Snacks are serious business in Thailand, considering the Thai people’s propensity for anything and everything sweet. From specialty dessert shops, traditional roadside sweet vendors to the ever popular confectionary stores brimming with sweet treats, Thailand’s economy literally runs on sugar rush.
With the wave of popularity of thai tea drinks sweeping across Asia, you would have to be living under the rock to be oblivious to the famous drink. Usually served ice cold, thai tea leaves are brewed with scalding hot water, strained and combined with generous dollops of sweetened condensed milk before being shaken with a tall glass full of crushed ice. Pick one up for a delightful accompaniment for a typical warm day in Bangkok.
A short walk from the capital’s bustling Chinatown on Charoen Krung Road On Lok Yun, one of the city’s favourite breakfast place. On Lok Yun is an 80 year old institution serving up classic Thai breakfast favourites. Go for the crowd favourite french toast and the toasted bread which comes accompanied with a dip of housemade kaya (coconut jam) in a pool of coconut milk. Order yourself a glass of Thai iced coffee which is strong, milky and sweet.
One of Thailand’s most beloved street snacks, kluay kaek (banana fritters) are sold by street vendors everywhere in Bangkok. Smaller bananas are commonly sliced into two or three pieces, dipped in a simple wet batter of flour, salt, sugar, water and sesame seeds before they are deep fried in vats of oil. The perfect pick-me-up snack after spending a full day exploring the city.
KHAO NEOW MA MUANG
A dessert found everywhere from roadside vendors, restaurants to five-starred hotels, khao neow ma muang (sticky rice with mango) combines two of Thai people’s favourite things. A classic dessert found regionally in Cambodia as well as Vietnam, it is only available 4 months a year during the mango season. Even though one might find it off-season, the quality of the mango is a crucial key to this simple sticky, sweet and sinful dessert.
Visitors from Singapore and Malaysia watching a vendor make roti gluay are probably in for a surprise. The making of roti is similar to roti prata (Singapore) and roti chanai (Malaysia), yet the finish is slightly different. Thailand’s version of roti is unique given the fact that it has a savoury-sweet filling combination of eggs and banana. The dish is typically finished off with sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Try it, it’s crazy in a good way.