After a long train journey north, we spent last night in Sukhothai. Our first night out of Bangkok was a bit of a blur of brightly lit stores, birds congregating at Hitchcock levels on electrical wires, dilapidated buildings and busy night streets. We ate dinner at a sidewalk cafe, which sounds a lot more fancy than it was. Our table was on the street, sandwiched between teenagers on Vespas hanging out on one side and a Thai soap opera playing silently on the other. In other words, it was pretty much my ideal eatery. After missing out on pad krapow for breakfast, I had it for dinner, with our guide Aom ordering it properly pet, or spicy for me. Mr Lemur had wide noodles that were revelatory: their relationship to noodles at home being the difference between pasta by Buitoni and pasta fresh made by your Italian grandmother. But the highlight of the evening was watching the hawker cart ladies at work. We followed up our meal with Thai roti: puffed up roti dough filled with banana, crisply fried on a griddle and then – wait for it – doused in chocolate sauce and condensed milk. Yeah, you think Thai food is all light and healthy with the salads and all, but there are enough fried things to keep any sweet lover happy.
Her speed throwing the roti out was astonishing. She flips the dough back and forth till it’s paper thin. It’s a joy to watch her work.
Next comes the magic of puffed bread, with a generous helping of banana in the centre.
Can you tell we were awaiting our roti with excitement?
Just look at the condensed milk! This is the part that had Mr Lemur drooling.
The finished article. The chocolate sauce is homemade, and the whole thing was a decadent treat. It’s possible that I’ll come home from Asia a couple of sizes larger…but it will totally be worth it.