We are always surprised at the amount of expats in Bangkok that have no idea that the city boasts a very nice Little India. Today we take you on a KohSpot Walking Tour through one of our favorite sections of this hidden gem of a neighborhood.
This walk is in the area just south of the Pahurat market on Chakkrapet Road, near the Sikh temple and India Emporium mall. If the temple is open to visitors during your visit, it’s worth a short trip to take in the ornate golden dome. Just to the left of India Emporium at the beginning of a soi is a samosa, pakora and tikki stand. Its a bit bland. We prefer more turmeric and curry powder in a samosa, but they are only 10 baht a pop so try one for yourself. And really, what walking day isn’t complimented by copious amounts of food so indulge.
Continue heading down the soi to see Indian religious statues, trinkets, VCDs and of course fabrics. Just before across-soi you will see Punjab Sweets. Stop in here for an energy boost, most of which are 15 baht, consisting of milk, sugar, nuts and typically garnished with pistachios.
Just a few meters down the soi from Punjab is a guy selling mhak, a mixture wrapped in a leaf that might look like mieng kham but has an impact more akin to betel. A potent alchemy of cloves, nuts, tobacco, anise and a couple of sauces is meant to be chewed and sucked but not eaten. Only the bold may apply here. In fact, the first time we tried mhak was in Dhaka and we barfed it out the back of a rickshaw.
Backtrack to the Punjab Sweets corner and turn left, and just behind the temple is a lady selling Burmese noodles. A bowl of noodles never hurt anyone, but save room for our big finale.
India Emporium mall might win the prize for cheapest Indian food in Bangkok, but unfortunately you don’t want to
win that prize. The chat papdi (30 baht) at Cha Cha on the 4th floor food court was passable, but the masala dosa with cheese (70 baht) was more Styrofoam than rice batter.
Much better to finish off your tour at one of the oldest and most popular Indian restaurants in the city: Royal India. A few meters down a small soi across the street from the mall but with a large sign on Chakkrapet, Royal India has been serving up consistent North Indian cuisine for over 40 years and you will often see the seven tables occupied by Indians. This place is legit.
The Little India walking tour is always enjoyable, but if you are going to be eating off the streets, keep close note of the closest toilet at all times..if you know what we mean.
KohSpot Walking Tour
Location: Chakkrapet Road, just south of Pahurat market and west of Chinatown.
Mass transit: Several buses ply this road, but traffic is legend here.
Hours: Daytime for the walking tour, but Royal India is open at night.
Phone: Royal India 02-221-6565