One evening in Bangkok I attended a great street food tour of Chinatown.
My good friends know that I don’t show up late to things. I HATE being late so I usually show up at least 15 minutes earlier than needed to any given event. Bangkok broke me in this sense. I underestimated what a time suck it is traveling from location to location in Bangkok and consequently ended up late to my food tour. Despite the warnings and the travel instructions I decided to rely on my judgement on time and google maps for directions. I left super early and got on the sky train. Somewhere the plan goes off the rails and I decide I am going to try to take a bus since it seemed more efficient than taking the metro.
Besides the lines seemed long at the Skytrain….
Not only did I not know what direction I am supposed to go but the bus appears to never show up. So much traffic, so many people, signs not clear. I never see the bus appear.
I finally decide to follow the transportation instructions from the tour. The instructions have me taking the subway. The subway uses a token system. The line to buy a token is super long and half the machines or more are not even working. More time is wasted here.
Once on the metro it is very clean and efficient. It is even in the process of expanding.
Luckily I am only 5 minutes late. It is so unlike me and luckily the group didn’t look too annoyed with my tardiness. Additionally it seems like I wasn’t the only one with travel issues.
Finally I meet with the group leader of the Yaowarat Street Food Tour (Chinatown) from Bangkok Food Tours.
First stop is a look at a Chinese temple near Chinatown. It is a nice little respite from the hustle and bustle of Chinatown.
After a little walking further we are in Chinatown where traffic is non-stop and there is a vegan food festival going on.
Free glass noodle sample as part of vegetarian festival. It is pretty good. I wouldn’t mind trying all the vegan goodies but we have so many good foods awaiting us.
First stop is supposed to be dim sum but they are too crowded to hold our group at this time. Instead we start with the Michelin rated street doughnuts (Patonggo). Pa Tong Go Savoey. The uncle who started it is Michelin but we eat at his nephew’s and it also Michelin rated.
The doughnut is fried then grilled and then topping of choice. We choose kaya (pandan coconut custard) dip. I would have liked to have this dessert later but something tells me that I will probably be too stuffed later to enjoy a dessert. Probably good to taste this early.
R & L Seafood (Lek and Rut.). Different name on different days the tour guide tried to explain. The menu is supposedly different depending on who runs the place for the day.
Our tour guide informs us that you never place your silverware directly on the table when eating street food (table could be dirty).
Here we try a few different seafood dishes.
Prawn’s served full body are interesting. One must be able to pop it’s little head off to get to the good stuff.
We are served clams stuffed with shrimp and pork. They are pretty interesting
Crab fried rice is also on the table and doesn’t disappoint (not pictured).
And finally Tom yum (clear broth) with bass. So good. Good lemongrass flavor. This is so far my favorite.
Sticky bun with melting custard in interior (lava custard bun).
We are asked if we wanted just crunchy pork or other organs in the soup (tongue, liver, intestines, etc). I order just the pork because I am not feeling adventurous. I learn later I accidentally ate someone’s tongue and pork soup. The soup is so good I didn’t notice I am supposed to be grossed out. Very strong pepper favor. Rice noodles that curve when cooked. It is spicy but manageable. Due to the heat I start sweating even more than I already am.
The pancake is my least favorite food selection: With sugar, nuts, coconut. Did not love that one.
Glutinous dumpling in hot ginger syrup
This is a surprise. I really like the black sesame dumpling in the ginger syrup. Ginger syrup tastes more like ginger tea. It is so good that it is tied with Tom yum for my favorite of the tastings
We finally make it to dim sum at The Canton House.
Pandan colored noodles and a deep fried tofu wrapped pork and shrimp dumpling.
Finally it is time for ice cream. We purchase ice cream from a sister team that has been in business forever. I order the lychee and it is marvelous.
More food stuff is observed by not necessarily sampled. None of us are brave enough to try the bugs.
Durian is not high on anyone’s to try list as well.
More fun along the streets….
Chinatown is lively with all the food stalls, the parades, and I even got a drive by blessing. If I have more time in Bangkok then this street is a definitely a return visit.