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Savor Some Sublime Street Eats

In a city famous for its street food, a certain soi road tends to gobble the competition

One of the world's greatest cuisines and arguably the country's most popular export, Thai fare needs to be savoured in a genuinely local setting: out on the street or alongside a waterway.

Pick a stall, pick any food stall on or around Bangkok's legendary Soi 38 off Sukhumvit, and let the feasting begin, with high-quality dishes at street-level prices.

Clustered around the north side of the Thonglor Skytrain station straddling Sukhumvit Road are a few stalls for rice noodles and Hainanese-style chicken: boiled or barbecued chicken breasts served on rice with a bowl of broth and a sauce spiced with red and green chilli.

The prices are higher here – sometimes around 10 to 20 baht per dish – but the quality is superior to many street stalls around the country and the level of hygiene is impeccable too. Another bonus is that they have English menus, which cannot be said for many such street-flanking diners on wheels. 

Across the street, Soi 38 is flanked with a hodgepodge of stalls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Some of the specialities are braised pork leg, Indonesian-style satay sold by the skewer with peanut sauce, Thai-style noodles, oyster omelettes, egg noodles served with wontons and red pork, as well as fruit shakes.

The restaurants are nothing fancy. The vibe is chilled out. There's no posing or any of the gourmet pretentiousness that makes some upscale restaurants with their upmarket clientele seem so snooty. Most of the restaurants and stalls on Soi 38 have an open-door policy, so you can order from other places and enjoy that all-important staple of Thai-defining dining: a familial and communal experience.

 

Published on Sep 7, 2009

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