Khao Soi and Northern Cuisine | Mae Hong Son, Thailand

IMG_0866

Khao Soi, fried noodle with curry soup, is one of the most popular food in Northern Thailand. You will probably hear a lot about it during your adventure in North. Of course each bowl is different and divert. Some are spicy, and others are not. They often have different types of noodles. Among all those Khao Sois, this one is my personal favorite.

IMG_0872

This cozy little restaurant, with bamboo bench and tables outside, is a Northern Thai food restaurant. We found it on Lonely Planet Thailand. It was rainy and dark when we went there, so was very hard to spot. After driving through the road carefully and scanning many signs in Thai which we had no idea how to read, we found the sign. (It was in English!)

IMG_0870

Vegetable curry

We ordered Khao Soi, garlic salad, and vegetable curry, as recommended on the menu. The soup of Khao Soi was creamier compared to other ones, and not spicy for me at all. Normally I cannot eat spicy food very much, but for this one I could enjoy it. Also salad and curry were really good, especially with a lot of garlic taste. (My favorite!)

Although I’ve tried many Khao Sois, I haven’t yet met “the one”. If you find some good Khao Sois, please let me know! I would love to try 🙂

Where we ate: Banpleng Restaurant (Google Maps)

Home-Made Sausages and Northern-Style Curry | Chiang Rai, Thailand

IMG_1001

Just a few minutes walk from the golden clocktower in Chiang Rai in main street, there’s this restaurant called “Barrab”. Covered with dark brown wooden wall and tables, the place has a modern atmosphere, not like other local restaurant with simple chair and tables. Sitting in front of the table, I noticed so many different kinds of bills and coins from around the world under the table glass, seemed this restaurant is popular among travelers.

IMG_0998

Listened to staff’s description of food, we ordered Northern-style beef curry with ginger and some home-made sausages, as recommended on the menu, and chicken cashew nut for me, as always. (I know I need to try something different but always ended up ordering my favorite haha)

IMG_0999

With a bottle of Chang beer in a hand, we enjoyed our meal. Every time I chew sausages I taste different vegetables and meat, and I liked the little bit of spiciness from black peppers. They went so well with beers, couldn’t stop tasting them together. Also the curry was good. I was craving beef since I didn’t have it for a long time, so I savored it with curry soup. It was a little spicy for me, but was really good at the same time.

Home-made sausages are one of my favorite food in north. I often saw street vendors selling them, and they were variety of kinds. If you have any chance to come up north, I recommend you to try one of them. You may or may not find your favorite!

Where we ate: Barrab (Google Maps)

Go to: tripadvisor

Thai BBQ | Bangkok, Thailand

IMG_0083

Looking over the place from the bridge

On one of the very first nights in Bangkok, my friends and I went to Thai BBQ place by the Chaophraya river. There were roughly 15 of us from the same apartment as mine, and the owner of the apartment took us there. The place was massive, and crowded with a lot of locals. No wonder it’s popular among people, because you can eat as much as you want for only 199B.

IMG_1087

Entrance/Exit

You can choose whatever you want to eat from various kinds of meat, vegetables, curry, so many other things, and even ice creams for desserts. I was holding so many plates on both of my hands, taking as much food as possible, eager to try everything they have. They even have cokes and smoothies included!

IMG_0078

Crowded with a lot of people

After we finally settled on the table, we turned on the heat of the pod, and started eating. We put meats in the middle, and noodles and vegetables in the water. While waiting for food to be cooked, we enjoyed our conversation, and had a great time.

IMG_0082

What I chose for the first round

We were all so full at the end, and couldn’t eat any more. Some people played pool placed near the exit. I really liked the atmosphere of the place, and enjoyed being among locals, chatting and eating like locals. This is one of the reasons why I can’t stop traveling. I want to visit this place again when I come to Thailand next time.

IMG_0081

Grilling meat on the plate

Where we ate: ริมน้ำหมูกะทะ (Rim Nam Kra Ta: By The River BBQ) (Google Maps)

Best Wine Bar in Bangkok | Scarlett Wine Bar and Restaurant

IMG_1026

Bar counter in the middle of the restaurant

Do you miss proper dinner, delicious wine and cheese back home? Then here is the place to go. My friends and I went to Scarlett Wine Bar and Restaurant to have a farewell dinner together at the end of the first semester of my exchange. It is located on 37th floor of Pullman Bangkok Hotel G in Silom street. We are all covered in gorgeous dresses and tailored suits, and got in a cab.

IMG_1027

Wine cooler

After getting out of the elevator at 37th floor, we walked through the hallway and there was a huge wine cooler filled with different kinds of wine bottles on the one side. On the other side, I found a showcase full of delicious-looking cheeses staring at me.

IMG_1028

Cheese in a showcase

We settled on the table, and wondered what to order. Everything on the menu sounds great, but I decided to have a special dish displayed at the entrance: Beef with oyster sauce and vegetables. My friends ordered beef stakes and tuna. We also picked up a glass of wine from the long list. (from 170B)

IMG_1008

Food was so delicious. The beef was perfectly cooked and tender, so it melted in my mouth. It was the best beef I had ever had. Also the vegetables and mushed potatoes were really good. I enjoyed the taste of all at each bite.

We were all satisfied and extremely full at the end of the dinner. Although I picked up the special dinner which is slightly more expensive than other dishes on the menu, it cost less than $30 in total. Yes, it is expensive considering the price in Thailand, but if you pay that amount, you can have really good western dishes in Bangkok.

Where we ate: Scarlett Wine Bar and Restaurant (Google Maps)

Trying Burmese Food For The First Time | Mae Hong Son, Thailand

IMG_0911

Burmese Green Tea Salad, my favorite Burmese food so far

In northern Thailand, there are a lot of Burmese refugees who create their own communities and spread their cultures, so you can find many Burmese restaurant around. Before I came to northern Thailand, I had never had Burmese food before, but now I love it. Although it is not Thai food, it’s now a part of culture in Thailand, and you will find so many of them in cities up north.

IMG_0913

Vegetable curry

The restaurant was right beside the pond in the city. There was a wooden sign in front so it was easy to find. We picked Burmese Green Tea Salad as recommended on the Lonely Planet, and Vegetable curry. Burmese Salad tastes both sweet and salty with peanuts, tomatoes and garlic, and I really liked the combination. Vegetable curry was mild but the taste of all the vegetables soaked in the soup, and it goes so well with rice with mixed grains.

Overall my first experience of Burmese food turned out great. I will definitely try more in the future.

Where we ate: Salween River Restaurant (Google Maps)

Thai Cooking Class | Chiang Mai, Thailand

IMG_0666

Recipe book

One of the things you should do in Thailand is to take a cooking class. You can learn how Thai food is cooked and will be more familiar with ingredients. But most of all, you will be able to cook them at home, which I really wanted to do, because I knew I was going to miss all the delicious food in Thailand.

IMG_0697

Ingredients were ready

We booked a cooking course online, and a staff picked us up at our hostel. There were 8 people in our group, including the ones from U.S., Germany, and Taiwan. First we went to a local market close to the cookery school, and our teacher taught us names of different kinds of ingredients, and how they are used in dishes according to each occasion.

Chicken Cashew Nut, my favorite Thai food of all time

Cooking Chicken Cashew Nut, my favorite Thai food of all time

After we came back from the market, we chose dishes we wanted to cook. These are 3 dishes in each section: main dish, soup, salad, and curry, and we picked up Chicken Cashew Nut, Tom Yum Kung, Som Tam, and Paneng Curry.

IMG_0718

Tom Yum Kung (Spicy and Sour Soup) and Som Tam (Spicy Papaya Salad)

We stood in front of the cooking table, and started chopping ingredients. We put all of them in one plate, and moved to the different room where we actually cook. Before we throw them into Wok (pan) with fish sauce, oyster sauce and other seasonings, teacher showed us how to do it. It was pretty easy, and didn’t even take 10 minutes to finish up.

IMG_0709

Chicken Cashew Nut

After all of the dishes were cooked, we set out table and tried them. Some of them were really good, and others were missing something, but we knew what we needed to do to make them better.

IMG_0728

Paneng Curry, my favorite curry in Thailand

I realized, cooking delicious Thai food is somehow miracle, since with about 10 minutes of cooking, a little more or less seasoning can change everything. That’s why there are so many different kind of tastes in one particular dish, and we always try to seek the one we like the most.

Place: Baan Thai Cookery School (Google Maps)

Courses: 1000B/person (9:40am. – 4:00 pm.), 800B/person (4:30pm. – 8:30 pm.)

A Village on Top of the Mountain | Mae Hong Son, Thailand

IMG_9878

The village we stayed

In a beautiful northern city of Thailand, Mae Hong Son, my boyfriend and I decided to go trekking. We booked a 2 day tour at Sunflower Cafe Tour, by the big pond in the middle of the city. Our guide named Pordy, who has been trekking more than 30 years. Turned out it was 10 hour trek in total, but we decided to give it a go.

IMG_9885

Fried rice with chicken and vegetables, our lunch on trekking

When I first imagine trekking, there is a little path on the way and we walk listening to wind or birds singing, as I’ve done a couple of times in Thailand. But for this time, it wasn’t that easy, and not just hard either.

IMG_0931

Pordy cooking dinner

There was absolutely no path at all on our way. Pordy handed a stick so he can slap weed down and make a path for us as he walks. We walked along the river, inside the river, climbing slippery rocks blocking our way, walking up and down on a steep mountain, hiking on the edge of the cliff, looking right beside us far away down, and fighting with our fears to fall… after 6 hours of crossing many mountains, we finally arrived and we are all in drenching sweat and exhausted.

IMG_0932

Our dinner at the village

We took a quick shower after we arrived, and it was time for dinner. There were only three people living in the village and all of them cooked dinner for us. We had some stir-fried pumpkins, chicken and vegetables, and lizard soup, which Pordy got from his friend on the way.

IMG_0935

He was watching us when we eat

With subtle fish sauce taste and the combination of the ingredients, the food was so good. I didn’t have any idea how they get some spices and sources since they always live in the village, but they managed to cook deliciously. I think it was worth the tough trekking. Northern Thailand is famous for delicious food generally, but now I’m assured that it’s true.

Trekking Tour: 1500B-/person

We trekked with: Sunflower Cafe Tour (Google Maps)