For the third Thai banquet in our UBC ‘eating’ course we went to Wimaan Thai Restaurant which featured food from north-east Thailand, the area known as Issan (also spelled Isaan or Esarn)
Overall, the food from north-east Thailand tends to be sour and very spicy. It reminded me very much of Laotian food which I loved. This isn’t surprising considering that by crossing the Friendship Bridge over the Mekong River, one goes from Nong Khai in north-east Thailand and ends up in Vientiane, Laos.
I should mention the coffee, which the owner described as pure caffiene to which approximately seven teaspoons of sugar had been added. YEEOW! Not something anyone in the class was willing to try on an evening out, maybe not even at 10 o’clock coffee break. Most of the class went for the sweet and smoky iced tea we had tried out in a previous class, but I ordered the Thai beer Singha. Should you happen to be in Thailand and would like to order a beer, here are is your first Thai language lesson:
- Our instructor liked to order a surprise dish each dinner and this evening it was Fish Three Flavours (Bplar-Sarm-Lot).
- Tom Kah Gai, chicken and mushroom soup with a slightly sour edge.
- Fried fish in curry paste with sweet/sour cucumber dipping sauce
- Thai-style crudites featuring fresh mint and basil leaves, cucumber, carrots, cabbage and these very pretty red chile peppers cut into flowers. Warning: as pretty as the chile pepper flowers are, do NOT eat them unless you want your head to blow off!
- Larb Moo, ground pork and spices, usually eaten rolled up in a lettuce leaf. This was my favorite dish of the evening. I didn’t manage to get a photo of it, probably because I was too busy stuffing my face.
- Smoky-tasting sticky rice – you roll into balls with your fingers and use to dip into the incendiary sauces.
- Green papaya salad – the green papaya gives the sour flavour that predominates Northeast Thai cuisine
- Kang Pa, curry without coconut milk, called ‘forest curry’ as the ingredients are usually wild plants that are gathered in the forests of the northeast.
- Tab Tim Grob– the dessert – diced water chestnuts coated with a pink tapioca flour served in iced coconut milk