Category Archives: Food

Zab Zab: killer Isaan food in Kanchanaburi

Isaan (northeastern Thai) food at Zab Zab restaurant in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

West-central Thailand’s Kanchanaburi town might not be a foodie destination in its own right, but for those passing through for its numerous other attractions – among them the WW2-era death railway line, Hellfire Pass, numerous war cemeteries, and countless waterfalls … Continue reading

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Lao Cafe – outstanding somtum and Thai-Isaan cuisine in central London

Somtum tart pla rah tray-style papaya salad with fermented fish at Lao Cafe London - photo by Chris Wotton

I’ve said it countless times before, and I’ll say it again: somtum is the national dish of Thailand. This fiery papaya salad is what fuels the nation, and yet overseas it’s still green curry or pad thai that the country … Continue reading

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Revisiting the Perhentian Islands: awful food, deserted beaches, and a glimmer of hope

Teluk KK beach on Perhentian Besar island Malaysia - photo by Chris Wotton

In July, I made a return visit to Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands some two years since my first time there. These islands, just a short flight from Kuala Lumpur followed by a taxi and speedboat connection, have been well and truly on … Continue reading

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Hom Duan (หอมด่วน): homely khao soi and stunning gaeng hunglay in Ekkamai, Bangkok

Hom Duan (หอมด่วน) khao soi, gaeng hunglay and northern Thai food restaurant in Ekkamai, Bangkok, Thailand

This informal indoor café-restaurant serves home-style northern cooking, including dishes like khao soi and gaeng hunglay, steps from Ekkamai BTS station. Continue reading

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A seafood feast at Soei, at Bangkok’s Samsen railway station

Soei (เส่ย) restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand

Right alongside the busy platform at Bangkok’s Samsen train station, Soei is an atmospheric setting for a stunning Thai seafood spread. Continue reading

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Frog jungle curry and stir-fried winkles at Gaeng Pa Sriyan in Bangkok

Gaeng pa gob frog jungle curry, pad cha hoy comb stir-fried winkles and krapao nok kata sub stir-fried quail and basil at Gaeng Pa Sriyan restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand

There are no prisoners taken at Bangkok’s Gaeng Pa Sriyan restaurant, where rare dishes like frog jungle curry and stir-fried winkles are loaded with spice. Continue reading

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Kanom jeen sao nam and Sukhothai noodles: Somsong Pochana in Bangkok’s old town

Kanom jeen sao nam rice noodles with prawns and coconut milk at Somsong Pochana restaurant in Bangkok

At a modest but bustling shophouse restaurant in Bangkok’s old town, a dish of rice noodles with prawns and coconut milk evokes feelings of summer. Continue reading

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Streetside quan oc shellfish and seafood in Ho Chi Minh City

Quan Oc shellfish stall in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

It was the basket of as yet unshucked oysters that caught my attention as we walked along a busy side street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s chaotic southern metropolis. Then I saw a granny perched on a tiny stool … Continue reading

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London Pie – pies and English breakfasts in Bangkok

Full English fried breakfast at London Pie in Bangkok

Where can you find an authentic, generously sized and well priced English breakfast in Bangkok? London Pie, in Ekkamai, might be the answer. Continue reading

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4 floating markets in and around Bangkok

Taling Chan floating market - photo by Alpha

Floating markets are not created equally, but luckily there are several great ones within easy reach of Bangkok. Continue reading

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Sanguan Sri: old-school Thai food in downtown Bangkok

Sanguan Sri in Phloen Chit, Bangkok

This restaurant will win no awards for its decades unchanged decor, but it excels in turning out well executed southern and central Thai classics. Continue reading

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Al-Tasneem: murtabak and biryani in Singapore

Deer murtabak at Al-Tasneem restaurant, Singapore

Opposite the Sultan Mosque and a skip from Arab Street, Al-Tasneem is the pick of a block of three Muslim restaurants if you’re after great deer murtabak. Continue reading

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Goat kuruma curry and more at Yusup Pochana

Yusup Pochana, southern Thai food in north Bangkok

The little-known kuruma curry is the star of the show at a southern Thai restaurant in northern Bangkok. Continue reading

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Amazing seafood at Krua Lung Meuk Pa Lord in Prachuap Kiri Khan

Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

Why go to the beach if not for the seafood? And if you’re going to Prachuap Kiri Khan, there’s nowhere better to start your pilgrimage than at Uncle Squid’s and Aunty Straw’s. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Laab Dib

Laab Dib on Sukhumvit 101/1

One for the more adventurous foodie, this spicy northeastern salad is made with same herb and spice mix as namtok. But the twist is that it’s made with raw pork, giving the dish a red tinge as it oozes blood. Continue reading

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Khao Gaeng Jake Puey: Thai curry in Bangkok’s Chinatown

Khao Gaeng Jake Puey

At a curry and rice stall in Bangkok’s Chinatown, the food is decent but not as impressive as the quirky surrounds. Continue reading

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Authentic southern mataba in Bangkok

Chicken mataba at Soi Supaphong

Tucked away in a hidden but bustling corner of Bangkok, one man serves up authentic southern chicken and beef mataba pancakes in the capital. Continue reading

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Could this be Bangkok’s best somtum?

Somtum at Udomsuk Soi 19

Where is the best place to eat papaya salad in Bangkok? It could well just be this no-name roadside stall on the outskirts of the Skytrain’s Sukhumvit line. Continue reading

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Food Porn: deer murtabak

Deer murtabak at Al-Tasneem

Stuffed murtabak pancakes are common in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, but where will you find one filled with rich and meaty deer? Continue reading

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Food Porn: Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak at Nagasari Curry House

This Malaysian breakfast staple is a favourite at traditional kopi tiam Chinese-style coffee shops – think rendang curry, coconut and pandan infused rice and plenty of crisp and crunchy accompaniments. Continue reading

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Maltby Street Market: London hot spot

Maltby Street Market

Bored of Borough? Need a new foodie market to spice up your life? With its warehouses-come-food-joints, gin distillery bar and killer French pastries, Maltby Street Market could well be your new best friend. Continue reading

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Six memorable meals from my travels

Food fuels travel, at least in this writer

Amazing food is everywhere when you travel – or at least it should be. Here are six of my most memorable meals from recent years. Continue reading

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Koh Kret: an island on the Chao Phraya

Koh Kret

Serenity is within easy reach of Bangkok on the river island of Koh Kret. Here’s what to expect from a day trip there. Continue reading

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Recipe: Thai Stir-Fried Chicken with Holy Basil

Screen shot 2013-10-18 at 11.25.18

Make your own Thai stir fried chicken with holy basil at home with this easy recipe. Continue reading

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Eight varieties of somtum papaya salad you just HAVE to try

Somtum Thai and laab moo in Mahachai

I admit it, I’m addicted to somtum. This ultra-spicy concoction, a salad of shredded papaya, fish sauce, a copious amount of chilli and a whole host of other ingredients depending on the type, is an assault on the senses hailing … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Gaeng Om Gob

Gaeng om gob

Go on, be a daredevil. You won’t find this exact bowl of gaeng om gob on the street because it was homemade just for me, but any Isaan food stall worth its salt will be able to whip you one … Continue reading

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Bangkok’s best pad thai

Pad thai at On Nut night market

It’s not often that I rave about pad thai. That’s partly because, as a dish, it is over-hyped outside of Thailand to such an extent that you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s all the Thais eat, or that’s … Continue reading

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Meat Liquor: 100% worth the hype (and the queue)

Meat Liquor is somewhere between a club and a restaurant - photo by Feline DaCat

Top nosh, check. Classy cocktails, check. But it’s the awesome service that makes a visit to London’s MEATliquor burger joint memorable. Continue reading

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3 surprisingly good eats near Khaosan

Good food here, really? Oh, yes. Photo by Brandon Fick

Khaosan Road, the backpacker ghetto of the Thai capital, has a dearth of authentic, quality Thai food, right? Wrong! Here are three spots you might not have considered eating – but absolutely, definitely, without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt should. Continue reading

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Ice cream worth crossing Bangkok for

Four scoops of mango comes pretty close to perfection

There are some things worth a long bus ride across a city, and I include a bowl of awesome ice cream in that list. That’s exactly what I did at the weekend, having tried and failed on previous occasions to … Continue reading

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Feasting at Khlong Lat Mayom floating market

Khlong Lat Mayom

Just when you think you’ve had your fix of Thai floating markets, along comes another one. Khlong Lat Mayom, sitting on the outskirts of the Thonburi side of Bangkok, is one worth a visit – at once a million miles from and within easy reach of the city. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Gaeng Hed

Gaeng Hed

Gaeng hed is a death-willingly spicy, sour and citrus-infused soup laced with a variety of mushrooms, lemongrass, galangal and a heap of other fresh herbs, spices and leafy greens. It’s a taste of Isaan food you won’t forget in a hurry. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Guay Deow Nam Tok

Guay Deow Nam Tok

Turn your nose up at pig’s blood soup if you will – but guay deow nam tok is a treat you’ll be missing out on. Packing a chilli punch and a half, and delectable whatever the weather, this is a Thai street food dish you shouldn’t skip. Continue reading

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For the love of pie and mash

Pie and mash at Harrington

Pie and mash has been a traditional staple for Londoners for centuries – find out where to enjoy it at its best. Continue reading

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Recipe: Grilled Duck Thai Red Curry

Grilled duck Thai red curry (gaeng phet bped yaang)

Recreate this authentic Thai red curry with grilled duck, pineapple and kaffir lime leaves – with a whirlwind of flavours as tantalising as if you were in Bangkok. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Namtok Moo

Namtok moo

Namtok moo, commonly enjoyed with other Isaan dishes like papaya salad and grilled chicken, is a mix of grilled pork, mint, spring onions, roasted rice and lime juice. A zingy and totally addictive treat! Continue reading

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Chanthaburi: East Thailand’s melting pot

Crumbling old shop houses back on to Chanthaburi

The diverse mix of people and cultures in the eastern Thai city of Chanthaburi is reflected as much in its religious buildings and crumbling shop houses as it is in the foods that fuel the locals. Continue reading

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Eating your way around Krabi

Eating your way around Krabi

Go to Krabi province without hitting Krabi town itself and you’ll miss out on the chance to taste some of the most delicious and authentic fiery southern Thai food you’ll come across. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Kanom Jeen Nam Prik

Kanom jeen nam ya pakang

  Kanom jeen are Chinese rice noodles, served over a curry soup usually made with lots of creamy coconut milk. My favourite is nam prik, deliciously sweet with the distinct taste of satay sauce. Load it with fresh vegetables and enjoy … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Khao Mok Gai

Khao mok gai at Areesaa Rote Dee

  Say hello to one of my favourite Thai dishes – khao mok gai. This southern dish, best described as a Thai version of a biryani, is made up of a hunk of chicken, beef or lamb, slowly marinated in … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Kanom Tuay

Kanom tuay

These coconutty parcels of deliciousness are without a doubt my all-time favourite Thai dessert. With a layer of sweet coconut milk and another layer of thicker, chewier, coconut cream, they are often also made with pandan leaves for extra flavour … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Kung Che Nam Pla

Kung che nam pla

Simplicity at its best, kung che nam pla is one of my favourite Thai seafood dishes. Marinated raw prawns are served with plenty of garlic, chilli and fish sauce based dipping sauce – bliss. Make sure you use the extra … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Prik Gaeng Pla Meuk

Prik gaeng pla meuk

While the street food staple for many Thais is pad krapao, mine is pad prik gaeng – like them, it’s what I order when I don’t know what else I want. I normally take my prik gaeng with pork – … Continue reading

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Best of the Rest: Friday 11 January

Amazing tribal costumes in Papua New Guinea. Photo by Michele Westmorland.

    Each week, words fly around the travel blogging community in their millions. Here is my wrap on some of the most inspiring, interesting or just plain beautiful stories and photos that have caught my attention of late. If … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Somtum Puu Ma

Somtum puu ma

Somtum puu ma is Thai papaya salad made with briefly marinated, raw blue crab. This plate was whipped up on the stunning beach at Ao Manao in Prachuap Kiri Khan, on Thailand’s gulf coast. Tweet

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Malaysia: hunting out the best nasi lemak

Nasi lemak at Old Town White Coffee.

    Rendang may be popular internationally, but if there is one dish that defines Malaysia for those who have visited, it is nasi lemak. This incredible dish, somewhat of a ‘tasting platter’ and a mix of tastes and textures … Continue reading

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Escape to the country: Malaysian rural getaways

The Cameron Highlands. Photo by Peter Gronemann

    Malaysia isn’t just about city skyscrapers and glistening white beaches – though it doesn’t sound as though it would be so bad if that were all it had to offer. But the nation’s expanses of luscious green countryside … Continue reading

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Penang: 5 must try dishes in Georgetown

Roti canai. Photo by Yun Huang Yong

    The sheer clash, collision and blend of cultures on the island of Penang, near Malaysia’s northern border with Thailand, make the food in this part of the country simply phenomenal. Here Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Thai influences … Continue reading

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Why Ramadan is the ultimate time to eat your way around Malaysia

Crowds surround Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s street food is good at any time. A simple walk along any road can present you with the choice of an array of dishes that all represent a specific part of the country’s culinary heritage. What’s more the vendor … Continue reading

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Taling Chan – a floating market at a softer pace

Longtail boats pass in the khlong at Taling Chan floating market

  Floating markets are two-a-penny in and around Bangkok, and yet most visitors still swarm to the over-commercialised tourist trap that is Damnoen Saduak, in Ratchaburi province about an hour and a half from the capital. Taling Chan floating market … Continue reading

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Word of mouth: eating your way around KL’s street food scene

Freshly grilled satay

    Street food across southeast Asia is well renowned for its quality, variety and low cost – and Malaysia is no exception to the rule. In the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, tasty street food abounds and eating on … Continue reading

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Thai food: Raw prawns with chilli, garlic and fish sauce

Raw prawns with garlic, chilli and fish sauce

    One of my favourite Thai dishes is kung che nam pla – whole raw king prawns in fish sauce and lime juice served with a chilli and garlic based seafood sauce, and lots of garlic, spring onions, green … Continue reading

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5 cookbooks from my shelf

  As I add another stunning cookbook to my collection, five recommendations for titles that should fill your shelves too. Call me superficial, but the initial attraction of most of these books was their pretty covers! It just so happens … Continue reading

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Scouring the seashore

Freshly picked winkles

There are not many stereotypical ‘childhood memories’ used by writers that I can relate to, which is quite natural – not everyone is going to have had the same experiences as a kid. Continue reading

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A whistlestop foodie tour of Banglamphu

Khao mok gai at Areesaa Rote Dee

    I’m bleating on about Banglamphu again, Bangkok’s backpacker-popular old-town district. As I mentioned in my recent post on getting away from here, its plentiful array of fantastic Thai street food actually give you ample reason to want to … Continue reading

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Cultivating a khao soi addiction

Khao soi at Khao Soi Khun Yai

    Thailand’s northern cultural capital of Chiang Mai has much to offer – stunning temples, mountain views, massage and language courses and a seemingly endless supply of coffee shops come local art galleries – but its biggest and best … Continue reading

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Samut Songkhram – mud, mangroves and mysterious vegetables

Homestay-on-stilts in Samut Songkhram

    A few weeks back I was lucky enough to visit Samut Songkhram with my best Thai friend, her then-fiancé-now-husband and my boyfriend. Specifically, we were there to visit the Don Hoi Lot area that sits along the basin … Continue reading

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The Mae Klong train track market

Wongwian Yai railway station

    The very idea of Samut Songkhram’s railway market is so bizarre that some people simply refuse to believe it, assuming instead that it must be a prank created for YouTube. Mention the place to someone and chances are … Continue reading

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I like France really

    After my whinge last time, a reminder of one of the reasons why I do love living in France really: Tweet

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Paris – times two

  I am no longer a Paris virgin; the city of romance is the latest to be knocked off my ‘yet to get to’ list. In fact, while a month ago I had still not been, I’ve now already made … Continue reading

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A morning at Talensac

Talensac Market, October 2010

    I did try to get to work this morning, honestly. Not like yesterday, when strike-caused disruption to the buses was in truth only part of the reason I got to school more than half an hour late (the … Continue reading

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Discovering Isaan

Khon Kaen Fresh Market, September 2010

    This post comes from high above the Thai skies, as I fly back from the second of my two-pronged first stab at the northeastern Isaan region. Having kicked off in the small provincial capital city of Chaiyaphum, I … Continue reading

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Home-grown escargots

Snails

    As I write this, I am on the eve of harvesting my second batch of home-grown snails, ready to be cleaned and boiled and served up with heaps of tasty garlic butter à la France. What started out … Continue reading

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Bath’s hidden waterside delights: Photo Essay

    A walk along the Avon & Kennet Canal and Avon River in Bath reveals some of Bath’s hidden beauties. Tweet

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