Perhaps I've lived here too long, or maybe I'm just jaded, but lately I've become convinced that there's little good Thai food in Bangkok. My cynicism seemed to be confirmed when a recent dining companion and longtime resident of Bangkok, Ung Ang Talay, expressed similar notions. He then proceeded to prove both of us wrong by taking me and buddy R to Dao Tai, a truly wonderful southern Thai restaurant in Thonburi (well, technically not Bangkok, but close enough).
Dao Tai, like any good southern Thai raan khao kaeng (curry shop) serves a huge array of prepared curries, soups, dips and stir-fries. Simply side up to the glass case and point at whatever looks tasty.
We ordered a huge array of dishes, every one of them uniquely delicious and authentically southern:
There was, from the bottom and moving upwards, kai tom khamin, a thin but fragrant broth of chicken, lemongrass, shallots and fresh turmeric; kaeng lueang, one of the most famous dishes in southern Thailand, a sour, salty, spicy soup of fish and vegetables (or sometimes shrimp and fruit); a rich coconut curry combining beef and pea eggplant; an absolutely delicious soup of creamy coconut milk, tender palm shoots, tiny shrimp and a local leaf called bai liang; and previously unknown but delicious curry of tender palm shoots, grilled fish and sour young tamarind leaves.
Ung Ang Talay ordered nam phrik makhaam on, a tart 'dip' of young tamarind:
and at some point there was also a bowl of kaeng khii lek, a thick coconut curry of bitter accacia leaves and grilled fish.
It was one of the best Thai meals I've had in a long time, and also served to assure me that there is indeed good Thai food in Bangkok; you just need to be pointed in the right direction by somebody equally pessimistic.
A few more images from the meal can be seen here (all images taken with my Nikon D100, my first digital SLR).
Dao Tai 508/26 Th Phran Nok, Thonburi 02 412 2385 7am-8.30pm View Larger Map