A Week in Bangkok (Part 2: Food and People)

19 Sep

I have shared the sights of Bangkok, Thailand. Now, another best part…


As a backgrounder, almost everyone knows I am not really into spicy food. Nor do I eat fruits and I only eat very selective vegetables. But when I was in Bangkok, things changed… well, not all of it. Almost for 3 months prior to my trip, I am on a quite unique diet. No rice, sweets and other carbs diet to make it simple. I was warned that I will forget that diet… (Sorry, Faye, my diet nazi… Thailand experience won’t be complete if I don’t eat!)

When we came in early morning of Saturday, when we woke up, we are really hungry and we headed off to Siam Paragon to buy materials for the gondola display for me to setup. Tummy grumbling, we looked for the ‘food court” and decided to give Thai food a try. Of course, expect that we’re not familiar with the names of famous Thai cuisine, we depended on how it looks like and what most of the people are ordering. So, Kuya Lito, Ate Mila and I ended up getting these:

Our first Thai meal

Spring rolls, grilled and boiled duck, and what we thought a different kinds of crunchy food, was just a really crispy fried scrambled eggs. I was a little disappointed on the scallops part of my crunchy scrambled egg. But after 10 minutes or less…

All are gone! Hehehe. No food is really bad is you’re REALLY hungry 😉

A decent Thai meal was not experienced by your truly until my 3rd day. But I get through the days with instant Tom Yum noodles and street food bought just outside the office. Too bad I wasn’t able to take photos of these yummy street food but it definitely filled me up and they are not just merely ordinary street food you can think of. They’re the cleanest street food I ever encountered and is definitely a very good treat!

So, with all the work and the starvation for some REAL Thai food, we were advised that there is a great music joint just around the corner where they serve affordable and great Thai meals. The place’s name is JAZZ Bar (?) and these filled my appetite for more authentic Thai food:

1st REAL Thai meal: Close up of photos are not nice but let me go through what we ordered: (from top-clockwise) Phad Thai, Tom Yum Kung, Sauteed Beef with garlic, sticky rice, Cha Yen (Thai milk tea) and shrimp with broccoli.

Those were the kick off. That meal gave me my favorite drink EVER. Guys, meet:

Thai drinks: Cha Yen, a Thai version of milk tea. And the beer that made me look like an authentic drinker to my new Thai friends, Chang (light), a known Thai beer brand that is supposedly “strong”.

Since we’re into drinks. Ten somehow made me deal with a few fears in my life…

These are not worms. Well, I thought they were worms when Ten pointed them to me by the streets of downtown Bangkok. I forgot what they were called but it seemed they were like Thailand’s version of black gulaman.

It’s sweet juice is refreshing and the jelly are like gummy wormies… slicky and slippery, yet yummy!

More of introduction to spicy Thai food: Ten brought us for dinner at a restaurant called SomTum Nua. As I recall from those who already been and experienced Thailand, som tum refers to papaya. And yes, we did try it.

2 plates of Som Tum (papaya) salad

All my families and friends knew I don’t eat fruits and very selective on veggies but these babies are good. So, Ten… if you happen to read this, my mom is definitely thanking you for making me eat papaya. Someone’s having a treat when he sets his foot to Philippines 😉

(Clockwise from top) Sticky rice inside that small basket-like container, northern version of Tom Yum Kung (that’s really, REALLY spicy and a plateful of grilles pork’s neck. It has a term/name but being Nemcy as I am, I didn’t remember the Thai name of the dish.

The group that enjoyed the dinner (despite the crying over the spiciness of the dishes)

And why would we go to a farther place when almost everyday, authentic Thai food is within my reach. Just across the street where I was staying a famous lunch location, more of what we call a “carenderia” or “turo-turo”, good, affordable and authentic Thai food is served.

A good combination of sticky thick noodles with pork and Cha Yen

And forgetting about my no rice diet, had this crispy chicken topped on rice with tomatoes that I proudly ate. Ran out of Cha Yen that day so I tried a different tea. Forgot the name again, but it’s sweet tea as Put explained to me. It was good but my heart still goes for Cha Yen.

And some more of the food enjoyed by my Thai friends:

Spicy noodles

Put enjoying his spicy noodles. It’s spicy enough and yet he placed more of the chili powder that made him perspire while and after eating it Ü

Crispy chicken with rice and veggies

Eaten by a very hungry Ten

There is indeed some similarities of Philippines and Thailand that I realized while I was there. Ten and Put brought me to this place they termed as “ordinary”. Surprisingly it was ordinary in a sense that it is not as fancy as the other restaurants we had eaten. Permit me for associating the place to Philippines very own Pares joint.

Thai food-pares: Thailand’s version of pares carinderia

Chicken in gravy

Beef and chicken balls in noodles

Thailand has always been surprising me in some way or another. An unexpected invitation for dinner that I gladly joined. I met Thai friend of Put named Boy. And the guys had an idea of having dinner at this place:

Bar-B-Q Plaza at MBK

In this joint, you get to cook your own food on a grill. They put a broth for boiling and on the grill, you rub some pork’s skin to extract its fat for the stuff you intend to grill won’t stick on the grills. I don’t suggest you try this idea if you are really hungry for it takes a little while to prepare what you wanted to eat. What makes this barbeque type joint is the sauce. They taught me to squeeze lemon and add a touch up of minced garlic with the sauce. It spiked up a little. And if you are up for a more kick, put some more of the chili flakes.

Some of the food we intend to grill. By the way, 3 hungry gents and a lady consumed 3 plates of this food ensemble.

Put did it expertly prepares, cooks a feast and being nice as he has always been, he’s the one putting cooked food in my bowl for me to consume. Beside him, that’s Boy who treated us for that dinner by the way Ü

And to top it all, they made me try a fruit shake.

Watermelon-squash-lemon shake

Yeah, yeah… I don’t eat fruits but the watermelon-squash-lemon shake is a must try Ü

Another famous Thai food joint Put and Ten bought me to is at S&P Restaurant and Bakery. We had our early dinner here and had these food treats:

Phad Thai tastes great here. Ten was right on me trying it again

I think this was seafood noodles which Put ate

Some fried dumplings and siomai

Fried fish with veggie salad

My Cha Yen, of course

Oh, and this is what Ten ordered for me, a must try… shrimp paste rice topped with scrambled eggs, surrounded by veggies, dried shrimps, crunchy pork and red onions.

I mixed it all up and squeezed lime to it. I don’t eat shrimp paste nor like the smell of it but this dish don’t have that annoying smell I find with the shrimp paste or “bagoong”. Another Thai experience for me 😉

And this is the restaurant’s menu.

Oh, by the way, better try getting yourself some Thai sweets or dessert such as these:

Ice cream…

…and other goodies

Those were taken at Siam Paragon supermarket at the ground floor. Also, I have some famous Thai dessert treats from Put and Ten but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of it. It slipped my mind because it was sooooo good that I forgot to document it. Really… it was Ü

Odd as it may seem, but have you heard of CHILI Ice Cream? Well, in Thailand there’s such an concoction. At the Spice Factory in Siam Paragon, they serve such flavor and also a peppery flavor. They will let you taste it first on which you’d like to have. I preferred the chili one over the peppery one.

My chili ice cream: a fight of spice and coolness. Flaming or tingling sensation on the tongue but cools down in your throat.

Well, Put seemed to enjoy his ice cream treat too. Hehehe Ü

Another thing, be sure to try Thai sausages. There are a variety of them but surely they all taste great.

Thai sausages

I even had my last dose of those sausages as lunch on my last day there.

And to cap it all, Put, Ten and Da treated me for dinner at MK Trendi as their bon voyage dinner treat for me.

MK Trendi is just across Siam Paragon and along the side of Siam Square.

We had…

… shabu-shabu to be mixed with…

… jade noodles… that’s why it’s colored green 😉

And the…

roasted duck with a very tangy sauce that’s oh so yummy!

The guys, Put and Ten enjoying their bowl of food too Ü

This is Da who still found time to spend to see me despite her busy schedule that week when I was in Bangkok. And me, you is stuffed and about to leave for the airport.

A week’s over since my trip in Bangkok and yet I still feel the excitement flooding me. I can’t deny that I am scared at first. I admitted that to Ten, Put and to my friends and colleagues in the Philippines. But as most of them say, Bangkok is one of the safest places in the world. And to add to that… one of the most exciting places as well. I have heard different feedbacks about Thai culture, the food and the people as well. But it pays so much when it is you who will experience it. After which, I feel not alienated anymore. I wish Thailand will adopt me! Hehehe.

I am thankful in meeting Ten, Put and Da, who are not just good-looking but better yet, the kindest people on earth that I’ve ever met! (No joke!) I hope to see you guys soon… or better yet, you come visit us in the Philippines and it will be my turn to show you around 😉

Hay… just looking back at the photos, and writing about them makes me want to jump on the plane and fly back to Thailand! (Can I? CAN I?) 😀

Khop Khun Ka, Thailand…

Khop Khun Ma Ka, Ten, Put and Da!


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2 responses to “A Week in Bangkok (Part 2: Food and People)

  1. Jared

    September 24, 2007 at 5:40 am

    Gak! I miss Som Tam and the Thai chilis. Hehe…napagulay ka din 😉 Ten and Put should make a business being culinary guides…

  2. Nemcy

    September 25, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Hey, Jared!
    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. You can ask Ten to bring some when he come here for a visit 😉


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