- Feb 18 2014
BBQ Prawn, Yawaorat Bangkok
What is it about shrimp brains? That briny, sweet elixir of the sea gods may be the single most goddamn umami ingredient on the planet. The char of the old-school coal grill reduces us to a elemental state, primitive and savage; we rip off the heads and suck the creamy innards like cavemen.
- Dec 27 2013
- 1 note
AU’s Best Dish of 2013
After heated debate between my erudite belly and my opinionated yet wholly unreliable goldfish memory, we have a winner.
Note that the victor is a dish, not only this restaurant’s version of it. I fell so in love with Burmese sticky rice noodles in a rich broth with scraps of chili, pork and beef that I would order it anywhere - from street hawkers to the rival noodle shops throughout Yangon.
Not that you need reminding, but sticky rice makes everything better. Noodles included. Toothsome and glutinous, they become the perfect flavor vehicle for every last bit of goodness in the bowl.
This rendition hails from the Shan State, the chowhound promised land bordering China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south.
With culinary traditions this rich and deep, no wonder it dazzles.
- Dec 26 2013
- 1 note
Winter in South Korea
The five hour flight from Bangkok to Seoul meant a 65 degree drop in temperature upon landing. We arrived cold yet wildly hungry as if our bodies had forgotten about a little thing called winter after many balmy months in Thailand.
Yet, I couldn’t resist these oysters fresh and icy from Gwangjang Market served by a foxy ajumma at an equally icy steel table. I kept my gloves on and warmed up later with an ingenious Korean creation called hotbars. They had me at deep-fried fish cakes wrapped in perilla leaves.
- Sep 26 2013
This surreal little snack - sweetened coconut jelly molded into slick rubbery ducks - reminds me why I love Thai food. It’s sly, unexpected, and authentically weird without particularly trying.
Who needs seabream with celeriac foam when you can have woon ped?
- 1 note
Chicken Two Ways
Should you ever find yourself in the delicious predicament of having to choose between two succulent birds, treat yourself, friend.
Shame has no place on the plate. So sidle up to the man with the hanging chicken and order it two ways: tenderized, panko-fried breast on one side and dark, earthy drumstick bits on the other.
Don’t forget the dark sweet soy made for thickly drizzling.
- Jul 20 2013
Ngwan Lee Lang Suan’s black pepper fish
Stroll south on Langsuan past the swank condos, boutique hotels and wine bars and the tony boulevard starts to lose its contrived, hi so luster. Marvel at the seven Italian restaurants in a three block radius and know you’re headed in the right direction.
You’ll see the sign first - antique red and white neon beaming in the night like a beacon to hungry travelers . The menu may be in Thai, but the food is classic Chinese. Sweet, tender hunks of white fish tossed with black pepper and garlic becomes everything you could hope for in the hands of a wok master.
Go with friends, drink beer and order family style.