Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dining in Thailand

Dining in Thailand

One of the enjoyments of Thailand is sampling the varied cuisines and dishes that are available. There is a wide sampling from the grotesque and exotic, to the savored and certified. As a hub for tourists all over the world and ex-pats there is a wide abundance and variety of food at multiple price points. It would be difficult for a person not to find that special location for food they are into. What is presented below is just from my experiences and barely covers the tip of the gastronomical variety available.


Thailand is a big melting pot of the world so they would naturally have an extensive menu of food to sample.  On the right is a popular setup called shabu shabu.  Not only does the food come out to your table, but it's still cooking in the pot!  This piece was served on the Baiyoke Balcony in Bangkok.

The dish shown in the bottom-right is from the Gulliver's restaurant in Bangkok.  They have hollowed out a pineapple and filled it with scented jasmine rice and shrimp.  The top is covered in shaved cinnamon.

At the bottom-left is a full meal of spring rolls, prawns, soup, salad and spring rolls from the Cabbages and Condoms venue in Bangkok.

On the right is a typical sushi place.  This is from the high-end restaurant Mantra in Pattaya.  Above the sushi is an appetizer plate of creamy goat cheese presented in a multi-layer presentation.  It is very easy to spend over 3,000 baht at Mantra for just the food.

At the left is a typical group meal from May's Urban Thai restaurant in Pattaya.  The restaurant is outdoors with a covered roof.  The authentic thai food is also one of the top rated in the area.  Dishes of jasmine rice complement the stuffed fish and the bowls of Thai curry and soups.


Even the global franschise restaurants have their own unique Thai flavor to some of their dishes.  I'm sure many of us have thought about the taste of popcorn on our pizza (right).  If not then you can always try the pork burger at McDonalds (left).  But, I would highly recommend the Thai curry burger at the Hard Rock.  It's a pricier burger with a juicy flavor to wash down with a local Red Bull.


The high-end dining is one of the best offered in the world.  The left side shows some appetizers, cappuccino, and prosciutto (top-left)  from Ruffino's restaurant on Jomtien beach.  From the same restaurant (bottom-left) the main course consisted of braised lamb over potatoes served with vegetables.

On the right side you can see the size of the prawns available at the walking street seafood restaurant in Pattaya.  Just look at how big those monsters are compared to the woman next to them!

The last selection (bottom-right) shows 120-day grain fed beef tenderloin with truffle risotto, asparagus and dried fig jus from Mantra in Pattaya.


No review of eating in Thailand would be complete without mentioning the various street vendors and dining options which are available.  As the photos below show there is a wide assortment of options whether you want to grab a bite on the go, or sit down at a street-side stall for a snack.  And the range of food is huge.  There are elaborate setups for soup with various broths, meats, vegetables and spices to add.  Or, you can grab a squid on a stick to munch on while you're walking down the road.  In the early morning you might want to pop over to get some eggs or some fruit to start the day  off.  But it might be better to just pick up a cooked chicken to take home and cut up yourself.


There's also a variety of food that caters to the Middle Eastern appetites to try out.  One of my favorites to try every time I arrive in Pattaya is the Lebanese restaurant in CentralFestival.  The meat skewers, flan, and drinks really help to get your energy up after a 2-hour ride in from Bangkok.

Now some of you may be wondering how much a lot of this food costs so you can adjust your budgets.  Several of the photos show the prices listed in them, but for the rest the range can go anywhere from a 30baht meal on the side of the road up to thousands of baht.  For example, on the left is a receipt my group had for one meal at Mantra between the three of us.  The final total came to 13,029.39 baht.  So as they say in the country on where to eat, 'up to you' ...

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