Gaggan Anand

“You need to eat fucking street food,” insists firebrand Indian-born, Bangkok chef Gaggan Anand. “If you’re coming to visit Bangkok, I’m not going to send you to eat in my restaurants.” It’s a strong opinion, but to be expected from a rebel famous for doing things his way. After an unprecedented four consecutive Asia’s Best Restaurant awards for Gaggan, Anand is in his new self-titled restaurant Gaggan Anand and happily playing the role of disruptor. His fuel of choice? Fucking street food, of course.

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“My Wife Taught Me Everything I Know About Street Food”

If you’re coming to visit Bangkok, I’m not going to send you to eat in my restaurants. No. You need to eat fucking street food. My wife taught me everything I know about street food. You won’t find any of the places she introduced me to in a guidebook. These are the restaurants where we always eat.

Making School Pick-Up And Drop-Off Fun

Right beside my daughter’s school there is a 63-year-old lady selling the best fried pork and rice in Bangkok. It was actually my driver who discovered it. He was eating it and as soon as I saw it I said, “what the fuck are you eating? You have to show me.” So he takes me to this no-name street food stall out the front of a 7-Eleven and I was blown away. It’s amazing. It’s cartilaginous. It’s soft, juicy and super crispy. She gives you the spare rib – the best part of the pig –and fries it to order unlike so many other street vendors selling fried pork. If you look at my Instagram Story Highlights, you can see exactly what her stall looks like and its location [outside Nang Linchi Market, next to 7-Eleven]. Another spot that I love near my daughter’s school is Busy Boat. It serves amazing boat noodles. They’re very good and very cheap. I think it starts at 15baht per bowl.

The Best Pork Skewers In Bangkok

I’m crazy for the moo ping (grilled pork skewers) from Moo Ping Hea Owen. It’s the best in Bangkok by far. He has a small cart right out the front of a 7-Eleven in Silom and he doesn’t start cooking until really late [11pm to 3am]. Sometimes we pay him to come and cook for us at Gaggan Anand after dinner service. He brings his cart, cooks 1000 pieces and everybody is happy. 

Late Night Seafood In A Proper Night Market

Noi Seafood is my go-to for a late-night supper after service. I usually go there between 1am and 2am with the team and we’ll just tear into kilos of prawns and lots of fresh crab. The river prawns are huge and taste amazing. It’s just simple live seafood but cooked well. And it stays open until 4am. The market [Huai Kwang Night Market] that the restaurant is in is also really interesting. It’s one of the last proper night markets that we have in Bangkok and it’s not touristy at all so I like it a lot. All of the night markets here have become completely commercial. Capitalism has taken over everything, but if you want to experience the culture and feeling of a real night market, come here.

A Southern Thai Restaurant I Tell Everyone About

Kua Kling Pak Sod is my favourite Southern Thai restaurant in Bangkok. I tell everyone about it. I love it. The one dish I always have to order is the kao pad pla salid: sun-dried fish stir-fried with rice, basil and chillies. It’s incredible.

The Place To Go For Isaan Food

My wife and I love eating Isaan food. Khrok Mai Thai-Lao Restaurant is pure, local Isaan cuisine. It has amazing Isaan dishes and you’ll eat a lot of wild ingredients like ant eggs and herbs that you’ve never seen before. Everything is good. It’s an amazing place. It’s about 30 minutes by car from the centre of Bangkok but it has to be the place you go for Isaan food. You won’t see any tourists here.

My New Favourite Lunchtime Discovery

I just discovered a new restaurant, Here Hai. I love it. The food is unbelievably good. The menu only has about seven or eight dishes and the portions are very limited. Most of the dishes use crab or mantis shrimp and it’s actually quite expensive, but it’s incredible. I love the crab meat stir-fried in curry and the mantis shrimp with chili and basil. It’s my new favourite place to order lunch.

A Specialist One-Dish Restaurant

Phed Mark is a new restaurant serving one dish and one dish only: the Bangkok staple, pad kaprao, or Thai basil stir fry. It’s all it does and it does it very, very well. The only decision you have to make is how spicy you want it. It’s the best version in the city without doubt. The ingredients are of the highest quality, but it’s the people attached to it that make it so great. Bangkok-based food bloggers Mark Weins and iTan together with chef Gigg Kamol [Iron Chef Thailand winner] are behind it so you can’t go wrong. I was there on the day it opened and they were hit with so many orders that it was impossible to complete all of them. It was mad, it was fun and it was hilarious. People will fight for it. It’s very good, tasty food.

Plump And Juicy Thai-Style Oyster Omelette

Nai Mong Hoi Thod is a street food shop in Chinatown selling hoi thod – a Thai-style oyster omelette. I can’t eat hoi thod anywhere else. Only here. They cook it differently to all the other vendors who fry the oysters together with the egg and flour batter, destroying the texture of the oysters. Instead, here they fry the batter first until it’s golden brown and crisp, then they add fried oysters on top, keeping them plump and juicy.

Street-Side Curry You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re visiting Bangkok you should really try Jek Pui Curry. It’s real street food, and it’s delicious. There are no tables, only chairs, so you’re really eating on the street. The lady behind the cart has been cooking for almost 70 years and she does the same curries every day. The green curry is amazing. Actually, everything is really good. It opens at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and finishes at around 6pm. Sometimes she even sells out by 5pm.

My Japanese Go-Tos In Bangkok

When you cook, you can copy a recipe, but you can’t replicate the sukiyaki at Sukiyaki Maoverick Yosse. It’s been open for around 50 years and the way they make it is all about the wok. It’s all in the fire they use, the timing, how the chefs flip the sukiyaki; it gives you an intense and smoky flavour. It’s so good. There’s a lot of good Japanese food in Bangkok. I love Teppen, an izakaya in Ekamai. Everything is really delicious and it’s the best value. Ramen Tei is a spot I go to often with the team after service.

Fried Chicken And Som Tam

When it comes to som tam (green papaya salad), everyone has their own special vendor. There’s a lady near the old Gaggan restaurant, and she knows my order: I’ve been eating som tam there for the past four years. She sells amazing fried chicken, fried pork and very good som tam. We used to hire her to come to make som tam and fried chicken for the staff after service. You can find her in the evenings, in the small soi (street) that’s right before the soi where the Gaggan restaurant used to be: on the right after the Marriott Apartments.

Guide last updated November 2019

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