We started off our third full day in Bangkok much like the one before—The Astronomer and I went on a run, while Lush got some extra shut eye. We departed from our hostel around noon and headed to the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Just a few steps from home base, I was wooed by a vendor with a wok frying up all sorts of good stuff. I had no clue what she was making, but it looked mighty tasty, so I pointed to an attractive plate she had just served up and asked for an identical one.
What arrived at our table was “larp moo” (30 baht), a dish of minced pork seasoned with herbs and lots of chilies. The Astronomer ate the majority of this dish because I am a wuss when it comes to spicy.
The man sitting across from us ordered the “cal pad peek” which came with a gorgeous fried egg on top (40 baht). I once again pointed and requested an identical plate. Thin slices of beef were stir-fried with white and green onions in soy sauce. The results were simple and good. The egg could’ve been runnier, but I have no idea how to say that in Thai.
Two skytrains later, we arrived at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Prior to exiting the station, The Astronomer purchased a maple waffle (15 baht). The waffle was freshly made and still warm from the iron. With crisped edges, moist innards and caramelized topping, it was the most delicious waffle we ate in Bangkok.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market is a huge affair. In fact, it took us a couple of hours just to complete a loop around it. Lush was the first to succumb to the plethora of goodies on sale. She purchased a stick of cocktail wieners wrapped in wonton paper (10 baht).
Although they looked adorable, I passed on the Thai-style pigs in a blanket because there’s something about a collection of unknown meats that is unsettling. Lush and The Astronomer liked them well enough, but not as much as grilled meats on a stick.
After spending a good hour or so shuffling through racks of vintage clothes and contemplating America’s influence on global trends, we were all ready to eat. The Astronomer ordered up a shallow bowl of curry with fish balls served over vermicelli rice noodles (25 baht).
Shredded cabbage, cucumbers and herbs were available tableside for diners to garnish their noodles to taste. The coconut milk within the curry cut some of its intrinsic spiciness, but not enough for my sad excuse of a palate. I wonder if it is possible to train oneself to embrace spicy foods.
Lush purchased some Thai iced tea-flavored ice cream topped with condensed milk (15 baht). Although the texture was slightly icy, the flavor was definitely right on. My friend’s penchant for sweets is unparalleled.
Next, The Astronomer purchased a couple fried fish cakes (10 baht).
We’re not exactly sure what these things are made of, but they expand quite a bit when submerged in hot oil. Although the fish cakes looked impressive, they tasted like basic seafood forcemeat seasoned with fish sauce.
A collection of sushi, including a variety in the shape of Asia’s #1 sensation Hello Kitty, caught my eye.
I chose three pieces: tomago, seaweed and octopus (15 baht). The sweet egg, seaweed and octopus were not rolled within the rice like traditional sushi. Instead, they were placed atop a roll made of solid rice and seaweed like toppings. The rice was too densely packed, but I had no complaints about the tomago, seaweed and octopus.
While The Astronomer and I tasted various savories, Lush craved more sweets and procured a Thai milk shake (20 baht). The Astronomer hit the nail on the head when he said it tasted like artificial bubblegum flavoring. It was pretty, but not tasty.
After a brief shopping intermission, The Astronomer sampled a fried vegetable “samosa” (20 baht). He said it tasted like the type of Chinese eggroll that comes free with a combo meal. There was a lot of cabbage, and not much else.
Still not satisfied in the sweets department, Lush went for a stick of pandan-flavored ice cream (10 baht). It tasted similar to The Astronomer’s rainbow ice cream from the day before—sweet, cold, and not the least bit pandan-like.
Some of the best noodles we enjoyed in Bangkok were sold at the weekend market. The Astronomer’s soy sauce noodles with greens (10 baht) were texturally terrific and well-seasoned. I love wide noodles with all of my heart.
In the mood for something other than refined sugars, Lush picked up a portion of barbecued pork pieces (35 baht). The pork was prepared in the classic style of Chinese barbecue complete with a beautiful pink glaze. The meat was moist, not too fatty and just sweet enough.
As we left the market and headed back to the Sukhumvit area, I grabbed a mixed fruit waffle (18 baht) to munch on. The waffle wasn’t warm off the iron like the maple one from earlier, but still excellent. This chain needs to come to Vietnam pronto.
For dinner, we checked out the sixth floor food court at Mah Boon Khrong, better known as MBK.
Craving something fresh and healthy to counterbalance the caloric-fest from earlier, I settled on a crispy catfish salad (30 baht). The barely recognizable catfish was served over a bed of romaine lettuce and topped with salted peanuts, carrots and green papaya. The fish-sauce based dressing was so spicy that my eyes watered profusely. Albeit being too fiery, I still found the salad quite enjoyable and ate every last bit. Bangkok really does know how to deep-fry its fishes.
The Astronomer chose noodles with greens and pork served in thick gravy (35 baht) for his dinner. Similar to Vietnamese mi xao don, the dish’s crunchy noodles softened in the pool of sauce. The flavors in this dish were delicate and familiar, but the abundance of gravy was too much.
The Astronomer and I shared some pork rolls (30 baht) for our final dinner course. Thin sheets of rice paper wrapped around pieces of marinated pork and fresh romaine lettuce. It was a strong finish to our food court dinner.
Walking back to the hostel, we purchased two roti with sugar and condensed milk (5 baht) because a day without roti is a day without sunshine. Not nearly as big and fluffy as the one before, this one still hit the spot.