Daily Archives: May 30, 2008

Lunchtime Thai Menu 22

Thai Fried Noodles with Fresh Shrimp (pad thai talay)

Probably the most famous of the Thai dishes is this one called simply “pad thai”. You often see them making this in bulk at temple fairs for only 10 baht a plate. Though you obviously don’t get the fresh shrimp or the quantity as in this picture. There are several versions. This one is “pad thai talay” which means it has seafood too. You can usually choose between fresh and dried shrimp. The latter is obviously cheaper. I actually prefer the texture of having dried shrimp. It is relatively easy to prepare. The main ingredients are rice noodles (sen lek), seafood, egg, bean sprouts, spring onion and tofu. You cook it in a sauce of palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind juice. It usually comes with a side helping of roasted ground peanuts, dried chili and a cut lime. Very delicious though the taste varies between vendors. I miss my local one who has gone somewhere else. The cost is 25 baht for dried shrimp and 30 baht for fresh shrimp.

Fried Mussels in Batter (hoi tod)

If you find a vendor selling “pad thai”, then they often make this one called “hoi tod”. It is basically fried mussels in a batter. I am not keen on mussels. I also don’t like it when they do it “undercooked”. Luckily, some vendors have a version which is nice and crispy which I enjoy a lot. I also would enjoy it more if they added another egg. I don’t have this one that often and it costs about 30 baht these days.

Fish Chili Sauce with Green Mango

To be honest, I am not keen on any dish that uses fermented fish. I did have a bad experience once that laid me up for several days. This one is different to the normal “nam prik pla” as it has green mango. Main ingredients include shallots, garlic and chillies which are pounded in a mortar. Fermented fish is then added to this and also the green mango. It is usually served with fresh or cooked vegetables. This was only 20 baht.

Fried Chicken Thai Style (gai tod baep thai)

This is a different kind of fried chicken with spices that is made at our local Muslim stall. This is not as crispy as the other Muslim vendor which I prefer. (I mean his chicken is crispy, not the vendor is cripsy.) This was 30 baht.

Rice Flour Strings in Coconut Cream

Our dessert today is sweet as usual but comes with a twist. It is called “khanom pla grim kai tao”. As you can see, it has two halves – one is sweet and the other salty. The “strings” are made with rice flour and sticky rice flour. The salty half is made with thick coconut milk and salt and the sweet half with thin coconut milk and palm sugar. Not too bad and costs only 10 baht.

Was Crazy Dave Really Crazy?

Our pal David “Crazy Dave” Polman wasn’t really crazy, but he had this wild “crazy” laugh that would spook locals and even those that knew him well!

Dave usually had a smile on his kisser and his infectious bellowing laugh could be heard for 100 meters!

Dave would let this wild laugh go out without a care in the world, he’d simply be reading the Bangkok Post or one of the many paperback books his customers left on a table and he’d suddenly be almost yelling that laugh out.

It actually scared a few of his timid local workers and they ended up thinking David was daft!

Thinking the big, bearded sunburned guy was crazy is another matter all together! Dave was very intelligent, well read, he’d been around and mastered many professions/trades and was one of those few “Jack Of All Trades, but Master Of ALL”! He could build a radio from tubes, get any thing mechanical/electrical working that was broke and kept his “007 dual side piped little Honda” running like a watch!

Thai Garden restaurant, Daves real Pride was always his top concern. His only short coming might have been his “control freak” management that never really let the place blossom because once the “boss” was out of the shop, things went badly, very badly.

Many was the time that Crazy Dave went for a short visa run to Penang, only to return and find his shop empty of all supplies, the cook had “loaned” some of the kitchen pots/gear to “my friend have”,etc…

At times it was funny, but certainly not for Crazy Dave, he’d yell and bellow and rant and scare the seaweed out of his “employees” and they’d quickly round up all the gear they could, but Dave never really learned to delagate or properly train any assistant and in the end, the place just turned into another “part time” open bar along the sunny beaches of Patong.

The place, run at it’s best was because of Dao’s great cooking! Dave would go daily to the big open market in Phuket town, the Baht-Bus would deliver the goods later that afternoon.