It’s been over a year since I visited Bangkok and Chiang Mai and I’m still trying to recreate the tastes of Thailand. From sticky rice and mango in the old city to grilled meats, Issan-style, the flavors of Thailand elude me. Mangoes in California will never be as fragrant and kaffir lime leaves are nearly impossible to find. Fresh sugar cane juice? Forget about it.
Nishan and I went to Thailand to eat, and eat we did. (Oh yeah, we also did some sightseeing.)
We dragged our jet-lagged selves to Khlong Lat Mayom, a floating market half an hour outside of Bangkok. The bustling market, the heat, and the smog were thick but we found fresh mangosteens and freshly squeezed palm and sugar cane juice to cool us down. A snack of eggs with seafood and chili sauce kept us satiated for the ride back to the city. Back in Bangkok’s Sathorn District, we made our way to Thanying for dinner.
Crab roe with salted egg yolk and fresh vegetables
Stir-fried morning glory with soybean sauce
Deep-fried sea bass with garlic and pepper
Stir-fried crab with curry powder, egg, milk, chili oil, and celery
By our second day, we were both feeling under the weather but we had plans to visit historic Ayutthaya, so off we went along the Chao Praya river. From there, a short bus ride took us to Ayutthaya, where we rented bikes to ride through the historic ruins in 100 degree heat and humidity level infinity. Great idea, right?
By the end of the day, Nishan got heat exhaustion and I’d developed a full-blown cold. Back in Thailand, we’d made dinner reservations at Nahm, also known as The Restaurant Where I Was So Stuffy I Couldn’t Taste Anything.
That being said, my favorite thing on the menu by far was dessert — and I don’t even have much of a sweet tooth. Behold: pandanus noodles with black sticky rice, water chestnuts, tapioca, and coconut cream. I could eat this every day.