I’ve never been to Thailand before my trip a few weeks ago. I’ve always thought of Thai food as hot, spicy and sour.
Problem is, I can’t do hot or spicy. The last time I accidentally had a bite of chilli curry, my lips were swollen for half a day–not in an Angelina Jolie sexy lip way but a literal bee stung lip way.
So I was a little bit worried that I could only eat the desserts of Bangkok. Not that that’s a bad thing.
Turns out I got my food stereotype wrong and I had great non-hot meals during my 24 hours in Bangkok.
Day 1 in Bangkok
I only had one meal on Day 1. I skipped dinner because I was in a 1.5 hours queue for a 2.5 hours-long my Thai massage.
Tom kha kai
My first dish was a slightly overpriced tom kha kai (Thai chicken soup in coconut milk) from Cabbages & Condoms. I shouldn’t complain about the price because I’ve read about how the restaurant a bit pricey for the quality of the food. (A review of the place will come soon).
Tom kha kai was one of the few non-spicy dishes on the menu. It was an interesting soup. Slightly sour from lemongrass, it had an overpowering coconut taste. The coconut milk had curdled.
I supposed it was meant to be shared because by the time I had my last bowl of soup, my stomach felt like bursting.
I picked up a glass of strawberry syrup with ice from a stall set up for the vegetarian festival.
The drink was ok but the strawberry tasted a bit off.
Day 2 in Bangkok
I wasn’t very hungry in the morning from yesterday’s lunch. But I made myself have some food since I know that the Grand Palace is pretty huge.
I chose one of the hole in the wall which is on the way to the palace from the jetty.
I didn’t know what was on the menu. The lady of the shop asked, “Noodle? Rice?” I asked for noodles and said “yes” to duck.
My dish of duck horfun noodles came with shallow soup and a duck drumstick. It smelled good and tasted amazing.
The horfun was smooth and the duck tender. Even the soup was good.
I paid 60 baht for the bowl, since I think it was the most expensive dish on the menu.
After my breakfast, I went to two shops down for a breakfast dessert. The spicy ginger soup seduced me into the shop. There was another large pot with white beancurd.
I pointed at the big pot of soup outside, and signalled “1” with my index finger and said “no” to the croutons.
I later found out that the dish is called tao huai nam khing. Bean curd served with ginger syrup.
The ginger syrup was both hot temperature-wise and gingery-hot-wise. I choked on the spicy ginger taste a couple of times but I finished the bowl because I learned that ginger is good for health.
The beancurd didn’t have the usual soybean taste. Instead, it had a hint of peanuts. I couldn’t figure out if they used peanuts or if their soybean just tastes different.
The little shop seems to be famous. There were newspaper clippings and photographs of the owner with a celebrity with a bowl cut.
I had the first pad thai of my life at the small restaurant in the compound of the National Museum.
I initially thought pad thai was just like char kway teo and was surprised to find the rather pale-looking dish with peanut grounds.
It was sour and oily but still yummy. I believe it was only 30 baht.
McDonald’s at the airport
OK, I broke the Number 1 Rule of Eating in a Foreign Country: Do not eat globalized fast food.
My excuse was that it was the only affordable meal in the airport. I didn’t want to go hungry on my 2 hours and 45 minutes plane ride back and end up eating Popeyes when I reach around 10pm.
The food tasted exactly like it does in Singapore and Malaysia. But my drink seemed to be upsized.
Since I broke the rule of travel-eating, here is a photo of a Thai Ronald McDonald who is greeting passers by in a Thai way.