A Gourmet in Bangkok Needs Street Smarts

Illustration for TIME by Anna Crichton.

Fabulous food is as ubiquitous in Bangkok as terrible traffic. At any time of day or night, mouthwatering Thai meals are available just about everywhere: at streetside restaurants, market stalls, trendy cafEs and five-star hotels. Despite the infinite scope of excellent eats, visitors often end up with bellies full of insipid pseudo-Thai fare that locals wouldn't go near.

There are two reasons for that. Some chefs take their farang (foreigner) customers too seriously: after getting complaints about chilies and other strong flavors, they wind up obliterating the essential character of a dish for fear of offending delicate Western...

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