Ask me where my favorite city is, and Bangkok will always come up. It’s unassuming, dynamic and a no holds barred kinda city. Just my type. And although I adore the kind-hearted Thai people, their fascinating culture and well, the cheap shopping, I have to admit it’s the food that stole my heart.
Thai food is everything I need in my life. That sense of home, and yet exotic. It can be sweet, sometimes sizzling. Sometimes you think you’ve got it figured out, then there’s something that will surprise you in the best way possible. It’s like Thai food gets me. And I totally get it.
1. Thai BreakfastAn 80 year old coffee shop that will take you back to Old Bangkok. Those milo tin cans, faded pastel cupboards and worn out tables stood the test of time, and so did their bread dipped in kaya and milk tea. On Lok Yun. 72 Charoen Krung Road, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok.
2. Pad ThaiThip Samai’s pad thai ruined all the other pad thais for me. And for gooood reason. Those soft rice noodles fried in decadent shrimp fat and wrapped in egg is incomparable. If you were to have one meal in Bangkok (which is highly unlikely), this would be it.
You’re welcome. Thip Samai. 511 , Maha Chai Road , Samran Rat , 10200 Phra Nakhon , Bangkok.
3. Papaya Salad
Som Tam Convent’s green papaya salad (som tam) is fresh, tangy and spicy. Like how it should be. The delightful contrast of flavors and textures of the crisp vegetables, crunchy peanuts, dried shrimps, chillies and whatnot adds a refreshing kick to your meal. I personally enjoy my som tam with salted egg for added bliss.Somtam Convent. 2/4-5 soi Convent Rd. Bangkok.
4. Thai Fried ChickenI have a confession, I am not a big fried chicken fan. I always thought it was boring, bland and unimaginative. That is not the case with Som Tam Nua’s fried chicken. It is savory, juicy and utterly mindblowing. Pair it with the sticky rice and dip it in their sweet chili sauce if you must, which I think is unnecessary considering the chicken is perfectly marinated. Thanks to them, I am now a fried chicken convert.
Oh, and don’t miss their outstanding green papaya salad, too!
Somtam Nua. 989, Siam Center, 4th Floor, Rama 1 Road, Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Bangkok.
5. SeafoodIf you’re up for a culinary adventure, Chinatown is it. It’s chaotic and amusing at the same time, passing by the food stalls and contemplating if you could eat so much in one go (the answer is yes, you can). Grab a plastic chair and sit by the street, T & K Seafood got the jumbo prawns that can change your life. T&K Seafood Restaurant. Intersection of Yaowarat Road and Thanon Phadung Dao Street, Chinatown, Bangkok.
6. Stir-fried Pork with BasilPad Kra Pao or Thai basil mixed with grounded meat is my idea of heaven on earth. I have mine in pork, naturally. It’s simple, homey and hella spicy. I never thought I could love anything as much, until I fell in love with this classic dish.
Holiday Inn Silom. 981 Silom Rd, Bangkok.
7. Tom Yum Soup This hidden gem is not so hidden anymore after word got out that they serve the best tom yum in town. Greatness is bound to come out some time, right? God, that soup. That sour, spicy, fiery, beautiful soup. It doesn’t stop there. This Khao Goong Rad Sauce Man Boo (that’s a mouthful so let’s just call it heaven sent) will knock your socks off. It’s a jumbo prawn with the crab’s divine fat and juices. Exactly. Heaven sent. P’aor Restaurant. 68/51, Soi Phetchaburi 5, Thung Phaya Thai, Khet Ratchathewi, Bangkok.
8. Thai Desserts Spot the long queue by the street and you’ll find these pandan-flavored mini cakes. It’s soft with just the right amount of sweet. Warning: it is highly addictive. Siam Pandan. Siam Square, Bangkok. (Beside Siam Novotel)If you’re like me and you cant’ get enough of mangoes, Mango Tango got you covered. This mango wonderland has mango sticky rice with mango pudding and mango sorbet. You complete me. Mango Tango. Siam Square Soi 3, Bangkok.Just to prove I am obsessed with mangoes, I had a mango sticky rice pilgrimage to Mae Varee. Their notorious mango sticky rice has been killing it for over twenty years. Smother it with that coconut cream and sprinkle the toasted mung beans—that’s love right there.Mae Varee. 55 Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok.