Life lessons continued:
3. When you go to visit a friend abroad and she asks what you’d like to do while you’re there, say that you’d like to do a food tour, thereby disguising greed as cultural appreciation.
That strategy found me on a food tour of Bangkok with Angel –
– here we are with some of our fellow gluttons, enjoying one of the best dishes we tried, chicken with finely shredded deep-fried lemon grass. It looked just like a badly-made birds’ nest, but tasted a whole lot better. This was an Esan restaurant – food from the north east of Thailand, but extremely popular throughout the whole country.
This woman is preparing miang kam at her stall in the street –
They are made of little bits of chopped vegetables, spices, peanuts, dried fish, and many other things, coated in a zingy sauce and then wrapped in a wild pepper vine leaf and served on a stick.
I’m afraid I ate mine too quickly to get a picture, but I found one online –
We also tried low-calorie duck –
– not quite sure what makes it low-cal, but our guide assured us it was, so we all scoffed extra portions to make the most of our one and only opportunity to try skinny-duck.
This stall sells banana, sweet potato and taro deep-fried in a sesame batter –
This one sadly wasn’t low-calorie, but it was very good.
The Thai Muslim food was very similar to Malay food –
chicken curry – called massaman in Thailand – and stuffed roti in the photo here. The roti is called murtabak in Thailand just as it is in Malaysia. The only thing I passed on was the ox brain … I’m adventurous, but not that adventurous.
We stopped to buy flowers –
and then headed off to the temple to make offerings and light incense sticks.
I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to be giving thanks for good food, or asking for forgiveness for our gluttony –
– so I did both, just to be on the safe side.
Feeling absolved, we headed to a bakery for traditional buns filled with pandan-flavoured custard –
– served with sweet iced tea. Pandan is an unfortunate mal-de-mer shade of green, but it is very aromatic and sweet and is considered to be the Asian equivalent of vanilla.
Our final stop was a restaurant which serves Thai green curry with fried roti, instead of with rice –
a definite advantage taste-wise, I felt, but unless you want to have your arteries dyno-rodded out on a regular basis it’s probably best to stick to rice except on very special occasions.
Finally, coconut sorbet, made with coconut water and little pieces of young coconut flesh, was my second favourite dish of the day –
– and then we waddled off to find somewhere to sit down and digest our gastric overload.
Thanks, Angel – it was a great trip!