Bangkok Food Tours, Chinatown
Each time we step outdoors and are enveloped in the balmy heat, my soul smiles. I’ve missed this walking weather hug so very much. Even my hair is happier.
Yesterday, feeling a little better every moment, we spent the morning in the pool where our lazy bodies enjoyed some relaxed exercise and we watched two tiny hummingbirds building a nest in what looks like an amaryllis bush. After that excitement and a lovely ‘cook it yourself’ Japanese barbecue at an old familiar, we headed off to our Bangkok Food Tours Yaorowat Road street food tour. We’ve wandered Chinatown on our own and enjoyed a Taste of Thailand Chinatown food tour but felt there was still more we would like to be introduced to.
Alice, our lovely guide, met us outside Hua Lamphong MTR station with our two fellow intrepid diners, David and Trey and off we went. Our first stop was a familiar one for a tomato based fish ball and noodle soup. We’d actually stopped here on a previous tour with Ma but still really enjoyed the tangy soup and spongey fish balls. Sat on a plastic stool at an aluminium table for the first time this trip was evocative of so many amazing meals in Asia.
After a short walk into Chinatown proper we passed the AMAZING revenge doughnut stall that we’d loved last time and vowed to make it our last dish of the night ☺️. Crossing the road we entered Canton House restaurant, a staple on any food tour, for their delicious and fresh dim sum. A selection of three prawn and pork beauties were soon on the table and devoured. Yum!
After another short walk we stopped at a tiny shopfront selling herbal drinks. None of us were brave enough to try their staple bitter concoction but the green one we tried was delicious, reminding me of carrot juice and the yellow one tasted like a sweet syrupy floral tea.
Every night the streets of Chinatown have a carnival feel, wonderfully lit up, neon signs warring with each other for prominence, brightly coloured tuk tuks adorned with lights trawling the streets for customers, portable restaurants lining the streets and diners crowded around tables enjoying their suppers. The only sad point is the huge over dependence on plastic that is evident at every stall. In the plastic single use drinks cups given out with a straw and a domed lid IN a plastic bag, every dish being placed into plastic with single use cutlery, gah it’s just so saddening.
Moving on, our next stop was the first new one for us at Lek and Rut Seafood, apparently owned by two polar opposite sisters, one feisty and loud, the other calm and serious. This was the main feast for the night, fragrant rice, water mimosa and garlic – a tasty stringy green vegetable; crunchy papaya salad, fragrant tom yum soup and huge prawns with crispy shallots, cashews and a tonne of chilli. Alice was brilliant at ensuring I could eat most of the dishes and the papaya salad and tom yum were both surprisingly chilli free but the prawn dish was a speciality that the others all absolutely loved.
Beginning to fill up, we headed for pork and white pepper soup which we shared standing by the very popular pavement restaurant. You can choose which parts of the pig you eat and we had the whole deal including tongue and heart. The noodles and pork were lovely but I could only take a few mouthfuls of the fiery broth, fabled for its restorative properties, yowser it was hella peppery! Thankfully refreshing local ice cream was our penultimate stop, we both had a small scoop of the coconut with fresh fruits which was delicious.
Next to the ice cream stall was a dessert bun stall which we had seen so many people carrying the boxes from. They served what looked like soft white bread buns filled with a huge amount of a flavoured condensed milk concoction, it looked incredibly sweet and messy and we steered well clear.
Out final stop was for glutinous dumpling in a hot ginger syrup. The dumpling was filled with a sweet black sesame paste that was delicious but the ginger was so ginger spicy I could only manage a few mouthfuls. Thankfully JHubz is a huge fan of ginger and finished mine off too.
And then it was time for revenge doughnuts!! Yippee!! I can’t remember the story of why they are called revenge doughnuts but the stall is now listed in the 2019 Michelin guide. Two light fluffy and crisp doughnuts barely attached to each other and dunked in pandan spread are AMAZING!! Oh my lord if you are ever in Bangkok you HAVE to try these. The stall is outside the 7/11 opposite Canton House Restaurant. Utterly divine.
The food tour was a lot of fun, Alice was informative and friendly and wonderfully gently bossy (telling us how to eat and when). It was really good value for money at almost half the price of similar food tours and David and Trey were great dining companions, also only four on a food tour is awesome as you really get to hear everything your guide is saying and ask all the inane questions you want Xx