A Coup Lunch

As the Thai food guy, am I really expected to comment on the current political situation? Well obviously I have some views on what's happening in Thailand, but perhaps you would be better served by getting your information from a highly opinionated Thai foodblogger, the Thai newsblog of the moment, or failing all else, you could always turn to the BBC as a last resort.

As for the state of things here in Bangok, which I feel qualified to comment on, it's really just rather...quiet. I was downtown this morning, hoping to get some interesting pics, but there was not much to see. Most of the last night's tanks have been moved elsewhere and other than some machine gun weilding soldiers here and there, it really just felt like a random Sunday morning in Bangkok. This is in strong contrast with last night, which was characterized by extreme uncertainty, creepy TV messages and communication blackouts. Where all this will lead, nobody knows, but the general feeling one gets here is that nobody is sorry to see Thaksin go, and if these clowns follow through with their promise to relenquish power in a year, then it might actually be a change for the better, albeit by highly unsavory means.

Despite all this, we've still got to eat, and today I actually discoved a great restaurant near my house. The place is called Baan Chan, and specializes in the cuisine of the province of Chanthaburi, east of Bangkok near the Cambodian border. Today's lunch was excelllent, and they have a very interesting menu, so I'll definately be going back for a more detailed report. As a sneak preview, here's what I had there today, kaeng paa nuea, "jungle curry" with beef:


Normally kaeng paa is more souplike, but apparently in Chanthaburi it takes the form of a stirfry and was absolutely delcious--spicy with the famous Cambodian pepper, hearty green chilies and chunks of soft gourd-like vegetable. Behind the jungle curry is s stirfry of pumpkin with pork and the same green chili (known as phrik yuak), good, but not as interesting as the kaeng paa. I can't wait to try the beef curry with nutmeg and the crab fried with Chanthaburi's famous rice noodles.