By Janness Koh
While many people are familiar with places in Bangkok like Siam Square, Pratunam, Chuatuchak etc, not many have gone to other areas of Bangkok which is surprisingly just as good if not better in terms of food and shopping. I myself am guilty of having visited Bangkok twice and only staying within the city center.
This time, I was on a work trip and had to stay towards the southern area , Bang Kapi and you can tell a difference at how much lesser of a city it is with not as many offices or high rise buildings.
There’s a huge mall called The Mall Bangkapi which was the main place I was at daily because of work and it really is huge. I got lost on my first day just navigating around the mall to see what there is. Verdict is Thai people really love Japanese food. On the same level of restaurants, about 80% are Japanese food!
Next to the mall is a huge sheltered night market called Tawanna and I enjoyed this place more than any other night markets I’ve been to in Bangkok simply because of how clean it was; also airy and spacious. Highly recommend you visit this place the next time you are in Bangkok and it isn’t that far from the city as you can take a water taxi from Siam Paragon that will bring you direct to The Mall Bangkapi, about 20 mins ride at 17 baht.
Standing at the entrance to Tawanna, I couldn’t see the end of it, thats how big it is. My strategy was to do a zig zag down the rows and rows of stalls but it somehow lead me to another indoor air conditioned area that seems to be a whole other market by itself. Did tons of walking here as the area is really huge and I had to retrace back after losing my focus wandering along. You can find everything you need here from food to clothes, shoes, electronics, wigs, cosmetics, and even services like waxing and manicures. They have nice Instagrammable resting areas as well. If you are feeling adventurous, this market sells some fried crickets and silkworms. Ugh!
I also find food in generally are a lot more spicy and salty in this area compared to what I remembered in the city center and I’ve eaten way too much on this trip! :p Food is much cheaper in this area as well which is always a plus since I’m staying for 2 weeks.
The restaurant about 3 mins away from my hotel at 130 Hotel & Residences serves some awesome food. Their bbq fish is the most popular and it is a big one that we shared among 3 people. The most common vegetable you will see in Thailand’s restaurants is morning glory and it looks and taste just like kangkong to me. Can anyone confirm?
The flower buds like vegetable is something new to me as I have never seen or tried it and surprisingly good! I was hunting for it in supermarkets as I wanted to bring home for my dad to try but sadly didn’t manage to find it on my last day though I saw it at Big C. Flower clams are so good too! Its only 50 baht for a bowl of it which is about SGD $2 and would have easily costs SGD $10 in Singapore. My new favourite Thai street food is their fried chicken and pork chops on skewer that I didn’t take a picture of. It is so tender and juicy, salivating just thinking about it.
Next to my hotel are several street stalls and eateries and I have tried most of them. My new favourite food of Thailand is the mixed pork congee that I ended up eating 3 days in a row and would have eaten a fourth time on my last night but the stall was closed. The mixed pork soup was equally yummy and man can Thai people cook their soup, everything tasted so good.
Again, I find food in this area spicier than the city as well. The green curry I know is usually sweeter in taste but the one I had in Bang Kapi is sweet but very spicy at the same time.
And of course, even in a different area of Bangkok, I just had to have the honey toast at After You Dessert Cafe. Their signature Instagram ready honey toast, I ordered the nutella one. Thick soft and fluffy toast with just enough nutella, paired with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and a tower of whipped cream that I never eat haha. The honey is given to you in a separate jar so you can add accordingly to how sweet you like.