In the main boulevard heading to the Grand Palace and the Royal Parade Ground close to the Royal Rattanakosin Hotel, there sits a place that no foodie should miss–a classic restaurant called ‘Sky High’. A local favourite that has witnessed and survived many important political situations. Besides Sky High’s reputation for exceptional dishes, it is also a meet-up place for all kinds of people from news reporters, poets, writers, politicians, activists, protesters, artists mixed with a family of regulars who are here to share the same things; good times, good food and real conversation.
Sky High is turning fifty this year and remains a popular destination for all. It is owned by the same family and still continues to offer their original recipes and tastes. One of the dishes famous among Thais is Tom Super Kha Gai (chicken feet in herbal tom yum soup). It might make people turn their faces away from the graphic appearance but one should give it a try because the soup itself is so exciting with spiciness from chilli, sourness from fresh lime and up-lifting freshness of herbs. The benefit of the chicken feet is that it adds thickness to the soup’s texture and is full of collagen which benefits the elasticity of our skin. I love munching on them without thinking of any benefit beyond its texture! Another popular dish is Khao Ob Sapparos (pineapple rice with curry powder). Inside the hollowed-out pineapple used as the serving dish is the combination of al-dente fried rice with shrimp seasoned with curry powder giving an interesting twist of taste that has elements of sweet and sour of pineapple along with the tang and spice of curry. Another special offering is the dried bamboo soup made with a special type of bamboo that has been completely dried; when cooking, it needs to be treated by soaking in water overnight until the soft texture is restored. Again, this dish doesn’t look like anything close to photogenic but once I have it in my mouth, it flips me with the beautiful aroma and taste of fresh cut bamboo! The crunchiness of the young bamboo texture reminds me of chewing on big, fat, firm asparagus. To add protein to the meal I ordered Ped Palo (duck in five spices). The aroma of star anise and cinnamon arrives at the table before the dish. The soft duck meat and thin skin absorbed the juice like a sponge meeting water, adding a bit of excitement to the taste withe the chilli vinegar sauce.
The heart of eating at Sky High is Khao Tom. My joy of eating here could almost come only from the aroma of the jasmine-boiled rice. It has its own life and texture that set a very high standard of what Khao Tom should be. Delicate, soft and soupy. There are not many places or times when rice is a star of the menu–yet here it is. The beauty of having a meal here comes from nothing fancy, just having a tender, warm and unforgettable food experience.