Curry and rice - such a pedestrian dish, especially compared with all else that's on offer in the gastronomic playground that is Bangkok.
Sometimes though, it's a simple, old-time favorite like this that really hits the spot. Especially when served up in a simple, old-time shop in one of Bangkok's oldest neighborhoods.
This isn't red curry or green curry or jungle curry or Penang curry, just gaeng kari muu - pork curry. Mild, a bit sweet, loaded with lemongrass, it reminds me of a time way waaaaayyy back when, before I'd traveled to Thailand and begun to cook Thai food at home, when I thought 'curry' was a single flavor derived from a jar labeled 'Curry Powder'. That doesn't mean it's not wonderfully tasty. The pork is tender, the rice fragrant, and it's delicious eaten with a few pickled green chilies.
It's the sort of everyday, homestyle dish that flies under the radar, the kind of dish that culinary travelers to Thailand tend to overlook in their quest for 'real' Thai food. But real enough it is, a dish that, like plain old guayteow nam (soup noodles), locals eat all the time for lunch.
Nothing special, really. Except that, more than five weeks later, I'm still thinking about it.
Pork curry (beef 'stew' on offer too at this place), no-name shop at number 93/9210 Supamiwit Road, just around the corner and up the street from Bangkok's best Isaan restaurant, Nang Leong neighborhood, Bangkok. Morning through lunch. Closed Sunday.