Duration: Approx 3½ hours
This tour is deliberately designed with the more experienced Thai traveller in mind. It is for the traveller looking to find new and exciting Thai dishes that they have not yet tried. We try some spicy dishes along with more mild ones; all exhibiting that wonderful Thai ‘balance’.
This tour embraces the addictive flavours of the chilli pepper and its relationship, some would say marriage, to Thai food. All dishes will showcase how the Thai people achieve their different levels of spice using ingredients like chilli or peppercorns, along with standard things like garlic and ginger.
You may find it hard to believe, but the humble chilli is not native to Thailand. It found its way here with Portuguese navigators in the 16th century via developed trade routes. It’s very difficult to imagine Thai food without chilli, so symbiotic is the relationship, yet contrary to popular belief, not all Thais love their food searingly hot. Many prefer to opt for a more medium spice level. As long as the dish and meal are in balance, it all works. This is how we will be sampling Thai food.
Of course, chilli is not the only ingredient that brings heat to a dish. We discover some of those other ingredients; we sample them as well as learning to eat like a Thai when they have something fiery on their plates; How to manage the ‘burn’!
We start the afternoon exploring local ingredients in Hua Hin's Chat Chai produce market. We then start to awaken our taste buds a little just outside the market by trying Yam Naem Khao Tod, a fermented pork salad with broken up crispy rice balls scattered through; an absolute flavour sensation!
Now that we are outside the market, we look for street vendors who sell some of the best Sai Ua (ไส้อั่ว) - Chiang Mai Sausage around! There are also many other treats on display outside the market. If we see any, we will most definitely try them.
We jump aboard local transport to sample the joy that is Isaan - NorthEastern food. You can't really use the term 'Jing Jing' without sampling Isaan food - the flavour explosion region of Thailand.
Here we try Laab Pla Duk (ลาบปลาดุก) - Spicy Catfish Salad as well as Som Tam (ส้มตำ) - Green Papaya Salad. We pair these with Khanom Jiin (ขนมจีน) - Fermented Rice Noodles. We also try a spicy soup called Supa! Yes, Tom Saep Supa Teen Gai (ต้มซุปเปอร์ตีนไก่), in fact. This is a hot 'n' sour Isaan soup, reminiscent of a Tom Yum! We will also show you how to bring that heat, or burn, down, to get your mouth ready to move to our next location.
As with all Thai meals, we will be striving for balance, so not everything will be seriously hot, but it's all sure to be tasty.
Back on our transport and we head to a food icon of Hua Hin - Ratama. This Chinese-influenced restaurant serves some of the best food in town. Here we try a fragrant 5 spice flavoured duck, Pet Peloe (เป็ดพะโล้), along with a dish using an unusual ingredient - Sator (สะตอ) - Stink Beans. The dish we try also has pork and prawns in it. We bring your mouth back to a state of bliss with a frozen dessert called Zala Loi Gaew (สละลอยแก้ว), a sweet, frozen dessert of Zalacca in syrup.
We climb back on board our transport to find a dish that is very popular all over Thailand; Pad Bai Graphrao, a stir fry using fresh chilli. This dish should be spicy and also flavoured with 'holy basil'. We will taste it the way it was traditionally meant to be, before bringing your mouth back to prepare for our final destination.
Our last stop is a restaurant not known to many. Its location is difficult to find for travellers and many locals also do not know of it. At this idyllic seaside location, we have an early dinner along with a cold beer.
- Sample traditional dishes from the NorthEast (Isaan) region of Thailand, known for it's salads & grilled meats.
- Try Supa.....if you dare!
- Savour in the popular and wonderful Neua Pad Bai Graphrao
- Learn how to order to your taste level
- Learn how to ease the sting of chilli when you eat it....what Thai people do!
- An early dinner at a secret, yet spectacular waterside venueReturn To Food Tours >>