Take a food walk around Bangkok's central area

Boat Noodle With Beef is Provence's signature dish.
Boat Noodle With Beef is Provence's signature dish.PHOTO: THE NATION

From Thai classics to Japanese favourites, there is something to suit every palate in Ratchaprasong

(THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - There is certainly a lot to do in Bangkok’s central Ratchaprasong district – with everything connected by a Sky Walk – but the biggest magnet is still the food.

The Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association and Tourism Authority of Thailand are encouraging people to take a walk around the area to see what they discover.  

The Chidlom BTS station is the perfect starting point for food foraging.

Here are 10 great stops along the way.

1. PROVENCE 

On the “West Walk” section of the Ratchaprasong Walk, Provence is celebrated for its terrific noodles served all day. The name comes from the picturesque French region and the restaurant is decked out in flowers to mimic it. 

Boat Noodle With Beef is a popular choice - aromatic, full-flavoured and chock full of Australian beef.


Provence's Boat Noodle With Beef is aromatic and full-flavoured. PHOTO: THE NATION

Snacks include Chor Muang dumplings and spring rolls, while desserts include sticky rice with mango and banana in syrup.

Where: L Floor Gaysorn Village 
Top picks: Boat Noodle With Beef, Khao Soi curried noodle with braised chicken drumstick
Open:  11am to 8pm daily


Local and imported ingredients are the hallmarks of Italian restaruant Theo Mio. PHOTO: THE NATION

2. THEO MIO 

Springy pasta and rich cheeses mark Theo Mio as an authentic Italian restaurant. Home cooking meets wonderful local and imported ingredients in dishes found nowhere else in the city. Chef Theo Randall personally makes the pasta for Pappardelle Con Ragu Di Guancia, adding juicy Wagyu cheeks cuts marinated in red wine and then grilled to perfection. 

Where: InterContinental Bangkok 
Top picks: Pappardelle Con Ragu Di Guancia, antipasti 
Open:  10am to 8pm daily


Ouan Yum Pu serves green papaya salad in various forms. PHOTO: THE NATION

3. OUAN YUM PU

Ouan Yum Pu is a stall serving north-eastern dishes such as spicy som tum (green papaya salad) in various forms. Spicy santol salad is made with white and fluffy santol pulp and includes crab, dried shrimp or pickled fish. The deep-fried chicken drumsticks and grilled catfish are also terrific.

Where: Stall No. 21, TOT Canteen 
Top picks: Green papaya salad with crab, grilled pork salad, grilled chicken
Open: 8am to 2pm daily


BKK Bagel Bakery serves authentic New York-style bagels. PHOTO: THE NATION

4. BKK BAGEL BAKERY 

Authentic New York-style bagels of all sorts, topped by a dish called Lox, Stock & Bagel with home-cured salmon, dill, capers, lemon and cream cheese. The Tuna Melt is amazing, too. There are also brownies, pies, carrot cake, cheesecake and cookies, plus Big Apple-style coffee, including vegan coffee. 

Where: G Floor Maneeya Centre 
Top picks: Lox, Stock & Bagel, smoked chicken, Bacon & Avocado
Open:  7.30am to 5.30pm daily


The wonton egg noodle with soya-marinated grilled pork or shrimp. PHOTO: THE NATION

5. BOONLERT

At the southern end of the district is the The Cook foodcourt with more than 50 street-style eateries. One of them, Boonlert, is an extension of the famous egg-noodle shop in the Nang Lerng neighbourhood. Try the wonton egg noodle with soya-marinated grilled pork or shrimp. The luscious soup – pork bone simmered with coriander root and seasoned with white soya sauce – smells wonderful.  

Where: The Cook foodcourt, Level 4 Amarin Plaza
Top picks: Wonton egg noodle, egg noodle with crabmeat 
Open: 10am to 8pm daily


The chicken biryani at a stall in the Police General Hospital is tasty and reasonably priced. PHOTO: THE NATION

6. GREAT HALAL 

Anyone who has been to Police General Hospital knows about a no-name food stall there that specialises in Muslim-style som tum and deep-fried minced catfish. Also fantastic are the chicken biryani with tender thigh or drumstick and the mutton biryani with goat meat rinsed in milk and spiced to remove the heavy odour. And the prices here are more than merely reasonable.
 
Where: Nutrition Department Building, Police General Hospital 
Top picks: Chicken and mutton biryani, deep-fried minced catfish salad 
Open: 6am to 2pm daily


EAT serves authentic set meals as well as a la carte dishes. PHOTO: THE NATION

7. EAT 

EAT – the name is an acronym for Eat All Thai – does authentic set meals and a la carte dishes. Pad Sam Mhen is a trio of ingredients famous for its strong taste and smell – bitter bean, solo garlic and climbing wattle vermicelli. The ingredients are stir-fried with curry paste, shrimp paste and a giant river prawn. Stir-fried Cowslip Flower with Salted Egg is prepared differently here. Grilled pork with Northeastern Thai sauce and grilled sticky rice have the meat (a little on the fatty side) charcoal-grilled, dipped in hot jaew sauce and enjoyed with egg-battered sticky rice. 

Where: Level 2 Groove @ CentralWorld 
Top picks: Pad Sam Mhen, Stir-fried Cowslip Flower with Salted Egg, Grilled pork with Northeastern Thai sauce
Open: 11am to 9pm daily (until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays)


Washoku Gallery is a foodcourt that mimics urban Japan. PHOTO: THE NATION

8. WASHOKU GALLERY

 A foodcourt that mimics urban Japan and precisely presents its cuisine, this is a great place to enjoy Osaka-style yakitori, Kansai-fashion small-ball takoyaki and the organic unagi for which Kagoshima is renowned. Desserts and snacks come straight from Japan.

Where: Level 5 Isetan @ CentralWorld 
Top picks: Onigiri bento, organic unagi, beef tongue teppanyaki, mochi
Open: 10am to 8pm daily


Kuang Heng Chicken Rice has been in business for more than 70 years. PHOTO: THE NATION

9. KUANG HENG CHICKEN RICE 

In Ratchaprasong’s north, Kuang Heng Chicken Rice – more than 70 years old – is duly acclaimed for that dish, but its crisply battered roasted chicken rice, bite-sized pork satay and tasty bitter melon soup with Chinese herbs are also fantastic. The starters include spring rolls and fish maw soup. For dessert, try the Volcano Shaved Ice in flavoured syrup.  

Where: Pratunam intersection 
Top picks: Chicken rice, roasted chicken rice, pork satay, bitter melon soup with Chinese herbs 
Open: Round the clock 


Buffet offerings at The Square range from Thai to Japanese cuisine. PHOTO: THE NATION

10. THE SQUARE 

The buffet here is sensational, offering Thai cuisine such as spicy grilled pork salad, papaya salad and Khanom Chin rice noodles, Japanese onigiri with excellent toppings, Chinese dim sum and remarkable Western fare. You can get a pizza, penne, grilled pork, chicken or seafood, bread butter pudding and blueberry mousse.

Where: Level 6 Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam
Open: 6pm to 10pm (Sunday through Thursday)