Dear fellow tasters,
Continuing writing about my Thailand trip, the third day was spent with a day trip to Pattaya. Nothing really memorable I would want to share about it – the floating market was not what we expected it to be; our lunch there was disastrous, one that I would not bother to write about; the city tour was a big disappointment. Our only consolation was the McDonalds dinner (fast food to the rescue!) and the Alcazar show, one of the famous ‘lady boy’ cabarets there, with all the tacky lip-syncing, campy and over the top costumes, and somewhat eye-pleasing stage sets.
Then came the fourth day, one that I had waited up with a bit of excitement. Why? Because we already booked online a half day Bangrak Food Tasting Tour. The tour explores Bangrak district in Bangkok with a historic and cultural side to it, but I was more interested in the food part *grin*. We made five stops with loads of delicious local food and delicacies. Here we go.
1354-56 New Road, CharoenKrung 42, Near the Corner of Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Ph: +662 234 1876
First stop was Muslim Restaurant. It was established in 1938 and is probably one of the rare halal eateries in Bangkok. The interior is blue painted, clean and humble with Islamic-themed pictures hung on the wall. I didn’t see a menu but it is more like a point-and-choose-your-dish from the glass display in the front side of the restaurant. We tried three dishes here, the signature curry lava egg, mataba roti, and a minced cow brain dish I wasn’t sure the name of. The egg was delicious with a hint of sweetness and spiciness in the curry lava sauce. The mataba was just ordinary (Martabak Pecenongan tasted way better imho), but my friends and I all agreed that the cow brain was bad for the health but tantalizing to the palates.
“No Name” Tom Yum Noodle Street Stall
CharoenKrung Road, Near Assumption College, Bangrak, Bangkok
This street stall is just a quick north-bound stroll from the Muslim Restaurant, tucked inside a small alley near the Assumption College. Strangely, when I asked Olive, the tour guide, about the name, she said it doesn’t have a name but most locals will know if you mention about the food it sells and the approximate location. We only tasted their supposedly famous tom yum noodle. It might look a bit oily in appearance but I personally loved the luscious thin rice noodle (kway teow), the tasty mixed sea food and pork flavored balls, and the savory sweet salty sour broth as a result of mixing it with the darkish red chili paste condiment.
Yum Rob Sab
Across Chao Phraya river from Oriental Ferry Pier, Soi Burapha
The next stop involved taking a boat ride crossing Mae Nam Chao Phraya from the Oriental Ferry Pier and a short walk through an off-the-beaten neighborhood pathway to reach Yum Rob Sab, an Isaan (northeastern style) eatery. Modest and still using electric fan as the air-cooling mode, the restaurant served up its specialty dish, the yum plak dook foo (crispy catfish green mango salad), consisting of two separate yet integral parts, the spicy refreshing green mango salad and the fluffed-up crispy stuff with bits of catfish meat in it. Eating both in a mouthful was an unforgettable sensation, bursting with textures and flavors, typical of Isaan cuisines. We also got to try another cooked-up dish, the nam tok moo (spicy pork with mint and rice powder) which I really enjoyed with the delectable pork slices and mildly spicy seasonings.
1335 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
Ph: +662 233 5428, Fax: +662 630 9869, http://www.panleebakery.com
Baking since 1955, Panlee Bakery was probably one of those “ancient” places which managed to survive through the test of time. With interior adjusting to modernity and coolly air-conditioned, it is now a nice chic cafe and bakery, selling bread and buns, assorted cookies and snacks, coffee and other drinks. Here, we tried some matchstick banana chips and pumpkin chips. I quite liked the latter that I bought two packs of them to bring as souvenirs. Then we had a taste of their butter bun with Thai sweet threads, a fusion of east meets west in a soft fluffy bun and super sweet orange-colored edible threads, accompanied by a mini paper cup of delightful Thai iced tea.
27 Pramuan Road, Silom, Bangkok
Ph: +662 236 4338, +662 236 4335, Fax: +662 266 9335
For the last stop, our tour guide brought us to Kalpapruek, apparently the same restaurant branch with the one we went to a couple of days ago. However, the outlet at Silom is the original and main restaurant with the same charming atmosphere and more dining space yet also more crowds. Since we had tasted their original Thai green curry, we asked Olive to switch for a different dish, the red duck curry, also served with delicious roti. I think I still prefer the taste of the original green curry, nevertheless the red one was also very enjoyable. We ended the food tour with a light Thai-style coconut ice cream which tasted more like coconut water granita rather than an ice cream.
ขอให้เจริญอาหาร! Kŏr hâi jà-rern aa-hăan!
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – cow brain, tom yum noodle
What to try next time – willing to try anything
Damage 950 Baht/pax