This is the sixth post in the Thailand! travel series of my eats in Bangkok. Other posts include Thip Samai, Best Pad Thai in Bangkok? and Raan Jay Fai, Best Drunken Noodle in Bangkok, Maeklong Railway Market, Floating Markets (Damnoen Saduak). and Street Foods of Bangkok, Part I.
This is Part II of the Bangkok street food tour. If you're just joining us, definitely check out Part I of this post first before reading this.
It was raining, hard. This was supposed to be a walking tour, and the weather just was not cooperating at all.
Our tour guide Nushi told us to wait at the dock as she tried to hail a cab. As the wind whipped the water angrily around, we stood and marveled at the sheer force of the storm.
Ten minutes later, Nushi came with a cab. She looked wet, yet she was still smiling.
As the rain pounded down onto the windshield, the cab inched along towards our final destination. Nushi chatted happily in Thai with the driver while we sat in the back.
Finally, about 10 minutes later, we arrived at our next destination.
We were in a cafe in Silom, the business district of Bangkok. It is actually owned by the great grandson of King Rama V. He likes Indian food a lot, and you definitely see a strong representation of that cuisine here. Thankfully (for Bryan's sake), there is also much other food to try, such as ice cream, bakery goods, and a lot of great Thai food. Our first small plate: green curry with pork. Though this is usually served with rice, this restaurant serves it with deep fried roti, a bread influenced by Indian cuisine.
Because Bryan does not eat coconut milk (and thus skipped the green curry completely), we also ordered Isaan sour sausage, a fermented pork sausage from the northeastern part of Thailand. You commonly see this sold on the streets of Bangkok and it is usually served with sticky rice, which is the rice staple up north.
This place had tons of really interesting ice cream flavors. We tried passion fruit ice cream, coconut sorbet, and tamarind sorbet. All of them were fantastic, bursting with the authentic flavors of their individual ingredients. My favorite was the passion fruit ice cream, but I think that's partly because I just love ice cream more than sorbet in general, and I love the flavor of fresh passion fruit, which was so pronounced in this ice cream.
We stepped outside. There was just one more stop, and it was within walking distance.
Amazingly, the sky had completely cleared up. I guess it was one of those fast moving storms. The sun was back out already, and the air was even thicker with humidity than I thought could be possible.
As we walked towards our last stop, Nushi said, "hold on, look! Fried bananas."
There are often long lines at these popular street snack stands, where vendors sell freshly fried items such as sweet potatoes, mochi balls, and bananas. Luckily, perhaps because it was just after the storm, there was no line at this vendor's stand. We quickly stopped and picked up a bag of fried mini-bananas.
They were coated with some special sort of batter that reminded me of a funnel cake. Just imagine a sweet, crunchy funnel-cake-covered banana. It was seriously addictive (and I don't even like bananas!).
For even more sweets, we headed to our last stop, a local bakery. Here we tried a lovely soft bread with pandan custard inside. We tasted a bun filled with sweet BBQ meat, not unlike Chinese chashu except that the outside bread is baked according to western methods. Finally, we sampled a western style cake topped with a traditional Thai style filling (made of coconut, perhaps?) used commonly in wedding desserts.
Finally, I (and Domo?) got to try Thai iced tea in Thailand. It was delicious, similar to the Thai iced tea I've had in America.
And then, just as quickly as it began, our 3-hour tour was over. We were stuffed, both with food but also with a rich wealth of knowledge.
Nushi had taken supremely good care of us, especially considering that a huge rainstorm came down right in the middle of our tour. We were quite grateful at how hard she tried to make us comfortable - everything from getting us umbrellas (from the Tonburi restaurant!), to waiting outside in the rain for 10 minutes in order to hail us a cab. Her English is excellent, and we really had fun on this tour.
If you're a newcomer to Thailand who absolutely has no idea where to start, I would highly, highly recommend taking the Bangkok Food Tour. They do a fantastic job.
This tour lasts about 3 hours and costs 1050 Baht (around $35 USD per person), which includes all the food. Although usually run in the morning leading up to lunchtime, you can arrange to have a private tour at other times during the day. Because of Bryan's work schedule, we ended up booking a tour from 2-5PM. We got our own private tour guide and paid a little extra for the convenience of the time and the private guide (3000 Baht for the two of us, around $50 USD per person).
It's easy to get to the meeting point, which is right inside the BTS Skytrain station Saphan Taksin.
Next up: fun fruits of Thailand and an introduction to the two cooking schools I attended!
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