keito potato

Eating at Bangkok’s Chattuchak Weekend Market
July 2, 2013, 6:50 am
Filed under: Food-Focused Travelogues | Tags: , ,

I spent a month in Thailand during my holiday for the Chinese New Year.

When in Bangkok, I was determined to visit the Chattuchak Weekend Market, also called Jattujak, or “JJ.”  The market attracts about 200,000 visitors each weekend, and seems to the be the size of a small town.  Stalls sell everything from traditional handcrafts to hipster fashion labels to exotic pets.  I bought several blouses at a stall that sold used clothing from Japan.  Food stalls are strewn throughout the market, and there are also a few larger food areas.

Chattuchak weekend market

Thai iced tea

It was so incredibly hot that day, and I think I drank about 5 Thai iced teas.

Malaysian halal food stall

We had lunch at this Malaysian Halal food stall.

curry noodles

My friend had this bowl of Malaysian curry noodles for lunch, topped with crisp fried onions (and Thai iced tea).

pad thai at Bangkok's Jattujak (JJ) weekend market

I had pad thai (and Thai iced tea).

coconut ice cream

Fresh coconut ice cream, served in a coconut shell, and topped with peanuts.

eating fresh coconut ice cream

Here I am eating fresh coconut ice cream.

boat noodles

At this stall they were making huge vats of “boat noodles.”

Su Ki Jeh Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant in Bangkok
July 2, 2013, 6:13 am
Filed under: Food-Focused Travelogues | Tags: , , ,

I sent a month in Thailand during my holiday for the Chinese New Year.

To get ready for the trip, I did some online research about street food in Bangkok, and discovered this food blogger who is passionate about street food in Bangkok, and has an e-book about eating vegetarian in Thailand.  The e-guide was a good investment at around $6, because I learned some phrases for ordering dishes vegetarian, learned a broader spectrum of Thai dishes, and I was introduced to some phenomenal vegetarian restaurants in Bangkok.

Su Ki Jeh Ruyi was my favorite vegetarian restaurnt on his list.  It’s a simple place near the Hua Lamphong train station and MRT station, which made it extremely convenient.  It was packed until late at night with older locals, and we were the only westerners during our visits.

vegetarian tom yum noodle soup

The first time I was there I fell in love with a vegetarian tom yum noodle soup.  The broth was electric, simply stunning with strong flavors of kaffir lime, ginger, and chili.  My friends and I were crazy about it and returned to the restaurant 2 more times.  This poor photo was taken late at night with an older camera, and it can’t capture how amazing this soup was.  You can see the pretty curve of the fresh oyster mushrooms, but you can’t see the vividness of the elecric broth.

eating vegetarian tom yum noodle soup

Here I am eating the tom yum noodle soup.  We had a long day of walking in the heat, and this soup was restorative and bright at 9pm.

vegetarian sign

Vegetarian sign above the restaurant.

Location: 285 Soi Phraya Singhaseni Street, Bangkok, Thailand, 13330

Direction: The restaurant is located right around the corner from Hua Lamphong MRT station and train station.  From the MRT station, take exit #3 and turn left to head backwards, away from the train station.  Take a left on to Soi Phraya Singhaseni, and it’s just 50 meters down the road on your right hand side.

Issan street food carts in Thailand
July 2, 2013, 5:41 am
Filed under: Food-Focused Travelogues | Tags: , , , , , ,

I spent a month in Thailand during my holiday for the Chinese New Year.

I fell in love with Issan street food carts.  Issan is a northeast region of Thailand, bordering Cambodia.  The weather is super-hot, so the cuisine is based on salads and refreshing lime and chile flavor profiles.

green papaya salad

This is one the most famous Issan dishes, the green papaya salad.  It has a lime-chili salad dressing, and is garnished with peanuts.

Issan lunch cart

This Issan lunch cart on Koh Tao island made phenomenal food.  It’s where the locals in the neighborhood came to eat.

green papaya salad

This green papaya salad on Koh Tao had a good dose of shredded carrots.

Molly's green papaya salad

Molly’s green papaya salad was so delicious that she wanted to inhale it.

gaang aom

I read this e-book guide about eating vegetarian food in Thailand, and learned about gaang aom, a phenomenal Issan soup made from pumpkin, mushrooms, baby green eggplants, and leafy greens.  I absolutely fell in love with this refreshing, restorative soup, and ate it for several lunches in Thailand.

baby green eggplants

These are the baby green eggplants that are used for the gaang aom soup, as well as a myriad of other Thai dishes.

gaang aom

Another amazing bowl of gaang aom soup.

 in love with gaang aom

I was in love with gaang aom soup!  It’s served sticky rice, which you can dip into the soup.

mushroom soup

This mushroom soup is similar to the gaang aom soup, but has fewer greens.

fermented bamboo salad

Fermented bamboo salad, garnished with mint leaves.  It has a chili-lime dressing, and a tiny bit of ground toasted rice for texture.

fermented bamboo

Shredded bamboo in the vegetable market.

M + A

Enjoyed Issan lunches with friends Molly and Andrew.


M + A

Friends Molly and Andrew are tucking into mushroom soup and green papaya salad.

Issan lunch cart

Another Issan lunch cart.


Pad Thai across Thailand
July 2, 2013, 4:32 am
Filed under: Food-Focused Travelogues | Tags: , , ,

I spent a month in Thailand during my holiday for the Chinese New Year.

Pad Thai is an cheap, delicious meal, and I happily ate it several times during my month-long trip.  Lime, garlic, peanuts, tofu… what’s not to love?  I downloaded an e-guide for eating vegetarian in Thailand, which had some helpful phrases for ordering food without fish sauce or dried shrimp, both of which are traditionally included in Pad Thai.  That little guide was helpful for me as a vegetarian.

Pad Thai

Here’s a version of pad thai in Chiang Mai, at a little cafe run by a grandma and grandpa, across the street from the YMCA.

pad thai at Bangkok's Jattujak (JJ) weekend market


Pad Thai and Thai iced tea at Chattuchak (or Jattujak) Market, Bangkok’s premiere weekend market, which attracts 200,000 visitors most weekends.

Pad Thai street cart

Here is a pad thai street cart in Bangkok.  The woman here is making my plate of pad thai.  She had 6 kinds of noodles you could choose from.

street pad thai

Gorgeous and cheap pad thai on the street.  I bought it from a cart, and ate it on a plastic stool on the sidewalk, holding it on my lap.

happy about pad thai

Here I’m happy to have a lovely plate of pad thai at the Cambodian border, after a long dusty train ride through the Issan region.

pad thai

Gorgeous pad thai on the Cambodian border, after a long train ride.

train ride

Channeling Jason Schwartzman on a 1910-era Thai train.

Chinese New Year dog

The puppy I met on Chinese New Year before eating a plate of pad thai.

wide-noodle pad thai

Enjoyed this plate late at night after walking the streets of Bangkok’s Chinatown for Chinese New Year.  We had been eating street food like durian, but I was hungry for something a little more substantial.  This pad thai street cart offered several kinds of noodles, including these extra-wide rice noodles.  They were fresh and soft — an amazing texture paired with with the pad thai flavors.

Eating in Pahurat, Bangkok’s Little India
July 2, 2013, 4:00 am
Filed under: Food-Focused Travelogues | Tags: , ,

I spent in a month in Thailand during my break for Chinese New Year.

While doing research on where to eat in Bangkok’s Little India, called Pahurat, I came across this post about a cafe in Pahurat called Toney’s.  The food blogger said it was a little tricky to find because it’s out in the middle of an alley, but utterly delicious and cheap.

Toney's cafe in Pahurat

When we found the cafe, there was no sign for the restaurant, but I recognized it easily from the blogger’s video.  The menu had the name “Toney’s” and confirmed that we were in the right place.  We were so grateful to know about this place, and ate there twice while in Bangkok.  Most of the dishes were familiar Indian dishes, but the photos on the walls were of Nepal, and the cooks told us they were from Burma.


This dal is topped with a sliver of fermented butter, which quickly melted.  The flavor of the butter was rich and reminiscent of a strong cheese.


An aloo gobi (potatoes with cauliflower).  The potatoes were cut into long slices instead of cubes, and the sauce was spicy and complex with lots of ginger.  This might have been my favorite dish there.


This saag paneer was just lovely, but when I showed the photos to some of my Chinese students later, they said it looked awful, like something they would see on the ground.  Their loss.


Shahi paneer, which is cheese with a royal tomato-butter sauce.  Exquisite.


A dry spicy potato dish.

Chana potato

Chana (chickpeas) with potatoes.  Simple and delicious.


making roti

Here the cooks whipped up a fresh batch of roti (flatbread) for us.

me in Pahurat

M + A

My friends Molly and Andrew were blissed out after a feast.  Chai is a perfect way to relax after an overwhelmingly-delicious Indian meal, even on a hot day.


Toney’s cafe is right next to a canal, where we saw large monitor lizard swimming.  The manager at the the next-door cafe located on the canal bridge told us that monitor lizards like to swim under her cafe because they give the lizards clumps of rice to eat.  I actually saw 4 monitor lizards on my Thailand trip!