Bangkok is food paradise. Manila’s catching up but we’re still behind in terms of quality choices especially in malls. I’m in heaven whenever we’re here as three of my most favourite cuisines abound just about anywhere – Japanese, Chinese, and the best of them all – Thai!
The Thais truly take pride in their cooking. They take pains in ensuring the ingredients are fresh, the presentation most pleasing to the eyes, and the taste orgamiscally explosive! In most of their dishes, the medley of sweetness, tartness, and pungency which are eternally coupled with their preferred spice – the humble, hot chilli pepper, which never fails to put me in an unexplainable frenzied state!
Clean (unlike in the Philippines, the government checks on food safety and quality plus the Thais are inherently neat) and freshly prepared food, cooked right before your very eyes are available just about anywhere on the streets. But should you find yourselves ravenous after window shopping your hearts out in one of the city’s well air-conditioned malls, do try to locate a Nara Thai Cuisine outlet.
Nara’s been voted as one of Thailand’s and Singapore’s (they’ve obviously got a branches there) best restaurants since the mid-2000s. We’ve been very frequent Bangkok fixtures but it was only during our last trip that we honestly heard of it. Thanks to our Filipino foodie friends David Catarroja and Kenneth Navarro who excitedly shared their gastronomic experiences con gusto! We dined at two of their conveniently located branches both on the 7th levels of the Central World and the Em Quartier malls. And there’s another branch at the Erawan Mall. With its ambience, and more importantly its renown for the highest quality ingredients and age-old recipes, you’d think that prices would be steep. On the contrary, a group of four diners would go home sleepy due to overeating for approximately 1,500 Baht (Php 1,950) inclusive of drinks. I had a Chang Beer, obviously! Now that ain’t bad at all!
I’m no food critic but I enjoy my food even if it’s not obvious. One tip: COME FAMISHED!