Possibly the most popular restaurant meal among middle-class Thai is suki-yaki, the Japanese hot pot dish that Thai refer to simply as sukii. For those not familiar with the dish, it's basically a do-it-yourself meal that revolves around a cauldron of boiling broth. You order raw ingredients and cook them in the broth.
Like noodles, this is another one of those dishes that Thai people love that I never really cared for until somewhat recently. I really enjoy it now, as it revolves around my two faves: seafood and veggies, and is about as healthy as it gets.
There are several franchises serving suki in Thailand including MK, Coca and See Fah, but today we tried a new one, called simply, Hot Pot.
We like veggies so we ordered the veggie set:
We've got phak bung (the long green veggie), green onions, kheun chai (Chinese parsley), carrot slices, daikon slices, a few types of mushrooms, tofu, and in the back, glass noodles. We also ordered a few other, mostly fish-related, side dishes such as squid, fish, fish balls, and fish "noodles".
This is Khuat taking the first step: pouring the beaten eggs into the broth:
When the broth boils again, then we start piling the rest of our ingredients in:
Wait a few minutes until they're cooked, and dig in!
The Thai way to eat this is to take an ingredient out, and dip it in the sauce below before shoving it into the gob:
It's a largely sweetish/sourish sauce with sesame seeds and cilantro, and which is usually accompanied by a separate dish of optional minced garlic, minced chilies and limes to make it really Thai. I think the sauce is just OK, but Thai people really seem to love it. Personally I like to sip the broth, which I imagine is the Japanese way of eating sukii, but which nobody here seems to do.
In general, I felt that Hot Pot's take on the whole thing was very mediocre. It's really hard to do a bad job of suki--it really just depends on the quality of the ingredients--and in this case the seafood we ordered was obviously past its prime, and the veggies neither attractive nor fresh. Much better in my opinion is Coca, especially considering that they have a half-broth/half-tom yam cauldron, and lotsa fresh veggies and seafood.