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Bangkok Street Eats

9:18 AM , 3 Comments

The best way to taste a country is through its street eats - literally. I have clocked a total of 8 visits to the Land of Smiles in a span of a decade yet none of which were spent by the roadside tucking into a hearty meal. Yet this visit, I decided to take the plunge - when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

traffic 

Morning traffic that is already so horrific which gets progressively worse through the day. Cabdrivers are kings in Bangkok, they can feign language ignorance and decide not to fetch you anywhere or quote cut throat prices. I had to strike off a couple of places on my list just because of that!

Anyway the point about the traffic is, they probably add to the additional seasoning that the street food need to taste so good. The thing about Thai hawkers I realise is, they can set up a stall nearly everywhere and anywhere, as long as they deem fit. Even along a busy street, they can stop in the middle of nowhere, plonk the cart there and start selling!

Here are a couple of snaps of street life in Bangkok...

beggar 

Beggars that prowl the streets so often. At least they do not get too aggressive like those in China.

sticker 

Something along the streets that caught the eye.


phone lines 

Telephone lines that are a living reminder of how much they still rely on olden day technology.

night market
 
Night markets that sell nearly everything from Platinum Mall at touristy prices.

And now...their perpetual food stalls that would fall under our category of "pasar malam" but these are there permanently and add so much colour to the gourmet scene of Bangkok.


skewers

Do not ask me who ever eats grilled meats for breakfast but apparently the Thais do. Equivalent to our satays, these skewered meats are wildly popular amongst tourists and locals.


  bubble tea

How about some Thai bubble tea?

kaya toast

They have buttered sugar toasts too! This particular stall spent all day long toasting bread - I just wonder how these taste like after being left out for long.

yellow skinned chicken

Chicken rice ala Hainanese style.

stalls

Get what I mean by rows and rows of stalls to pick from. Choice is hardly a problem.

chok

Thais do eat chok too! This stall was quite popular, spied century egg on the menu too.

fried rice

Fried rice paradise?

chye tow kuay

Spotted chye tow kuay too!

grills

More of the grills..who can stomach such huge grilled fishes for breakfast? Baffles me greatly.

hawking fruits

They have very mobile fruit push carts - all of thailand's famous exports of pineapple, papaya, guava and mango!

bananas

Or fresh ones?

grill

Grilled meats that get sold into the night. Supper anyone?

more

Fish seems to be the preferred choice of meat.

Now, here's the tale of our attempt at roadside supper. This particular stall is located opposite Siam Paragon - comes complete with a chef in a chef hat!

opp siam paragon

A not so mini-set up.

menu

B and B Suki Express with that many items on the menu. In a nutshell, fried rice or sukiyaki.

menu

I reckon they do deliveries as well.

fried rice paradise

So we made an order for fried rice takeaway, took our seats as we watched the lady fry her rice with vehicles whizzing past so very often. The guy was in charge of sukiyaki. Plate after plate, fried egg after fried egg...still was not our turn. Apparently, they ran out of rice in the most hilarious way ever. Refused to refund the money and decided to send their daughter off to get some rice.

I figured she had to walk home, boil the rice and return with them but after some haggling, we still got the refund subsequently.

So much for a roadside supper that did not materialise eventually.

After all the longwinded-ness, here's what I did get to try!

roadside hawker

Tangerine juice, freshly squeezed on the spot! Apart from the usual coconut juice, tangerine juice was quite interesting!

mandarin orange juice

This had a slight viscous consistency suggesting the juice was not freshly squeezed, or they added some starch to thicken the juice. Other than that, this was alot less acidic than orange juice. 

roadside beverage

It is quite a nobrainer why Starbucks and Coffeebean do not reign where these roadside stalls do. Coffee carts like these are a dime too many.

steamed milk

How more traditional and old school can it get with a bucket of milk kept warm over hot water?

mango + horlicks

Here's a cup of Coffee + Horlicks at 50 THB. Pretty much like mocha, real decent stuff!

condensed milk

Found the equivalent of Ya Kun Kaya Toast Bangkok style! In fact, his was the only stall that sold toasts this way.

toast

Spreading butter all over and toasting them over this makeshift oven.

butter me up

Oooo...butter me up!

jams

Jars of jams and spreads to go with the toasts.

toasted

Toasted to a lovely brown!

spreading

Kaya for me! 10 THB for a sandwich is slightly cheaper than our kopitiam toasts.

pandan kaya 

Easier to eat with a satay stick! Their kaya had a nice pandan flavour yet the consistency was queer - almost like homemade glue, in its starchy sense.

chicken rice

Moving onto the most popular stall of the street outside Baiyoke Sky Hotel. Chicken rice done two ways - roast chicken or steamed chicken!

chicken rice

30THB for a small portion of rice with an disproportionate amount of chicken. Tender max, the rice was chewy and fragrant too! Completely nailed the Hainanese chicken rice to a T. Even without our powerful chilli paste, their fish sauce chilli padi was equally good!

hawker

Mangoes being hawked around in baskets like these, made them all the more tempting.

sour mango

20 THB each for sour and sweet. Both came with salt to flavour. Those above are sour mangoes, I found them like guava - crunchy yet awkwardly sour.

sweet mango

The sweet ones fared so much better though fibrous. Had a pear texture strangely!

roadside

Guava alert!

guava

70 THB for two guavas, I totally regretted asking for two of these which took alot of chewing to finish. These guavas are soaked in syrup hence the green translucent skin.

so many fishes

This has got to be one of the rudest otah awakenings - with a school of fishies staring back at me.

fish otah

Packed like sardines, pun intended and shrimp too. Almost as if these were packed into otahs the moment they were fished out from the sea after much struggle.

small fish

Oh golly, fishy fishie fishie! Innards, bones and all in one bite. There was this spicy aftertaste that I found too rancid to appreciate. Very very very weird.

pancake sellers

These were spied at MBK, their equivalent of loveletters!

rows of

A whole row of them to tantalize.

pandan cream

Pandan cream on a crispy loveletter shell topped with toasted coconut. I thought the flavours were quite spot on, toasted coconut was surprisingly not overempowering and pandan cream was just right in sweetness.

coconut sambal 

This savoury one in comparison was not that great, the slight spicy kick reminded me of hae bee hiam.

hawker

Another of those carts that garnered much attention. Rice cakes grilled and wrapped in banana leaf went for 10THB each.

sticky rice cake

Salted glutinous rice coated with egg and grilled over charcoal - nice chewy snack with such an incredible fragrance.

yam

This was a surprise! Glutinous rice with mashed yam, delish!

chinese stall

These stalls are open through the day up to supper - my hats off at their diligence! Here's a kuay teow tng shop a stone's throw away from Tango Vibrant Hotel that we were putting up at. Comes with chinese words for the uninformed. Saves me the trouble of a duck talk chicken speak episode.

packet

Comes with crispy wanton skin.


kuay teow tng

Fills up the bowl so nicely. This was comfort food in the night, kuay teow was silken smooth and soft and best of all, the broth was really tasty. The downside of this was the fishballs were a tad sweet.



samples

And to round it off, mangoes to take home! We spotted this hawker randomly and he disappeared the days after. Talk about randomness!

yellow x green

Yellow or green? 


30 baht 

30 THB for 1 kilo was a steal seriously. 

mango 

Samples given so generously. Those attempted at the stall were definitely better than those we lugged back. The yellow ones were mildly sweet while the raw ones had a crunch to it. Not the familiar Harumanis mangoes that I mega love so much!

raw mango

Doing our share of missing bangkok!




sweet mango

Slurp!


Indeed, eating up Bangkok through the streets was an eye opening experience - flavours, smells, taste and even sights. Soaking up the local culture was exciting though I would not consider eating roadside the cheapest and most satisfying experience. One of those must do things, however!

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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