Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Thip Samai

he says:

After a luxurious afternoon nap we all woke around 5 and starving. We are slowly acclimatising to the heat and longer days, although the early mornings thanks to Charlie are tough. For dinner we had unfinished business from last trip as although I'm not the biggest lover of Pad Thai a trip to Thailand doesn't seem complete without at least one serving of the famous sweet tamarind stir fried noodles. Thip Samai is pretty much unanimously considered Bangkok's number one when it comes to Pad Thai and as a result it is about twice the price you'll find it anywhere else. Although at around 140 baht a serve it really isn't too hard to bear.

This trip we have decided to try and walk more rather than take the tuk tuk or taxi option, partly to negate the significant volume of food we are eating but also to try and get a better feel for the layout of the city. I was a little concerned about the possibility of rain as the temperature had dropped a few degrees and a lovely cool breeze had just picked up but we thought we see how far we could get before the heavens opened. With that we headed off taking a wide loop to avoid Khao San road. To keep us going for the trip we grabbed a few grilled sausages from a street food vendor.

We got about 10 minutes away before the the rain started, and not that drizzly Melbourne rain, this was  full on tropical bucketing. As the rain started we had just passed Mont Nom Sod, a purveyor a sweet toast with multiple custard toppings and tempting as it was we decided to press on and hail a taxi. Eventually a tuk tuk pulled over and Tina negotiated us a trip around the corner for I think 50 baht. That seemed a good price especially as we weren't in much of a position to bargain!

After a short and wet ride past the giant swing we arrived at Thip Samai and ordered the standard Pad Thai and a deluxe version. This lovely plate is a the side dish with sprouts, lotus root (I think) and chives for customising the meals to your personal preference.

The standard Pad Thai is exactly that, pretty much a vegetarian option although it did contain a few dried shrimp. I love the yellow skinned tofu that they use in Thailand. It was delicious as you would expect and certainly different to the sweeter version you often get back home and not a shred of chicken in sight. Apparently Pad Thai chicken is a definite no no!

Chicken is out but prawns are definitely in and the deluxe version had a couple of lovely plump specimens and was also wrapped in a delicate fried egg casing. Both dishes were wonderful and I particularly liked that the woks were fried over charcoal rather than gas which seems to be the more common and obviously less traditional option at most places. Given the wide variety of Pad Thai versions available both in Thailand and abroad it is quite difficult for the home cook to get an idea of what Pad Thai is supposed to taste like. Based on the numerous articles and commendations on the wall I have a feeling that Thip Samai's version is the one to try and emulate. I was tempted to buy a bottle of the famous Pad Thai sauce that was for sale but I had a feeling that they probably don't use a bottled sauce in the restaurant so I decided against it.


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