chotechitr- nov 22

20131123-163352.jpgWe’ve all done it, made that quest for the well-reviewed hole-in-the-wall. This was such a quest. We started out taking the commuter river ferry from pier 13 near the hotel, down to pier 5- yaowarat, aka Chinatown. price is 15 baht per ticket, so 50 cents each. Attached is a pic from where we picked it up.

Sparing the details, because posting every damned thing can be a bore, we walked and walked, picking up a snack when necessary for sustenance. Our first goal was Hua Lamphong rail station to buy our Sunday tickets for Phitsanulok.

Then, head to Chote Chitr. Reviewed on NPR and other western publications, it was the day’s destination. What we had heard about tuk-tuk and cab drivers was true for us. The tuk-tuk drivers will offer to take you someplace at a low rate, if they can take you shopping first. Good thing I have no problems with the word “No”. The cab drivers will take you to a destination of their choice, not yours. They think you only want to go to the Wats, so that’s where they take you. Good thing we like to walk. Between a combination of a very coarse scale paper tourist map, and a detailed map screenshot on the iPad, we found this restaurant in a small alley. I should add that every Thai person that we have met has been delightful and helpful… the food stall vendors, the hotel staff, the bank employees, everyone. The transportation providers of the city are just doing their thing, but the hustle is tiring.

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Here’s the fare: spicy banana flower salad. Bright, fresh, wonderful mix of textures:

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Tom yum soup with fried fish. I was wondering how one could keep fried fish crunchy in a soup, I think it’s because it starts as a dried fish, then fried. Good heat, loaded with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and galangal, wonderful.

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But the standout was this: prawns with long beans and red curry: the picture depicts 2 huge prawns, big as lobster tails. The prawns were soft, perfectly cooked, fresh. The beans had nice crunch, but the curry, more like a curry chili oil, was amazing. I dredged each bite of the prawn it in, then Brent and I both used the rice to soak up what remained.

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That dish alone made our confused walking about worth it. We are enjoying Bangkok, but are looking forward to the quieter, and hopefully cooler, north.

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