‘I love the versatility of Thai cuisine and the flavours. There is something very satisfying about having spicy, salty, sweet, sour and herbaceous in one bite.’ Ian Kittichai, Award-winning chef, Bangkok
Ever since helping his mum sell meals from her cart on the streets of Bangkok as a child, Ian has always been surrounded by food. This upbringing fuelled his desire to become a chef and after honing his craft in London and Sydney, he has opened several restaurants around the world. One of those – Issaya Siamese Club – is one of the top restaurants in Bangkok, a very special place to savour the Thai capital’s excellent food scene.
‘I grew up going to Klong Toey Market, where’d I’d help my mother pick ingredients for her food cart. I still like going there but for first-timers I’d recommend going to the smaller, more ‘polished’ market of Aor Tor Kor across from the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s open every day.’
The markets of Bangkok are a great way of exploring the staple ingredients of Thai cuisine – things like coconut milk, lemongrass, fish sauce and coriander to name just a few – as well as trying different regional dishes. For a real taste, try fare from a range of outlets, from street food stalls to shophouses and high-end restaurants. Ian also recommends a trip to Chinatown to sample Thai-Chinese fusion food from street stalls and shophouses.
‘Food is ingrained in Thai culture. When a guest comes to our house, the first thing we ask is whether they have eaten, instead of talking about the weather or other pleasantries. There is truly something for everyone in our cuisine, even for those who do not enjoy their dishes ‘spicy’. I can easily eat Thai food for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not get tired of it!’
Rest your head
Enjoy 3 nights in a Studio Room at Ariyasom Villa from £1,145 per person, on a bed and breakfast basis, including international flights and transfers.