate.
Best place to eat: Not every bar will fry the lemongrass so there is one place on Soi Rambuttri called “Studiyo” that make the best fried chicken with fried lemongrass. The funny truth is their fried lemongrass tastes better than the chicken. https://goo.gl/maps/syKhAGofQJx
Cha Nom Yen:
One last thing (this is more like a gulp not a bite). Iced Thai milk tea (Cha Nom Yen) is a must beverage you should try. It is creamy, sweet and so refreshing to drink during a hot day. You can get it at a nice café or many beverage pushcarts which you will find on Bangkok’s streets.
Best place to drink: This is all about your personal taste but my favorite place is 3house which is a guesthouse / bar / restaurant / café. Located in a small alley (next to KFC) on Khao San Road, it opens everyday from 12 noon to midnight but the kitchen is closed every Wednesdays. https://www.facebook.com/3househostelandbar/
So next time you are in Bangkok, get yourself a real Bangkok bite.