If you’d have said to me that I would eat fish off the bone that had a face one month ago, I would probably had gagged a little and then laughed at you. Or that I would have trusted the meat that came out of a kitchen that looked dirtier than a public toilet. But there is something about me that I have noticed a change in already and that is my new taste for different things. There would have been times when I wouldn’t have dared even touch a fork that had a spot of dirt on it. But if travelling has yet to teach me anything its that if you’d like to eat- you have to lower your standards of hygene expectations.
It’s funny but I truly think that I have had better tasting food on street market food stalls rather than in a fancy pants hotel that serves on the beach. I think that you’re more likely to get freshly made food if you can see where its come from. In the food stalls, you watch them make your Pad Thai right in front of you. All the vegetables in a cooling box to keep them fresh, they clean the pan before cooking every meal, I find it rather comforting being able to see them make my food. Whereas if you’re in a restaurant, you never know how long your food has been sitting there waiting to get re heated. I went for a little venture out to find some food in Koh Pangang during a powercut recently and I was surprised to find a 4 star hotel unable to serve a lot of their (should be) oven and pan made food, they couldn’t cook anything I wanted to order because their microwave was not working. I later then discovered that they pre made all the meals like Pad Thai and all the curries at the beginning of the day and then re heated them upon request. Now I know many places do this but since it was such a highly rated hotel, I expected more- I expected Fresh! Especially considering the price differences to street food who make it right there infront of you!
And so after that, I realised that it wasn’t about the fancier the place, the cleaner or better the food will be, it’s sort of a hit and miss situation. So now, I’ve lowered my standards and have been pleasantly surprised to the little gems I have discovered.
In Koh Chang, my new travel buddies and I were wondering about trying to find somewhere to grab a bite to eat. We came across this tiny shack of a place, I’ll be honest the only thing that appealed to us was the fact that they had fans and in the sweltering heat- we were sold! There really wasn’t much to this little restaurant. The tables were plastic garden tables with a table cloth you’d find at an old ladies house with odd chairs, wooden, plastic, metal. It looked like they’d gone to a car boot sale and grabbed every chair they could find in a budget of £10. The menus had flies squished in the pages but other than that, the place looked decently clean. But we were not expecting to receive the fine dining experience we had when our food came out.
We’d all ordered different things and we were all so surprised to how good the food turned out we were swapping plates left right and centre. Eager to try every dish on the table.
I ordered the sweet and sour chicken with rice, simple and safe was my thought but if anything, I was jealous of all the other dishes around me.
The Red snapper, though it looks a little daunting with the face still on it, I kid you not- was perfectly cooked and was the best tasting fish I had ever had. The meat just fell off the bone with ease. The sauces were fantastic- not too overpowering so you could still taste the fish, it was like my taste buds were having a little party in my mouth. I was super jealous that I didn’t order that one.
I have eaten bad food, good food and the occasional 7 Eleven fast food and so far, I have rarely been disappointed.
Moral of the story is:
Don’t always trust your first opinion of a place- you may be pleasantly surprised.
No matter what food you eat, you still may get the runs- so eat what you want to eat! You’ll shit your pants either way. 😉
Go out of comfort zone- try something new! Like a fish with a face still or a chicken Pad Thai from a street food stall. You never know when you’ll find the best fish you’d ever tasted.