Where to start? Pretty much as soon as you walk out of the hotel lobby. Food is everywhere and it’s available at all times. Thai street food is a marvel to the senses.
I am constantly amazed by the quality of food that’s whipped up on a small trolley cart on the side of the road, or in a tiny wooden boat floating down the Chao Phraya – the river that snakes through the South East Asian metropolis.
When faced with a multitude of feasting options, I can get a little overwhelmed and out comes the little piggy in me trying to cram as much eating into one hour as physically possible. To control these gluttonous inclinations, I scribbled out somewhat of an eating game-plan.
First stop: Chinatown. While the principles of Thai cuisine are quite unique, the Chinese have had a profound influence on aspects of it including cooking methods like stir-frying and the use of certain ingredients like noodles, roast pork and roast duck.
Right about lunchtime, we passed a window full of roasted ducks belonging to the Hua Seng Hong Restaurant chain. And in we went.
Hua Seng Hong is no ordinary chain.
If only all fastfood chains were this good. Perfectly roasted duck -- delicately rich meat with crispy paper-thin skin, hand-made dumplings filled with plump prawns encased in wrappers so thin you could see through them, prawn, vermicelli and river shrimp hotpots infused with ginger, xiaosing wine and white pepper and delectable oyster ommelettes. These are just a few of the restaurant's Cantonese delicacies.
The menu is extensive and deserves to be explored, so we went back a second time only to order the exactly the same thing again -- the duck and prawn dumpling noodle soup. It was too good to pass up and I knew I wouldn't be eating anything like it again for at least another year or two.
Thai ducks are different from Australian ducks in that they don't have that rich layer of fat beneath the skin. But the absense of fat doesn't mean an absence of flavour. The dark, tender duck was divine and still makes my mouth water when I think about it.
Hua Seng Hong Yaowaraj
438 Soi Charoeankrung 14 Bangkok 10100