A couple months back I did an article for Orient-Express magazine that gave me the chance to visit and photograph some of the high-end Thai restaurants in Bangkok. The food at these places was amazing, and the chefs really enthusiastic and friendly, although many of them admitted that the food at their restaurants is really not much better than the hole-in-the-wall places one can find all over Bangkok; such is the nature of Thai food. In any event, here are some of the pics I took for the piece.
On the left here is ho mok a steamed “cake” of fresh herbs pounded up with fish and thick coconut milk. This at the ultra-cool Lan Na Thai, and the chef told me that the recipe is roughly based around a northern Thai recipe. I really like ho mok and buy a grilled version every week at my neighborhood’s talaat nat, weekend market.
On the right here is a green curry from Bussaracum, a well-known “royal” Thai cuisine restaurant. The chef told me that they make their own khreuang kaeng, curry paste,
as well as making their own coconut milk from scratch!
To the left is the Fried Rice with Crab Roe and Chili Paste at the Hyatt Erawan’s recently remodeled Tea Room. The Tea Room’s Chef de Cuisine, Siriluck Lekkwan, is the nicest lady in the world and we spent a pleasant hour chatting about Thai food.
This is the famous Malay dish sate at the Blue Elephant. There are three kinds of meat here, including buffalo, if I remember correctly. After taking pics I had lunch here and the food is amazing–definately not Tourist Thai. During lunch I was introduced to the owner of the entire chain of restaurants, and her daughter who teaches at the cooking school in the same building.
This is the clever Som Tam Pork Chop at the beautiful MahaNaga restaurant. Som Tam is, of course, the pounded papaya salad, very much a Thai dish, and is served here with a Western style pork chop, a pairing that I thought worked well and tasted great.
Tom Yam at the Sukhothai Hotel’s acclaimed Celadon. Didn’t actually get to taste this one, but could see that the chef was wise enough to include whole shrimp so that the delicious fat inside the heads would flavor the broth. Mmmm…head fat.