Regular readers will probably know I’m not over keen on Thai food. I do like some of the milder dishes like Gaeng Khiao Wan Gai (Thai Green Chicken Curry) but anything too spicy I tend to eat with a pick and push away attitude. I’m sure if I lived in Thailand then my mindset and tastes would swing a bit more toward eating Thai cuisine on a more daily basis. Though somehow I couldn’t ever see myself abandoning my liking and need for western style cooking.
The top photograph is part of my village stockpile of western food, my survival kit if you like. Most of my rations are kept safe and sound in the fridge. Bread, cheese, meat pies, pizza, French fries and a few other things.
Many westerners are put off visiting Thailand’s rural districts because the comforts which Thailand’s major cities hold make them a far different world compared to the basic amenities of village life.
I’ve always found Thai villages to be great places to stay. Almost like a throwback to how my great-grandparents would have lived in the UK many years ago. There’s something about life long ago which grips and fascinates many of us, but for the Thai village folk of today, their standard of living is far higher than their grand-parents ever saw.
The major reasons why some westerners avoid Thai villages is food and things to do. I’m planning to tackle the latter in a future post but food really shouldn’t be a major concern. Tesco Lotus and its like have tucked that excuse safely in bed. Except when it comes to a good fried English breakfast. It’s difficult to find decent sausages and bacon in the Land of Smiles unless you are in the know and prepared to pay a few dollars more.
Whenever I stay in Udon Thani city I head for the Irish Clock Bar if I fancy an English breakfast which tastes just as good as you’d get back home in the UK.
The photograph above shows what a good-looking breakfast the Irish Clock serves. And trust me it tastes even better than it looks. The regular breakfast comes with tea or coffee, two slices of toast and a big plateful of sausage, bacon, egg, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and a potato fritter. The price…only 120 baht ($4 / £2.40). Amazing value.
One day Wonderful Wi was looking at the photos on my camera.
“Hus…band. I want make you breakfast same you eat Black Beer Bar (Irish Clock)”
“Can you cook one just the same” I replied.
“I can do for hus…band.”
Udon Thani’s big breakfast battle was on. Would Wonderful Wi’s Wi-llage Special be more than a match for the Irish Clock’s regular breakfast. Who would win Udon Thani’s Big Breakfast Battle.
The next day we hit the city and I bought some quality sausages from Fuzzy Ken’s Bar but unfortunately they’d sold out of the bacon I was after. Wilai would enter the battle bacon-less.
The smell of cooking alerted my senses toward Wilai pottering about in our outside kitchen. I approached her and the words every man wants to hear came from the sweet country girl’s mouth.
“Hus..band have big sausage.”
Unfortunately she was talking about what was frying in the pan and not sizzling in my pants. Nonetheless I enjoyed my 15 milliseconds of thoughtful seduction.
I left Wilai to it and went back to the garden table to try to plug the village ozone hole with more cigarette smoke. I eagerly and hungrily waited for my breakfast to be served.
When it was eventually served I gave my verdict on its presentation.
“Wilai have you been looking at the right photograph.”
I was only joking because Wi’s breakfast was very tasty and if I’d managed to buy some good bacon it would have been even better. I was very pleased and mildly surprised with the country girl’s effort because when Thais fry something the gas ring is normally up full and a simple egg turns out crisp and frizzled.
The Udon Thani Big Breakfast Battle Verdict
To be honest Wilai’s English style breakfast tasted very good and although lacking bacon, the sausage, egg, Thai mushrooms, beans and toast made for a good start to the day. And eating it in your own village home made it that bit more extra special. My verdict 8/10.
The Irish Clock Bar, Soi Sampantamit Road, serves an excellent breakfast at a very reasonable price. All its ingredients are of the highest standard and there are also extras on the menu if required. They also have a larger fried breakfast for about 180 baht. I rate the Irish Clock breakfast as good as any of the many I’ve eaten in Thailand’s wild child resort Pattaya. My verdict 10/10.
I hope Wilai doesn’t read this post or my meatballs will get the kind of beating normally administered to the toughest of steaks.
How does your partner’s English style breakfast rate on a scale of one to ten.
Mama’s Kitchen – Warts and All
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© 2011, Martyn. All rights reserved.