It’s been a whole week since I last posted. Oops :(
Which brings us back to a posting of What Guestblogger Ate :)
And this week’s post was intended to read What Ola Ate… Ola… Who seriously could teach Martha a thing or three. Who merely read law at Cambridge but now reads Animal Tales exquisitely in Bangkok to the three most beautiful boys. Ola… Whose camera died on her and but with typical inspired efficiency got her guest and BIL … Stuart … to save my day. Thank you Stuart. For opening me up to that which is forbidden. For your heroism and irreverent insight. Feel my gratitude please.
So dear friends, read on and enjoy…
Sniffing Out Bangkok’s Foodie Bits….
As part of a midlife crisis (so I’ve been told), I have ended up in Bangkok. Luckily my brother beat me to it and has a spare room. Also luckily, being a mongrel, I am used to having my taste buds tweaked in various directions.
Back in London this morphed into a near obsession to find out-of-the-way places where preferably the staff didn’t speak English and food hygiene was not necessarily top priority. From my first step into Bangkok, things where looking good on all these fronts.
Usually eaten, lives freshly ended, by a man with money and little imagination in front of a lady who knows she should have done better. However an oyster omelette? I encountered this briefly in Malacca and didn’t see much future in the relationship. But Mr Lonely Planet insisted that Nay Mong in China Town had cracked it.
If I’m honested the oysters reminded me of another brief encounter; this time with cockrel testicles in Slovakia. The battery/eggy fried splat which served as a base was delicious though and I wasn’t going to argue with Mr Lonely Planet this time.
Next to the market….
Apparently Chatuchak market is all the rage on a weekend. Can’t quite see it myself. Did see endless rows of shoplets selling complete tat. Always suprises me that one countryman’s rubbish is another’s evidence of mind broadening cultural interaction.
As you would expect the good stuff is round the back of this place (I’m sure the locals use a different entrance), which I found by getting thoroughly lost. Ended up next to some Thais and pointed to one of their bowls of noodles and intimated to the vendor, “I’ll have what he’s having”. I was quite impressed with my non-verbal communication until I realised that was all he had anyway.
Noodles in brown broth with pork ball, green bits and what I think was crispy fish skin – but you never know.
Fine dining on the cheap…
Thanks to Nancy Chandler’s Map of Bangkok, I found Ruen Urai. An old wooden house next to the swimming pool of a midmarket hotel. It was mid-afternoon and I was the only one in the place. On these occasions I tend to pretend I am a snaz-pants food critique, as opposed to just a bloke who can’t remember what he has eaten unless he takes a picture of it.
What we have here is some minced up, spiced up meat (pork, always a safe guess) wrapped in a egg lattice (ooooooh), fried rice with shrimp paste, egg and bits from the garden, and a coconut chicken soup with galangal and bamboo shoots.
The shrimp paste made the rice sandy, the egg lattice…Pollock-ish and ineffectual, but the soup was fantastic: light, flavoursome and balanced. Even the odd bit of chicken gristle couldn’t temper the yumminess.
NB: the only reason I could see why this place was less than expensive, was the proximity of two old European types, one in speedos and the other in a bikini that she probably bought when she was 40 years younger.
And with that … errr … thank you Stuart :)
ps – please fix your camera pronto Ola :)