I’m Natalie, Eat Asia’s presenter, and an old-fashioned food lover. For me, food is my passion. And living in Asia is a daily exercise in food passion and culinary crusades of the humblest – yet most delicious – kinds. Eat Asia is here to bring you a true cultural journey. For us to learn together, share, ‘break bread’ if you will, over the thing that unites us all – food.
On the Eat Asia blog you will find:
- Food photography (to drool at with me)
- Articles on food/dishes and interesting ingredients
- Restaurant reviews
- Behind the scenes pictures and videos
As an introduction I wanted to share the feelings I get everyday when I literally taste the brilliant food culture here. I hope you enjoy..
The smell is the first thing you will get. An olfactory collection of broken aromas, thick and lively as you whizz past on your motorbike taxi. Hot oil spitting at chicken, sweet coconut puffs into your face and through your hair, heavy notes of curries sitting and waiting for lunch hoards to arrive, a meaty kick of coal-grilled meats and sausages.
You collect the smells like cards, noting where you should go back and seeing if your nose can be trusted by seeing if there are queues for the items you want.
Later you take a seat on a tiny blue plastic chair, uneven on the mottled path. Your soup is presented with a happy thwack onto the weathered table, chili condiments bobbling with anticipation in the middle of the surface. It’s hot.
A small line of sweat runs down your hairline, and you grimace at the sun with the assembled office workers in a comrade-style unified stance against the hot rays. The noise is consuming. Laughing and joking work mates, gruntled jigging of old motorbikes and low growls of bright pink taxis idling in the sun, waiting for Sukhumvit to move forward at the daily snails pace.
Small spoons of tin drop dried chilies into the fragrant broth, a kiss of sugar, an after thought of peanuts to dance with the savory chicken shreds softened in the stock. Gruesome surprises surface up at me while I maneuver my wooden chopsticks around the rice noodles – medium sized, my usual order – a chickens foot, blood cubes, an extra angry chili. This is how I love it – knobby bits to truly sink my teeth into, reminding me of childhood. An almost ghastly hit of fire roaring around your mouth, but so good you add more vibrant red heat just to see if it will tip you over the edge.
The flavors are electric. Jump-lining your brain – fresh, bitter, hard, sweet, saline, happy, crunchy, moody. All in one bowl. And all for 40 baht. It’s something that rancorously reminds you that food is a holy experience. A life-kicking affair that kisses you with joy and kicks your shin at the same time.