Hey Foodventurer!

“Good food makes people happy,” sabi ng title character sa pelikulang Chef of South Polar. Mapa-Antarctica man ang paroroonan, mapa-Japan, o mapa-Timog Silangang Asya, sino ang ayaw sa pagkaing masarap? At bilang bibiyahe ka, isama mo na ang iyong masuwerteng panlasa sa paglilibot at makabuluhang paglalakbay. :)

Here's a rundown of things you might want to eat, with some descriptions thrown in:

Chiang Mai
  1. Crispy catfish (Yam Pla Duk Foo) - very light, airy, crispy batter of flour and minced hito, usually served with green mango salad (YUM).
(Photo source: wikipedia)
  1. Pad Thai- going to Thailand and not having Pad Thai merits a sin of omission, i.e. "Hindi ka nag-Pad Thai? Hindi ka talaga nanggaling ng Thailand! Nagsinungaling ka lang. :p"
  1. Shrimp Paste Rice (Khao khluk kapi) - rice stir-fried with shrimp paste, served with sweetened pork and vegetables.
This plate was from a hawker across the Thammasat University in Bangkok
  1. Oyster patties - oyster and egg omelette; can be bought off the street.
  1. Fish cakes (Thot man pla krai) or Shrimp cakes (Tod Mun Goong) - I don't think we can have it this herby, healthy and just really yummy, except in Thailand
(Photo source: wikipedia)
  1. Chiang Mai sausage (Sai Ua) - always rears its fatty head in the menu, so might as well try it. Masarap naman, make sure you have this with the sauces – vinegar/ patis dips (kung ano man ang iyong dig). I bet this goes well with beer.
(Photo source: wikipedia)
  1. Chiang mai chicharon - Another popular Chiang Mai product. The Chiang Mai variant seems less oilier than its Pinoy brother.
  2. Northern Thai Noodles (Chiang Mai Noodles/ Khao Soi) - a blend of sour coconut curry, boiled and fried noodles, topped with pickled mustard greens, chili sauce, mung bean sprouts, lime, and shallots. Coriander and cumin spices, borrowed from Burmese and Indian cuisine, give this a non-Thai twist. Other spellings: "Kao soy" or "Kow soi"
(Photo source: wikipedia)

9. Cha Yen/ Charon – strongly brewed black tea, sweetened with sugar and condensed milk(ooops, milk means bawal – well you can always watch your friends enjoy this. May cold at hot version. :D)
10. San Miguel Beer. Singha. Oh yeah. :D

Be warned about the food servings (for growing boys, girls, and boygirls!)
  1. Spring Rolls – have both the fried and fresh variants.
    We tried this resto called “Smile Restaurant,” at the street across the Fine Arts Museum. Smile is a not-for-profit center that trains disadvantaged kids. Ang sarap ng fried spring rolls; it did not taste oily at all.

2. Pho with thick noodles, Vietnamese pansit, etc. around the Temple of Literature - this area is literally teeming with Pho houses.We randomly chose one that's on the left side of the Temple. Here's the modest feast:
Your Pho could come with different-sized noodles. The fat and flat noodles is gooood!
3. Skewered meat/ seafood in sugarcane - how I imagine this dish would taste like: grilled seafood/meat with hints of juicy, succulent sugarcane.
4. Sugarcane juice- Perfect for long walks; with lime. (I miss, miss, miss this. Drink glassES for me! :p)
5. Pulled sandwich - Sweet and peppery. Similar to a hero sandwich, with shredded and caramelized meat, toasted with onions and herbs.
6. Eel with vermicelli - I really have no words to describe it, other than to say I have never tasted anything like it // that it's really, really, really good. The dry one, where the soup is on a separate bowl, is actually better. See photo below:
7. This dessert (they're really balls of happiness disguised as sticky white 3-dimensional dots):

8. Iced coffee with yoghurt - sounds strange, but it works. Kung hindi pwede dahil lactose intolerant, opt for the espresso servings of coffee.

  • Have a meal by the Mekong.
  • Try those restos on the other side, the ones near the narrower river, like Tamarind Restaurant, where we had these:
  • Those rolls wrapped in leaves (that plate on the upper left of the lower photos), the Lao version of the roll without the wrap, is a MUST-TRY. Prepare for the heavenly peanut sauce they use in the Lao rolls!
  • We had this sampler plate at the Tamarind Resto. There's a hawker stall that sells this roll on the main road, where the night market is. May dalawang ateng nagbabantay. They're only there between 3-5pm, I think.
  • Compared to other SEA food we tried, Lao cuisine is more garlicky. 
  • At night, try the hawker stalls at the food alley. Opens at the same time the night market does (Th Sisivangvong, I think). There are plenty of grilled dishes (fish caught from the Mekong), Lao dishes, etc.
  • Have a cuppa Lao coffee. If you're lactose intolerant, remember to ask them not to put milk. ;)
Enjoy your trip! Mag-uwi ka ng maraming-maraming kwento. =)

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