I am a freelance writer currently reading Classical Literature and English at Leeds University. I hope you enjoy!
Published February 6th 2016
Mouthwatering Thai flavours
As you move from place to place in Asia, you will find restaurant after restaurant which advertise the 'do-it-yourself-buffet'. Some of the best I found were in Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai.
We sat within this tiny restaurant; plastic tables, plastic chairs, plastic cloths, and yet look to your right and there were dozens of bowls - the smell was incredible. As we sat down, the waiters and waitresses placed iron bowls in front of us, a block of methanol burning strong in the centre. On top they placed a metal ridged dish with a dam running round the edge, and a raised dome in the centre. Onto this sizzling dish the waiter placed a block of fat and ran it round the dome, filling the dam with water - then they left us to our own devices.
As we walked to the side there was an array of meat on offer in plastic dishes from chicken, to pork, to beef, as well as squid. In small bowls there was green Thai curry paste, soy mixed with fish sauce, minced chilli, dried and raw garlic. Next we took baskets of green noodles, spring onion, and greens.
There the fun begins. You can concoct whatever sauce you want, cooking the meat on the dome, the noodles and greens in the water. As it cooked we layered our individual sauces on to the dome, the flavours slipping over the surface of the meat and fish and into the water. The taste was mouthwatering, the fun part being that there was benefit in continuing to eat; as you layer different flavours at different intervals you create a delicious multi-layered stock in which to cook your noodles and greens.