Today was something of an informal Bangkok Bloggers Summit. I trekked all the way to the Lang Suan area to meet with Newley Purnell of www.newley.com fame. Newley has been blogging since 2001, an era when, I believe, the word blog had yet to be coined. What did they call it back then, Newley? Online Diarying? Internet Loggery? Pointless Frivolity?
Newley lives just minutes away from Lang Suan Soi 6, a tiny alley that, come lunchtime, is a virtual magnet for hungry Thai office staff of every stripe. We decided the partake in the madness and dove directly into the heart of the soi. More or less halfway down we came across a raan khao kaeng, rice and curry shop, that serves up some very interesting looking nosh, and our fate was sealed.
Newley made a beeline for the green curry with chicken:
I suspect many of you are familiar with this dish, however the stuff you get in Thailand is quite unlike the green curry with chicken you'll find at your local Thai Hut in Gresham, Oregon (or wherever you are). The "chicken" in this case referred to a colourful mixture of meaty joints, fatty skin, cubes of coagulated blood and chewy feet--I don't think a breast was involved anywhere. Thai green curry also tends to be quite watery, and the obligatory eggplants tend to be pretty mushy. But that's how we like it.
I ordered a plate of some very tasty looking battered and deep-fried mushrooms:
Served with the spicy/sour Thai seafood dipping sauce, they were an unusual but delicious dish.
I also took the opportunity to introduce Newley to that very central Thai of dishes, nam phrik kapi:
Served, as tradition dictates, with a chubby deep-fried mackerel and fresh and par-boiled veggies. I wasn't sure if Newley could handle the heat of the nam phrik, but he proved himself fully able.
Incidentally, it is at this very curry shop that Newley was previously laughed at by several Thai women.
After lunch we explored the street and came across some interesting things, including sai ua, the famous northern Thai sausage:
some interesting looking mee kathi, sweet noodles:
a yummy looking dessert of indiscriminate Chinese origin:
and some veggies, bagged up to go:
If you can identify all of these you know a fair bit about Thai food in my book. Any takers?