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Christmas Presents

BANGKOK CITY OF SURPRISES

Thailand is famed for full-on flavours and spicy, tantalising food, so it comes as a surprise that the favourite late-night snack of its capital city is a watery rice gruel. Xanthe Clay visits Bangkok to discover that’s only half the story
LIGHTS IN THE DARK Bangkok – a city that never sleeps
PHOTOGRAPHS NAURARAT SUKSOMSTARN

It was midnight in Bangkok, and we were hungry. Very hungry. We piled into the back of a tinsel decorated tuk-tuk, one of the thousands of moped-powered taxis that buzz around the city, and headed off to find some khao tom kui, Bangkok’s favourite late-night snack.

Khao tom kui fulfils the same role as the British post-pub kebab, but as always with the Thais, they aren’t settling for greasy, substandard food. This is congee (traditional rice porridge) with bells on – or, to be more specific, with a topping of all sorts of freshly prepared, flavour-packed Thai goodies.

OLD-SCHOOL THAI

The stall we found under a motorway flyover looked like a surreal open-air squat – The Young Ones meets The Royle Family. The television on the wall played Thai soap operas, and there were dogs sleeping under the table away from the glare of the fluorescent strip lighting. But the chef expertly ladled out the pure white congee into deep bowls, and tossed platter after platter of toppings in his wok, picking ingredients from the array of 30-odd dishes around the gas flame on his tiny workstation.

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About Delicious Magazine

The March issue has inspirational ideas for the Easter Bank Holiday: gifts, chocolate eggs and the best brunches, lunches and family feasts. Enjoy recipes from Nathan Outlaw, José Pizarro and Vivek Singh – then dive into 16 pages of the best chocolate recipes ever. Plus there’s plenty of light and healthy recipes to help power you through the cold weather and our guide to making scotch eggs and the GBBO bamboozler, sweet flaky kouign ammans.
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