Dining in Bangkok

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During my trip in Bangkok I stayed with my uncle who is the biggest foodie I’ve ever met…makes sense though since he used to be a chef for hotels in different parts of the world. When I got there I expected him to just hand over a list of the best restaurants in town to try for myself but instead he gave me the full Bangkok food trip experience.

I would spend the whole morning/afternoon touring around the city then at around 7pm we would meet up for dinner to try some of his favourite restaurants. Dining with my uncle is an experience in itself…there are 2 scenarios when it comes to ordering food:

1. He turns to the waiter and says “The chef is expecting us. He knows what to do.”

2. I pick one dish and he picks about 5 dishes for sharing. He knows what’s good…and how much I can eat.

Since we ordered food in that way, I don’t remember what most dishes are called…all I know is that they were the best damn things I’ve ever eaten. So here goes a list of restaurants that we ate in…definitely worth dining in if you’re in Bangkok! 10/10 for each one. (Okay, maybe you should look up actual reviews…because I like food in general.)

1. Dusit Thani – Benjarong Thai Restaurant

This was the first place I ate in when I landed. Now I’m not this fancy, it just so happens my uncle works at Dusit so he wanted to show off their amazing cuisine. We had a five course meal (of goodness) and even got to meet the chef! I didn’t look at the menu, he just came over and said he would be whipping up something special for us.

Funny story, when we finished our appetizers, the chef came out to chat for a bit, then he said he was preparing something special for our main course…….fried cockroaches. PAUSE. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that the only 2 things I can’t stand are rats and cockroaches. Spiders, snakes, lizards, I can totally handle. But if I spot a rat/cockroach from across the room I will go on a full on panic mode and scream like a maniac. SO BASICALLY at this point I was forcing a smile on my face (but secretly dying on the inside). What was I supposed to do?!? I told my uncle “haha is he serious? cockroaches? I wouldn’t mind one of the regular dishes…”

Anyways, when the food came…I realized he was joking and just served us pork, beef, and seafood dishes. (That wasn’t funny…)

I was too busy devouring the food to take photos, but I did manage to take a photo of my dessert! Coconut sorbet in the center with nutty crumbs, brownies, a smudge of hazelnut chocolate, sliced mango, and lots of other goodies.

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2. Blue Elephant

Situated in the heart of Bangkok city, this restaurant has a very authentic Thai vibe. Lovely restaurant, great service, f*!@ing amazing food. Oh and they host cooking classes too! This place is a MUST! (Descriptions taken off their website)

Started off our meal with this:

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Betel Leaf Wraps – (Thai traditional snack) Assortment of nuts and herbs served with caramelized coconut sugar, tamarind juice and shrimp paste wrapped in betel leaves. (must try!)

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Thai Beef and Chicken Satay – Strips of “Kam Pang San” beef and Free Range chicken served with our homemade peanut sauce and mini cucumber salad.

(oh yeah, I lived off peanut sauce during my trip)

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Main course:

Note: you can’t have a Thai meal with plain white rice. It has to be coconut rice…otherwise, what are you doing?

Bamboo Cased Grilled Sea bass – Grilled fresh Sea bass fillet marinated with Thai herbs and wrapped in banana leaves, accompanied by a duo of Thai sauces. (Must try!)

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Chicken Green Curry – Our original green curry from lesser ginger, kaffir lime leaves, Thai sweet basil leaves and bird’s eye chili. (One of the best curries I’ve ever had)

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Dessert: combination of house specialties with coconut ice cream

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My uncle made sure I had a taste of the local Singha beer as well. Not a huge beer drinker, but it was actually pretty good!

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3. Baan Khanitha

Another restaurant you should add to your list. You can catch a free ferry boat from the terminal station to Asiatique, but there are other locations as well. I think it’s worth spending an afternoon in Asiatique though! They have lots of stores, souvenir shops where you can haggle, and it’s a nice place to walk around in general.

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Rice crispes with peanut sauce and cilantro

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L->R: some kind of sausage with cilantro, pomelo salad (!!!), rice crispies with peanut sauce

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How salads should be done. Pomelo style.

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Right: Gaeng Massaman Gai – Chicken in Massaman Curry with coconut milk

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Chicken with peanuts

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4. Ruen Urai – Fine Thai Cuisine

Ruen Urai is a hidden gem in the city. It took us a while to find our way to this cozy restaurant but it was worth it! This has been one of my uncle’s favourite restaurants for a while, so much so, that the servers know him and he’s become good friends with the chef (who we met!). This was the place where my uncle said “he knows we’re here” and voila fifteen minutes later, dinner was served. Again, didn’t get much photos because I was too busy eating. Have a look at their gallery, photos definitely better than mine.

So this is a sampler of the different appetizer dishes:

Upper right: crispy cups filled with minced prawns and garden herb salad

Right (wrapped): golden fried mini-parcels filled with minced prawns and chicken

Top left-ish: grilled honey and soy-glazed pork with pineapple and tomato

Bottom: spicy salad of barbequed duck in fresh herb and chilli dressing

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Grilled river prawns in curry paste (best prawns I’ve ever had)

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When I travel, I usually prefer to spend my money on activities and tours rather than food and souvenirs, but after experiencing Thai culture through their cuisine, it’s something I want to do in every place I visit.

If you’re in Bangkok, definitely visit one of these restaurants. What I love about Thai food is that there’s no such thing as “boring food”…every dish, every bite is a hundred different flavours. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the dishes. The most “basic” food there would probably be Pad Thai but even that is so tasty.

Hands down my favourite cuisine to date.

Well, this was quite a lengthy post. Excuse the bad food photography but I really wanted to post it! When I’m feeling ambitious in the kitchen maybe I’ll try whipping up a Thai dish, and by whipping up I mean taking 4 hours to make.

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