A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.

coffee or tea

Posted date:  August 4, 2006

The above is not a question, but rather the name of a new restaurant on Soi Sena 1, not far from my house. From the outside it looked like the kind of cute cafe/restaurant that seem to be popping up everywhere in Thailand. In reality it was much more basic, and was the kind of inexpensive and basic eating place that university students thrive on. Sometimes these places can be good. Sometimes they can be great. This one was almost good.

I started with khao khluk kapi:


This is rice that has been cooked with shrimp paste (kapi) and topped with sour shredded mango, sliced omelet, cucumber, chilies, dried shrimp and Chinese sausage, among other things. This dish usually includes a side of muu waan, pork stir-fried in copious sugar and minimal soy sauce, which I don’t care for and always ask them to hold. I’ve actually been wanting to feature this dish for a long time, it’s a brilliant Thai invention, but this is not the greatest example, as the dish is usually much more attractively arranged. In addition, the best khao khluk kapi have a few more toppings, and come with a bowl of broth.

We also had flash-fried morning glory:


a dish that probably constitutes a good third of out diet! It’s crunchy, garlicky, salty and green, and everything else that’s good.

And the last was tom yam po taek thale:


Po taek (literally “broken pier”, not sure why), is simply tom yam with the addition of bai kraphrao (I think this is called “holy basil” in English). This one was extremely spicy; I reckon there’s few groups of people around the world who can tolerate food of this heat other than the Thais. The ‘shrooms were nice, but the seafood (shrimp, squid, fish) was crap.

3 Comments for coffee or tea

I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while, thanks for all the great photos and articles.

Actually another meaning (aside from ‘floating’ pier) for ‘po’ is a ‘stake trap’, a kind of fishing device. I think ‘po taek’ is just tom yum with seafood.

napup: I’ll bet po does refer to the trap you mentioned. I think po taek is slightly different than tom yam in that it always has bai kraphrao. And seafood.

Po taek means a broken trap , hence all kinds of seafood you see in the soup, not just one. Other tom yam can have bai kaphrao as well, like tom yam pla krob or other kinds of tom yam with fish. I think it’s because bai kaphrao cuts the fishy smell really well.

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