Our last day in Bangkok and we found ourselves taking the BTS down to Phrom Phong to one of our favorite malls in this city, EmQuartier just to walk around and have a quick meal before going back to our hotel to checkout. We like the moods in these new malls which have popped up along the main Sukhumvit line vis a vis the old dames like MBK and Platinum Mall. We’d tried Vanilla Cafeteria during our last trip and thus decided to pick another cafe, Roast to venture this time round.
Whenever one thinks of eating in Bangkok, the widespread availability of street food options immediately comes to mind, with some local eateries or hawkers peddling from their pushcarts selling a generous assortment of yummy dishes and snacks in practically every street corner or down every sol and thanon that run alongside the busy Sukhumvit Road. Our recent trip to Bangkok however, also allowed us to sample other kinds of food that may not come to mind when one visits the Land of Smiles, and here is one of our favorites.
Last day in Bangkok and we were planning on where to go before hitting the airport. We have to get to EmQuartier located at Phrom Phong BTS station which was just two stops from our hotel at Nana to get Pierre Herme macarons for a friend so it made perfect sense to find a nice place there to dine at. Incidentally, an old friend Derek was up in Bangkok just a week before we did and recommended that we should try out the food at Vanilla Cafeteria, so here we are!
Bangkok, a city known for its unique street culture from pushcart noodle hawkers to souvenir peddlers, the walkways along the busy roads of the Thai capital are often flanked with these folks selling ware and trying to make ends meet. But like-minded foodies and Thai food lovers like me would often want to take it a step further, to scout for unique ingredients both fresh and dried and attempt to re-create when we are back home, all the piquant flavours Thai cuisine is so known for. There are now many gourmet supermarkets all over Bangkok now, often anchored at the basement of major departmental stores and shopping malls, but for the serious aficionados of Thai cuisine, a true culinary experience is never complete without trip to their local markets. For many, Or Tor Kor Market which lies slightly north of the city centre provides exactly just that. So let me take you on a virtual photo tour of Or Tor Kor Market now…
We haven’t been back to Bangkok for more than 10 years but it is not like we’d totally forgotten about it all this while as we’d booked flights and planned itineraries over the years but the trip never did materialise. We love the city but just not the social unrest which troubles the city, either from the reds or the yellows which happened from time to time. But I’m glad we finally had a chance to come back to this interesting city but seriously, we didn’t know what to expect. 10 years could change a person, lest a city. This time round, we’d decided to skip much of the usual tourist circuit of cheap shopping and street food (yes sacrilegious for Bangkok I know!) but instead, opted to experience how the city had grown and matured in other aspects of its culinary endeavors. Curious we are, but at the same time we were lost. Thankfully we have friends who frequent the city and it was not difficult to get recommendations. One place we saw popping up quite frequently on our “intel” was Water Library Brasserie @ Central Embassy.
When I made Som Tam for Asia Food Fest Thailand two years back, I fell in love with how it tasted. The assemblage of piquant flavours from sugary to sour, savory and spicy came together beautifully to stimulate one’s palate. And now I turn to using green mangoes in place of papaya, for Som Tam Mamuang. Needless to say, it was equally, if not even more moreish and appetite whetting!