I was terribly hungry when I stepped off the plane in Thailand. During the two hour flight, two delicious dishes had been flashing through my mind, vivid memories of flavours my taste buds encountered during my last trip to the Land of Smiles.
I arrived at my guest house at 10 PM. It was a gamble to head out to the street food stalls. They close when they are sold out of the food they prepared for the day and many great food stalls would be sold out by this time.
As much as I love street food, and there are plenty of delicious vendors to choose from, they weren’t on my mind.
It’s the rice
Hardly do I ever think of the rice I’m consuming. It is usually relegated to being a side dish, only gaining attention when it negatively affects my meal. Less than five times in my life however, normal white rice has triggered the wow factor on my taste buds.
I have heard from the grapevine that Thailand exports it’s best rice, leaving the locals with a staple that is a grade below. This, however, was certainly some of the best rice I have tasted in my life. You can trust my take on rice: I’m Chinese. I eat rice almost every day.
Aside from their fragrant, top quality rice, the meat was also well seasoned in their Namtok Chicken and Beef rice options.
This all came at a price of around 59 baht for the meal and an extra 10 baht for the drink. On the street, I expect to pay about 40 baht for the meal and at least 20 baht for a drink.
Thus, as the price and rice was just right, I became a frequent customer of McDonald’s in Thailand.
It’s not just apple pie
The rice though was not the only lure to get me hooked on the golden arches. Back in Canada, apple pie came with a baked crust. While the Canadian crust was still delicious, the deep fried crust of McDonald’s apple pies in Asia was a step up in flavour.
So imagine my delight when I discovered that you could have a more than the apple a pie for just 29 baht.
My first encounter with this McDonald’s delight was the ham and cheese pie. Gooey cheese mixed with pieces of Ham inside the fried crust made a great breakfast almost every day.
The next time I was in Bangkok, that was replaced by a tuna melt pie. I was skeptical at first, being a great fan of the ham and cheese pie.
“How would you successfully blend the fishy taste of tuna into that delicious crust?” I wondered.
Needless to say, I ate two pies that sitting and the tuna pie also became my staple breakfast food.
I arrived at McDonalds
So fresh off my tuk tuk after almost being kidnapped by a taxi, I hopped into McDonalds looking for their rice and pie offering.
I was greeted by a new rice dish, Mc Khao Krapao, or rice with basil leaves and a meat. I had the option of chicken of beef for 59 baht with further egg and drink options for an extra 10 baht each.
I chose beef the first round, and turned my head right to the signboard above.
They had pie!
No longer ham and cheese or tuna, but ham and egg. I added that to my order for a total of 108 baht.
The McKhaoKrapao was spicy, but I’m a fan of spiciness and that suited my palette just fine. The distinct grain and fragrant after taste I remembered from a year ago wasn’t present in this rice, but that didn’t stop me from having ordered at least five of the dishes to date. I always choose chicken over the beef.
The ham and egg pie, though also delicious, was short lived. It has since been replaced by a curry crab stick pie. The curry is not too spicy, and really goes well with the minced up crab stick inside the deep fried crust. I actually think the tuna and this curry crab stick pies are tied for my favourite.
The chicken McKhaoKrapao and Curry Crab Stick Pies have become my go to food when I don’t feel like exploring and eating something different.
It might seem counter intuitive to say I went to a country known for its delicious cuisine and ate a lot at McDonalds. Then again, McDonalds only offers these two items on their menu in Thailand and I love them. So I can still say I’m having delicious local food.
What food do you crave when arriving at Bangkok?