City of Angels, Part 2: Seafood Delight (T & K Seafood -- Bangkok, Thailand)
On our first day in Bangkok, Fai showed us the ropes. Make friends with your servers, people. You never know when you'll be in a foreign country and need them. After taking us for a traditional (2 hour) Thai massage, Fai announced he had just the right place for us to eat dinner.
ME: What's it called?
FAI: No name. It's street food.
Turns out it does have a name, which is T & K Seafood. And you eat inside a restaurant. But all the food is cooked in carts out on the street. I also asked Fai what type of cuisine it was, to which he replied "Seafood." OK.
T & K Seafood is located in Chinatown. The building is several floors held together by very steep, very narrow staircases. But there are tables and menus. There are also napkins, but napkins in Thailand suck. This was the thing Jon and I were the most perplexed about. They give you napkins at every restaurant, but the paper napkins are worse than 1-ply toilet paper, and are pretty much useless. Because a fair amount of food is eaten with the hands, and the napkins are apparently made of paper vapor, a lot of finger lickin' goodness goes on. This is not nearly as erotic as it sounds because it's balls hot outside and, in this particular restaurant, inside. So hot that when Jon lovingly put his hand on my back, I affectionately responded with "Ick. No. Don't."
Because it was our first day and it was (all together now) HOT, my appetite was not stellar. But Fai did all the ordering so we were in good shape.
Water all around (Thank Christ for that). Beer for Jon. Cokes for me and Fai. And one sassy waitress for all of us.
We had roasted prawns and roasted crab. I don't know what kind of crab it was, and neither did Fai, but it was super. Fai ordered it steamed and it came roasted but no one cared. The roasting did make it more difficult to pick the meat out of the shell but I love a challenge.
Then came the alien prawns. These suckers were about 7 inches long (heads on) and there were twelve of them. I'm getting all hot just thinking about it. They're river prawns and the meat was so sweet, the flesh so firm that I felt like a restaurant virgin all over again. Just call me Madonna.
We then had a whole fish with garlic, chilies, a sweet sauce and some ginger. Our waitress was concerned it would be too spicy for the whities (we were the only whities there). Fuck the bullshit, it's time to throw down. You don't know who you're talking to here, mama. By the time we got through with our tasty little minnow, it looked like vultures had descended. Yum.
The last thing, and by far my favorite in the vast sea of yumminess that T & K provided us was the seafood and glass noodle salad. This had prawns, squid and snapper. And it was cold (it was at this moment that I got down on my knees and sung praises to the sweet Lord above). I loved this dish because in addition to being cold, it was spicy and the squid was like none I've ever tasted. I almost wished I *hadn't* tasted it, because squid will never be the same again. Pardon me while I sob.
At this point, our sassy waitress began teaching Jon Thai, and badgering us to eat more. Fai explained to her that we had jet lag, but that we loved it. We paid. It was about 460B, or $11. Jon took the 40B change and gave sassy waitress 100B instead. She acted like we'd just bought her a Rolls. Refresher: 100B=about $2.50.
I asked about a bathroom, Fai suggested I wait until we passed through the more sanitized restaurant on our way to his car. I didn't ask.
On our way back to the hotel, Fai took us to a street cart for mango and sticky rice. The woman peeled an entire mango the size of a baby and place it on top of the sweetest, chewiest, most delicious sticky rice. I lapped it up like the dog I am.
Then I passed out.
"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art"
-- La Rochefoucauld