Now, we all know Ayutthaya for it’s amazing history as a UNESCO Heritage site. It’s full of beautiful temples, but did you know that there is some GREAT food to be had there, too?
Now, of course, all Thai food is amazing, but when we venture out of the city, it’s a nice chance to relax and try out some of the specialties of the area, as well as some other less-common Thai dishes that you can’t find everywhere!
On a recent day-off, we spent a bit of time eating our way around Ayutthaya and here are some of our favorite dishes we indulged in:
Believe it or not, Ayutthaya is best known for it’s very sizable freshwater prawns! It’s quite a luxurious meal here and you will see Thais head out here just to eat, from the city, with their families on any given weekend! Most restaurants will be on the water (Ayutthaya has many canals and a river, too!) and the breeze, nice view and chill atmosphere will make these prawns taste even better! They are typically ordered by the kilogram and that is sometimes only 3 prawns – they really are that big! The standard method of cooking is grilling and they are split open to expose the head oil (which is a very favorite part for Thai people). It is also served with the typical seafood dipping sauce. Aroy maak!
Roti Sai Mai
Another specialty of the area is Roti Sai Mai. A very sweet treat, no trip to Ayutthaya should happen without tasting it! If you ever have any Thai friends who go, they will likely bring bags back to share with family, friends and officemates! There are two parts to this treat: a thin pancake and sugar floss filling.
The pancake, or more similar to a crepe, usually is very plain, however, you will also see it in a green hue (flavored with Pandan leaf) or sometimes rainbow colors. It’s a simple base for the dessert which you can see them making by the roadside with their hands. They grab a bunch of the dough and just rub it on the grill. After a few seconds, it’s done!
The candy floss that makes up the filling starts as a hot sugar mix which is then worked by hand until it resembles a soft, silky floss. You can also see them making this at the street side stalls – it’s quite a workout!
It is sold in sets of pancakes and floss and you roll them together yourself to eat fresh!
Guay Teow Reua (Boat Noodles)
Boat noodles, or small-portion bowls of noodles, originally sold along canals on boats, are served with or without soup. They are a favorite all over the country, and we definitely take a chance to stop and have some along our Great Ayutthaya Adventure experience! They will have pork balls or meat in them, vegetables and are often ordered at 3 or more per person! They are very small, so you might need a few to fill up!
So, just remember, Ayutthaya is so much more than just a pretty place with amazing historical sites, there is great food awaiting!