Soi 38 Street Food

Tonight’s search for dinner took me to Soi 38, a side street off Sukhumvit, close to the Thong Lo skytrain station. There are food carts along the first 100 metres of Soi 38, on both sides of the road. On the right side, as soon as you enter the soi, there is a small arcade where several vendors are gathered. It was there that I ate dinner.

The entrance to Soi 38 from Sukhumvit
Entrance to small arcade of food stalls

After perusing the various stalls, I decided to try a dish called ‘Fried Holy Basil with Chicken’ from a fairly busy food cart. It had the appearance of a family business, with mom and dad cooking the food and the younger generation handling the customers.

There are several tables that are shared by all of the vendors. You just order your food from one of the carts and then find a table to sit at. It is quite a social setting, as you simply sit at any table that has space, regardless of whether anyone else is already at the table. That’s how it is done here in Thailand, as well as elsewhere in Asia.

With my dinner ordered, I went to another cart and bought a glass of draft Asahi beer in a chilled glass. Nice!

It took a while for the dinner plate to be delivered, as the old man is the only one cooking behind the stall, but it was worth the wait. The chicken dish was served over a bed of rice and already had a bit of a kick to it when it arrived. Once I added some of the accompanying hot sauce, it kicked it up a notch. Very tasty – probably my favourite so far on this trip. And it cleared out my sinuses! Food in Thailand is generally eaten with a fork and a spoon. Chopsticks are only used for noodle soup (to get a grip on the noodles).

The food cart where I bought my dinner tonight
Fried Holy Basil with Chicken
And a glass of draft Asahi beer

With the main course taken care of, I walked a few metres to another cart where I ordered dessert – mango with sticky rice. This was the first time I’d had this dessert but it won’t be the last. It is heavenly! It might seem odd to have rice as part of dessert but it works so well. The sticky rice has a white sauce over it that includes coconut. And there are small pieces of nuts on the side that I sprinkled over the rice. The slightly salty, coconut flavoured rice could work well alone as a dessert, but it wonderfully complements the sweetness the mango. I just sat there savouring every bite. I’ll be back for more, for sure.

Mango with sticky rice – SO delicious
The mango dessert stall

I really enjoy my night-time street food excursions. Part of it is the fun and adventure of trying new food dishes, and part of it is enjoying being partially immersed in a different culture. I enjoy watching my surroundings as I eat my food – the people, the sounds and the smells. You couldn’t get this in a sterile, indoor restaurant setting. Street food just feels more authentic. Following is a video clip showing the food cart that provided my dinner in action.

After enjoying my dinner, I took wandered around the nearby food stalls to take a few photos. Following is a video clip that shows most of the stalls within the food arcade on Soi 38.

The following photos show some of the food stalls inside the arcade and on Soi 38 itself.

Fish BBQ cart inside the arcade
A Thai cowboy waiting for his food order
A dessert cart on Soi 38
Food cart on Soi 38
Close-up of the above food cart
BBQ and jacket potatoes – cart at the junction of Sukhumvit & Soi 38
Close-up of the BBQ cart

As you can see from the above photos, there are so many food choices – and this is just one of the many areas where street food can be found. I’m loving it!

On another topic, the jet-lag is still kicking my butt! I laid in bed awake for most of last night. My body clock has still not adjusted to Asia time. But tomorrow is my birthday, and I’m determined to get out and see more of the city. In fact, I’ve got something in mind that requires me to be up at 6.00am. Hopefully, I’ll make it and be able to report on more than just food for tomorrow.


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