My Peregrinations

Winging my way through life

Tag: food

Tom yum goong Banglamphu

Bangkok eats: Authentic tom yum goong

Every Thai eatery in Thailand and abroad likes to claim that they make authentic tom yum goong. Not being Thai, I have no idea which version of the soup is the real thing. So when a Thai friend offered to take us to eat what’s known as the most authentic tom yum goong in Bangok, I said yes, of course. She took us to Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu (ร้านต้มยำกุ้งบางลำพู), a streetside stall located near the Khao San Road backpacker district.

I had always been a little wary of eating street food in developing countries. But I changed my mind after a terrible bout of food poisoning on a trip to Vietnam last year. A meal at an upscale restaurant in the hillside town of Sa Pa made me so ill that I spent an entire day in the local hospital on a drip, writhing in pain. The locals later informed me that I should always eat street food, never restaurant food. The reason is, there’s no telling how they store and prepare the food in restaurants, whereas street food is always boiled or fried. I’ve since become less cautious and haven’t fallen ill so far.

Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu is located right outside the main Banglamphu multi-storey carpark. It’s not difficult to spot – look out for the elderly man who is in charge of making the tom yum goong, as he works with his back to the road:

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Our friend placed an order in rapid-fire Thai. It didn’t take very long for our food to be served, as the stall is run by an efficient team who churn out dishes and turn over tables in double-quick time to keep up with the crowd. Everything was fresh and very well made, but the highlight was the tom yum goong, naturally.

Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu

In Singapore, you get two kinds of tom yum goong – red and clear. Both versions are a thin soup with the predominant taste being that of spices. Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu’s version is a broth so enriched with shrimp fat that it’s creamy. It comes with a generous helping of fresh shrimp, too. Unlike Singaporean versions of tum yum goong, this version won’t have you sweating because it’s too hot. But it will leave you wanting to go back for more.

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While you’re there, try the stir-fried baby clams (hoy lai pad nam prik pao), puffy egg omelette (khai jeow) and stir-fried kai lan (pad pak kana) as well. These plus the tom yum goong and rice will put you in a food coma for sure. Walk it off by browsing the stalls in the market , and cool your burning palate with a drink from this juice shop just opposite:

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Find your way to Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu with Google Maps.

London in five days: Borough Market

The Shard towering over Borough Market.

The Shard towering over Borough Market.

I love visiting markets, so Borough Market was on my London to-do list. Unfortunately, my visit was on a Monday, which is a limited market day, but there were some interesting things to see nonetheless. I popped by around lunchtime, and many of the more popular stalls such as Pie Minister had snaking queues in front of them. That made it quite difficult to get nice pictures. 

Huge pizzas to share. I must say that they were very generous with the prawns!

Huge pizzas to share.


I wanted to buy some fudge for the man, but there were so many to choose from I was paralysed by indecision and leaving empty-handed.

I wanted to buy some fudge for the man, but there were so many to choose from I was paralysed by indecision and ended up leaving empty-handed.

I really wanted to try Pie Minister’s pies, but having just had lunch, I couldn’t find space to eat anything except coffee. So I headed to Monmouth Coffee Company, which was just across the road from Borough Market.

Monmouth Coffee is supposed to serve the best joe in London.

Monmouth Coffee is supposed to serve the best joe in London. They roast their own beans, and they do it very well too, if I do say so myself.


My filtered coffee being prepared.

Londoners seem to take their coffee very seriously, so I had to queue for at least 15 minutes before I got my stained cup of long black. There are bowls of sugar to help yourself from, if you must have your coffee sweet.

I paid a few quid for this cup of coffee – can’t remember how much exactly, but I savoured every sip.

While my visit to Borough Market wasn’t super exciting (should have planned to drop by on a Friday instead), the cuppa more than made up for it! I was definitely fortified for a walk across London Bridge right after.

 

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