How do I describe Bangkok… the streets: chaotic; the culture: beautiful; the people: happy & the food: super f***ing delicious! I don’t normally curse (unless its for really good food) & the food in Bangkok is just that! From the streets to fine dining, the one thing everywhere in Bangkok has in common is flavour. Now I don’t mean your basic salt & pepper (nothing wrong with that of course) but you get lemongrass, thai chili, basil, sweet coconut & so much more. Go big or go home, I feel like that’s the best saying to describe Thai flavour, especially in Bangkok! 🙂
Our first night in Bangkok we met up with one of Albert’s friends, Rory. A fellow Vancouverite and DJ who’s been living in Bangkok for 3 years. We were going out to a few different spots for drinks and to check out the music/club scene in the city, so we knew we needed to get some food in us! Rory took us to one of his favourite local spots (I wish I could remember the name and whereabouts it was, all I can remember is it was a 15 minute Uber ride from our hotel) We ordered a few beers & let Rory just order his favourite dishes! We started with this simple but super delicious & juicy chicken. It was simply grilled chicken with fried garlic on top. The grill gave the chicken skin a beautiful crisp and the garlic added that punch of flavour!This bad boy right here though, hands down the tastiest thing I ate in Bangkok! It’s a whole white fish (whatever they caught fresh that day) deep fried to crispy perfection and covered in garlic and chili peppers. I don’t know how they deep fry a whole fish to perfection, but they do! The meat of the fish is flaky & tender, mixed with the flavours of the crispy bits, garlic, chilis, chili oil… oh my gosh, divine! (my mouth is literally watering right now!) We also ate Ostrich Sausage – I did’t take a picture because it didn’t look too appetizing, but I promise you,it was delicious! Try it if you get the chance 😉
Our second evening in the city our tour guide Minnie (from our Grand Place Tour earlier that day) wanted to take us out to an authentic local spot. (we make friends very easily 😉 ) This place was about 7 blocks from our hotel, down one of the many busy alleys of Sukhumvit and located right outdoors, in the street where you really experience the action! We let Minnie order, again starting out with a few beers, & we were not disappointed!
We started with a pork and chili stir fry over rice, let me tell you, it was delicious & spicy -like the kind of spice that punches you in the face. We ate that over plain white rice, again a simple dish but packed full of that authentic Thai flavour!We then had a Thai Coconut Soup, some kind of version of Tom Kha Gai I believe. This was the perfect dish to follow the spiciness of the pork we just ate. It definitely cooled the palette! There were so many depths of flavour in this soup, you could taste the tangy lemongrass, sweet coconut, the heat from the chunks of ginger and garlic, lime juice, fish sauce & mixed in you got bites of chicken, mushrooms & tomato – safe to say this dish went down quick! We ordered another deep fried fish, a little simpler than the first one we ate, this one just had garlic, but nonetheless still delicious!
On our 3rd day in Bangkok we hit up one of the floating markets about 2 hours outside of Bangkok. Minnie was our tour guide again and she wanted us to try one of her favourite dishes that she simply called ‘pink noodles’. We didn’t know what it was but hey, we’re down to try anything! There was a lady in a long tail boat along the canal putting together these ‘pink noodles’. (Turns out she just calls them that because the broth is pink!)It was a mix of noodles,wontons, pork, tofu, fish balls, water chestnuts, mushrooms and pork blood. It actually had quite a sweet taste to it with a hint of heat. I won’t lie, it wasn’t my favourite, but I gave it a shot! I’m not saying it was bad by any means, just not something I would choose again!
On our last full day in Bangkok I got another ramen craving (I told you guys, I have a legit ramen addiction!) So just like we did in Hong Kong, I looked up the ‘best ramen in Bangkok.’ I checked out a few yelp reviews and decided on Bankara Ramen (32/1 Sukhumvit 39, Bangkok 10110 · Sukhumvit). We jumped in a tuk tuk (a local thai taxi) and headed over! This is quite a popular spot so we went a bit later in the afternoon to avoid the lineups.
We walked in and got seated right away (great service as soon as we walked in!)Now there was a reason this particular ramen place stood out to me, they have cloves of garlic and garlic presses at each table!! This was revolutionary to me! I put garlic in almost everything I cook, it’s like this place was made for me!The menu had plenty of options to choose from, I always like to go the traditional route and pick the Tonkatsu, so I did! I added mushrooms, nori, pork belly, bamboo shoots, a seasoned egg & green onion, Albert had the same minus the nori and with extra pork! As soon as we got it I went to work adding garlic, I didn’t even taste it first, I knew what I wanted. I put in 4 cloves and oh my gosh it was DELICIOUS!The broth had a natural creaminess with that perfect amount of heat. The noodles were tender, the egg was seasoned perfectly and the pork had a near perfect ratio of meat to fat.
This was my 3rd trip to Bangkok and Albert’s 1st. I keep coming back for many reasons, the culture, beauty, weather & of course, the food 😉