A Really Long Walk for Doughnuts and Toast in Bangkok

Categories: Walk the Wok

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Hello from Bangkok. I'm on a four-country work jaunt for the next three weeks, so no Dallas Walk the Wok, but you'll be hearing all about what's giving me gastrointestinal problems in Asia! After a 24-hour stop in Ho Chi Minh City to meet up with my mom, the first leg of our duties is in Bangkok. Here are some highlights:

I've found some Western cuisine and met some fellow Texans, y'all! Not really. View exhibit A and B. They are probably feeling pretty cheated and thinking "Why isn't girl from Dallas dressed like us?"

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There is a queue wrapped around the front entrance of the Siam Paragon mega mall, and everyone in line is here to accost Bangkok's newest, biggest celebrity...Krispy Kreme. "Do you have a Krispy Kreme in Dallas? Have you ever eaten a Krispy Kreme? Do you think it's too sweet too?" Krispy Kreme parties, Krispy Kreme boxes being carried around like it's the newest status symbol accessory, Krispy Kreme orgies. Bangkok people are manic for new trends, but this is just dough...nuts. (No? I tried.) Those poor Dunkin' Donuts employees in the stall a few feet from the months-old Krispy Kreme are suffering from some inferiority issues. I mean, who would wait in line for hours just to try a doughnut and spend a week's salary to buy boxes of this stuff for every friend and distant cousin, and...oh wait. The picture of this line was taken at 9 freaking p.m., closing time of the mall.

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Bangkok loves toast, and as a lover of all things bread, it's a trend I wouldn't mind making its way to Dallas. It's not just any toast, though. This is a thick boxy version called honey toast that was first made popular in Japan and can be found at various Japanese eateries in the States. It's usually accompanied by a scoop of ice cream or butter, so, you know, someone in Dallas, please get on top of this stat. Being the enthusiastic eaters that they are, Bangkok people are coming up with a variety of topping combinations from fruit to chocolate to mountains of whipped cream. At After You -- the newest toastery(?) to open -- there was a 35-minute wait to be seated...for toast.

As gluttonous as Bangkok citizens are, there is actually a health food wave going through the city. Unfortunately, seeing as how the competition is either a monsoon called Krispy Kreme or huge-ass bread drowned in chocolate syrup, the healthy eating movement has to jump through some damned creative hoops. Like, salad shaped presented as a spring bouquet of flowers creative.

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To be fair, many BKK restaurants serving various cuisines and even people cooking for themselves at home are making concerted efforts to cut the fat, yet maintain the "delicious" factor in traditional cuisine. When I asked what kind of techniques they are using, responses ranged from a "duh" expression to explanations of using less oil and eating smaller portions. What a novel concept, huh, America?

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

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