Who doesn’t LOVE Thai food?!? Practically every traveller does (including me ^.^). And I bet favourites like Tom Yum Goong and Pad Thai place first and second on your “must-eat Thai food” list. 😉
But did you know that there are other scrumptious Thai dishes that are as good, or EVEN MORE delicious, than those two?
While you’re in Bangkok with your friends or family, go for Tze Char-style eating (like in Singapore & Malaysia) but the Thai way.
(Read: What is Tze char-style eating?)
Not sure what to order? To get you started, here are 16 Thai-style Tze Char dishes you’ll fall in love with at first bite! Discover all types of dishes – from fried and soup-based to spicy and sour!
Get your stomachs ready, and set off on an unforgettable gastronomy journey in the Land of Smiles.
How to order like a local: If you don’t know how to order these local dishes, show the Thai names to your waiter so it’s easier for them to take your order too. 😉
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1. Savoury cupcakes filled with meat – Thai Curry Custard (ห่อหมก / Hor Mok)
Nope, these are not your typical cupcakes. These orange cupcake-like goodies are savoury, fragrant (from the kaffir lime leaves) and a tad bit creamy (just like custard!). The perfect compliment to your plate of rice. Get your Hor Mok filled with fish, seafood, or other types of meat, just the way you like it.
2. Undecided between soup or omelette? Have both together! – Sour Curry with Vegetable Omelette (แกงส้มชะอมไข่ / Kaeng Som Cha Om Kai)
If you like juicy omelettes and tamarind-tasting sourness in your food, then you’ll love this! With the soup absorbed in the omelette and shrimps, be prepared to taste a bit of zing with every bite!
3. Creamy chicken soup with your favourite Thai spices – Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (ต้มข่าน่องไก่ / Tom Kha Gai)
A Tom Yum Goong lookalike, Thai Chicken Coconut Soup is creamy, mildly spicy, and slightly sour – perfect for those who can’t take spicy food well. Not sure how to eat it? Pour some soup on top of the rice before eating it with chicken and mushroom for the ultimate taste.
4. It’s spicy & full of clams! – Stir-fried Clams with Roasted Chili Paste (ผัดหอยลาย / Pad Hoi Lai)
Ask me what my favourite Thai Tze Char food is and I’ll answer Stir-fried Clams with Roasted Chili Paste. My favourite part? The spiciness of the chilli & chilli paste combined with the chewy clams. With rice, I have no problem finishing two plates!! 😀
PS: Prepare a glass of cold water to soothe the spiciness in case it gets too spicy.
5. Eat your favourite Som Tum with crunchy fish – Thai Crispy Fish with Mango Salad (ยำปลาดุกฟู / Yum Pla Duk Foo)
Want something crunchy, sour, and spicy? Fried and watery at the same time? Nothing’s better than Thai Crispy Fish with Mango Salad. The best way to eat this is to take some of the fried fish and the mango salad (plus its sauce) and eat it together.
6. Rid your tiredness with sour & spicy fish! – Steamed Fish with Lime and Chilli (ปลากระพงนึ่งมะนาว / Pla Kra Pong Neung Ma Nao)
I admit. Thailand’s heat can easily make you feel extremely exhausted. That’s when you should eat Steamed Fish with Lime and Chilli. Its sourness and spiciness from lime and chilli give the dish a refreshing taste, energising you immediately!!
7. Sweet and savoury Thai-style fried chicken – Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaf (ไก่ห่อใบเตย / Kai Hor Bai Toey)
Who says sweet food can’t also be savoury? Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaf is both savoury and crispy while its sesame sauce is sweet. And for the best taste, it’s recommended to eat them together. Just don’t forget to take the chicken out of the pandan leaf before eating it (the pandan leaf is inedible!!).
8. Yellow Thai-style crab dish for crab lovers – Thai Crab Curry (ปูผัดผงกะหรี่ / Poo Pad Phong Kari)
Nope, it’s not the same as Singapore’s Chilli Crab nor do you eat it with mantou. And contrary to its name (and colour), the curry taste is quite mild. However, its mild spicy flavour, savoury egg and curry sauce, and juicy crab meat are why it’s uber delicious!! Highly recommended for crab lovers!
PS: If you’re not a fan of crabs, you can substitute it with other types of meat (seafood, chicken, etc.).
9. Juicy oysters in jelly-like omelettes – Oyster Omelette with Hot Plate (ออส่วนกระทะร้อน / Or Suan Kratha Ron)
You may be familiar with Hoy Tod (fried oyster omelette; usually sold by Pad Thai sellers), but honestly, I prefer Oyster Omelette with Hot Plate. Why? The savoury jelly-like omelette (from the cornstarch) with fresh oysters and Thai chilli sauce gives the dish a salty and spicy kick. Add the crunchy beansprouts and you have a winner!
10. Meat & fried eggs anyone? – Traditional Thai-Style Omelette with Minced Meat (ล่าเตียง / La Tieng)
You’ve probably realized Thais LOVE their eggs, thus the next omelette dish La Tieng. The thin fried egg blankets the seasoned pork or shrimp placed in the middle, giving a sweet and salty taste once you bite it.
11. Spicy fish-based fritter (+ crunchy long beans) – Thai Fish Cake (ทอดมันปลากราย / Tod Man Pla Krai)
Commonly known as Tod Man Pla, this spicy fritter adds kaffir lime leaves and long beans for its aromatic and crunchy texture. It’s usually eaten with pickled cucumber for a fresh taste, but who’s to say you can’t eat it with rice instead? 😉
12. Love red curry? Eat it with fish too! – Mackerel in Thai Red Curry (ฉู่ฉี่ปลาทู / Chu Chi Pla Tu)
Most of you have probably eaten or (at least) know about red curry. But rather than the usual pork or chicken, Chu Chi Pla Tu gives a twist to the classic dish by using mackerel instead. Its creamy and slightly thick and spicy sauce complements the meaty fish – a great Thai Tze Char dish for red curry fans.
13. Get a taste of home with Thai-style Chinese braised beef stew – Stewed Pork and Egg with Spices (หมูพะโล้ / Moo Palo)
Missing home? Soothe your homesickness with Thailand’s Stewed Pork and Egg with Spices. Although not exactly the same, Moo Pa Lo leans towards the sweet and salty side (due to its spices and soy sauce-based soup). It has tender pork belly, (tea egg-like tasting) boiled eggs, and fried tofu – the perfect hearty meal after a long day of fun!
14. Is it Japanese curry? Nope. It’s Thailand’s meat and potato curry! – Thai Massaman Curry (แกงมัสมั่น / Kaeng Masaman)
Eating spicy and sour Thai food all day can be too much for your tongue. Luckily, Thai Massaman Curry is none of that. Thai Massaman Curry is sweet and mildly spicy and its sauce nutty and thick – perfect to eat it with a plate of rice. You’ll mostly find it cooked with chicken, but some stalls may also serve a beef option.
15. Test your spice tolerance with this super spicy pork dish! – Stir-Fried Pork and Red Curry Paste (ผัดพริกแกงหมู / Pad Prik Kaeng Moo)
One of the spiciest dishes on this list, spicy food fans would definitely love Stir-Fried Pork and Red Curry Paste. Why? Unlike most spicy dishes, Pad Prik Kaeng Moo also has a sweet and salty flavour due to the red curry paste and chilli. Add to it the crunchiness of long beans, and you’ll find yourself wanting more!
16. Sweeten your meal with sweet prawns – Fried Prawn with Tamarind Sauce (กุ้งทอดซอสมะขาม / Goong Tod Sod Makham)
Believe it or not, Thai food isn’t all spicy and sour. Some are also sweet! Fried Prawn with Tamarind Sauce combines palm sugar, fish sauce, and tamarind to create its delicious, brownish sweet sauce coating the fried prawns!
We’re sure you already knew of some of the dishes above, but we’re equally sure that you’ve just found some new Thai tze char dishes to try!
Where to find these local dishes?
Hungry yet? Here are the top 5 food courts and restaurants you can easily find these dishes at:
1. Enjoy authentic Thai food in Bangkok’s biggest food court – foodwOrld @ Central World
Located on the 7th floor beside Gourmet Market, foodwOrld offers more than 600 Thai and international dishes for all visitors. Reopened in late 2018, foodwOrld now has two floors of seating with 704 seats in total. You can also get local desserts like coconut ice-cream and roti here if you’re looking to end your meal with something sweet.
PS: Seats can be full during meal time so it may be hard to get a table. Come before or after peak hours for a higher chance of getting seats.
2. Our hidden gem of a humble coffeeshop – Soi 38 Night Market (ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง สุขุมวิท 38 – Street Food Court)
A short walk from Asok BTS station (and a slightly longer walk from Phrom Phong BTS station), Soi 38 Food Night Market lays hidden in an alley.
We’ve eaten there numerous times and a good mix of locals, expats and travellers in the know visit frequently.
This secret food market is opened late into the night, and some trivia to know – the vendors used to operate at the famous Sukhumvit Soi 38 Street Food Market.
The best dishes to try here are the Khao Mun Gai (Thai Chicken Rice, one of our personal favourites), Wanton Noodles, desserts from the dessert store, and a lot more.
While it may look like a humble coffeeshop, Soi 38 Night Market is a hidden gem in our books!
Soi 38 Night Market
Price: From 50 Baht / approx. USD $1.50
Address: 800 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Phra Khanong, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand
BTS: Thong Lor
Opening hours: Daily from 5pm to 1am (it may open till slightly later!)
3. Discover extensive Thai choices at one of Thailand’s ritziest mall – Paragon Food Hall @ Siam Paragon
Who says you can’t eat Tze Char-style in food courts? Paragon Food Hall houses numerous food stalls selling various kinds of Thai food and other cuisines like Japanese. It also has order-to-eat and specialised stalls (e.g. food stall selling only Pad Thai and Hoy Tod), allowing you to choose and taste numerous dishes to your hearts’ delight.
However, it is one of the pricier food courts in Bangkok so you’ll be paying more than at other food courts if you decide to eat here.
4. Feast on traditional Thai flavours – Taling Pling
If you’re looking for an extensive Thai restaurant that serves delicious Thai Tze Char food, then look no further than Taling Pling. Known for its tasty food, they offer everything from soup and appetiser to dessert. Drinks like Thai milk tea and blended coconut are also available if you’d like something refreshing during your meal.
Most importantly, the food is reasonably priced, allowing you to order many dishes to share with your family or group of friends.
Price: from 110 baht / approx. USD $3.52 Website
Address: 25 Soi Sukhumvit 34, Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110 (Coordinates here) (See other branches here)
Contact: +66 2 258 5308
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 10pm (Other branches may have different operating hours)
5. Eat stylishly without compromising on the “true” Thai taste – Kalpapruek
At Kalpapruek, discover various authentic Thai dishes from various regions in Thailand for the ultimate Thai Tze Char experience. Not sure what to choose? Select main dishes like Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaf or vegetable options like Stir-fried Cabbage with Fish Sauce (Editor’s Note: MY FAVVV). No matter what you choose, we’re sure you’ll enjoy them immensely!
Done with your meal? Don’t go yet. Try out their Thai or Western-style dessert before you leave. My ultimate favourite dessert here? Chocolate cake!! A definite must eat at the end of your meal. 😀
Price: from 100 baht / approx. USD $3.20 Website
Address: 7th floor, Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330 (Coordinates here) (See other branches here)
Contact: +66 2 613 1359
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 10pm (Other branches may have different operating hours)
Feeling hungry? We definitely are.
Book your ticket and set off on a yummy culinary adventure in Bangkok! Happy eating. 🙂
PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
|PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you! |