Travel Show & Tell: Bangkok

Friday, June 28, 2013

 (Day 28  of the blogging blitz. If you’ve just joined us, I’m on a mission to get that ol’ blogging mojo back by attempting to post daily for 30 days.)

(This is an autopost as we are away gallivanting again, tell you more soon)

We seriously love Thailand and have visited different parts of it. We especially love the food and have yet to be disappointed by a (Thai) meal in Thailand. The first time we went to Bangkok for our honeymoon, Mr. Kitchen Hand and I ate so well, even a “point and gesture, who knows what we’re eating” rice meal bought from a food-court in a major shopping centre proved so memorable we talk about it all these years later.

This time when we visited Bangkok for a quick weekend getaway, I wanted to find places recommended by locals. First stop, Leela’s blog, She Simmers. This post  mentioned many edible possibilities along Charoen Krung. So we trawled it one afternoon and settled on Prachak (a duck and rice place), mainly because I knew the MCs could handle the relatively non-spicy fare. While the MCs are pretty adventurous eaters, we find the chilli-heat level in many Thai dishes still too much for their palate.  And in Bangkok, we broke our self-imposed “no meals like they do at home”  rule when travelling. We ordered (a pretty awesome) woodfired pizza one night and hunted out some pastries for breakfast. But for the most part, we managed to always find one or two dishes the MCs could handle.

Anyway, back to Prachak. I remember that the meal was tasty but to be honest I can’t tell you much else because I spent the entire time vacillating between smugness (oh look at us, we are SO local), and fear (oh my god I may be poisoning my children). The worry was unfounded (thank goodness) and we lived to tell the tale :)

103 years old!

The reason I was a little nervous...

The most exciting meal along Charoen Krung (for me) though, was the discovery of these little cakes/ snacks called Kanom Bueng. They have a thin, crispy, base and are filled with a sweet meringue and topped with a savoury-ish coconut mix. Not too sure what’s in the mix but I definitely tasted kaffir lime leaf. I had eaten these cakes years ago in Malaysia but never knew what they were called. So once I found them again, I made sure I committed the name to memory.

There is so much to see and do in Bangkok, it’s best to plan ahead. Because we had visited Thailand quite a number of times before, we gave the temples a miss. Instead, we headed to markets. Four of them in total.

On our honeymoon (many, many, many years ago), Mr. Kitchen Hand and I visited the Damnoen Saduak floating markets and loved it. We really wanted to take the girls for a visit, so we hired a guide to drive us there. I have to say I was disappointed by how commercial and “touristy” it had all become. It was literally jammed with souvenior vendors and other tourists. Still, the kids really enjoyed riding around on a boat and we found some delicious food - rice cakes (kanom krok) and duck noodle soup. On our way back, we chatted to our guide who conceded that it was touristy but he also  thanked us, saying tourists who visited the markets helped keep this bit of “culture” alive. I’m not sure if he was just trying to make us feel better, but if that is the truth, then I am glad to have helped :)

Kanom Krok

If you want a not very “touristy” market, the Maeklong Railway market might be the answer. We stopped by on our way back from the floating markets. This is a typical “wet market” serving the local population. What’s fascinating is that the market is held on the railway tracks! We were too early for the arrival of the train, but here is a Youtube video of what actually happens when the train and market have to share the track.

Bowls perched above the railway line

Of course, you can’t mention Bangkok and market without visiting the Chatuchak weekend market . It’s humungous and worth a visit but very crowded so be prepared for jostling. And haggling.

The hordes heading to Chatuchak

However, while visiting Leela’s blog, I discovered a slightly less well known market next door to Chatuchak, the Or Tor Kor produce market.. The drawcard here is the food stalls up the back serving all manner of delicious goodness. We had to do a bit of “pointing and gesturing” ordering but it was worth it.

And something else that was worth it was our trip to Nahm. The food was sensational and the service impeccable. More than that, they were warm and went to great lengths to make us feel welcome, even making something non-spicy and not on the menu for MC Junior. MC Senior was so taken with the food, she bravely tucked in and enjoyed every mouthful.

Hope you enjoyed the visit :)


Kitchen Butterfly said...

Oh Shaz - what a journey. You make me want to abandon my Dutch reunion in Holland (first time back since we moved to Nigeria)....and head off to Thailand.

What beautiful memories and such longing you've created for the food!

Mu bucket list just got longer. Enjoy your time away and thanks for sharing X X X. Well done too with getting back into blogging. Superb job!!

cikmanggis said...

oh my dear Shaz.I love masakan Thai..terutamanya kuih muih.Tertarik dengan burger pulut.Org Thai memang suka makan pulut.