The Barefoot Traveller » Food

A Taste of Thailand

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These days, some of the most flavourful food available originates from Asia…and Thailand is near the top of the popularity stakes when it comes to exotic, tasty cuisine.  Even me, who doesn’t eat chilli, is besotted with Thai food – the kind that’s full of flavour without the burn.  Over the 12 years since my first visit to Thailand, my love affair with Thai food has deepened and matured – more in the area of consumption than in the manufacture.  Admittedly, not long ago, I was taught how to make Tom Yum Soup (prawn and all) by the Executive Chef of the Amari Watergate Hotel.  However, if truth be told, my mind shut down when I saw how much chilli I had to add and, even if I could remember the process, I doubt that the finished product would look or taste anything like it should.
Not all Thai food has to be served with a fire extinguisher as a side dish and I have discovered textures and flavours that make my mouth water when I just think about them.  Topping my list of all-time favourites is Pineapple Fried Rice (pictured above).  In fact, during a recent visit to Chiang Mai, I “escaped” from the hotel’s Western-style buffet and went into the streets in search of a stall that sold the dish.  Served in a hollowed-out pineapple skin, this mixture of fried rice, pineapple pieces, slivers of chicken and just a hint of curry (the flavour, not the burn) makes my taste buds come alive.
Other simple, inexpensive dishes that are worth trying are sweet & sour chicken, sizzling beef (don’t burn your hand on the plate), crispy pork, prawns in batter (OK, they’re not all that inexpensive) and Khao Phad Thai – a mixture of fried rice, chicken or pork and vegetable, pressed into a bowl, upended on a plate and made to look like an exotic “sand castle” garnished with cucumber curls and sliced tomato.
There is such a variety of tastes, textures and subtle flavours in Thai cuisine that you really need to discover them for yourself.  Join me on a journey of discovery that has been designed to introduce you to all levels of Thai food.
·         We start at street level and walk our way through a progressive dinner obtained from a number of street stalls in Bangkok’s Chinatown district.
·         We eat on the run as we explore the more than 1000 stalls at the Asiatique Riverside Night Market.
·         We sample the food that fairy-tales are made of, when we dine at the Once-Upon-A-Time Restaurant.
·         We learn how to create Thai meals during a class at the Amita Cooking School.  (I’ll take a note book with me this time.)
·         We end off on a high note with an upmarket, al fresco meal at the Red Sky Restaurant, 55 floors above the street stalls where our adventure started.
For more information on the tour and to make a booking, click here.


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