Thailand is a tough place for vegetarians. In my 9 day long exploration of the place, I discovered some food items which defy imagination. I was blessed to have stayed at hotel with a wide menu choice and they also used to customise food to my vegetarian (by choice) needs. However, I was keen to explore local culture and cuisine as well.
I happened to visit Bangkok during their National Food Festival, which fell from 23rd to 30th May. This was an opportunity I was not willing to lose. So on my first day, I went to explore Thai Street Food.
The first food stall I stopped at was making something which looked like dough balls. My Indian self-believed it was
Appam (a South Indian dish), but jaw dropped the moment I saw it’s preparation. It was baby octopus dough balls!
At that very moment I realised I have to be very careful in making my food choices in the alleys of Thailand. I realised that people in Thailand consider egg and chicken as vegetarian options.
For them non-veg food is pork, squid, crab, beef, octopus and other sea animals. Their street food looks interesting but sometimes is alive too! I’ve been fooled many times.
What was commendable was that, even on street, they prepare their food very cautiously and systematically. Their food is very attractive. Being a vegetarian I could not try any seafood, but I did try different variety of eggs. One of them was Crystal Egg which is laid by a special kind of duck. The egg is black in colour and the yolk has marble texture.
I cannot say it was delicious but it sure was different. And when I say different, many things that we find in India taste different than what they do in Thailand. The Coconut I tried here was huge and tasted a little sour. They prefer selling it cold so it is stored with ice.
After a tough time on streets, the redeeming grace were desserts. I can confidently claim I’ve never had any better desserts. The pancakes and crepes were fresh and served with Nutella and fruit compotes. The smoothies were exotic because of the rich variety of fruits were composed of.
You also find cute and tasty ice-creams in the street market. The Thai are particular about their desserts and ensure they look tempting and perfect!
Bangkok has many continental food options too that a vegetarian can explore. I enjoyed the spaghetti and pizzas here a lot.
On days when I had a craving for Indian food, I took refuge in an Indian restaurant called ‘Mrs. Balbir’s Indian Cuisine’ and I could’ve never been happier! In short, just the taste one wants in vilaayat.
My drive for exploration was key in understanding an altogether new food culture. I found some dead, some alive eatables, some delicious desserts and smoothies, and earned new respect for my Indian daal roti (kyuki jab kuch nahi milta toh Maa ki daal hi yaad aati hai.
My favourites on the trip were pancakes. I loved them so much I used to eat and click its picture every day. My advice to you all is that whenever you visit a new place, don’t settle for ordinary. Keep exploring!