When dining along the various sections of Sukhumvit Road, the prices, atmosphere, and even the air change depending on where you sit. But I don’t care about those things so much as the authenticity of the scene and the space.
Around Soi Sukhumvit 95/1, just below the Bang Chak BTS station, both daytime and nighttime are equally exciting in the lives of the street-food vendors. This area has, in fact, never been quiet, as it used to be a food hub—a local fresh market. The market has gone, sadly, but the legacy of deliciousness carries on in the area.
From the crack of dawn’s light, this soi is busy with people lining up for breakfast—chicken soup noodles on one side, and pork soup with rice on the other. As the sun heads toward to the west, the food and vendors change as the new shift of street food carts replace those of the morning. Many of the foods on offer are those that people can grab and take home for their families, like fried chicken, assorted curries (or kaeng), and the one that my eyes focus on… khao moo daeng.
I pick the seat where my back is against the wall, facing the soi traffic. Witnessing the scene like watching a movie on a life-size screen. My seat is a colourful plastic stool, and while not as romantic as a seat at a Parisian-style café, it works well on a narrow alley in Bangkok.
For those who don’t know, khao moo daeng is rice with red BBQ pork, but it always comes together with moo krob, three layered crispy pork, and kunchiang, Chinese sweet pork sauces. “I’ve made everything myself for 20 years at this same spot,” the owner proudly says.
I order khao moo daeng-moo krob-kunchiang and half a duck egg. The colour of the yolk makes me think of an Apperol drink (it’s a very jolly reddish, orange tone). The owner then points me towards the seasoning machine—kreung prung—the four-winged set of condiments which include dark sweet sauce bottle, chili vinegar, dry chili, and spring onion. In fact, I don’t need to jazz my dish up at all, but she seems sure that I should indulge so I let myself try by dropping a little bit of everything on some bites. The result… she was right all along!
The first bite of BBQ pork with rice covered with sauce is divine. Each piece of the BBQ pork is sliced in the perfect thickness and is so tender. Similarly, the crispy pork impresses with its crispy skin continuing to the layers of meat and fat that meld and juxtapose so perfectly. The red sauce on top has a marvelous texture, like a perfect gravy. I give thumbs up to its taste because it’s so well balanced—lightly sweet, salty and creamy. The secret to the rounded taste and harmonized texture of this sauce comes from finely crushed peanuts and sesame seeds added in to the mixture.
I save the half duck egg for last as if I want it to be my food decoration. I’m so in love with its Monet-electric orange colour, and head-over-heels for its creamy and gentle taste. It’s special because its smell and taste are so clean, unlike other places that where the impression is just a heavy egg taste.
If you go: The owner opens her food cart from around 4pm until 8pm everyday. She hardly smiles but compliments from your satisfaction wouldn’t hurt!