When I was preparing for my trip I visited the TripAdvisor website for tourist ideas and found lots of praise for a walking food tour. I’d been on an equivalent tour in New York several years ago so was keen. I signed up for a tour in the oldest part of Bangkok which would visit a range of cafes during the morning and over lunchtime.
We met up at a skytrain station, glad to be out of the rain which had been falling relentlessly since mid afternoon the day before. When our guide arrived she offered us each a pastel rainmac so we were walking around as a matching set of plastic wrapped delicacies. My group mates were a Swedish man who loves to cook, an Indian couple who had met while working in USA and a Mexican-American currently working in Indonesia so we had a good range of food experience between us.
Our first stop was an old chinese inspired cafe where we met the owner as he was eating his morning meal. We had roast duck over rice and used a soysauce, vinegar and chilli dressing. All very tasty and a good start to the tour.
Next to an Indian inspired cafe for a fragrant curry sauce with noodles, much to the amusement of the Indian couple who had never had anything but rice with their curry. The chef put together each bowl from a big pot of sauce and an array of bowls containing egg, herbs and onion.
Our next stop was the other side of the river so we hopped over on one of the ferries and down a narrow alley to find a traditional Thai cafe that is very popular with the locals. Here we had 4 tasty dishes – broccoli and mushrooms; green papaya salad (our favourite); fried chicken with lemongrass and mint; and deepfried shredded cuttlefish (the only dish I wasn’t taken with)
Back across the river to a bakery where we had a pork bun and a bun filled with delicious green custard flavoured with Padang (I bought some of these to eat later). All of the bread and buns seemed luminous white compared to the brown and rye bread that I tend to buy back home.
Our final destination was an upmarket cafe that was packed with Thai ladies who lunch after they shop. There were tables spread with European style bakery
But we were there for thai green curry served with deep fried roti (another surprise for the Indian couple) followed by an ice-cream trio of coconut sorbet, tamarind ice-cream and durian ice-cream (I was so eager to tuck in that I didn’t take a photo!)
Three hours on, very wet and very full we all thanked our guide and went off into the city happy. i really enjoyed the tour and ate food I would not otherwise has sampled and saw nooks and crannies of the vast city that I would otherwise have missed.
Based on 2 great experiences I’ll be seeking out food tours on future trips. Have you been on a food tour?
So here we are at the end of a week of my Bangkok experience based around my urban scavenger hunt. My next trip is to Ottawa and I know I’m going to have fun finding the items on the list and looking at the similarities and contrasts with these Bangkok images.