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Feb 4, 2008 02:57 AM

Bangkok: Non-incendiary recommendations?

We'll be visiting Bangkok later in the year so I've been reading this board with great interest. The dominant trend is for people to seek authentically Thai-hot food. I even read a post about a person briefly going deaf from the heat of the food. Scoff if you need to, but that's not a life-goal of mine.So, what dishes should a Chowish visitor eat while in Bangkok that don't involve incendiary levels of chilis? Where -- restaurants to hawkers' stalls -- will I find the best examples of truly authentic dishes that don't involve physical pain along with culinary pleasure?


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  1. In my opinion its a leading misconception that thai food has to be spicy. There are so many dishes that don't involve cardiac arrest! For a vistor to bangkok and one who's looking for a basic introduction to thai cuisine, I feel you should start at the shopping centre food courts. The most consistent I've found was in a centre called MBK which is very central and easy to get to.
    They have a large food court on the upper level of the centre which serves a vast array of local cuisine, many with subtle less spicy flavours.
    I'm suggesting this because hawker stalls can be truly a wonderful experience but also can be quite daunting, when it comes to finding a good one. Let alone trying to place an order.
    Once you've progressed from the food court then try your hand at the many hawker stalls, but be careful when it comes to hygene.
    Some of the less spicy dishes; Yan Te Fau noodle soup, bbq pork on rice, guay jub, and many others.
    Hope this helps.

    1. I totally agree with hyenas24's assessment "hotter is better" misconception of Thai food. Although there are many spicy dishes, the heat factor isn't an obsession with Thais (as it is with many American 'Thai experts").

      The beauty of Thai dining is that most carts, stalls, small shops and restaurants stick to one or two items that they do best. Thais will migrate to the person that prepares any given dish to their liking.

      Pad see ewe and lad na have no spice.
      Padthai is heatless, if you don't stir in the chili flakes.
      There are plenty of skewers of grilled meats found all over the city.
      Kai yang (grilled chicken) isn't spicy, although it will come with a spicy dipping sauce.
      The somtam (papaya salad) that often accompanies it can pack a kick!

      "Mai phet" (my pet) means "not spicy".
      This might help when ordering soups or salads (like 'somtam mai phet').

      Here's a list of "Top 10 Street Foods":
      Of the ten, only 1 & 9 are particularly spicy.

      1. I have found that the hotels tend to have toned down versions. I like the the Thai food at Sukhotai , Four Seasons etc... Just got back from BKK and ate at a place on Soi 11(Sukhumvit) that had live music and good cheap eats. Can't remember the name