The new home of former TAT Governor will be the first place in Thailand to be reviewed in the forthcoming TAT/Michelin guide. Juthamas Siriwan is serving 50 years for taking bribes so she will be eating prison food for a long time to come.
Juthamas’ successor at the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, said he wanted to do everything he could to support former colleagues. He added that prison food had become much more important due to the large number of Government Officials that were now being sent to jail on corruption charges.
Restaurant guides are probably the oldest scam in the publishing industry and can be traced back to 18th century publishers on Grub Street. Originally it was just “give me a free meal or I’ll write something nasty about you in my paper”. Now it is “take out a very expensive advert in our glossy publication or you will not get listed”. However, the Michelin Guide Thai edition will be a classic because the Thai Government is giving them 143.5 million baht to produce it. That’s right, the Thai Tax payer is giving money to a French Tire Company so that they can extort money from Thai Restaurant owners. Amazing Thailand.
Of course, the TAT has been running its own scams since the 1970s. We remember the “Certified by TAT” scam. The idea was TAT would look at products for sale in tourist shops, if the trinkets were good quality and sold at a fair price, the shop would get a “Certified by TAT” sticker to put in their window. Naturally, the TAT officials never checked anything, they just took their hand out, and handed over the sticker. We surveyed these shops in 1980 and found that the trinkets they sold were all twice the price of the same thing in Central Department Store. Corruption is a well established tradition in the TAT which makes it a perfect partner for Michelin.
Why people want to get their good food advice from the same place they buy their car tires, is something we have never understood. Private Tye recommends that its readers ignore the Michelin guide and use the “American Standard guide to Thai curry” instead.
This was called “a mouse” in the Phnom Penn Post, but if it was, it must have come from Fukushima not Cambodia. Jeb Tong, Private Tye’s expert on Ratatouille, swears it is young brown rat.
This was confirmed by a Tye Correspondent who witnessed a British tourist having dinner in this food market. This is his report of the tourists conversation with his Cambodian Waitress:
Tourist: What's for afters?
Waitress: Rat cake, rat sorbet, rat pudding, or strawberry tart.
Tourist: (eyes lighting up) Strawberry tart?
Waitress: Well, it's got some rat in it.
Tourist: 'Ow much?
Waitress: Three. A lot, really.
Tourist: Well, I'll have a slice without so much rat in it.
Editors Note: Readers who have not watched the TV series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus will find the above report incomprehensible. Readers are advised to watch the entire series before reading Private Tye. The series can be downloaded as a free of charge Torrent from The Pirate Bay. (Editors note on the Editors note: Google Chrome (that’s a browser) is trying to block access to Pirate Bay, so use another browser. Try the TOR browser, its free, renders you invisible to most spies, and avoids Government and Private sector blocks once and for all).
Our star reporter has been eating Tay-choo Gway Jiap noddles at a road side restaurant in Chiang Mai for many years. The recipe comes from the Swatow area of China, and the noodle soup contains numerous ingredients. Our reporter was tucking in, and had eaten a few spoons, when she noticed a new ingredient: six small hairy tiny legs were protruding up through the surface of the soup. Yes, it was our old friend Blatta orientalis. She quickly alerted one of the waiters who said she could have another bowl without cockroaches, free.
For some reason she declined this generous offer, and left. It was all her fault really, she did not order correctly; she should have asked for “Gwiteow mai sai Maleng Sarp” (noddles without cockroaches). She does have strange taste, however. On the State Railways of Thailand you can get a lovely glass of orange juice (saccharine, water and artificial colouring). To make up for the bland taste of this drink the waiters add a sprinkling of ants, but she never like this and always ordered “nam som mai sai mot (orange juice without ants).
Our reporter loves animals and was disturbed by the thought that this poor Blatta had been boiled alive like a member of the Uzbekistan opposition. So she contacted the world's foremost animal protection organisation: Britain's RSPCA. They said they “only protected kittens, puppies and Pandas because they are photogenic and get the punters to put money in the collection boxes, we don't help creepy crawlies”.
Thailand's draconian liable laws prevent us from giving the name of this restaurant. However, it should be easy to identify, shills on Reddit will tell you its the best noodle shop in Chiang Mai.
Some people's food is sweet delight,
Some, endless, eat a load of shite.
A sausage that's made with bad intent
Beats all the lies we can invent.
Its right that it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe,
And this we rightly know,
the Lanna sausage proves it so.
From Porkers' fat, gristle and bone
the sausage meal will make its home.
A meal to shimmer and to shine
when fully formed in intestine.
The greasy mess is not a gourmet's food
and the Michelin man would think it rude
but sausager acts on good advice
and crams the tube with lots of spice.
With hottest chili, pepper and all of that
the Michelin man cannot taste the fat.
A sausage made with putrid meat
is transformed into a Lanna treat.
The sausage maker has his wiles,
the sausage served with lots of smiles.
But when patron wants his bowels let free
its 10 Baht for the lavatory.
The eater cannot make amends
the sausage burns at both his ends.
With bowels afire he cannot see
the sausage caused his dysentery.
Time was, that noodle shops in South East Asia had a large kettle of cold Chinese tea on every table. Patrons could help themselves freely to this and drink without fear of contaminants. On the streets there were vendors selling fresh young coconuts and palm oil juice. Thankfully, those days are over, and now a trip to the 7-Eleven will present the person with a discerning palate with a fine choice of bottled water. Indeed, if you are going to a Thai 7-Eleven bottled water will be the only drink you can buy that does not contain massive amounts of refined cane sugar or saccharine.
We all know that it is against the law for a tourist to be seen on the streets without a plastic water bottle glued to the left hand. But did you know that many residents in Thailand are too stupid to spend a few thousand baht on a household water filter? This then, is your guide to Thailand's five best water in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles.
1. Nestle's “Pure Life”
An outstandingly rich, spicy, and toothsome water that is sure to please and screams decadent old school H2O.
Nestle is a Swiss corporation that has ballooned into the world's largest food processing conglomerate. Nestle is responsible for Nescafe which is a vile tasting drink with no nutritional value that is made from the cheapest possible raw material (the Robusta bean). Very good advertising has enabled Nestle to convince the consuming public that this muck tastes good and that it is the fashionable thing to drink. Therefore, its not surprising they should go into the water business. Their advertising manages to convince the public that water which tastes of polyethylene terephthalate is pure, while water that tastes of water is not. The water in their water bottles costs virtually nothing. Just a small amount of electricity to pump the water from an artesian well. What you are paying for when you pay seven baht for a bottle of “Pure Life” is bottling, the bottle, transportation, retail expenses, and of course, Nestle's profits. The water itself will cost less 50 Satang (one US cent) if it comes from a limestone aquifer. Of course, if it comes out of a Bangkok sewer, filtration might cost slightly more.
2. Chang Drinking Water
Bright, exotic, earthy, with a supple, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a silky wonderfully savory new world taste.
Chang has a subtle flavour. The first mouthful might taste very mild but soon the rich flavour of
polyethylene will delight your palate. The after-taste is strong and long lasting. The bottle itself is ergonomically well designed which will enable even a limp-wristed tourist to keep a firm grip on it. But we think Chang is best use as a dinner water. It makes a fine compliment to a frozen C.P. meal heated up in a microwave – a real gourmets delight.
3. Singha Drinking Water
Hedonist, richly flavored and super balanced. Tart with a crisp body and a warming, nuanced, long sour finish.
Strong and pungent this is definitely a man's water. After a hard game of rugby there is nothing like a few litres of Singha Drinking Water with the lads at the clubhouse. You will know that most the flavour of expensive Brandy and Whiskey comes from it being aged in oak barrels. Something similar happens with water, the longer it is left in the plastic the better it tastes. Heat helps with the maturation process. So, while you need a special refrigerator for wine, water is best stored in a car (especially if the car is left out in the sunlight).
Attractive aroma with a velvety, lively, medium-full body and a smooth finish. An amazingly delicious, complex, and satiny powerhouse.
Crystal is produced by Serm Suk. For decades this company has been importing Pepsi and putting it in bottles. Recently it occurred to management that this was rather silly. Why import a product which is 99.9% water, sugar, and carbon dioxide? Thailand still has some water, plenty of sugar from one of the world's most chemically intensive agro-industries, and plenty of carbon dioxide and polyethylene terephthalate from the petrochemical complex near Rayong. So they dropped Pepsi and started making their own cola called “Est”.
In another cathartic moment Serm Suk's management thought “Why bother buying all that sugar and carbon dioxide?” All you need to do is get a would-be actor, dress him up in a white lab coat and put him on the telly saying “this is good for you”. It really does not matter what “this” is, it could be horse piss or dogs' vomit, people will still buy it. Turns out that the cheapest thing you can put in a bottle is water, horse piss costs a lot more.
Bright, interesting, complex aroma with a satiny, vibrant medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, medium relish. A vibrant, pure and complex water with great varietal character.
Namthip is part of the Coca-Cola conglomerate (the flagship of American good taste) and, believe it or not, pretends that it eco-friendly, because the empty bottle can be screwed up. Their executives say that buying this product will help to make “the world a better place” (which, presumably, means that filtered tap water is bad for the environment). A water for the ladies perhaps. You will find it on the Water List at fine restaurants, nothing like Namthip to compliment an elegant dinning experience.
So, you have enjoyed your delectable water, now what is to be done with the bottle? No problem in Chiang Mai just, throw your bottles (screwed up or otherwise) away in the forest. Then they get “recycled” into smog during forest fires and ultimately end up in the lungs of local residents (the bottles you can breath: “I love the smell of burning petrochemicals in the morning”). If you live on coast simply throw them in the sea where they can float round the Pacific for decades before they get chopped up by a ships propeller and swallowed by marine animals (fish, polyethylene and chips – yummy).
In Nan recently we found fields of maize stretching to the horizon. The trees have gone, along with the endangered species that used to live in the forest. Apparently, Bangkok tourists think this is great and we saw lots of them stopping at the road side to take selfies with the denuded hills as a backdrop.
So, what is this bountiful crop of Indian Corn for? Do the locals eat it? It would seem not. One crop would provide enough Kelloggs for breakfast, dinner and tea for the entire population of Nan for the next hundred years. Obviously the crop is being sold to the Agro-industrial corporations - a cheap meal for Seepee chickens and pigs. Which means that slash and burn cultivation is now practiced on an industrial scale.
What does the rest of the country get from this environmental game of beggar-thy-neighbour? The answer is floods, drought and smog. On the bright side, maybe we will get a few Baht off our chicken nuggets from Poophan Sender, or maybe not.
Fans of the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy will remember the “Restaurant at the end of the Universe”. Well, Thailand has something better – its the “Restaurant at the bottom of the lake”. But don't worry, you will not get wet because this restaurant is at the bottom of Lake Doi Tao which dried up more than two years ago. (Maybe deforestation in adjacent provinces has something to do with this.) Which makes the floating restaurant a lot better, you can enjoy a bowl of noddles and a glass of beer without lurching about on a raft. So, it is well worth a visit.
The only problem is the service, there is nobody there. In fact, the only sign of occupation is the vegetable patch that is planted in front. And this is silly when you think about it, because the vegetables are going to dry up as well. They should be planting cacti and learning to make tequila, but these people never take advantage of their opportunities.
Internationally famous novelist and renowned gourmet, Jason Schoonover, chose Bangkok for his Christmas Dinner. Jason went for traditional Thai food, in his own words:
“...we dug into Bangkok's Best - bugs! Nutty grasshoppers, crunchy crickets, meal worms, snappy scorpions and our favorite - mangda, or paddy beetles. They look like cockroaches but taste like sweet custard. Pass the cranberry sauce! Burp!”
Hopefully, Jason will be a trend setter and help in a revival of these culinary delights.
Thai food has now spread throughout the world and a wide variety of Thai cuisine can be found in the restaurants of Europe and North America. So, if you are a tourist looking for a unique Thai eating experience, what should choose? The answer is MacDonald's Samurai burger. You can get Tom Yan Gung or Pad Thai anywhere in the world, but the Samurai burger is only to be found in Thailand. That's right: not in Japan, not in Hamburg (the home of the Hamburger), not in America and not in Scotland.
So how do you make an authentic Samurai Burger at home? The simple answer is you don't. Firstly, you would need a PhD in chemical engineering and, secondly, you would need a food processing plant the size of an oil refinery. Not to worry, you can pick one up at a drive in. Its just 150 Baht for a burger, French fries and a drink.
This is great value when you consider that the average Thai worker earns 300 Baht per day. So, your average guy can have a Samurai Set for lunch and still have 150 Baht left for his evening meal, and food for his wife and children, and the rent and utilities bills, and of course medical insurance (which he is sure to need if he is eating Samurai burgers).