I'm often asked about my favourite places to eat in Bangkok. This is a hard question to answer, not necessarily because I have trouble deciding, but rather because I'd say there are very few all-purpose menu-toting restaurants here that I truly enjoy. In my opinion, eating in Bangkok is all about the dishes, not the restaurants. So in no particular order, here are some of my favourite plates and bowls in Bangkok:
The oyster omelet at Nay Mong. Whether you order the crispy (or lua, pictured above) or soft (or suan) version, you're getting a brilliant intersection of seafood and egg; smoky, rich and cooked to perfection. Quite possibly my favourite dish in Bangkok.
The kuaytiaw khua kai at Nay Hong:
This is a relatively recent discovery, but after five or so visits, the smokey, crispy noodles here have quickly made it onto my list.
Khao mok phae, goat biryani, at Naaz:
I'm a huge fan of Thai-Muslim food, but this unusual and delicious biryani is probably closer to the dish's Middle Eastern origins than anything found in Thailand.
The khao man kai, Hainanese chicken rice, at Boon Tong Kiat:
Fragrant, perfectly cooked rice and impossibly tender steamed chicken combine to form this nearly perfect one-dish meal.
Khanom tup tap during the annual vegetarian festival:
This peanut based snack is fleetingly available year round in some bakeries in Chinatown, but is at its peak when warm and freshly pounded.
Laap plaa duk at Nong Khai:
Served with freshwater snails and phak khayaeng, a hard-to-find fresh herb, this 'salad' of grilled catfish is equal parts obscure and tasty.
The oxtail soup and khao mok plaa, fish biryani, at Yusup:
This Thai-Muslim place north of Bangkok is probably the closest thing to my favourite all-around restaurant in Bangkok. Their unusual fish biryani is fragrantly spicy and the oxtail soup is a satisfying combination of tartness and richness.
The phat see iw at Nay Lao:
Yet another smokey noodle dish, this one benefits from the addition of my favourite veggie and tender marinated pork.
Mee krob at Chote Chitr:
This restaurant gets heaps of press, not all of it justifiable, but the crispy noodles, aromatic with the addition of som saa, a type of citrus, are always delicious.
The yen ta fo at Coke Chuan Chim:
The guy who runs this popular noodle stall is Bangkok's equivalent of the Soup Nazi, but it's worth the fuss.
The kaeng karee plaa, fish curry, at Roti Mataba:
I have to admit that it isn't probably as good as it used to be, but I still have a soft spot for the hearty tartness of this Thai-Muslim curry.