[Bangkok, Thailand] Bangkok has always been a fascinating city to me, pushing its boundaries further with the open of new luxury retail mall Century Embassy. Located at Ploenchit Road this is home to big international brands like Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Miu Miu, Prada, and Ralph Lauren.
You get a drift the type of mall it is, catering to the upper-middle class and the financial elite. Of course I was mainly there for the food.
The lower ground level is where Eathai is located, a mega-space spanning some 5000 square metres, with an extensive range of Thai regional delicacies, street food stalls, to an Issaya Cooking Studio.
Krua 4 Pak
Let’s start with ‘Krua 4 Pak’. This means food from 4 regions of Thailand – from the Central, North, Northeast and South.
This place takes pride in its Thai cuisines. Unlike other foodcourts where you may find a splattering of Western, Japanese, and Korean dishes, there is none of those. The closest stall that I found was ‘foreign’ was a Thai-Viet stall. The stalls are all neatly arranged, according to regions.
Visitors get a food credit card of 1000 baht in value, and orders placed will be charged to that card. You pay when you leave. What I liked was that instead of waiting for the food to be prepared at the stall, the dishes are delivered to your table by service staff. It’s kind of a semi self-service format.
Prices at this part are not exactly cheap – in Bangkok terms though, with a 5% service charge. The dishes are between 120 baht to 390 baht (SGD$4.60-$15, USD$3.70-$12) for a set meal, which is similar in pricing to sit-down cafes and restaurants. But portions are generous.
My favourite dish was easily the Sea Crab Meat and Crab Roe Southern Yellow Curry (185 baht) by White Cafe, a “Khanom Chin” Thai rice noodle dish where curry with fresh abundant crab meat and various condiments is poured all over, resulting in a tasty rich luxurious mess to savour.
I did expect food to be spicier though, especially those from the Esan district known for their fieriness in ingredients. Most were very manageable, including the Som Tum.
Sea Crab Meat and Crab Roe Southern Yellow Curry (185 baht)
Pad Thai with Jumbo Prawns (220 baht)
“Kai Yang” Charcoal Grilled Chicken (150 baht)
“Som Tum” Papaya Salad with Shrimp (120 baht)
“Khan-tok” Northern Thai Traditional Set (380 baht)
Street Food Section
I won’t deny I prefer this section where prices are friendlier (50-120 baht) and food tastier and somewhat more authentic.
My favourite dish was the “Hoy Tod” where the outer layer of eggs was crispy like paper, covered fresh plump mussels and crunch beansprouts.
A special mention was the Thai Tea which was quite spectacular looking in terms of making, which is done by ‘pulling’ to make the tea smoother with froth, combining both the Thai cha yen and Malaysian & Singapore way of the teh tarik. This guy topped it up by pouring the tea back and forth between 4 cups, while turning! (Check out my instagram @DanielFoodDiary for the video)
“Hoy Tod” Mussels, Fried Eggs and Rice Flour (60/80 Baht)
“Kanom Krok” Thai Traditional Style Sweet Baked Rice Cake (65 Baht)
“Khanom Bueang” Sweet Traditional Thai Crisp Crepe (12 Baht per piece)
Butterfly Juice (120 Baht)
“Cha Yen” Thai Ice Tea and Green Tea (40 Baht)
Many of these stalls are famous ones gathered from Pratunam and Chinatown. I know there are many who would comment that these ‘street food’ is not the real deal anymore. What’s street food without the makeshift tables and spontaneity?
I agree. But it is difficult to find all at one space, and without that possible tummyache.
There are sections selling Thai snacks, spa items and souvenirs – the one-stop shop if you need to bring last minute gifts home. Providing another option to visitors, Bangkok’s new upmarket foodcourt Eathai does gather the best of many Thai cuisines.
Central Embassy 1031 Ploenchit road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel. +662 119 7777
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm
Directions: 5 min walk from Phloen Chit BTS station (or Chit Lom station, both with covered walkways)
* Thank you Central Embassy for the invitation over to Bangkok.