On the long list of things that I miss about Melbourne - a good Thai feed rates high. Fresh, nourishing, cheap. Lots of veggie options. What I’d do for a Thai-To-Go or Pattee Thai (leave-your-shoes-at-the-door) dinner with the regular crew…
Good Asian food - excluding sushi or noodles - is sloooooooowly finding its way into Tel Aviv. When you find it, you pay for it dearly. Case in point #1 - Beit Thailandi, but worth every shekel as far as quality is concerned; case in point #2 - 4 Asian dumplings cost 26 shekels at the Friday food markets. The Bun is the latest word on the street, but I’m yet to give it a try.
So when I heard that the Namal market was hosting a Thai-inspired week, I dedicated at least two nights of my week to fill this craving. However to cut a long story short, it was on the disappointing side of things. Some nice traditional performances to make Israelis feel a little nostalgic for their travel days prior to having kids with whom they now overrun the namal during the summer holidays (nothing personal, but the port was a virtual zoo); and stalls selling packaged Thai-ish goods - think sweet chilli sauce et al., wasabi peas, and ramen noodles in disposable cups.
The second night that I went - to check that I hadn’t chosen the wrong night first time round - there was a beautiful fresh produce stall with some Thai kitchen staples and some not-so-Thai kitchen staples. Inside, two Thai chefs had been allocated a benchtop in the pasta stall to make spring rolls, tom yum soup and papaya salad. We ended up eating dinner upstairs at the very tasty, but cleary not-Thai, Kitchen Market.
Disappointing - yes, but whatever the case I came out on top. Magic hour’s golden light for my photography, two beautiful sunsets, good company and dinner both nights (thanks Lital and Yael!) and tonight I came home with some great fresh produce - something that the port market does undeniably well. As for the high hopes in the Thai department… I may just have to start planning my next visit home!