Bangkok, the land of smiles! Just 2.5 hours away by flight, Bangkok is a perfect location for a weekend getaway. With very affordable food, extremely wallet friendly massage and cheap shopping, Bangkok is easily one of the favourite cities for a quick escape. I used to travel to Bangkok almost once every quarter for work and I have my own list of absolute MUST eats.
This dish is called Khao Kha Moo which is braised pork leg rice. This dish can be found in all food courts or even road side stall. This is a dish that is commonly ate by Thais as a quick meal as it is a fairly simple and affordable dish. We have a similar dish in Singapore as well which is found at Bak Kut Teh stalls but personally I love the Thailand version as the meat is thoroughly braised and each piece of meat is very tender and succulent with delicious flavours of the braised sauce. My personal favourites stall is the one located at Fortune IT Mall food court. The normal braised leg rice comes with salted pickled vegetable as a side and I usually add a braised egg and crispy pork. The crispy pork is crunchy and adds a nice texture to the plate. This combo cost approximately THB 50 or 60.
Address: 1,3,5,7 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khwaeng Din Daeng, Khet Din Daeng, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400, Thailand
Operating hours: 10 am to 10 pm
MRT: Phra Ram 9 Station
Fried chicken wings are a plenty everywhere and each different countries has their own version of chicken wings. Some of the best chicken wings are actually found by the Bangkok streets. For those who are not so adventurous to try the street chicken wings, you can try the chicken wings from this restaurant Som Tam Nua. Som Tam Nua has a few outlets with the original one at Siam Square and an urban eatery at Siam centre 4th floor. The newest outlet I discovered is at central embassy which is a more up class restaurant compared to the other outlets. The restaurant is popular with locals and tourist and is extremely crowded during meal times so if you do not want to queue, do avoid those times. The chicken priced at THB 115 for small and 150 for large is fried to such perfection that the skin is crispy but the meat is tender and moist. There are also garlic bits that comes with it and it adds additional flavours to the chicken.
Outlets : Siam Square , Siam Centre 4th floor Nearest BTS : Siam Station
Outlet : Central Embassy Nearest BTS : Ploenchit Station
Operating hours: 10.45 am to 9.30 pm
This next dish can be found in most seafood restaurants. You might have heard of Somboon as the restaurant to go to for the famous Thai curry crab. I find the restaurant quite over rated and extremely crowded with many tourists flocking here to try the crabs. Personally, I prefer to have prawns with the yellow curry powder sauce to spare me the mess and one restaurant does this exceptionally well. Nara Thai cuisine is famous and has won many food awards. I had meals at Nara many times and while I have many dishes I like, this fried prawn in yellow curry is one of my favourite. The sauce is thick and creamy with enough spicy savoury kick. Priced at THB 520, there are 3-4 prawns which are well cooked and the meat very springy. The curry gravy is great with either jasmine or sticky rice.
Outlets : Central World nearest BTS Ploenchit . Emquartier nearest BTS Phrom Phong ( you can also check their website for other outlets)
Operating hours: 10 am to 10 pm
The next dish is Thai steamed fish with lime, garlic and chili and you can find this dish in almost all Thai restaurants. For me, this dish rocks as long as the fish is fresh and the sauce is the right combination of sour, spicy, salty and garlicky. I love the sauce so much that I found a replacement if I am dining alone and it is the fish fillet in garlic lime sauce. Ideally, to enjoy the whole glory of the dish, ordering the entire fish is the recommended thing to do but if you are a lone diner, you can also try the fillet version priced at THB 260.
Firstly, the fillet version is found in Nara. The sauce has a nice tangy taste to it but can be too spicy sometimes. Information about Nara can be found above. For the whole fish version, one of the best ones I tried is in a restaurant called Chic Grill in Asiatique. They served a delectable gravy that is so addictive we all ended up drinking the gravy more than eating the fish. The fish is very fresh and the entire dish was easily the star of the meal. Priced at only THB 400, it is well worth travelling to Asiatique.
Chic Grill Address: Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand ( Asiatique)
Operating hours: 5.00 pm to 12.00 am
This next restaurant invented this dish and does it so well that it became the star of the restaurant. Laem Charoen is a restaurant well-loved by locals. I was brought to this restaurant many times by my local contact. One of my favourite dish is this deep-fried sea bass with signature fish sauce priced at THB 420. The fish is fried so beautifully that even the bones of fish are crispy and can be eaten. The sauce has a light sweetness to it but yet not overpowering to cover the savoury taste of the fish sauce. You definitely have to give this a try.
Outlets: Central World nearest BTS Ploenchit . Siam Paragon nearest BTS Siam
Operating hours: 11 am to 10 pm
The next dish is again a local favourite for lunch and can be found in all food courts and street stalls. Similar to boat noodles, there are 2 versions to this dish which is the braised duck noodles or pork noodles in braised soup. I personally love all dark soup with a tinge of herbal taste. Most of the noodle soups in Bangkok has this dark herbal soup that I absolutely love and there is no particular restaurant or food court I go for my fix. One of the food court I do go often for this is the MBK food court or the platinum mall food court.
This next dish is not really local but it is something you can only find in Thailand. After I stopped eating beef, the mushroom swiss burger from Burger King was the only thing I missed so much. When I found out Burger King in Thailand allows you to customise your meat patty to pork or beef, I had to try it. We had the chicken mushroom swiss in Singapore before but it was lacklustre and I think it is because chicken is white meat and doesn’t really go well with the mushroom swiss sauce. The first time I bit into the pork mushroom swiss, I was absolutely moved to tears as this was the taste I have been missing so much. There is no more doubt that mushroom swiss needs to be paired with red meat.
Now on to desserts. This little darling has many tourist and locals queuing for them in almost all of the outlets. After You café has about 18 outlets throughout Bangkok and the ones in the city are the most crowded. One of the best item on the menu is the Shibuya Honey toast priced at THB 165 for small and THB 185 for normal size. The regular size comes with 2 scopes of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on the side. There is also honey in a jar for you to add onto your toast. It is basically a huge thick French toast with sweet honey and vanilla ice cream. Sound very normal but it is a great dessert to indulge in during your holidays.
Another drink I love from the café is the Horlicks frappe as I have a weakness for Horlicks in any form.
Outlets: Central world nearest BTS Ploenchit . Siam Square / Siam paragon nearest BTS Siam
Operating hours: The outlet at Siam square closes the latest at 12 am
This is a drink I always have when I am in Bangkok. Surprisingly, this is not a Thai drink like Cha yan milk tea or anything but Matcha Green milk tea. This Osaka Milk tea uses milk from Hokkaido and taste super good and authentic. I have introduced many to this drink and they have become repeated customers. For a start, you must be a matcha lover as the matcha taste in the tea is strong and fragrant. The milk is thick and sweet. This is better than *ucks green tea frappe to me. There is unfortunately only 1 outlet and it is located at Emporium mall.
Outlet: Emporium Mall nearest BTS : Phrom Phong
Last but not least the national favourite dessert; Mango Sticky rice. You can have this dish almost everywhere from food court, restaurants, cafes to street peddlers. Pairing with this dessert is fresh coconut water which will wash down all the heat of the Bangkok weather. One of the good mango sticky rice I had is from the MBK food court.
These 2 snacks is something you find in Bangkok streets. 1st is a crispy pancake topped with heavy sweet cream and shredded coconut. There are a few versions of the shredded coconut which is spicy or just sweet. You can find these goodies at MBK shopping mall at level 3 where they sell mobile phones and covers. Each pancake is priced at THB 10 only. The other thing to have is bird’s nest dessert from street peddlers. Many have questioned the authenticity of these desserts but from what I understand, these are real bird’s nest but are sold at such a low price because they are broken pieces collected from factories processing bird’s nest. A large bowl of bird’s nest will set you back to THB 500 to THB 600. Every spoonful is so thick and full of collagen and it tastes extremely soothing after refrigeration. I usually pop these into the fridge at the hotel and have them the next morning and just before bed. The store I usually go to is at Chinatown as I tried others in downtown and they are really expensive.