Kaki Lima Food Carts
Everywhere you look you see them: clustering at the perimeters of the pasar malam (night market), sprouting like mushrooms on sidewalks next to busy intersections. Indonesian street food is the ultimate fast food and it’s ubiquitous. When you travel in Indonesia, you don’t need to miss out on good home cooking as plenty of street food is prepared ahead of time in the cook’s home and according to traditional family recipes. Every morning they set to work, orchestrating flavors and textures as varied as the islands they hail from. Using all kinds of aromatic roots, leaves, and spices, delicious flavors are coaxed out of ordinary meats, vegetables, and rice.
Food vendors peddle their trade in venues that span the gamut of shape and size. Pikulan are compact walking restaurants upon which the cooking equipment is suspended between the ends of a bamboo pole. The pole is then hoisted onto the shoulders of the humble chef who walks along his route rhythmically beating a wooden drum or gong to announce his presence. Kaki Lima (five legs) are three-wheeled push carts with the addition of two human legs to push them anywhere appetites are to be found. Each vendor specializes in a particular food type and alerts potential customers of their presence with a unique sound. Satay sellers bang a hollow pipe; bread and ice cream comes with a horn; the Bakso vendor hits a spoon on a ceramic bowl.
Enjoy coffee at the ultimate pop-up café. Lesehan are sidewalk cafes set up entirely on the sidewalk. Starting late in the afternoon, bamboo mats are laid out, sometimes accompanied by short little tables where you can sit on the mat and eat to your heart’s content.
Street Food Culture Lives on in Bangkok’s New ‘Hip’ Markets
You may have heard rumors that Bangkok’s street food is no more, well this is far from the truth. While a number of well-known outdoor food haunts around the central Sukhumvit areas have been dispersed, the reality is street food has just become more regulated. Due to this regulation many of the vendors have set up in large outdoor food markets. The result is, a lot more food choice for everyone! Now hungry visitors can sit outside enjoying a nice cold beverage while eating delicious Thai food and listening to some great live music.
The new Train Market in Ratchada is now open all night from 5pm until 1am, 7 days a week. It’s also packed full of market stalls making it the perfect place to hunt for a bargain. W Market at W District in Phra Khanong is another superb venue with an artistic twist, fast becoming the place to be seen in Bangkok.