STREET FOOD.

OR FISHY NIGHT MARKET PAR EXCELLENCE

After recuperating from my flu I was determined to get out on the KK front for something which cannot be missed, the night market. Although some of it is for the everyday food of the locals there also is a street food section. Amazing!

Kebabs

Alert: Although street food is a great way of trying a countries cuisine, do make sure that it’s all super fresh like in this market. It’s a bummer and a false economy if you fall sick. Make sure however fresh it’s cooked through if it’s chicken especially and don’t plump for something that could be left over from the day before. Remember it’s not always good to be too hip and risk that snack from a very ethnic but possibly poisonous delicacy. We all like to be adventurous but still keep a sharp eye. check out if the locals are using it and if there is a high turnover at the place you choose.

The muddy path next to the chicken stall is evidence of torrential downpours

The fishing boats come in to the side delivering the fish and crustacea direct to the stalls. On the mountains of crushed ice beautiful arrangements of brightly coloured beauties are arranged. It’s mind boggling the array. I noticed to my distress those parrot fish with whom I had swum the previous year (well obviously not the exact same ones) were up for offer along with some very exotic looking items. I had an uneasy feeling that is ecologically was not on but how beautiful it all was. In my heart I knew I couldn’t really face eating Mr Parrot with his beak for loudly crunching on dead coral or some of the other brightly coloured fish that kinda looked like they could be pets. The blue crabs looked sort of evil as if they contained cyanide and some of the other fish had faces that only a mother could love. The clams seemed a good idea and I wasn’t disappointed.

Parrot fish and friends

The colours and smells rock your world, this hard core protein bonanza is yours for the asking, you point at what you fancy and they weigh it and whisk it off to cook it behind the display. The heady smell of garlic and spices they use gears you up for your culinary delight of the night. I sat at a plastic table with an ice cold bottle of beer in my hand waiting for my fishy feast and drank in the atmosphere.The brightly lit stalls twinkling in the night and sizzling or steaming pans full of goodies. Lots of excited bargaining and people craning their necks to try to decide what they were having with such a huge choice, so difficult. The fish wives were shouting and teasing some with rather low voices until you see, well yes, they are men, very beautiful lady boys as exotic as their wares.

Banter of the lady boy

My razor, venus and butter clams arrived through a haze of steam and my friends kebabs of chicken wings and a fish in a sticky, spicy aromatic sauce. Time to get down and dirty with food. The gnashing and gobbling sounds and smacking of lips was to be heard all round me, it was a symphony of gastronomic delight. Street food heaven.

Clams and scallops

The sweet buttery juices from my clams which tasted of the briny sea from whence they had just come were so delicious and fragrant I swooned. Prawns were delivered to the next table and lobster which is their speciality there and I was told by their proud owners that they were indeed delicious.

Huge mixture of delicious stuff!

After eating I wandered around to look at the other things on offer. There was a meaty section with BBQ rotisseries for chicken and all its bits that poured out smoke when the skewers were ladled with hot fat. Some odd looking vegetarian options were on offer in one section of stalls and many different types of fresh bread. Amongst the fresh juice stalls was a man making fresh fruit popsicles from his own home made contraption that involved a lot of spinning. He offered mango, coconut, and the ghastly durian fruit versions after much theatre and bravado. Doughnuts and sweet puddings were on show but all of these things were super sweet, they love their sugar there!

Halal chicken man

Stepping away from the chaos and theatre is finally somewhat of a relief, it’s almost too lovely and excitable. Too many fragrant aromas and too much loud haggling and bartering. Too much flouncing and yelling of the fish wives in your ear. Too much wild explosion of everything especially after being sunburnt and tired after a day in the sun and sea. Time for some night caps by the water. Time to be calm. I arrived at the bar and there was a tango night on!! They were all so expert and the whole thing so surreal that after watching these very professional dancers I went outside to gaze at the sea and chill.

Walking away and to a bar for a cocktail overlooking the harbour I felt nostalgic. This was my last night and in the morning I would be in Bangkok. Goodbye KK you have been so kind to me in my hour of need. Recovering from the flu, tempting me back to normal life and finally feeding me a banquet on my final night.

Bangkok here I come!

OVER AND OUT FROM A FAT, FISHY GUZZLER, REBECCA X

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