A trip to Bangkok would not be the same without exploring the city’s wide range of excellent dining options.
Tourists can select from a number of restaurants for all budgets or simply wander Bangkok’s streets tasting the wares to be found at various food stalls and from vendors who sell their fare from carts.
Those who prefer to sit down for a meal have a wealth of choice at their fingertips and a good place to start is in Bangkok’s Chinatown. The area is always bustling with activity and you should be able to seek out some fabulous eateries while soaking up the fantastic atmosphere.
If you are looking to be a little bit adventurous, Scala Shark’s Fin Restaurant has a number of local delicacies that you might not be able to buy at home. As its name would suggest, shark’s fin dishes are included, as well as barbecued suckling pig. However, you can order more familiar meals, such as fried whole crab with black pepper.
A range of international food is also on offer, including at Himali Cha Cha, where you can find some of the best Indian cuisine in the region. One of the favourite items on the menu is the mutton chutniwalla, although tourists with a taste for spicy food are also said to favour the establishment’s varieties of vindaloos.
For those who prefer something a bit more mild, the chicken Kashmiri – cooked with dried fruits, nuts and yoghurt – is recommended.
If you are looking for a special night out, there are a number of luxury restaurants in Bangkok that should make for a memorable experience.
High-end Thai food is available at Naj in the Bang Rak district, which has a sumptuous menu of authentic local specialties.
Stir-fried prawns in tamarind sauce and hot and sour soup, which is made from a blend of lemongrass broth, kaffir leaves, shallots and prawns, are both popular dishes.
Another favourite item on the menu is wing bean salad with minced pork and prawns.
Alternatively, there are several venues that provide western cuisine, should you be feeling a little homesick.
The Rib Room & Bar at the Landmark Bangkok hotel is one such restaurant, with an excellent selection of steaks and seafood. Signature dishes include sirloin Australian beef, sauteed sea scallops and foie gras terrine, making this high-end eatery a favourite with many tourists. The drinks menu is equally impressive, particularly the choice in cocktails, with many patrons selecting Martini cocktails to accompany their meals.
Italian food is on offer at the luxurious Mezzaluna, which has an exquisite selection of top-quality dishes to choose from. Beautifully marbled matsuzaka beef is popular, as is the carefully cooked veal, while the parmesan-laced eggshells filled with risotto are unforgettable. The food is just half of the fun though, with an intimate setting provided by soft lighting, stylish table settings and a fantastic view of Bangkok.
However, if you are just looking for a quick snack, you may instead wish to try one of the many food stalls dotted around the city.
Noodle carts are extremely common, offering a wide selection in noodle varieties and accompaniments. These include sen yai, sen mii, sen lak, bah mii and woon sen noodles, which come in all different shapes and sizes and are made from various types of flour. Once you have selected what noodles you want, you will be asked whether you want them ‘haeng’ or ‘naam’. The former means they are left dry, while the latter means they come in a soup. Finish off your dish by choosing one of the many meats on display to add to your noodles, with most vendors charging approximately 20 baht to 50 baht. If you are not sure the portions will be enough for you, add another 5 baht or so and you can have your noodles ‘pi sed’ – with extra.
A quicker and more cost-effective option might be to choose one of the curry-on-rice stalls. Here you can simply point at the type of curry you want and it will be provided along with a portion of rice within seconds.
‘Made to order’ food stalls are available if you have more time on your hands, allowing you to ask for any dish you fancy and have it cooked in front of you.
Thai-style omelettes, stir-fried pork in garlic and pepper, and fried rice are all popular with tourists.