Thai Archives

"I didn't want to live anywhere that didn't have durian."

R. W. Apple Jr. continues his journey around Asia ... "On the Streets of Bangkok, Two Guys Keep It Real," October 12, 2005 ...

He meets up with Robert Halliday, who says, "I decided I didn't want to live anywhere that didn't have durian."

A few years ago, Mr. Halliday had promised me an eating spree for the ages, but he had taken ill shortly after my wife, Betsey, and I arrived. This time would prove to be different, as he led us into a hidden world of restaurants. At every stop, we were the only Western customers. And at every stop, the food was cheap, simple and delicious.

sounds like our kind of trip ...

... mee krob, the sticky, sweet-and-spicy fried noodles found on Thai menus from Delhi to Des Moines. These were another matter altogether: subtler, tarter, zestier. The secret, Mr. Halliday quickly explained, was peel from a rare, sourish citrus fruit called som saa.
... wonderful tom yum pla, that eye-poppingly vibrant fish soup. Hot, rich and sharp, it owed everything to the liltingly fresh, vividly perfumed lemon grass, ka-prao or holy basil, coriander and kaffir lime leaves that flavored it, along with the obligatory chili.

we've had a similar soup, tum yum talay, and it is incredible ... even with American ingredients ...

and a chicken dish:

Brined and liberally dusted with black pepper, it is fried until golden-brown, crisp but not dry and papery, then showered with garlic, also fried. One of the marvels of this world-class dish is the succulence of the chicken; another is the sweetness of the garlic, unmarred by burned bits.

our mouth is watering ...

read the whole thing ...

Posted October 13, 2005 06:12 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Thai   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)


Looking for a good Thai restaurant?

The Asia Society has a roundup of authentic Thai dishes at NYC restaurants in "Thai Tastes in New York City" ... here's info about the survey ...

Posted August 25, 2005 10:30 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Thai   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)