In the commotion of Bangkok’s incessant traffic, hordes of people and modern shopping malls, you’ll find open-air street food markets, often a throwback in time with quaint buildings and grannies that have made the same home-made Thai snacks for the entirety of their lives.
Street food carts, snack stalls, shop house restaurants, the occasional sit down diner and a number of vendors selling the famous traditional Thai snack of Kanom Buang come alive in the evening when people hit the streets to eat.
The smell of stir fried garlic, fragrant noodles, steamed dumplings, roasted duck, and freshly sliced fruit permeates the air and reveals the locals’ secret; Bangkok street food is convenient, delicious and cheap. Spicy noodles, curry on rice, even made-to-order dishes can all be had for a handful of change and minimal fuss.
Noodles are an essential part of Thai street food and come in all shapes and sizes. Pad Thai, stir-fried rice noodles served with egg, fish sauce and a selection of bean sprouts, chicken, shrimp or tofu, is a classic dish. Pad Khee Mao, or drunken noodles, is another popular street food dish.
Rice is also a staple food and many food carts allow you to choose your toppings from a variety of curries and vegetables. Tom Yum is a hot and sour soup, flavoured with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, fish sauce, lime juice and spicy chilli peppers.
The soup is often made with shrimp, fish or mushrooms and topped with vibrant cilantro. The classic Thai salad, Som Tam, is a spicy salad made from shredded green papaya, palm sugar with lime, spicy chilli and salty fish sauce.
For very adventurous diners, some food stalls carry a variety of fried or roasted insects, including crunchy ants, grasshoppers and cockroaches. These crispy critters are served whole with a healthy sprinkling of salt, pepper and sometimes chilli powder.
If you wish to satisfy your own culinary wanderlust, but have no immediate plans to travel to Thailand, then try the Bangkok Street Food Week at Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi from 18-26 September 2014. Dinner à la carte from 7:30-10:30pm is prepared by Executive Thai Guest Chef, Chalong Sakkapalangkul, from our sister hotel Dusit D2 Chiang Mai