Thai Food Around the World

Restaurants, food, beverage, hawkers, and local markets and suppliers. This is the place for discussion on Hua Hin's culinary options.
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Thai Food Around the World

Post by RCer » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:20 am

I thought this might be interesting.

Thai food in the US is usually very flavorful and quite colorful. Generally consisting of a healthy portion of lean meat and vegetables with a small portion of rice as a side dish. Typically it's not spicy unless you ask for it with some heat.

When I was in Phuket in 2006, the servings were pretty much as the US, except for the heat. 555

Both here and in Phetchabun my experience has been very fatty meat (unless you specify other), minimal vegetables, and rice is typically served as the main dish. The meat, veg's and sauce, is used to give the rice some flavor and color, only.

So, how does the Thai food in your country of origin compare with Thailand?

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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by Big Boy » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:29 pm

That's a difficult question. My experience in the UK was it depended upon who cooked it.

Many bar girls go to other countries with their new husband and decide they want to open a Thai Restaurant. If they can't cook it is an absolute disaster. What you get is their best effort, but not necessarily Thai Food. Originating from Thailand does not make you into a Thai cook.

My wife would always phone ahead, and depending upon who was cooking that night, we'd often go for Indian instead.
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by caller » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:42 pm

My experience in the UK was that the food generally looked prettier, but was bland and overpriced.

However, there were exceptions to the rule and the trick was to seek those out. Where I lived in SW London, there was a saturation of Chinese Restaurants, so the Chinese opened Thai places instead, it could get confusing, unless they used a Thai chef and not all did.

My favourite in Kingston was the Norbiton and Dragon, a pub chain with Thai restaurants. The chefs and all waiting staff were Thai, so you could get the food how you wanted and they tended to do a few dishes that weren't on the usual Thai menu over there.
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by PeteC » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:53 pm

When I see "American Fried Rice" or "American Kao Pod" on a menu I know whatever is ordered in the place won't be very good. I don't know if that abomination originated in the West for the tender palates of the people there, or something that originated here for the tourists?

Whichever way, it is so far away from real kao pod that it's really insulting to the original cuisine. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by Big Boy » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:06 pm

caller wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:42 pm
The chefs
Not a term I've heard very often. Thai chefs is something you may see on a TV show.

Thai cooks usually learned their trade from their parents, which many ex-bar girls didn't get the opportunity to do.

The London pubs with Thai food was an entrepreneurial venture by a clever Thai. He would go into a pub, make a name with some excellent Thai food, sell the franchise after a few months and move on to the next pub. A few of Mrs BB's friends bought the franchises, and despite the standard dropping, they still made a decent living.
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by migrant » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:36 pm

We used to classify Thai restaurants into two categories

1) Thai-Thai
2) American Thai
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by europtimiste » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:44 pm

Thai food around the world....You are all talking about Thai food in UK, luckily UK is not the world. There are few Thai restaurants cooking real Thai food at Thai taste. Unfortunately most try to prepare according to the local taste, as not spicy and many think that most customer cannot make the difference. But I am sure in every country you can find real Thai restaurants.

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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by Jimbob » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:49 pm

In Sydney the trendy Thai places in downtown 'Thai Town' will charge up to 500 baht for a main course, 4 courses for 1600 B but lunch time specials are around 250 baht per dish. Kitchen staff tend to be semi- professional but the wait staff are usually students working on the cheap. Suburbs sometimes are cheaper but quality is down. Restaurants are generally close to pubs or bottle shops. Takeaways are big business.
'Thai town' is a cluster of Thai speciality shops and services with some 30-40 Thai or Thai-Lao restaurants so prices and food is competitive. A couple you have to queue to get into.

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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by migrant » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:18 pm

europtimiste wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:44 pm
Thai food around the world....You are all talking about Thai food in UK, luckily UK is not the world.
The OP, another poster and I were not talking about the UK
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by caller » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:19 pm

Big Boy wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:06 pm
caller wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:42 pm
The chefs
Not a term I've heard very often. Thai chefs is something you may see on a TV show.

Thai cooks usually learned their trade from their parents, which many ex-bar girls didn't get the opportunity to do.

The London pubs with Thai food was an entrepreneurial venture by a clever Thai. He would go into a pub, make a name with some excellent Thai food, sell the franchise after a few months and move on to the next pub. A few of Mrs BB's friends bought the franchises, and despite the standard dropping, they still made a decent living.
I can only speak as I find BB and London is a big place and I knew several Thai restuarants in my area of London and a bit further afield, where there were real Thai chefs, including one Chinese owned, where the restaurants were also extremely popular with Thais, who I generally visited with, along with their boyfriend s or husbands. I think by and large, with people better travelled, the chancers - and there were many, basically died out. I recall eating at one pub selling Thai food, but that was awful. Even when I moved from London, I found a pub in Wantage selling Thai food that was dreadful, the pub remained but the Thai food didn't last and a similar thing happened in Newbury.

The place I was talking about must have been going for about 20 years now and the restaurant is separate to the main pub and is very attractive. It did go downhill for a while, but then the original owner took back control, or so I was told and it started thriving again. I ate there with Pam on one trip to the area from where I moved to and she was suitably impressed. Just about the only Thai restaurant I have known in the UK that had Larb Gai on the menu, albeit as a starter.
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by Big Boy » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:08 pm

I'm not doubting you, but what is your definition of chef? My wife knew many owners etc from Thai restaurants in many parts of the country. Not one employed a qualified chef - they were all cooks from various villages. Some of them were excellent, but none qualified as a Thai chef.

We have friends here at the moment (might even be reading this) who run a very successful Thai Restaurant in the UK. Very talented cooks, but not chefs.
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by europtimiste » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:00 pm

Big Boy wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:08 pm
I'm not doubting you, but what is your definition of chef? My wife knew many owners etc from Thai restaurants in many parts of the country. Not one employed a qualified chef - they were all cooks from various villages. Some of them were excellent, but none qualified as a Thai chef.

We have friends here at the moment (might even be reading this) who run a very successful Thai Restaurant in the UK. Very talented cooks, but not chefs.
It's good enough to be a very talented good cook and not a chef.

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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by Big Boy » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:02 pm

Yes, of course it is. I only said Thai chef was not something I'd heard of outside of TV shows.
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by caller » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:08 pm

BB, I actually knew a female Thai chef who came to work in London before the UK tightened up on foreign workers. She wasn't part of my normal circle of friends and we met via a mutual friend. She worked in the then well known Blue Elephant Thai restaurant in West London (now closed), which I have eaten in (old location) and she was recruited by them directly from Thailand. It was a huge place and is part of a much larger ongoing business run by a lady who is regarded as one of Thailands top chefs. An untrained cook simply wouldn't be able to manage in such a place.
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Re: Thai Food Around the World

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:25 pm

I know a Thai lady in Toronto, she has lived there for many years. She tells me that now, in the Asian Supermarkets in Chinatown she can buy every ingredient that she needs to cook Thai food and that was not true when she first came to Canada.

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