We're going back to Thailand for this post! I'm a sucker for Thai Salads and Thai Noodles so today I'm going to take you to my favourite Thai Salad and Fried Chicken spot in Bangkok as well as a popular restaurant that serves Thai Boat Noodles!
Firstly let me give you a quick insight on what Boat Noodles are. Back in days when Thailand had a big flood water transportation was the main mode to trade food and goods, like in the floating markets in Thailand, noodles were cooked and served on boats hence the name "Boat Noodles". The servings of the Boat Noodles were small, because it was inconvenient to hold large bowls of noodles whilst sitting on a rocky boat. Today Boat Noodles are still served in Thailand but rarely on boats, you can usually finish a bowl of Boat Noodles in seconds and usually one person will need to order at least 10 bowls to be completely full!
The most popular and famous place to have Boat Noodles in Bangkok is at Victory Monument. This area has many Boat Noodles restaurants in which all are popular among locals and tourists!
We went to "Boat Noodles at Victory Monument" for brunch.
Boat Noodles at Victory Monument
Phahonyothin Rd, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400, Thailand
The Boat Noodles are made fresh right behind the purple guy in the middle of the image above.
The menu is quite simple and there are several different types of Boat Noodles you can get. Each bowl of noodles costs BAHT13 that's approximately AUD0.50! We tried all the flavours of the Boat Noodles and also the Deep Fried Crispy Pork Skins and Crispy Wontons!
There are four Boat Noodles options:
1. Thickened Soup Noodles (Beef/Pork)
2. Tom Yum Noodles
3. Dried Noodles (Beef/Pork)
4. Brewed Bean Curd Noodles
The Fried Pork Skin and Crispy Wontons are like your Chinese Prawn Crackers that you have while waiting for your mains at Chinese Restaurants. I originally thought the Wontons actually had stuffing inside but this was just fried Wonton skins. I actually preferred the Fried Pork Skin, it's crispy and slightly salty!
I remembered we tried both the Beef and Pork options for the Boat Noodles with Thickened Soup and the Dried Noodles and we enjoyed the Beef more!
Firstly the Dried Noodles option had a peanut flavour and it tasted quite light compared to the other options! The Thickened Soup Noodles was the most authentic, the broth had a very strong cinnamon flavour which was also rich and full of flavours! The Tom Yum Noodles was a little spicy and sour and was served with a piece of Crispy Wonton Skin and some veggies. Lastly, the Brewed Bean Curd Noodles was a little bit salty as it was made from fermented tofu paste and it tasted a little strong! You also have condiments on your table that you can put into your noodles, you get chilli, sugar, vinegar and fish sauce.
I enjoyed all four types of Boat Noodles but my favourite would have been the Dried Noodles and the Tom Yum Noodles.
We only finished 12 bowls among the two of us since it was just brunch for us and there were plenty of other things to eat during the day. When you're done eating the waiter will come over to count your bowls and give you the final bill! You should definitely try Boat Noodles when you come to Bangkok as it's not an easy dish to find outside of Thailand!
Another restaurant that I was recommended by a local concierge at Siam Paragon and have ever since always visited when I'm in Bangkok is Som Tam Nua! I love Thai Salads especially Som Tam (Papaya Salad), Som Tam Nua sells all sorts of Thai Salad and delicious Fried Chicken!
I've been to two different Som Tam Nua restaurants in which both are located in Siam, one in Siam Centre and one at Siam Square.
Som Tam Nua (Siam Square)
392/14 Siam Square Soi 5
Som Tam Nua (Siam Centre)
989, Siam Centre, 4th Floor, Rama 1 Road, Pathum Wan
Khet Pathum Wan, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand.
1. Fried Chicken
2. Som Tam with Dry Shrimp and Peanuts
3. Larb-Cooked Minced pork
4. Sticky Rice
5. Thai Ice Tea
The Fried Chicken has a little salty flavour and the outer skin of the Fried Chicken was crispy and hot whilst the meat inside was juicy and tender. The Chicken was served with some sweet chilli sauce and some soya sauce with seasoning in it. I really enjoyed the Fried Chicken and I could keep eating forever! This is definitely a must try!
The Larb-Cooked Minced Pork was also a favourite. It has two chilli signs next to this dish on the menu so you might want to stay away from it if you can't take a lot spice! The pork is well seasoned with garlic, onion and chilli. The pork also has a tinge of sour flavour which makes it really refreshing to eat! I usually have this dish wrapped in lettuce when I eat it at other Thai restaurants but as for Som Tam Nua, they serve this without lettuce however I personally think this would go really well together with rice.
Now the highlight of the restaurant! Som Tam with Dried Shrimp and Peanuts. This is what the restaurant is known for! Firstly, this dish is marked on the menu as a must try and secondly this dish has two chilli signs marked against it on the menu but I'd say forget the chilli signs and order it :)!
I'm not a fan of papaya but I love it when it's used to make this dish! The flavours of this dish was amazing, the spicy, sour and salty flavour were all present in this dish and each flavour was of the right amount, it's not too sour or too spicy, it was just right! The peanuts gives it a bit of a different texture than chewing on crispy papaya and the dried shrimps adds a bit salty flavour to the dish. The Som Tam dish was also served with some crispy pork skins on top, like having croutons on top of your soup, it adds a different texture to the dish and Som Tam Nua's pork skins were very crispy!
The Sticky Rice on the bottom right next to the chicken in the above photo (apologies for no better photo) came served in a plastic bag which was then placed in a bamboo container. You can get a piece of the Sticky Rice and dip it in the Som Tam's juice/sauce or you can also do the same with the Larb-Minced Pork's sauce. I personally liked dipping it in the Som Tam's juice/sauce! Lastly the Thai Ice Tea we ordered was very refreshing and cleanses your mouth especially after eating dishes with so much flavour. Som Tam Nua also has an extensive drinks menu that you can have with your meal but I chose Thai Ice Tea as I was missing the one I had in Hua Hin.
Both the "Boat Noodles at Victory Monument" and "Som Tam Nua" cannot be missed when you're visiting Bangkok. I'm definitely going to the two again on my next visit!