Unfortunately, my visits to Thailand are never long enough to enjoy all the food that I like to try. There is so much to eat, buy, do or just
I was excited about visiting Eathai at Central Embassy because the eatery brings all Thai cuisine together in one accessible, comfortable location. It's a life saver for foodies visiting Bangkok ;-D
Eathai brings the vast world of Thai cuisine into a 5,000 square metres village square.
Eathai is located at Central Embassy, Bangkok's newest high end shopping mall. (A huge Botero horse stands at the entrance of Central Embassy mall. I love all of Botero's classy distinctive rotund sculptures ;-D )
At Eathai, I could feel the excitement of all the colours, tastes, flavours and aromas of Thailand from the buzzing streets and family home kitchens, in a comfortable setting. During peak hours, the banter of customers adds to the cheerful atmosphere of the Eathai experience. What's missing are the dust and fumes of Bangkok traffic. Also absent are the stifling humidity and sweltering sun ;-p
Eathai has a local produce and food products section known as "Talad Eathai". Overseas patrons who like to take home a bit of the tastes of Thailand to share with their family and friends can get them here. The range of fruits and foods here changes regularly with the seasons.
An idea of Eathai is to bring together delicious traditional Thai street food and let patrons enjoy Thailand's zesty street food culture in a comfortable environment.
Eathai also plays a role in the preservation, promotion and appreciation of Thai cuisine by conducting Thai culinary lessons at ISSAYA Cooking Studio.
Eathai further features "Krua 4 Pak" which is centred around kitchens representing the 4 major regional cuisines of Thailand. The 4 realms of the Kingdom of Thailand are Central, North, Northeast and South, each with their distinctive Thai cuisine.
Each regional Thai cuisine has their own section within Eathai. This is the Lanna or Northern Thai cluster with their distinctive umbrellas with round wooden tables and benches.
Patrons are free to choose any food they fancy and sit at any available section, all with their own unique regional designs.
The stalls and regional kitchens are manned by chefs from the respective regions of Thailand, so patrons will get the authentic regional tastes and flavours.
Ordering protocol is straightforward. Make your order at the respective stalls or kitchens (with the friendly staff's help, if you need) and the staff will just record your purchase on this card (which is handed to you at the entrance). Wait staff will serve your orders at your table. Prices are slightly premium but reasonable for the food quality, service and environment. We just need to pay once for all our purchases at the exit ;-D
Neat and simple.
There were just too many enticing dishes to try in a single sitting, so here are just what we sampled today.
Somtam salad from Southern Thailand.
I think there are few salads as delicious and appetising as somtam. Made with shredded young green papaya with various vegetables and nuts, and generously splashed with freshly made dressing of fruit juices, spices and nuts. Sides of crispy fried pork skin add to the interesting textures.
The flavours are a blend of tangy, sweet, nutty, savoury and spicy hot.
Kva Kling is a popular fried pork dish, also from Southern Thailand.
First a warning.
Kva Kling is insanely spicy hot as the minced pork is stir fried with a few different kinds of chili peppers as well as young green pepper corn.
It's my favourite dish today ;-D
Wok fried wide rice noodles (like Cantonese hor fun 河粉) with crab meat and eggs. This is a staple comfort dish from Central Thailand. Mildly savoury flavours with slight smokiness from searing in hot wok, this dish appeals to friends who are still unaccustomed to spicy food.
There is something for everyone to enjoy at Eathai ;-D
Khao pad namprik lon rva from Thailand's Central region.
A wholesome dish complete with carbs, protein and vitamins in one delicious package. Fried catfish floss, braised belly pork, vegetable omelette, pumpkin fritters, salted egg, and fresh greens with fried rice. Sweet, savoury and salty all in a plate.
If I need a quick filling meal which is also satisfying in flavours, textures and nutrition, I'll pick this.
If you are game to ratchet the spiciness level up a few notches, then the fiery tom yum goong is for you.
Actually, tom yum goong is probably one of the most recognisable Thai signature cuisine from Central Thailand. I always order a tom yum goog whenever I eat Thai ;-D It's a great tangy, very spicy appetiser. The tom yum goong I had today had fresh river prawns. You can choose beef, pork, fish, chicken or even vegetarian versions.
Hoi Tod is a street food commonly found in the streets of Bangkok. It's seafood, usually fresh oysters and squid (calamari), and juicy bean sprouts fried with a crispy egg and tapioca flour batter.
I liked it that Eathai's crispy hoi tod was not overly greasy, which is a common concern of friends who don't like too much grease in their food.
My Thai friend Som brought this to our overflowing spread at the last minute.
A rice roll dish with minced pork and crunchy vegetable fillings from Esan Viet or Northeast Thailand. It's similar to Cantonese chee cheong fun but the spicy dips are separate (not splashed over the rolls). The rice rolls are topped with creamy ham pate which is cut into strips.
This is a nice blend of mild flavours with a mix of soft and soft-crunchiness folded into a paper thin velvety smooth, soft rice skin.
This was my second favourite of the day ;-D
Of course, eating Thai is incomplete without rounding up with Thai desserts. Most Thai desserts are sweet and some have slight hints of tartness. Coconut, palm sugar, tapioca and bananas are often used in Thai desserts.
Those with a dessert stomach will be thrilled by Eathai's wide range of Thai desserts from all regions.
I tried this "Butterfly juice" which is new to me.
It's mostly sweet like a still syrup ;-D I prefer a bit of fizz and zing in my drinks ;-p
The attractive, simmering wall and roof cladding of Central Embassy is inspired by the roof shingles of Thai Buddhist temples.
Eathai is an exciting, one stop for eating Thai. It's conveniently located within walking distance of Phloen Chit and Chit Lom BTS stations. The 10 minutes walk from the BTS station is via the Skywalk - a godsend elevated covered walkway for Bangkok's scotching heat on sunny days ;-D
If you are visiting Bangkok and have time for only one good meal, it has to be at Eathai.
Acknowledgement: My visit to Bangkok and Eathai was graciously hosted by Central Group.
Restaurant name: Eathai
Address: Eathai is at the lower ground level of Central Embassy, 1031 Ploenchit Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thailand
Hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm
Date visited: 26 Feb 2015
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