On our drive home from Chaiyapum this morning, we all had rumbles in our tummies and only one thing on our minds: Southern Thai curries and fried chicken.
As we were driving North on Saturday, Ba had mentioned that there was a fantastic restaurant we should stop at for lunch. He sometimes travels out of the city for work meetings and his driver claims to know all the local eating spots. As a shady friend once told me, “always eat where the taxi drivers, policemen and hookers eat.” His driver loosely fit the bill.
We all got excited for the food that was soon to be scorching our mouths just as Ba realized we had whizzed right by the highway exit. Miles passed before a U-turn presented itself, and not wanting to back track, we all resigned to eat something else for lunch.
But today we had the opportunity to redeem ourselves.
Ba, the leader of the pack, beckoned us down the street, over the highway, and into a sparse but typical looking restaurant.We immediately went for the pots of curries, lifting the lids and poking around the creamy depths. We found treasures of clams in a murky slurry, a broth-y curry yielding bobbing braised pork and beans sprouts, and a pungent stew spiked with fish (and innards) and spices. “Kaw tuk yang na ka!” Everything please! We ordered some turmeric-marinated fried chicken that was both crunchy and juicy and perfectly seasoned. We also ordered kua kling, or spicy dry-stir-fried pork in curry paste…which is best complimented with a plate of sweet sticky pork belly. So we ordered that too.
We sat round the table and shared every bite, every bit, and cooled everything off along the way with some crisp green veggies.
The moral of the story is: listen to your shady friend’s advice! Or my shady friend, for that matter. Or get to know Ba and his driver…
A shared meal with good friends and new friends, plus a few tears (curry-induced), makes for a memorable meal. Try it sometime if you happen to be here….!