Oh Thip Samai, you don't need a review, but I'll give you one anyway. After scavenging the Internet before we took off for our trip for good food places I stumbled across many websites about Thip Samai. They are getting a lot of Internet play with some people saying that they serve up the BEST pad thai in Thailand. That's a pretty serious statement. When hundreds of people say they are the very best... you go check em' out! After a pretty long self-guided temple tour in what seemed like 1000 degree heat and 100% humidity we were ready to eat. Part of the plan was to find two places that I just had to go to, Thip Samai being one of them. So off we went to try to find our two destinations.
Along the way we happened to pick up a random traveler on the ferry. His name was Dave (we call him bohemian Dave - behind his back) and he was an American from Boston. We thought it was kind of strange that he asked to tail along on our foodie adventure, but we let him anyway since he seemed harmless. After talking to him for several blocks I came to realize that he was a new-age hippie. Wanting to travel and be free, probably living off of someone else's income. He wasn't in school and I could sense he didn't have a job, but he was traveling around the world. So either his parents are paying for his living, he is independently wealthy, or he has a sugar mamma. Either way, I didn't care. It was interesting to analyze a random stranger. He went with us to eat at Tian Song Paed Yang (the next review - sorry it's out of order!) and then wanted to keep temple touring, but I could NOT be deterred from my quest to find good food. So we parted ways and said goodbye to our strange new friend.
When we got to Thip Samai we saw a long, long line. So what did we do? We ran to the back of it and got ourselves ready for the BEST pad thai in Thailand. Don't be scared of the line it moves really fast. We may have waited 20 minutes or so. I'm glad that we waited because it was in fact really quite delicious. It's a mix of locals and tourists and it's hoppin' at night. We got the coconut juice because it looked like everyone was ordering it and the pad thai (obviously). We also ordered an orange juice. I know... why orange juice? Uhhh... why not? Hot damn! It was good. I would skip the coco juice and get a large orange juice. It was very refreshing with large chunks of fresh oranges in every drink. MMMmmm! That's my only regret...that I didn't buy a huge bottle.
I wouldn't say this was the BEST pad thai I have ever had, but it was definitely well above average. Make sure to stop in! Even it is a bit touristy, it's still great food!
Thip Samai Restaurant
Address: Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon Bangkok 10200, Thailand (if you are taking a cab, tell the driver “Pad Thai Pratu Phi”)
Probably one of my favorite restaurants/food stalls from Thailand is Tian Song Paed Yang. I saw a photo of this duck soup they had online in the states, screen shot it and made a pact with myself to find it and eat it. So, I did just that. On our walk to find Thip Samai we stopped off first at Tian Song Paed. Yang. There are a lot of duck food stalls by City Hall so make sure you go to the right one. It's across from City Hall. I read that online and thought, "oh I should be able to figure this out." Well City Hall is huge and we got lucky because it was right were we were, but I could have walked all the way around City Hall looking for it. To make it even more difficult, I didn't know the name of it and my Internet wasn't working on my phone. All I had was a photo of the soup.
So, I relied on my memory of what it looked like (that's a scary thing) and was pretty certain I found the right duck stall. If you are facing the front of City Hall, it will be on the left side. Walk down that street and look for the Tian Song Paed Yang sign. It will be in Thai so make sure you look at the photo above and save it to memory or screen shot it for your phone.
When you walk in you can tell this is definitely a local eating spot. We got a lot of strange, "what are you doing here?" looks. I thought it was awesome. I joke with my friend that the Thai people probably thought I was a food tour guide because they (Bohemian Dave and her) were the only white people in there. lol
I couldn't figure out what the soup was called so I took my phone out and said, "I want this!" No more than 10 minutes later our waitress came back with something she recommended the other two and my soup. Oh Gawwwwwd! It was good. It was extra delicious with a ton of chili flakes. The duck was crispy, the broth was flavorful, and I was in heaven. I would have eaten two bowls, but I knew pad thai was up next. So we paid our bill and kept going on our Hobbit-like journey to find Thip Samai.
I highly recommend stopping here. If you didn't already pick up on it from above... I LOVE the soup.
Tian Song Paed Yang
Address: Thanon Dinsong (left side of city hall, directly across the street)
Another place to try out is Som Tam. They have a list of different Som Tam Salads (papaya salads) and a smattering of other food items. This place was a bit touristy. Maybe it was because they were in the area with all the huge malls? I don't know, but if you are around the Siam Square area it's literally right next to Paragon on the left side down a small street.
I liked the papaya salad. We got the one with dried shrimp. It was spicy and good, but I think my favorites were the chicken wings and the smoothie. The chicken wings were an interesting flavor. When you think of chicken wings in the states, you think just fried chicken. Well, the good fried chicken in Thailand had a little extra somethin', somethin' that made them taste better than just fried chicken. Fried chicken + awesome seasonings and sauces = mind blown. Also, take a look at their mixed berry smoothie. ALL the smoothies in Thailand were made from fresh fruit AND even better they were CHEAP. In the states a smoothie can cost you 5-8 bucks. In Thailand a smoothie can cost you 1-2 dollars. They are amazing. Make sure to get as many smoothies as possible. I recommend passion fruit and mango if you're on the street. But this mixed berry smoothie was one of my favorites.
If you're in Bangkok (in July) you will see a lot of orange and pomegranate juices. If you're in Chiang Mai and Koh Samui you will see passion fruit. Get it. It's simply amazing.
Address:392/14 Soi Siam Square 5, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok
Address: +66 (0) 22 51 4880