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Jingthing

Thais Are Not Very Open To Their Neighbors Cooking!

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Since Thai's believe that only Thai food is delicious, it is hardly surprising that they open (for the most part)only Thai restaurants in the belief that any other cuisine will be shunned by the locals. Not to mention the fact that innovation is a very rare breed here in the Kingdom. However at some stage with the large amount of Japanese visitors coming to Thailand, Japanese restaurants opened up, Thai's got to try it (initially,probably those who had worked in Japan and the well heeled with deep pockets) and low and behold... they realized there was a market out there. I live in Chiang Mai and there are a few Vietnamese restaurants here and there with locals enjoying another cuisine, albeit irregularly and chosing often from a very limited menu.

Yes it's a real shame that we (foreigners) don't have other cuisines en masse to sample however from my point of view and I suspect from Jingthing's point of view it is probably a selfish one at that!

Bring on the Thai entrpreneurs with large b@lls who will open up new markets for the locals and satisfy the cravings of those hard done by and deprived expatriate!

Regards Bojo

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Bit late to this thread but I couldn't agree more, Jingthing. It is such a shame and was a bit of a surprise to me when I first moved here. I think it is a question of fear of the unknown and lack of opportunity. It also reminds me of many French people I have had contact with over the past decade or so, who were unwilling to try unfamiliar foods (particularly Asian), compared to most Brits I know. Obviously also a generalisation, but their attitude was that French food is so wonderful, why would they want to eat other food? And this seemed to apply to the younger generation, too. Whereas now, Japanese and Indian food is gaining in popularity, and there is more and more interest in Asian food. Some would say British food is a good encouragement to look elsewhere for inspiration, but that's another debate.

Our maid is quite funny about it - she comes into the kitchen when I'm cooking "foreign" food, and starts chopping roots and aromatics while interrogating me about the dish. I often bring back ingredients from Singapore and cook things like black nut chicken (ayam buah keluak), assam laksa, Indonesian soto ayam... She'll comment that it's "like Thai food", and be really curious about the ingredients she's never seen or at least not eaten, like candlenuts, keluak nuts, assam gelugor (som kaek) or torch ginger...but having spent perhaps two hours discussing and participating in the cooking, she will always, always make a yam or nam prik to eat with her rice, saying "gin mai ben". Despite the apparent similarities in technique and ingredients, to her it is quite alien (sometimes even dismissed simply as "kaek"). Balinese young jackfruit curry was the only exception - she helped me find the elusive jackfruit, and actually had a full helping of the dish, which was emphatically deemed "a-loy". Small victories aside, she frequently comments that we "know how to eat all kinds of food", although this is not a compliment as such, more a bemused observation!

I agree wholeheartedly though that as more Thais are exposed to other Asian cuisines, they will become more popular. I know at least three Thai women who love Vietnamese food, having tried outside Thailand, and who like to eat it here in Bangkok. As Thais travel more and learn to eat these foods, hopefully there'll be more restaurants to cater for this demand. Unfortunately that won't happen soon enough to satisfy the cravings :)

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I've eaten international food all my life, and nothing beats Thai food. When I was studying in good ole Britain, I have to bear with tasteless crap EVERY BLOODY SINGLE DAY in my school and OUTSIDE. ( I *hates* Yorkshire Pudding) So no thanks, I'd rather stick to my own food. Take your som nam na back. I'm now living in Singapore, and the Baos, the laksa and even the Nyonya kuens taste like craps compared to Thai food.

My Thai friends from Hat Yai always feels like crying when they have to go to Malaysia for business trips, they loathes the (khaek) food there. So yeah.

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My Thai friends from Hat Yai always feels like crying when they have to go to Malaysia for business trips, they loathes the (khaek) food there. So yeah.

OMG, your loss! Malaysian food is so tasty. However, I can understand your feeling about traditional British food. I like it quite well once in a while but it would be grim indeed to be stuck with it all the time.

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Malaysian food taste like crap. Their whatever Nasi is like...urghh!

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Nasi Goreng? That's Indonesian. Delish!

Yes, also Malay, but its the Indonesian national dish.

post-37101-1250945070_thumb.jpg

Another funny thing about Thai people here. I find they often assume you must be of the nationality of the food you are going after. For example if I go to an Iranian restaurant, I automatically get the Farsi menu, why would anyone who isn't Iranian want to eat that food? Of course, no such assumptions are made at a Korean restaurant, then you are just a weird farang ...

OK, I like Thai food and Thai people (in that order) but let's face it they can be rather quaint! :):D

Edited by Jingthing

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Nah-I know Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian one. What I meant is their Nasi(rice) Nasi Lemak, Nasi Biryani, Nasi whatever else are just...I dunno...Too much those kind of "khaek" spices that don't really suits my taste. Their kambing soup is also urggh... Their roadside stalls are also not up to Thai standards.

Ilol@that assume thing, yeah Thais can be very weird sometimes.

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Restaurants open because their is a particular demand for a type of cuisne. They well could open a restaurant and it would fail because the interest is not there. If you notice this is why most restaurants here always has a Thai Menu along with their own menu. If they didnt the likelyhood of them surviving would be very small.

Thai(s) like thai food - nought wrong with that!!! :)

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Thai(s) like thai food - nought wrong with that!!!

I agree. But I am biased in feeling that people who stick only with their own nationalities food all the time (Thai, Brit, Indian, whatever) are CLOSED MINDED. I don't find that trait especially charming, sorry.

This phenom transcends many cultures. I remember meeting :) a young culinary student in Portugal. He was adament, Portuguese food is the best food in the world! I only want to eat and cook Portuguese food! ... Great food, but Oy! So limiting.

Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death

Another related observation. Observing here in Pattaya about adventurous diners in Thailand going beyond their own culture in food, I have found Russians and Americans to be the most adventurous. I don't count Brits going for Indian, that would be like counting Americans going for Mexican or Dutch going for Indonesian. I also don't really count pasta and pizza, almost everyone likes Italian food.

Edited by Jingthing

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I miss nyonya food. Grandparents were baba-nyonya before moving to Canuckland many many moons ago. Used to eat it when i was a youngun. Miss it. There is a M'sian restaurant on Suk 26 that is ok.

This thread made me search nyonya and I just read on wiki that we are extinct!!!!!

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My Thai friends from Hat Yai always feels like crying when they have to go to Malaysia for business trips, they loathes the (khaek) food there. So yeah.

I prefer Malaysian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Singaporean to Thai food.

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Their loss! or as they would say "som nom na".

Its our loss too if we live here, as its hard to get regional SE Asian food in Thailand.

It's actually quite easy. Of course you'll have to cook it yourself :)

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Here in NL we still see the influence of the 17th century Dutch-Indonesian colonies. Nasi and Bami etc, is populair here.

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Their loss! or as they would say "som nom na".

Its our loss too if we live here, as its hard to get regional SE Asian food in Thailand.

It's actually quite easy. Of course you'll have to cook it yourself :)

Have you ever had a good look at a Malaysian cookbook? No, not easy. Just sourcing the ingredients here for many of the popular dishes would be a huge task. Anyway, this topic is about restaurants, not home cooking ...

Edited by Jingthing

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Well Im in KL at the moment and jus had a very very nice nasi lemak with lamb rendang. And since I am a pig, also had a mix satay of chicken, lamb and beef.

For lunch had some asam laksa and rojak.

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