Food is not just a necessity to the Thais. It is a national obsession. While the British talk about the weather, Thais talk about food. Thais will routinely travel all the way across town to buy their favourite noodles, even when neighbourhood restaurants serve the exact same dish. But of all the foods that Thais consume, there is one that stands head and shoulders above all others. Tom Yum Kung reigns supreme. Not only a tasty source of national pride, it is one of Thailand’s culinary treasures.
A sour-flavoured spicy shrimp soup, tom yum kung’s name comes from three Thai words. “Tom” means boiled, “yum” is a sour and spicy Thai salad and “kung” means prawn. Aside from the prawns, the primary ingredients of tom yum kung are the herbs and spices that give the soup its distinctive flavor. These include lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, fish sauce and lime juice. Tomatoes, sweet white onions and, of course, red chilli peppers also must be included. These are added to a stock that is prepared from a paste known as nam prik pao, which includes roasted chilies, shallots and garlic.
Most Thais have a favourite restaurant where they believe the “second best” tom yum kung is served. Mom always makes the best! That’s why picking out one restaurant where Thailand’s best Tom Yum Kung is served is really all about personal opinion.
The only way to be sure? Try it yourself! And what better way to sample Thailand’s favorite dish than at the amazing “Crab Night” seafood buffet promotion at Streats Café. Right on Rambuttri Road, next to Khao San, Streats is where foodies mingle. In addition to the best Tom Yum Kung in Khao San, the promotion includes blue crabs, tiger prawns and mussels as well as many more Thai and international dishes and desserts.