Take a bite out of what Bangkok has to offer
Two nights in Bangkok and the world is your oyster, but trust us when we say that your tastebuds will be tantalised no matter your palate – there is something for everyone amongst this wonderful city’s chaotic galore. Although home to some of the globe’s most world-class and applauded dining spots, some of the most satisfying foodie experiences can also be found in humble street vendor stalls. Follow this quick but delicious 48-hour food journey, as I take you through the pulsating heart of Bangkok.
Breakfast: Khao Tom Pla, Udsanee Restaurant Stall, THB150-400 (approx $36-$98)
For Bangkok’s best boiled rice soup with fish, locally known as Khao Tom Pla, (one of Thailand’s staple breakfast items), look no further than Udsanee in the vibrant Pom Prab district. This particular eatery is known for its high-class street food (hence the more expensive than usual price tag) made with its original family recipes. A typical rice soup with sea bass (pla kapong) will cost you approximately THB150 while the fancier version made with deep-sea pomfret (pla tao toey) will set you back THB400. The latter is quite rare as Udsanee only produces six servings daily.
Other Khao Tom options here include: oyster, pork, fresh fish maw, shrimp and more! These choices will cost you THB150-200 ($36-50) a bowl. All bowls are sprinkled with freshly chopped celery, fragrant fried garlic and delivered to you with dipping sauces such as salted soy bean, spicy seafood sauce and ground chilli. The dining area is air-conditioned so not to worry, you won’t melt away as you savour the hot soup in the hot n’ humid morning sun.
Udsanee Restaurant Stall, Plabplachai Road next to Wat Thepsirin, Pom Prab District
Snack: Mango Sticky Rice, Mae Varee Fruit Shop, THB130 (approx $32)
This delicious sweet treat known to locals as Khao Niew Ma Muang or to us Sassy girls as Mango Sticky Rice, is simply irresistible – especially at Mae Varee’s Fruit Shop in Sukhumvit.
Mae Varee has been around for 20 years so it’s a no-brainer to believe that they do it best. The mangoes here are of very high quality with a perfect combination of sweetness and juiciness. The only downside is that you’ll have to take your treat to go as there is no seating available. If you’re unfamiliar with this snack, it consists of freshly sliced mangoes placed on top of perfectly cooked glutinous rice, served with a side of coconut cream and toasted mung beans. Simple but absolute perfection, it always leaves you wanting more.
1 Soi Thong Lor Rd. Sukhumvit 55 Klongtunnua Wattana
Lunch: Som Tam Papaya Salad, Somtum Der
You’ll frequently see food vendors all over Bangkok pounding together this mouth-watering hot n’ sour delicacy of green papaya, fish sauce, chillies and lime with a large wooden mortar and pestle.
For a change of scenery and a chance to sit down comfortably, visit Somtum Der – a cosy restaurant specialising in Isaan Thai Food with a great outdoor area. As the name clearly states, Somtum Der’s speciality is papaya salad (Som Tam) of which they have over 20 variations and is prepared fresh at the bar in the middle of the small restaurant.
Regardless of whether you like your som tam sweet, super spicy, mild, sweet, fishy or somewhere in between there is a papaya salad choice for everyone.
5/5 Saladaeng Road. Silom
Dinner: Iron Chef Table
Get ready to delight all of your senses at one of Bangkok’s snazziest molecular cuisine spots, affiliated with the Thai Iron Chef Table TV show.
Based on Iron Chef, the menu plays with the show’s concept which highlights one main ingredient of which every dish on the menu is based around; these include: Thai river prawn, duck eggs, tuna, black grouper, pork, wagyu beef, Canadian lobster & foie gras.
Take note that this is a super interactive dining experience suitable for all. Two noteworthy dishes would be the Canadian lobster with morning glory and curried peanut sauce as well as the baked chicken thigh with Sichuan peppercorn dipping sauce.
1/F, The Taste, Thonglor Soi 11
Tipple Time: Sing Sing Theatre
Enter a world of dark fantasies at this stylish nightclub with one of the most creative interiors in the city – all whilst sipping on a signature concoction. The venue is split into a bar upstairs, two downstairs bars, a dance floor which doubles as a stage for performances and various walkways flowing into hidden seating areas. Performances are common, expect anything from freaky ladies in gas masks and latex suits to sexy burlesque routines.
Soi 45, Sukhumvit Road. Sukhumvit
Breakfast: Jok, Jok Samayan, THB50 (approx $12)
Similar to Hong Kong’s Chinese congee, Thai ‘jok’ pronounced as ‘joke’ is amazingly filling and very affordable. Thai people like to douse their jok with ingredients that include spring onions, minced pork, ginger, liver and runny-yummy poached eggs, ‘sai kai’. It doesn’t end there, throw on more condiments like white pepper, soy sauce and chilli flakes to give it that extra delicious kick.
Samayan street vendor is famous for its large pork balls as they flavour them with their signature family recipe and add extra spices. Don’t forget to order your jok with the egg, its one of the best parts!
Sukhumvit 103, Lane 9
Snack: Coconut Ice-Cream, Nuttaporn Ice-Cream, THB25 (approx $6)
Nuttaporn’s tiny and no-frills ice-cream parlour has been serving up the best homemade coconut ice cream in Bangkok for over 60 years. Hidden down a small street, the ice-cream is fresh and served in small plastic bowls. If coconut isn’t your thing, there are a handful of other flavours – mango (mamueang), chocolate, coffee (kaffe) and Thai iced tea (chaa yen) to devour. All of the varieties are made from fresh young coconut milk. Optional toppings include lotus seeds, coconut meat, sweet beans and more.
94 Phraeng Phuthon Square (just off Tanao Road)
Lunch: Tom Yam Goong Prawn Noodles, Pee Aor, THB100 (approx $25)
This isn’t the place to have a long chilled out lunch and do expect to queue if you come here during busy hours, but it’s definitely worth all the hype. First thing you’ll notice are the walls which are adorned with Thai celebrities who have enjoyed a meal here.
I have tasted hundreds of Tom Yam Goong’s in my life and I must say this is the most authentic one I have come across. It has just the right amount of richness and creaminess whilst also packing a punch. The prawns are always XL – big, fat and fresh. Prepare to sweat as there is no watering down of soup here, no English menu either so learn the following “tom yam goong nam khon.” You may even end up ordering two bowls since it’s so damn good.
68/51 Soi Phetchaburi 5, Soi 5-7, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi
Dinner: Pad Thai, Thip Samai, THB50-70 (approx $12-17)
If you’re on the hunt for the best Pad Thai in Bangkok, you’re reading the right article. This heavenly-smelling joint opened up back in 1965, donning a frantic atmosphere with constant loud whisking sounds of woks on charcoal in the background. You must try the ‘superb Pad Thai’ and its famous orange juice when you visit.
This Pad Thai stands out so much as unlike others, it’s cooked on burning hot charcoal and uses a special type of sun-dried Chanthaburi rice noodle. Hungry yet? Thought so.
313 Maha Chai Road, Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon
Tipple Time: Rabbit Hole
This gorgeous cocktail bar is a combination of both vintage-luxe and industrial chic. Think timber panels, raw concrete walls and steel stair wells with Persian carpets and velvet furniture. A very cool Chinese-inspired medicine cabinet showcases the vast array of whiskies and spirits sure to impress any booze-connoisseur. You can’t go wrong when ordering a ‘Queen of Hearts’ cocktail – a beautiful concoction made of vodka, aloe vera, lotus syrup, citrus notes, egg white and garnished with a pretty pink lotus peal.
125 Thonglor Sukhumvit 55