As a foreigner who has lived here for more than 5 years, I have my favourite Thai dishes. For street food, it has to be stir-fried basil chicken/pork with rice and omelette, and if you visit restaurants, my recommendations will usually be steamed fish with lemon, claypot glass noodle with shrimp and fish maw soup. Truth be told, I have always been a fan of fish maw soup, regardless of the dish's Thai-ness. In my student years, I was already a frequent customer to those 2SGD starch-laden brown bowls of fish-maw-less glue at the pasar malams in Singapore. There is just something about the sticky brown sauce that draws me to them, especially after the final infusion of black vinegar.
|Hands-down, the best bowl of fish maw soup in Bangkok|
As you can expect, I am naturally happy to live in Bangkok, since it's a city full of fish maw soup that's of much better quality than what I was used to in Singapore. That said, not many really impressed, until I finally got to try the version Pings Thai Teochew Seafood has to offer last month, after winning a prize in their Facebook lucky draw, and man was it spectacular. If I have to put down the taste in words, I can only say that the soup is rich, yet extremely light, tasty, yet not overpowering. Couple that with top-quality fish maw, mushroom and crab (that's really what you want in this dish, not the chicken drumlet, pig's blood and quail eggs you get on the street), this is simply a perfect dish for me.
Of course, Pings has much more to offer, especially the usual suspects that you can expect from a good Thai-Chinese restaurant.
|Fried Thai fish cakes, full and succulent|
|Stir-fried fish maw, another one of their signatures|
|Oyster Omelette on hot plate. Look at the huge oysters|
|Braised gooseweb yellow noodle, made with meepok and huge webs flown in from Poland!|
What I like most about the food here is that they do not taste complicated. Even if not all dishes give you a "wow" when you taste them, they will always allow the excellence of their specially-selected ingredients to take centre-stage every single time.
|Absolutely not to be missed, the coconut jelly dessert.|
Another advantage of Pings Thai Teochew Seafood Restaurant is its accessibility for tourists. As much as I do not think MBK is worth visiting, I cannot deny that every single tourist goes there almost every trip. The restaurant is just situated inside Pathumwan Princess Hotel, which is the popular 4* hotel that's connected to MBK. If you are still thinking of going all the way to the rowdy Yaowarat just to eat all the dishes I showed above, fret no more, as you can enjoy them in the comfort of a conveniently located hotel at virtually the same price.
Pings deserves my stamp of approval because they have an X-factor. Their crown jewel, their soup broth, is something that cannot be found anywhere else, and is certainly something I can drink everyday.
Jacqueline, the owner of Pings, told me that many of their customers usually have 1 entire medium-size claypot of fish maw soup all to themselves. I am so going to do that next time man, mark my word, this thing is really not suitable for sharing. No sharing if you go with me ok?