2016 got off onto a slow start for me until two weeks into when I travelled to Bangkok for a short team retreat. As usual I had a food bucket list and street food was high on my agenda. Sukhumvit Soi 38 is one of Bangkok’s most iconic street food destinations. Located in the extremely trendy area of Thong Lor, this street is a stark contrast to the hipster cafes populating the area. The variety of stalls and location lured me. True enough upon touching down in BKK, my colleagues and I dropped our bags and hightailed to Sukhumvit Soi 38 for dinner. Despite our tired selves, the food was worth it. The Thai dishes we had were so good that the next evening when we ate at a swanky Thai restaurant, we only missed the food from Soi 38 even more!
Sukhumvit Soi 38 was tinier than I imagined. I anticipated a whole street lined with stalls but this was not the case. The eating area was just confined to the start of the street in a small area tucked at the side. Nevertheless most of the stalls were highly recommended on blogs. With my new colleagues, who happily followed me and also firmly believed in ordering a HUGE variety to share, we went to town! Like this:
I cannot highly recommend the following stalls enough: first stall that sold grilled meat / seafood, Maevaree’s Mango Sticky Rice, a stall that sells Thai salads, and a stall that sells fried Noodles and Tom Yum soup!!! Basically everything we had that evening like CANNOT highly recommend enough! Let me go through what we ate one by one.
Our priority was Maevaree’s Mango Sticky Rice – the most widely featured dish in Soi 38. It may be a common Thai dessert available in almost all Thai restaurants in Singapore yet this plate blew us away! We all loved different aspects of it: the fresh ripened mango, the crispy mung beans contrasting with the salted coconut cream, and the tender sticky rice which was neither gummy nor overcooked. This was hands down our collective favourite and was all as hyped up to be.
Pad See Ew is essentially hor fun and my favourite Thai fried noodles of all time! More so than Pad Thai. This stall’s Pad See Ew was every bit the flavor I wanted. The strong wok-hei was smashing. Plus requesting for a spicy version, this was hot and left many perspiring but I happily lapped it up!
However the Yellow Curry Crab thew us off and not in a good way. A plate of crabmeat with tons onions and Kang Kong leaves, we could not get over the weird curry taste… Stick to the noodles and soup.
The first stall at entrance selling grilled meat and seafood was much hyped about and when I saw the sticks of Northern Thai Sausage, immediately I made a beeline for it. My colleagues were trying it for the first time and loved it as much as me. What blew us away was the chili/parsley dip concoction that accompanied the grilled squid. SPICY TO THE MAX, I ended up dipping every piece of meat into it while two of my colleagues surrendered on first bite. This is how all chili condiments should be. Spicy! Bangkok, I love you.
Equally highly recommended was the Thai salad stall. I have not read this stall in blogs so I must highlight to you how delightful the two salads we ordered were: Mango Salad and Green Papaya Salad. The Green Papaya Salad was the dish that blew me away. Soft green papaya slices in a spicy sourish sauce mixed with tons of red dried prawns, peanuts, and the thickest and crunchiest anchovies I have ever come across – you have to try this!
Despite dining at nice cafes and restaurants during the trip, Sukhumvit Soi 38 was hands down my favorite meal in Bangkok! Two weeks on and we are still dreaming of this place.. Unfortunately Soi 38 is closing down to make way for a new development. Extremely sad but if you do visit Bangkok soon, do make a trip to sample this Thai street food paradise.