Must-read Earlier Installments:
- Singapore, Cathay, and Qantas First Class.. Some of the Best Meals of My Life, and a Tour of Hyatts in Bangkok, Singapore, and Sydney
- Inside the New Oneworld Lounge at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal
- Cathay Pacific First Class, Los Angeles – Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge, Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Bangkok
- Grand Hyatt Bangkok: Suite, Club Lounge, and Facilities
- Thai Molecular Gastronomy at Sra Bua in Bangkok
- Getting Custom Tailored Suits Made in Bangkok at Empire Tailors
- Nahm at the Metropolitan: the Best Thai Food in Thailand?
- Thailand’s Iron Chef Cooks Ancient Recipes in a Deserted Top Notch Restaurant
I spent a midday during my Bangkok visit with Bangkok Food Tours walking around Bangrak neighborhood.
Working with them made my time more efficient, I got to visit some great places to eat and avoided duds, and also had the chance to talk with someone who could explain dishes and some of the history, who knows the places and the people well. So it’s hardly necessary — Bangkok is one of those great places in the world for food and most places you go beyond the tourist areas are going to be reasonably good. But I find it heightens the experience.
One of the tough things though is sharing where you went, because the best places don’t have names in English. Or necessarily clearly printed addresses. The best you’ll do is identify the major streets, and recognize the signs in Thai.
Our first visit was to a place that’s been serving duck with a secret recipe for well over 50 years.
Walking down the street, we stopped at Boonsap Thai Desserts — delicious Thai pastries, from a vendor that actually has a website!
I eat a lot of Thai soups, and I even cook thai soup myself. (Here’s my Tom Yam Goong — sour and spicy prawn soup along with my cashew chicken.)
But I’ve never had soup quite like this. It was fantastic, with fish balls and meat balls, add your own condiments.
After soup we walked down to the Chao Phraya river, next to the Mandarin Oriental, to the public boat dock where a ride across was 20 baht (60 cents).
Crossing over, we docked on the other side, and walked straight about 100 yards where we went into the first restaurant on the right hand side.. for very spicy Northeastern Thai food.
I eat spicy food, mind you, but the papaya salad was pushing my limits. The chicken was very good, though, and eating some of that helped to give me a break from the spice.
We headed back across the river to Panlee Bakery where I tried their Green Custard Bun (Sang Ka Ya) which was warm and delicious!
Finally we visited a rather famous spot, Kalpapruek Restaurant.
This is original location of a very good chain. The restaurant has a history as a royal residence, and the chef/owner was royally-trained.
Green curry roti is something I’ve only every tried at Elephant Jumps.
Kalpapruek Restaurant is a place that’s very accessible to foreigners. They speak English, it meets the cleanliness standards that most Westerners expect, and the food is very good (with bright pictures in the menu that will help those unfamiliar with the cuisine). So it’s a place I would recommend to anyone, but especially for first-time visitors or those a little less familiar with local Thai food.