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Thailand: ALL that food

21 Jan

There’s this list I maintain, of things I need to get down to writing about. Because inspiration strikes in the most weird places, at the oddest of time, sometimes. For some inexplicable reason, the need to suddenly right strikes a lot when I am half way through my evening walk sometimes. Entire sentences crystallise in my mind and I have to pray that they will stay in my head until I am back home and able to write. Sometimes when I’m taking a midnight pee, or when I’m thick in the middle of an essay I really cannot put aside to sit and blog instead. I suddenly have a flash of inspiration and it feels like my brain will seize if I don’t put it down instantly. But how can I possibly put it down instantly when I am mid-steam on a midnight pee break, with my eyes shut? So I grab the closest gadget and note it down, in the hope that since I didn’t let the idea pass me by, I can get back to it later. I’m just not very good at preempting how much later.

But I digress. the point of this spiel is to say that “The Thailand Diaries” has been on this list, in 4-5 sub-parts forever now, and I absolutely need to finish it. It was the big holiday of the last year. And last year is over and done with, and we’re now planning the big holiday for this year. Its high time, don’t you think? So I’ve decided to put my anal, OCD, must-tell-the-story-in-sequence self aside for a while. And share the story in bits and pieces as it comes to me.

This one is about the food. Almost all the food. Brace yourself. This is going to be long, picture-heavy (please don’t judge though, these are all shitty phone cam pictures taken without too much thought) and I’m pretty sure for some, it might induce a mild case of incontinent drooling.

Aside from the illegal amounts of relaxing, the trip to Thailand was really mostly about the food (and you saw that in some part when I blogged about the food at Chatuchak), and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t biased in picking this destination, based on just that: the myriad food possibilities. The husband was a bit meh to begin with, and my anticipatory over-excited omggggg-I-cant-wait drooliness was met with sarcasm and some attempts to curb my enthusiasm. As. If. that has ever worked with me. Hah! And so when we landed in Bangkok and reached Sukhumvit on day 1, I was just agog with all the street side carts, piled high with colourful (and strange) looking fruit, the freshest veggies, and cute little all-encompassing stove-top cooking stations that dished out everything from crepes/pancakes to omelettes and fritters and pad thai with equal gusto. I was a bit beside myself, and wanted to try everything and had to constantly remind myself that it was just day 1 and that pacing it out might be the better way to go. In retrospect, I’m a little sad I listened to myself, because we never really went back to that little street and indulge in every little thing every cart had to offer, despite plans and full intentions to do so. We just didn’t have the time to squeeze it all in.

This is me, on the very last day, feeling extremely sorry for 1) having to leave Thailand 2) Sipping on the very last Thai Iced Coffee 3) Not having enough time to stuff some more face before we took off homeward

This is me, on the very last day, feeling extremely sorry for 1) having to leave Thailand 2) Sipping on the very last Thai Iced Coffee 3) Not having enough time to stuff some more face before we took off homeward

But we did manage to taste everything across the spectrum: eating out of street-side carts, pavement restaurants covered in dinky tents, to fancier, more expensive places. I don’t think I had a single meal that disappointed me, or failed to satisfy some part of my foodie self!

Super spicy papaya salad at a fancy restaurant

Super spicy papaya salad at a fancy restaurant

Pad thai from a pavement restaurant in Phuket. And picture #367534 of the husband with a funny mouth-full-face!

Pad thai from a pavement restaurant in Phuket. And picture #367534 of the husband with a funny mouth-full-face!

If I had just one word to describe the food in Thailand, I would have to pick: fresh. Everything looked/smelt/felt/tasted like it had just been picked and cooked. So while there was an abundance of meat and seafood, with the combination of all the amazing Thai spices to boot, I chose to go veggie for most of the trip. I’m a sucker for fresh veg. Fresh fruit just takes the cake for me.

This is just day 1. What was to come, was a stream of constant fruit overload we weren't expecting.

This is just day 1. What was to come, was a stream of constant fruit overload we weren’t expecting.

So my breakfasts were mostly fresh fruit and yoghurt and at mealtimes, aside from the times we OD’d on Pad Thai and Thai curry and rice, I was a happy camper with the endless stir-fry options to choose from. Most often I would just pick a mixed veg and tofu stir-fry, and gobble it up all by itself, or pair it with rice.

Resort food at its best: fresh fruit and yoghurt for breakkie and prawn cakes with sweet chilli sauce to go with our afternoon beers

Resort food at its best: fresh fruit and yoghurt for breakkie and prawn cakes with sweet chilli sauce to go with our afternoon beers

Fritter-like sweet buns, which tasted like a cross between yeasted bread and coconut macaroons. ZOMG-yummy.

Fritter-like sweet buns, which tasted like a cross between yeasted bread and coconut macaroons. ZOMG-yummy.

1 of 23865 meals of stir-fried veggies with rice. I heart bok-choy enough to marry it.

1 of 23865 meals of stir-fried veggies with rice. I now heart bok-choy enough to marry it.

I cannot talk about the food in Thailand without mentioning the copious amounts of fresh fruit juices, smoothies and fruit-based cocktails I ingested.

Thai iced coffee (of which a little too much was consumed) at PhiPhi Island and a fresh kiwi smoothie at Phuket

Thai iced coffee (of which a little too much was consumed) at PhiPhi Island and a fresh kiwi smoothie at Phuket

For every beer that the husband had (and there were quite a fewwwwww), I countered it with a smoothie or a cocktail. There were a couple of alcohol-free days, where I subsisted only on a fruity-liquid diet (and some sea food thrown in). Something that is unimaginable for the husband given that he began downing his beers at approx 11 am every morning, with no sign of stopping till the day was done.

Beer for the husband and a Coconut Lagoon (Coconut milk + Malibu + something + something) for me

Beer for the husband and a Coconut Lagoon (Coconut milk + Malibu + something + something) for me

And here’s a look at some of the alco that we did consume. It was hard not to want to dig in to the tiny VW vans turned into road-side car-o-car type things. One can’t go to Thailand and not have one-too-many MaiTais either. Especially when served up like this.

VW van, VC had a hard time picking his favourite beer by the end of the trip, and a superbly sexy MaiTai

VW van, VC had a hard time picking his favourite beer by the end of the trip, and a superbly sexy MaiTai

See VCs version here.

Some staple unadventurous Thai food had to be had of course. Lots of satays, lots of Thai curry and rice. Till my nose ran, my ears burned, I didn’t stop.

Even the one time they said "not spicy" VC had a running nose and couldn't finish his meal

Even the one time they said “not spicy” VC had a running nose and couldn’t finish his meal

There was the customary one meal where we go all out and do something outrageous. This time, it was a whole snapper grilled with coriander, chillies and lots of lemon. OMFG good, but SO difficult to finish.

Half-finished fish that I really didn't have the heart to say goodbye to

Half-finished fish that I really didn’t have the heart to say goodbye to

Some quirky stalls, some smiley faces, lots of fresh food: that pretty much sums up all of Thailand.

Happy Pad Thai place in Krabi that claimed (with LOTS of proof) to be the best Pad Thai ever

Happy Pad Thai place in Krabi that claimed (with LOTS of proof) to be the best Pad Thai ever

When they say its cool, it really is cool B-)

When they say its cool, it really is cool B-)

—————

For older updates preceding this one, look here:

#1: Landing in Bangkok
#2: Wandering through Chatuchak
#3: Chow at Chatuchak
#4: Next stop, Phuket

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9 Responses to “Thailand: ALL that food”

  1. Peggy Tee January 21, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    Noms!!! I loved the food in Thailand while I was there… and I want to go back…. to make sweet noms to that little place that sold chicken stew noodles with chicken feet. Great write up!

    • hAAthi January 21, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      Noms! LOL..thats a good way to put it :P
      Thanks for stopping by PeggyT!

  2. swatimital January 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Very nice. I spent over a month in Thailand many years ago and loved the street food. What is your big trip for this year?

    • hAAthi January 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      After 4 years of making and breaking plans we’re finally going to Leh this june :D

      • swatimital January 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        That sounds really good. If I were living closer to you, I would have given you my Ladakh books to read. There are some wonderful walks you can do even in a short space of 3 to 4 days.

        • hAAthi January 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

          How nice. Would it be okay then if I mailed you for some tips/ideas when I am closer to planning the finer details?

  3. Food-Dee-Dum January 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    This is making me want to go back too :( The food was definitely the highlight of the trip!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thailand: ALL that food | Home Far Away From Home - January 21, 2013

    […] There’s this list I maintain, of things I need to get down to writing about. Because inspiratisource […]

  2. All THIS food « hAAthi - January 21, 2013

    […] so soon after I did the last one. Not long after I was reminiscing about Thailand and ALL that food I’m back with some more food. From closer home this time. Sometimes I really think about […]

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