FOOD ESCAPADE IN BANGKOK EPISODE 2
Sawasdee Thailand, Food Escapade in Bangkok Episode 2 here we are!
If you haven’t read episode 1 of my Food Escapade in Bangkok I invite you to follow this link.
As you guys know if you follow my adventures here or on social media i am currently visiting Thailand for the first time and more especially Bangkok at the moment. Discovering all kind of new flavours and dishes while enjoying the sunny weather and kindness of Thai people.
Bangkok is really a beautiful and energetic city. Mid-April is a perfect time for visiting the city as it is hot and sunny every day (or am i just lucky?). I didn’t get a drop of rain so far which is really pleasant for a sun-seeker like myself. Bangkok is not only a city where you can eat amazing food, it is also a really interesting city with many things to discover and experience.
A quick update on my situation:
After spending my first few days in the energetic area of Khaosan (the backpacker area) and especially during Songkran Festival (Thai New Year’s national holiday, yes it was amazing!). I was tired of the “Ey Mate you’re also here visiting on a Round The World trip, getting ready to get smashed tonight?” vibe at every encounter. I thought it was better to experience another side of Bangkok and looked for a Condo with a different atmosphere somewhere else.
I moved to the Asoke Ratchada area which is really a compelling part of the city to stay in and more central than Khaosan road.
Now let’s talk about our topic of interest, Food in Bangkok, and my experiences for this second episode of Food Escapade. It is a several days report that you will find below, with information about a great Night Market, a visit to a random but delicious restaurant Zabb one Ratchada, and a refreshing Papaya Salad at Som Tam Nua amongst many other things.
RATCHADA ROT FAI TRAIN NIGHT MARKET
I don’t even know where to start when talking about Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market. This market is much bigger than the previous night market i visited (Talad Neon) with so many food and shopping options.
Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market is a vibrant and crowded market, a perfect place to experience food in Bangkok during your holidays. I have visited this market many times during my stay as it was only fifteen minutes away from my condo, and i can tell that it was packed every night!
I saw so many food options at the Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market that my head was spinning having a hard time deciding what to try first.
There are several alleys dedicated to Food with lots of stalls where you can sit and eat. One thing to mention is that the seating capacity in most of these stalls is often limited and it can get full pretty quickly, especially for the more famous and renowned ones.
Let’s have a talk about some of the food i have tried during my visits here.
The Chicken Noodle Soup:
One of the first crowded place you will encounter in this night market is a famous chicken noodle soup stall. The soup here costs 50 baht ($1.6). It is an amazing dish definitely worth queuing for.
The soup is flavourful, served with slices of chicken, chicken feet, noodles, aromatic herbs and spices, pepper and some vegs. If like me you like spicy food, you have many toppings at the stall such as chilli that you can add to your bowl. Taste wise the soup was perfect, definitely worth the (small) queue.
Be warned, as with most of the stalls in this market it gets pretty hot in here, everyone is sitting pretty close to each other, add to that the humidity and the spicy food and you end up sweating profusely while enjoying your meal. Welcome to Bangkok! I must say it adds to the experience. The soup was finished in a blink of an eye and it was time to move out from this heat and look for a bottle of water.
The Pork soup:
This dish could be called 80 baht for happiness. In a stall a bit further the alley you can find this amazing dish. For 80 baht ($2.50) you will be served a delicious pork soup. The soup is served with pork, thin noodles, half egg and aromatic herbs. The taste is really deep, the broth is creamy and comforting. It so good i could probably eat two or three of those bowls. Trust me you can (and you should) go there with your eyes closed.
Deep Fried small Crab:
From sixty to a hundred baht you can buy boxes of small fried crab at Ratchada Rot Fai train night market. Many stalls are selling those deep fried crabs and i bought a small box to try them. The crabs are coated with flour and spice then deep fried, simple and efficient. It is an interesting dish quite uncommon in Europe. You just eat the whole thing and trust your stomach to digest the shell. Taste wise it was good (as with everything deep fried my brother would say) but nothing staggering, i wouldn’t eat twenty of those.
Next stall and food i have tried was the Chinese steamed pork dumpling. A generous portion of dumplings for 50 baht served with their special sauce.
The dumplings were super meaty, juicy and tender. I definitely recommend this snack if you are a dumpling aficionado and it will cost you only 50 baht.
Spicy Fried Chicken:
My disappointment of the evening. I saw a nice stall preparing fried chicken with different level of spiciness from one flame up to five (for ultra spicy). I went for the five flames chicken. Unfortunately, it wasn’t spicy at all and i was quite frustrated by that. The chicken itself was good but nothing out of the ordinary. Count twenty baht per portion.
Grill Pork with Special sauce by JJ Grill:
This dish was advertised as the original JJ Grill pork served with a special sauce. It is served in different cup’s size (S, M, L). I went for the small cup costing 60 baht.
The grilled pork was really good made of big chunks of tender and tasty meat. The special sauce was original and savoury, some kind of enhanced barbecue sauce. I finished this dish pretty quickly without even realising it, this is how good it was! Unless you want to make it your main dish for the night, the small portion was more than enough to try this special pork.
One thing i didn’t understand though; This dish is served with a slice of potato and corn at the bottom of the cup. Honestly, i am not sure about what they were doing here as it doesn’t add much to this dish.
ZABB ONE RATCHADA
Right next to the Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market was an excellent restaurant i visited called Zaab One Ratchada.
It was a completely random choice and it happened to be a very good decision. I was walking on my way to the Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market to get something to eat and i spotted this place just before the entrance of the night market. I thought to myself that a cosy place more relaxed and less rushed than the craziness of the night market would be good for the night.
At Zabb One Ratchada they have a very large menu with all kind of Thai food specialities. You have several tables in the middle of the place and cook stalls all around them. The waiters take your order and go to see the relevant cooks to get your dishes prepared.
I went for some Chicken Wings, a stunning Thai Pineapple Fried Rice and a dish of fried pork knuckle.
I saw them offered everywhere and i wondered if there was anything special about chicken wings in Thailand? Well it wasn’t the case. These chicken wings were pretty decent but nothing like a special enhanced local flavour to it. Well cooked and served with Chilli sauce, it was a pretty good starter to kick off this meal. I paid a hundred baht for those.
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice:
W-o-w! Another day another discovery. I have never tried this dish before and i am happy i did it on that night. This thai pineapple fried rice also called khao pad sapparot was sooo good!
It was my main dish for the night and what-a-dish! It is really well prepared at Zabb One Ratchada (i had it several times after in other places and it simply wasn’t the same). The dish is served in a pineapple sliced in half. It is prepared with really fragrant rice, add to that the sweetness of the dried raisins, the chunk of pineapples, the crunchiness and nutty flavour of the cashew nuts, the pork floss topping and the chicken, it becomes a party in your mouth. A generous flavour-bomb for 220 baht. Not cheap but well worth it.
The Fried Pork Knuckle:
The disappointing dish of the evening. On that night i was starving for some heavy and fried food as you might have already noticed. Following the fried chicken wings and the pineapple fried rice i wanted to eat something else to end this feast. I usually like fried pork knuckle and you don’t find them everywhere. Unfortunately for me, the fried pork knuckle at Zabb One were pretty bad.
First of all, they were small with not much meat onto it. Then they were super dry, it is not even chewy anymore, it is more like trying to eat rubber really… Worst, it wasn’t tasty at all! It is as simple as that, a big F A I L! I wouldn’t recommend this dish. I guess it wasn’t a good day to order fried pork knuckle…
SOM TAM NUA
It was a pretty hot and humid day in Bangkok so i decided to hide in one of many Bangkok’s huge shopping centres. What’s great about the shopping centre in Bangkok? The big ones always have a food court where you can go and eat amazing food. That’s what i did visiting the Siam Center. The food court at Siam Center is great, an entire floor dedicated to food with many restaurants and stalls. I decided to eat at Som Tam meaning Papaya Salad to obviously try their Papaya Salad.
The Papaya Salad or Som Tam is a stable of Thai cuisine and a really versatile sweet and spicy dish. The version i have ordered was prepared with shredded papaya, peppers, pork rind, peanuts and sliced meat, topped with a sweet sauce and chillies.
The taste was super refreshing with a good kick from the chilli. The spiciness was well balanced by the sweetness of the sauce. The peanuts also added crunchiness to the dish. It was a really pleasant Papaya Salad for less than a hundred baht. A must try for everyone visiting Thailand.
The second dish i have ordered was a fried fish. It is a common dish in Thailand, usually made with Snapper or Tilapia coated in flour and spices. It is an interesting cooking technique that makes the whole fish edible, from the skin to the meat and the head.
The fried fish was good even though the meat was a bit shy. It was crunchy and tasty, not dry at all. A good recommendation for approximately a hundred baht
Overall it was a pretty good experience at Som Tam.
This concludes my second Food Escapade in Bangkok.
I must say after spending several days in this city that the Food in Bangkok is really rich and diversified. From the soup, the curry, the pad thai, the Thai fried rice, or the more exotic dishes, you can find everything to satisfy any kind of palate. I can’t wait to see what next awaits me during this adventure in Thailand, especially while travelling through the country.
Stay Tuned for more!