Thursday, September 10, 2015

[Suggested Itinerary] Bangkok, Thailand Food Guide 2015 of Street Food and Restaurants

A gastronomical paradise for food lovers, Bangkok is indisputably famed for its food, not only the ubiquitous street food but also renowned for its myriad of restaurants offering international cuisine. It is nearly impossible to go through and narrow down everyone of them. We might not have tried a very extensive selection of restaurants/ street food but we do have a list of interesting food places here; whether you have a tight budget or deep pocket, you will always find a place that suits you in Bangkok, Thailand.

P/S: If you are looking for an eloquent tour guide who speaks fluent English and Mandarin, you may contact Pinky at +6681-372 9848 or email her at She is one of the best tour guides I have ever met- extremely friendly and knowledgeable. One of the many reasons to why we enjoyed our tour so much. Also, many thanks to Richard Lim, Marketing Manager of Tourism Authority of Thailand in Malaysia for showing us around.

*This post is brought to you by Tourism Authority of Thailand.*

1) Kuang Heng Pratunam 
Address: 960- 962, Phetchaburi Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 6 am to 1 am. Opens Daily.
Direction: 10 min walk from Ratchathewi BTS station, the place can be found across the street to Platinum Fashion Mall.  

Dried Fish Maw Soup (50 Baht)

Sangkaya with Steamed Bread (40 Baht)

Chinese Spring Rolls (35 Baht)

Grilled Pork/ Chicken Satay (100 Baht)

Perhaps well-known as one of the best supper places at Bangkok, Kuang Heng's signature Chicken Rice has attracted the attention of many media and since, being featured in many publications. True enough, we were impressed with their Deboned Chicken, which went really well with their spicy dipping sauce. Fish Maw Soup was just okay, we did not enjoy the peculiar smell of the Bamboo Shoots but Sangkaya with Steamed Bread was out of the world delicious.

The Sangkaya shared some common characteristics as our local Kaya (Coconut Jam), creamy, sweet and eggy but the flavors were well-balanced. The delicate combination was a match made in haven. So good that we had to make a second visit during our trip. The Chinese Spring Rolls were unique, some with Pork but we opted for the Vegetarian version. Not particularly outstanding but it was satisfying for supper. 

2) Kyo Roll En Cafe
Address: Siam Square One, 991/1, First Floor of Siam Square, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Direction: Find the exit at Siam Station BTS.

Mixed- Sesame and Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream with Mochi, Azuki Red Bean Paste and Green Tea Chocolate (109 Baht)

Strategically located in the central business district of Bangkok, Siam Square is one of the perfect places for entertainment, shopping and of course, dining. While we did not manage to browse the entire mall, we did stumble upon Kyo Roll En, which serves Japanese desserts. We had their signature Sesame and Matcha Soft Serve. The Green Tea flavor was awesome but the Sesame was rather mild. Sweetness was at its right spot and the texture was extremely smooth. We trust this could be one of your perfect solutions to the sultry warm tropical heat.

3) Ban Khun Mae Thai Restaurant
Address: 458/7-9, Siam Square Soi 8, Rama 1 Road, Pathum Wan District, 10330, Bangkok, Thailand. 
Business Hours: 11 am to 9 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +662 250 1952
Direction: Find your way out at Siam Station BTS. Opposite to Siam Square One. 

Thai Spicy Papaya Salad (100 Baht)

Pad Thai with Shrimp (150 Baht)

Tom Yum Goong (200 Baht)

Tab Tim Krob (60 Baht)

Cross the street from Siam Square One and you will find Ban Khun Mae Thai Restaurant right in front of you (adjacent to the famous Hello Kitty Cafe and After You). The place was thronged with the office workers nearby and has proven to be one of the popular lunch places for the locals (as told by our tour guide- Pinky). We were enticed by the Pad Thai, which has the quintessential Wok Hei that imparted the smoky-flavor to the dish. It carried a sleek of sweetness but it did not spoil the dish. The noodles were bouncy either, best to go with their generously given Seafood.

Equally delicious was their Tom Yum Goong, though fiery hot and sour, it sets a promising start to the meal. It struck us with an avalanche of flavors and delicate herbaceous aroma. The spotlight of the day, however, goes to their desserts- Tab Tim Krob and Candied Taro served with Coconut Milk (100 Baht). The former one was comforting, served icy cold and the Red Ruby (Tapioca-floured Water Chestnut) was extremely crunchy; though we would prefer more Jack Fruit to be added. The latter one hit us with its milky, sweet flavor. The Coconut Milk commingled with the soft but starchy Taro/ Yam. One of the most enjoyable meals during our trip. 

4) China Town
Address: Yaowarat Road, Bangkok, Thailand.
Direction: 15 mins-walk from MRT Hau Lamphong Station. 

Lotus Root Tea (20 Baht)

Pomegranate Juice (50 Baht)

The history of how the Chinese sets their foot into Bangkok started in the 17th century and one of the most valuable intangible goods brought by the Chinese is unquestionably their food culture; which impacted Thailand a lot. All walks of life can be seen at Chinatown, as well as a prominent number of Chinese eateries which include but not limited to Bird's Nest and Shark's Fin Soup. Many local delicacies can also be found in the vicinity. If you are into Dried goods, Chinatown might be one of the ideal places to stock up your inventory. 

5) Hua Seng Hong Restaurant (和成丰酒楼)
Address: 371-373, Yaowarat road, Samphanthawong, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +02- 222 7053
Directions: 15 mins-walk from MRT Hau Lamphong Station. 

Shark's Fin with Crab Meat in Red Soup (1000 Baht/ Large)

Stir Fried Scallops with XO Sauce (5 pcs/ 500 Baht)

Stir Fried Beef with Oyster Sauce (200 Baht)

Crispy Oysters with Egg on Hot Plate (200 Baht)

While you are in Chinatown and wandering around looking for food, make your way to one of the oldest enclaves in the vicinity- Hua Seng Hong Restaurant. Established since 1973, this is definitely one of the best Chinese restaurants in the vicinity. It has a lot to offer, probably too much that one needs to make a few visits back to try them all. We had their signature Shark's Fin Soup, chunks of Seafood can be seen swimming around the Soup. It was thick but it was not overly starchy, the texture was just alright. The Scallops were at their biggest size ever, too big that we could not finish it in one bite. Stir Fried Beef was toothsome either, the Beef was so tender, minimal effort was necessary to tear them apart. The sauce was great and spooned perfectly over rice. Other worth-trying dishes include Roasted Trio, Braised Noodles etc.

6) Yen Ta Fo Pink Noodle Soup
Address: 5th Floor of Siam Paragon Mall, 991, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Directions: Find your way out from Siam Station BTS. 

Signature Fish Balls with Red Tofu "Yen Ta Fo" Soup (90 Baht)

Deep Fried Fish Skin (90 Baht)

Assorted Fish Balls with Spicy Seafood Sauce ( 150 Baht)

Spicy Som Tam (120 Baht)

Yong Tau Foo is omnipresent at any states of Malaysia but the Thais have different methods of presenting them. The best place to experience the twist would be Yen Ta Fo, according to our tour guide. The Yong Tau Foo items were freshly made in the kitchen; the open-kitchen setting allows diners to look through what is happening in the kitchen and witness the entire process.

Their signature Yen Ta Fo Soup is not to be missed- assorted Yong Tau Foo along with some flat Rice Noodles, served with their home-made sweat-inducing Pink soup. Not only that it has a hint of sourness but it carried an unbearable heat as well. The generously added ingredients speak for itself; more Fish Balls than Noodles. Deep Fried Fish Skin can be a contenting dish to be shared- shattering crisp but a tad greasy unfortunately. We would not recommend to try their Blanched Assorted Fish Balls though as some possessed the peculiar fishy smell. Save yourself some room for their desserts, go for their Coconut Ice Cream; jam-packed with the Coconut flavor and bits of Coconut flesh can also be tasted. It was not the usual creamy type but the flavor was more intense than the ordinary ones. 

7) Dairy Queen Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream
Address: LG 402, Terminal 21 Mall, 2.88, Sukhumvit Soi 19, Sukhumvit Road, North Klongtoei, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand.  
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Directions: Take BTS to Asok Station and walk to Terminal 21 Mall. 

Matcha Red Bean Soft Serve (50 Baht)

Terminal 21, one of the fashion-leading malls in Bangkok; has some cutting-edge interior design. The 9-floor shopping mall was well-designed to suit the theme of different countries... even the washrooms. There are many international brands available for those who can afford to spend. It will however, take a while to browse the mall but for the food enthusiasts, it is worth checking out the lower ground floor of this particular mall. Dairy Queen is one of the tenants at Lower Ground floor, a Matcha Soft Serve ice cream parlor that has funky flavors. We wanted to try the Matcha and Cheese Cake flavor but it was not available on our visit. Dairy Queen is committed in serving quality Ice Cream shake, it will be given to you free if the shake falls out from the cup. We had Red Bean with Matcha Soft Serve, the portion was humongous but fortunately, the flavor was alright (we would prefer the Matcha flavor to be slightly stronger) and it was not too sweet but we'd recommend sharing it with your friend. 

8) Mama Monkey Banana Fries
Address: LG Floor, Terminal 21 Mall, 2.88, Sukhumvit Soi 19, Sukhumvit Road, North Klongtoei, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand.  
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Directions: Take BTS to Asok Station and walk to Terminal 21 Mall. 

Banana Fries served with Wasabi Mayo and Tom Yum Kong (59 Baht)

Few shops away from Dairy Queen on the same floor at Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, there is an establishment that sells Banana-related snacks. We did not have much space left so we decided to settle for their Banana Fries served with Wasabi Mayo and Tom Yum Kong. The Fries were crunchy and airy with nary of Banana flavor or perhaps, the flavor was a little thin to be discerned. They were more or less, like the usual Potato Fries sans the Potato-earthy flavor. Tom Yum Kong was refreshing, though not spicy, it certainly added an interesting dimension to the greasy snack. Other interesting selection includes Banana Wanton, Banana Smoothie and Banana Snow Balls etc.

9) Sukhumvit Soi 38 Street Food
Address: Sukhumvit Soi 38
Business Hours: 6 pm to 2 am. Opens Daily.
Directions: Exit BTS Thong Lor

Grilled Cuttlefish (150 Baht)

Wanton Mee (50 Baht)

Pad Thai (50 Baht)

Salt-Crusted Grilled Fish (280 Baht)

Crab Som Tum (80 Baht)

Strolling along Sukhumvit Soi 38 is one of the best ways to experience Thailand's multiculturalism; from local Thai delicacies to Chinese-influenced Street Food or cheap and fresh Catch of the Sea. The place once had many stalls displaying by the road side (both sides to be precise) but they were forced to move in by the local authorities, for hygiene purposes. There are many hidden gems, we especially enjoyed their Pad Thai. Everything was precisely seasoned, noodles were al-dente and the Wok Hei was there to enhance the overall flavor.

Grilled Cuttlefish was at its best form either, carefully cooked to the right texture and dressed well with the appetizing, spicy and sour Seafood dipping sauce. The Salt-crusted Seabass echoed well amongst the few of us; the flesh was so fresh that the dipping sauce was not necessary. The natural sweetness of the Fish speaks for itself. While many thought their Wanton Mee was lip-smacking, I thought it was just mediocre. It was a tad oily to my liking and the noodles could be more al-dente. Other Thai delicacies available are Mango Sticky Rice, Grilled Chicken/ Pork Skewers, Somtum, Pork Porridge etc.

10) Sam Yan Wet Market
Address: Payathai Road, Soi Chula 50 (opposite to Chulalongkorn University), Bangkok, Thailand. 
Business Hours: 5 am to 5 pm. Opens Daily.
Directions: Take MRT to Si Lom Station and take Tuk Tuk OR Take BTS to National Stadium and take Tuk Tuk OR take MRT to Sam Yan Station and walk to the market. 

Main entrance to Samyan Market

Fresh Vege-Dumplings

A wide variety of local produce

An assortment of local delicacies and home-made sweets

Roasted Pork Belly

Exploring Wet Markets are some of the coolest ways to experience the local culture, plus, it can save you some pennies too. Samyan Market is not as touristy as some other wet markets but it sure has a wide selection of local fresh produce. One floor up to the wet market is a food court well-received by the local university students. Prices are lower than huge establishments. The place was extremely clean and no traces of uneasy sight can be seen. This is also one of the best places to grab yourself some local fresh fruits and cooking ingredients. 

11) Srinakarin Rot Fai/ Train Station Market
Address: Behind Seacon Square, Soi 51, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 5 pm to 12 am. Thursdays to Sundays. (best time to visit would be around 6:30 pm on weekends)
Directions: We'd recommend taking a cab from BTS On Nut Station.

Braised Fish Balls in Spicy Sauce (20 Baht/ skewer)

Green Tea Cream Puff and Chai Tea Cream Puff (10 Baht)

Assortment of Deep Fried Insects- Grasshoppers, Silk Worm, Crickets etc (40 Baht/ serving)

Detox Water- Apple Cinnamon Soda (25 Baht) 

Beef Yaki Soba (90 Baht)

Matsu Sushi Set (650 Baht)

Potentially a hipster place (though not as hipstery as Asiatique), Train Station Market has many enchanting stalls selling different products. It ranges from handmade Crafts to fast-street Fashion; from local Thai delicacies to trendy Cafes or even international cuisine to chilling Bars and Restaurants. All can be found at Train Station Market. We took a leisure evening walk around the area and true enough, we found many interesting eats.

We had our first attempt on Deep Fried Insects; they may not look too promising but both the texture and flavor were okay. It was a tad greasy and over-seasoned but there was nary any odd flavor. In fact, we were surprised that Grasshopper actually tasted better than expected. It has the nutty texture somewhat akin to Dried Shrimp. The Thais are very creative and daring in coming out with new flavors; we had their Green Tea and Chai Tea Cream Puff, the former was disappointingly average but the latter one struck us with its intense Tea flavor which cuts through the creaminess of the cream, making the Cream Puff feels light and easy on the palate.

We quenched our thirst with their Infused Detox Water, Apple and Cinnamon flavor to be accurate. We did not expect them to add in Soda and Sugar Syrup, the outcome was something out of our expectation. It was sweet and fizzy, perhaps the plain, refreshing Infused Water would be great to be served as it is instead of having other frills added. Dinner was at Fue Sushi Bar but we were not quite impressed with the food over there. Probably the only dish we enjoyed was the Matsu Sushi Set in which they have appropriately sliced the Seafood to the right thickness. The Seafood was fresh but the Rice was stale and dried. Unlikely to be a place that I would recommend.

12) Chatuchak Weekend Market
Address: Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays; 6 pm to 12 am on Fridays.
Directions: Take Exit 1 at Kam Phaeng MRT Station OR take BTS to Mo Chit Station and take Exit 1, follow the crowd until you see stalls selling clothes, keep walking and you will find your way out.

Grilled Cuttlefish (150 Baht- Large)

Grilled Squid Egg (100 Baht)

Beef Boat Noodles (60 Baht)

Seafood Glass Noodles (150 Baht)

Tab Tim Krob (35 Baht OR 3 bowls for 100 Baht)

Coconut Ice Cream (40 Baht)

Chatuchak Weekend Market needs no further introduction; it tops many's must-visit lists and its one of the world's largest weekend markets. The market spreads from anything consumable to collectible... even breed able. The shopaholics would be glad to know that there are many bargains happening here, from prices as low as 100 Baht for a T-shirt. If you are looking for a pet, Melt-Your-Heart Puppies are available for sale too (NO! Not as food) but I shall leave it to you to figure out how to transfer it back to your home country.

Back to food, our tour guide introduced us to this famous stall has been selling Tab Tim Krob/ Thai Tapioca-floured Water Chestnuts served with Coconut Milk for many years. We had our share but we were surprise to have tasted the peculiar smoky flavor. Not too sure if it was intentional or they actually burnt the Coconut Milk but the sweetness was way past my sugar tolerance level. To be fair, the texture of the Red Ruby was perfect, fat and crunchy, evenly-dyed to the right hue (not so artificially-looking).

Grilled Cuttlefish was standard-average, the Seafood dipping sauce was too watery to our liking. Certain cuts of the Cuttlefish were too hard to the bite either. The Roe, on the other hand, was succulent and tummy-pleasing. It has a resilient texture but not hard to the bite, bursting with the essence of the Sea. Too good that we had to bow to Cholesterol. Both Beef Boat Noodles and Seafood Glass Noodles were uninspiring, they were throat-cuttingly expensive and mediocre. We have had better ones so you may ignore them.

Beat the heat by having a bowl of Coconut Ice Cream, which said to be one of the must-have at Chatuchak Weekend Market for 40 Baht, we had a fresh one with thick Coconut flesh. Two types of toppings were allowed to be added and thus, we opted for Glutinous Rice and roasted Peanuts. We went to the wrong stall, the one we had was nothing out of the ordinary but some of our travel companions had some really good ones. They had the one nearest to the exit of MRT station.

13) Baan Somtum/ House of Somtum
Address: 9/1, Soi Si Wiang, Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 11 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Directions: Exit BTS Si Lom Station.

Somtum Pomelo with Shrimp Paste (185 Baht)

Pha Sew/ Deep Fried Silver Fish (90 Baht)

Deep Fried Fish Paste (160 Baht)

Somtum with fresh Shrimp (100 Baht)

Steamed Sea Bass (350 Baht)

Weight-watchers would love to try this place out. Famous as one of the places that serves good Thai Salad, House of Somtum dishes out their Salad fresh and in generous portion. The Chef played a smart twist by adding in Shrimp Paste to their Pomelo Salad; the seafood sweetness paired well with the refreshing sour dressing while the pulpy Pomelo burst into light and fresh juices. Deep Fried Silver Fish was yet, another dish that left us with deep impression. Unlike the measly thin pieces of Silver Fish here in Malaysia, theirs were in larger, meatier size. Their Somtum was worth-praising as well, we love the crunchy texture of the Papaya and they were evenly dressed. Baan Somtum has several branches across Bangkok, Thailand.

14) Asiatique Riverfront: Ko Dang Talay Seafood
Address: Chareonkrung Soi 74-76, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 5 pm to 12 am. Opens Daily.
Directions: Take BTS Train to Saphan Taksin Station and take the FREE shuttle (a very good opportunity to cruise Chao Phraya River). The shuttle runs until 11 pm only.

Jipangi's Frozen Yogurt (99 Baht)

Steamed Sea Prawns with Glass Noodles (350 Baht)

Stir Fried Venus Clams with Sweet Basil (180 Baht)

Stir Fried Scallops with Black Pepper (300 Baht)

Deep Fried Sea Bass served with Fish Sauce (150 Baht)

Charcoal Grilled Squid (350 Baht)

One of the most-talked riverside malls at Bangkok is undoubtedly Asiatique Riverfront Mall, a picturesque place with scenic view overlooking the Chao Phraya River. If that is not enough, hop on their Ferris Wheel which takes you to a higher ground, probably a better view over the area. The ever-sparkling place does not only feature fashion-leading shops but a vast selection of eateries as well.

For something light, we had Jipangi's frozen Yogurt; which turned out to be normal-average. It carried the mild acidity but it melted in lightning speed that we did not get to enjoy much. The U-shaped Corn-cone has a gritty texture and a mild Corn flavor. More like a dessert for novelty experience.

We settled our dinner at Ko Dang Talay Seafood Restaurant; a highly rated Thai-Seafood specialist on Trip Adviser. The place has a mismatched warehouse-industrial setting, diners who prefer a more outdoorsy ambiance can opt to dine in at their al-fresco dining area while the heat-intolerant can enjoy their meal at the fully air-conditioned restaurant. We picked for the latter option. Out of the dishes we had, we were deeply amazed by the Deep Fried Sea Bass which comes with a tacky crunch, though inevitably greasy, the dish did not come with the heaviness that one would usually associate; probably thanks to the appetizing dipping sauce. Steamed Prawns with Glass Noodles paint a picture of luxury, the Prawns were gigantic! The seafood-sweetness was fully absorbed by the Glass Noodles, making them extremely tasty.

P/S: These are just some of the very few food eateries/ outlets that we have managed to try, with our limited tummy space. Shopping/ Lifestyle Guide's next! Stay Tuned!