My first dinner was a feast of royal Chinese traditions with my dad’s side of the family. After killing some time with light shopping at Siam Square with my mom and sister, we headed off to a family-owned and operated restaurant noted for its royal Chinese cuisine. One of my uncles took the liberty to order their set menu consisting of 7 courses. The dinner began on a disappointing note of some lackluster, cold appetizers. The next course got really interesting as they brought out stir-fried sea cucumbers with Thai basil, chili, garlic and minced pork. It was the first and only time I will ever try sea cucumber. The texture was jelly-like, and without the strong flavors of basil, chili and garlic, the sea cucumbers alone would have been tasteless.
The next day, my family and I made a trip to our old neighborhood for some papaya salad and grilled chicken. We ordered the usual Som Tum Thai, but it was unique because instead of plain peanuts, it was made with peanut brittle, which added to the sweetness of the palm sugar.
We also enjoyed Nua Namtok (spicy beef salad), Larb Moo (spicy minced pork salad), Tom Saab (spicy soup with pork tendons), and, my personal favorite, Ko Moo Yang. The grilled pig’s neck is known for its glorious fattiness, served with a delicious condiment of a sweet base with chili and fish sauce.
Here are some other offerings I enjoyed during my trip: