Oh, to think that just a mere two months ago, I was a vegetarian! Although I still like the idea of returning to vegetarianism at some point in my life (well, maybe in spurts), I have adapted well in Thailand to the full onslaught of meat appearing in my meals again.
One night, I noticed a rather busy looking, though completely non-descript, restaurant tucked away from the main road near Ban Niang as Matt and I sped by on our motorbike. Not knowing what kind of restaurant it was, but deciding the locals should know better than us, we decided to give it a try on a Sunday night.
The restaurant is a Thai version of do-it-yourself hot pot. Matt and I each pay 99 baht (barely over $3) and we literally eat meat until we make ourselves sick. It's fantastic! You get a clay pot and a kettle of soup for the table. From the buffet area, you choose all the meat and sides you want. As you can see from the picture, we (well, mostly Matt) load up with as much meat as humanly possible. And this is just the FIRST round!
Once you choose your meat and sides, you place a chunk of fat on the top to grease up the cooking area. Then you start piling on the meat to cook. It's a fun process though during our first attempt of cooking the meat, Matt and I piled too much meat on and ended up with a few burnt pieces because we couldn't turn the meat over fast enough. No fear, Matt soon mastered the art of flipping the meat. After dinner, our bellies are protruding quite rotundly but that doesn't stop us from helping ourselves to a couple scoops of ice cream. Our favorite flavor: taro. What a perfect way to end a meal!
This has become our Sunday night ritual ever since.
© Connie Hum 2010