Saturday, February 4, 2012

Eating Adventures in Thailand

Thai food was great. We hadn't seen so much of it in over 6 months.

That's right. McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Krispy Kreme, Burger King, Starbucks, and even places like Outback, au bon pain, Cinnabon, and Haagen Dazs!  

"Thai" food was great.

Oh, but you didn't want to hear about that did you? Even though I was probably more excited about it than the "real" Thai food. Seriously, I don't even like McDonald's but I was so excited to have those french fries and that cheeseburger. Even that coke tasted good. Oh, I'm sad just thinking about how I won't get to eat that again for a while.  

We found a mall in Bangkok that was incredible. Siam Paragon was huge. Several stories of shopping, and each story the same size as any large mall in America, but the entire first floor was food. All mouth watering goodness that I couldn't resist. There was a grocery store in there that I almost had an anxiety attack in because it had so much selection. I haven't had that many choices in months and I couldn't even stand being in there. I wonder what my first trip back to the grocery store will be like when I get back to the US? I was totally overwhelmed. 

So we ate. And ate. And ate some more.

The next day when we walked through a Thai market after visiting the Grand Palace of the King of Thailand, one whiff of the food  had us hungry again. Oh, it smelled so good. 

You might think giant woks and bowls of mystery dishes don't look appetizing, but if I could capture a smell you would surely change your mind. Every dish was different and all the aromas mixed together and yet it still had our interests peaked and our mouths watering. We didn't know where to begin.  Until we saw something red.

Now if you've been following me for a bit, you've likely heard me complain that we don't have strawberries.  Why I would complain when we have pretty much every other fruit in the world, I don't know. I just miss them so much. They do exist here at the supermarket in a package of 4-5 tiny, unappetizing looking berries for $4 or so, but I've never bought them. In Thailand we found them all over the market. And they were good. So good we ate them every day by the bag full.  Just writing about them makes me contemplate another visit to Thailand. It's not fair that it's right "next door" and yet we don't have them here in Cambodia. 

The market was filled with all sorts of exciting treats, and we tried many of them. 

Meat balls. Let's have a closer look at them being made.

Many kinds of meat balls. Stephen kept pointing and asking what kind of meat they were and for many of them they just said "Chicken." I'm quite sure most were not chicken. The do cook with pork a lot so most were probably pork or yes, chicken. The kids were big fans of those hot dogs on a stick. Anything on a stick is fun!

Spring rolls on a stick. They had potato and carrot inside. The balls were corn fritters and we were calling them corn puppies. You know, like hush puppies. It made them much more fun to eat that way.

And of course, Pad Thai, the famous Thai dish. This one has prawns in it. Prawns are like super big shrimp, so I'm not sure where they are in this photo. It goes in the market pics because I got this at the market! There was a little spot with tables and chairs and they served it to me on a pretty plate with silverware. See, you don't have to eat everything on a stick! I think I ate Pad Thai 4 times on the trip. It was excellent every time, and slightly different each time, too. This one at the market was just as good as at the fancy restaurant at the hotel.

Um, those would be chicken heads. Look closely to see the beak and eye. I didn't try them, but based on everything else I had, I bet they'd be good.

Banana dessert. There were 3 types and we kept asking the lady what the difference was and she said sweet as she pointed to each one. Guess she didn't know what difference meant. So, of course we tried all three, with a little coconut milk added in. All of them were excellent. And yes, all were sweet, just in different ways.

One night we ate at a Thai restaurant on the 31st floor of our hotel. The food there was also very tasty.

Spicy fish cakes in the middle:  fried fish with green onion and spicy seasonings.  The kids ate them up, after picking out the green things, which they were convinced is what made them spicy.  Top: Spring rolls

Tom Yam soup, Thai hot and sour soup

Want fried fish? This is what you get.
This one had ginger and lemon seasonings and was delicious.

Chicken soup with coconut milk and chili powder

Ordered noodles with vegetables
Got this. It was great, though.

And here are some more foods from some of our other eating adventures throughout the region.  Honestly, all of it was good.  I'm not usually a very adventurous eater, and I loved it all.  It's not all that different from the food in Cambodia, but does have its own flair. We had a great time trying it all.

Green curry of some kind

Pork and ginger

Omelet with breading around it, then fried - fave of the kids

Pad Thai with thicker noodles

Beef dish with oyster sauce

Stuffed waffles - we opted for plain waffle with chocolate and banana inside. SO GOOD.

And speaking of dessert, I have to tell you about our most interesting dessert experience ever. While waiting on the parade at the umbrella festival, we saw a picture of ice cream on a sign and asked the waitress to bring us some. She replied that she didn't have ice cream but had something that was just like ice cream. Hmmm... ok, sure.  This is what we got:

It was the strangest - and sweetest - thing I've ever eaten.  

It tasted like melted cotton candy. Pure sugar. The texture was more like crushed ice with straight syrup on it.  Then it's like they emptied the pantry with everything they could find and dumped it into the bowl. It had chunks of bread, oreo, coco puffs, kiwi, corn flakes, orange candy, sprinkles, and quite a few unknowns.  So strange. The kids loved it but I was not that into it. It did a nice job of rounding out our food experience, though.

All in all, we were quite pleased with Thai food of all types.  

Hot dogs on a stick, Starbucks, Cinnabon, and McDonalds made the favorites list, but there are so many others we'll be talking about for years to come.  


No comments:

Post a Comment