While we all share the same the same passion for food, it looks different across every culture, town, and street food stall.
In NZ it’s a delicious byproduct of the Kiwi attitude; ingenuity and passion making for really good, convenient food. In Asia, it’s etched into the sidewalks and it’s ingrained in their way of life.
For most of the residents of Bangkok, street food is their go-to, it's where they eat and socialise majority of their lives. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every hunger in between can be satisfied with a near-immeasurable quantity of street-side stalls, either mobile or permanent.
In fact it seems, at times, that nobody ever cooks at home. Headed to work in the morning? Set aside 10 minutes for a plate of fried rice or a bowl of congee. Lunch with the colleagues? Choose from the 15 stalls that make up the footpath in front of your office. Need a pick-me-up as the afternoon grinds by? There’s an old guy around the corner cooking charcoal-grilled satay who has been there longer than anybody can remember. The street is the kitchen and dining room for families, friends and visitors.
Food stalls on the streets of Bangkok are tended by owner-operators with short menus, who work hard to provide the foods they know and love. Where you may expect competition, there is camaraderie. Each and every stall holder is a piece in a giant family jigsaw which sees generations of workers and owners creating a self-sustaining and essential, part of the area’s food.
These stallholders have been here so long, they’re part of the landscape. They know their food like the back of their hand, their main customers are their family and friends. But the gap between them and our NZ food truck community is small. There’s always a story, there’s always a passion and it’s food with heart. In Asia or NZ, that’s the fundamental beauty of it, convenience or alternative, food trucks, vendors and stalls are the heart of the food industry.
Thanks to our very own food truck friend Ethan McAulay who ate his way through Bangkok and wrote about it.