Bangkok, Ao Nang and Koh Lanta food experiences

To keep the ball rolling on the topic of food I decided to do a quick comparitive review of a few of best (and worst, maybe?) dishes that we’d had since arriving to Thailand.

Garlic Chicken, super spicy Panang curry with rice and a delicious papaya salad! Nom Nom Nomm!!
Garlic Chicken, super spicy Panang curry with rice and a delicious papaya salad! Nom Nom Nomm!!

Despite my paranoia about consuming too much MSG, I must admit that the food here is actually quite tasty. The salads are a great balance between healthy eating and excellent taste. Also, all of the street-foods are incredibly delicious and cheap.

Our first meal was a little bit of a miss for me. We had some quick soupy like noodles at an open-air street-food stall/sit down restaurant outside a seven eleven in Bangkok. The ingredients are still a little bit of a mystery to me but I believe I had a type of fishball soup whereas Mustafa had a chicken or other meat version. The soup broth was a clear pinkish colour and was a little on the sweet side.

Tom Yummm Kung!!
Tom Yummm Kung!!

Our second meal was much more interesting as we’d found a place to serve us some Tom Yum Kung, it was better than I’d expected.

The next most memorable thing we had was the famous mango sticky rice. This was something I’d never tried previously. Warm sticky rice topped with sweet condensed milk and crispy puffed grains of some sort all accompanied by two delicious, ripe mangoes.

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Divine! Sticky mango rice!

After busy and bustling Bangkok, Ao Nang was a wonderful surprise, less busy but not quiet. It was there we found a most interesting salt grilled fish, pictured below.

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Salt grilled fish. Tasty and fun to eat! 😉

Then we went on to find more culinary adventures in Koh Lanta. We found two remarkable dishes – a seafood salad called “Spicy Mama Salad” and some excellent garlic chicken and Panang curry (first picture in this post).

 "Instant noodles, tons of shrimp and squid and other seafood goodness....and a whole lotta spice!"
Spicy Mama Salad: “Instant noodles, tons of shrimp and squid and other seafood goodness….and a whole lotta spice!”

After all our wonderful food experiences in these places we came to Chiang Mai…and the foods we found here will be showcased in even greater detail in an upcoming update so get ready to feast your eyes as we feast our souls and tummys!! ;P

 

That white stuff

It is everywhere. In packets at seven eleven, in cups and dispensers at restaurants, in all the food, in all the soup broths, – just everywhere.

At first I thought it was sugar, as it certainly didn’t taste like salt! It wasn’t sweet either, but I thought maybe it was a very weak, highly processed sugar, or some bland spice. I couldn’t figure it out because my mind did not want to accept the horibble truth.

It was our first day in Thailand, we’d just gotten off the train from the airport to the downtown and were looking for something to eat. We’d found a noodle place outside a seven eleven and decided the prices looked good and the patrons there seemed to be enjoying their good-sized portions of food. We each ordered a different, unpronounceable dish off the menu and sat down to wait for our food.

Whilst waiting I took note of all the different sauces and spices one could add to their dish. There was dry powdered red chili, a clear liquid with green chilis, soy sauce, what looked like fish sauce and a white crystal-like substance in a cup which I couldn’t identify.

I tasted it and so did Mustafa but we were still clueless as to what it was. I looked around at the other people eating their food and saw one guy putting great heaping tablespoonfuls of the stuff into his noodles. He clearly loved it. Whatever it was.

Fast forward to nearly three and a half weeks later. I had, by this time, just started taking the white crystal stuff at every restaurant for granted. It was night time, around 7pm. We had just eaten dinner with our new classmates and had decided to grab a few things from seven eleven for breakfast. We were looking for salt and I saw a packet on one of the shelves but neither Mustafa nor I could determine if it was salt or that mystery substance. So we asked one of the helpful staff. It wasn’t salt.

It was MSG. Monosodium glutamate. The entire country uses it in almost every dish. Not only is it already in the food but it’s put as a flavor additive on the table for you, I’d you think your food isn’t tasty enough you can simply trick your brain by adding more msg.