Phai Kiaw

 Friends enjoying Sichuan-style hot pot at Phai Khiaw, a restaurant in Bangkok's Silom district Phai Kiaw ('Green Bamboo') is, as far as I'm aware, the only place in Bangkok where one can get Sichuan-style hot pot. It's not as delicious as the huo guo I've encountered in China, but is a fair approximation, and a welcome change from MK or Coca (the preeminent Thai hot pot chains). The broth at Phai Khiaw is possibly even oilier and spicier than I remember it being in China, but Phai Khiaw's ingredients are on the whole probably better, and on my most recent visit (pictured above) we also ordered several other Chinese dishes and everything was quite tasty indeed.

At the end of the meal, and to our surprise, our buddy W pulled out a bottle of absinthe. We dug in, and Phai Khiaw's Burmese/Chinese staff didn't seem to notice, let alone mind, that we were in their restaurant burning sugar on suspicious-looking spoons:

A shot of absinthe, Phai Khiaw, Bangkok

It was my first time drinking the stuff, and the picture below, depicting the tuk tuk ride to our next destination, pretty much sums up the night:

The ride from Phai Khiaw, Bangkok

Or was it the Sichuan pepper?

Phai Khiaw Ground floor, Silom Plaza (corner Th Silom & Th Narathiwat) 02 635 2724, 085 699 2277

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