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Published: February 15th 2019
Tonight, we decided to visit Thipsamai, which is often listed as one of the best Pad Thai restaurants in Bangkok (i.e. like how Pat’s is often sited at the best cheesesteak in Philly). It’s located closer towards the Grand Palace from my hotel (on Maha Chai Road). We had spent the earlier part of the day shopping at Terminal 21 as well as another mall that contains smaller individual owned stands, so we took a taxi there.
The first thing I noticed was the long line that snaked down the block from the restaurant. Pom had arrived a few minutes before us and saved us a spot in line. The line contained a wide range of customers – tourists to expats to locals. There were also little stands along the street to provide snacks to people as they waited their turn. It was also fun to watch the cooks make the meals out-front of the restaurant. They worked unbelievably fast in a production line format – each staff member has a specific role. The wait was about an hour which was primarily driven by paid tour groups being allowed to jump the line (something that understandably annoyed the locals who
had to watch groups of up to 20 foreigners at a time lead past the line).
Once we got in I saw that there were only about 5 or 6 items on the menu – all versions of Pad Thai. They also had their famous orange juice which ironically cost more that the main meal. The food was delicious (and inexpensive) and the orange juice was very good as well – made from mandarin oranges which differs a bit from orange juice in the US and contained much more pulp.
While it was a bit of a wait, I would recommend anyone in Bangkok at least stopping by here for a meal. Not doing so would be like visiting Philly and not stopping by Pat’s or Geno’s. One thing to keep in mind is that dress codes are almost exclusively casual in the city from my experience with the exception of temples.
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