My Best Ever Pad Thai

June 29, 2011

My best ever Pad Thai is from a street restaurant opposite the main bus station in Kanchanaburi. Yep, it’s true.

When Ben and I take the 7 hour bus journey from Bangkok to Sangkhlaburi, heading to Baan Dada, we have a quick 10 minute stopover in Kanchanaburi. Despite it being a fairly generous break by bus-journey standards, by the time we have a toilet break we are always rushing. Always.

Every time we have made this trip, we have had to sprint to our bus as it pulls away from the station. Every single time. You’d think we’d learn, but no! You’d perhaps think that we’d reassess our ability to do all we wanted in those 10 short minutes, but you would indeed be wrong. You see, on our first trip we spotted a lady making Pad Thai on the street out the front of her restaurant. We ordered and received two take-away packs, before madly dashing to the bus.

Once safely on the bus, we ate our boxes of authentic Thai take-away. And that was it. From that moment on, the first 3 hours of the trip from Bangkok to Sangkhlaburi would be spent eagerly awaiting the sight of that lovely, talented lady and her wok. We knew we were in for a stressful 10 minutes, but we didn’t care about that…

The Pad Thai is honestly too good to pass up. It’s worth the stressful dash to the bus before it vanishes from sight with our luggage forever. It’s just worth it.

Sticky, but not overly so. Slightly sweet, but what you really get is that lovely wok flavour, combined with super fresh ingredients and generous serves of egg, tofu and all the good stuff.

In January, following on from our 12 days in Vietnam, we headed to Thailand, destination Baan Dada. It had been 15 months since our last visit, which meant it had been 15 months since our best ever Pad Thai. We were positively buzzing, incredibly excited to have it again.

We’ve enjoyed this blissful Pad Thai three times now, and each visit our anticipation builds. Yet we are never let down. In fact I think our lady makes it that little bit better each time. Perhaps that’s how she lures hungry travellers in?… She’s just doing her part to stimulate the local economy. Maybe in the end people just move to Kanchanaburi to be closer to their best ever Pad Thai? Sure, why not? It works for me!

Heidi xo

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  • Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets June 29, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Mmm I love wok hei (the smoky fresh from the wok flavor) this sounds incredible!

  • Michelle Chin June 29, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Man, I wanna eat real pad thai too.. not the ones I prepare with my non-stick pan!

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook June 29, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I'm with you on the smoky wok flavour. And look how fresh everything looks, the egg, sprouts and the green is so vibrant! Gorgeous authentic and unpretentious food. Yum!

  • Anh June 29, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I would love to try real Pad Thai with that smokiness….

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 29, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I have the fondest memories of my favourite pad thai – served from a cart in an alley behind a market in Chang Mai – freakin' delicious it was!

  • Julia @ Boredom Abounds June 29, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Hee, I love that you have a "best ever" pad thai. I tell my husband I'm always in search of a best ever phad thai and a best ever peanut satay. He has a best ever baguette sandwich – randomly from a train station in Montpellier, France that we grabbed in between train rides. It's funny how the quickest meals can be the best thing you ever ate in your life.

  • Lisa June 29, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Oh just the pictures make my mouth water! I love pad thai, it is one thing I really wish I could create at home, but I've just never managed anything even vaguely close.

  • Hannah June 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    That looks wonderful, so colourful! I'm used to pad thai being kinda sandy-colourd monochrome… And hey, food is always better when you have to work/run for it, right? 😛

  • Sydney Shop Girl June 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    So good. My mouth is watering.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  • Leah June 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I want a pad thai now!! Looks so good!

    I have to say I got so excited when I saw the heading of your post, I love pad thai. Im so sad that such a wonderful dish is so far away that I can't try it 🙁

  • Blithely Unaware June 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    That sounds AMAZING!!!!

    I love that the MAD DASH TO THE BUS is worth it, makes it all the more exciting!


  • Iron Chef Shellie June 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    OMG i love pad thai!!!!!! should have it again soon me thinks! thanks for reminding me of it!

  • Heidi June 29, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Xiaolu – "wok hei", good to know the name, thanks! I adore it! hehe.

    Michelle – real pad thai is the BEST!

    Martyna – thanks, I agree with everything you wrote 🙂

    Anh – it is sooooo good!

    Lisa – oh I can totally imagine. Thailand is the best 🙂

    Julia – yes it is funny 🙂 I have so many random best meals from overseas. Makes me miss travelling so much! In Paris I had my best ever baguette with butter, ham and cheese. Amazing…

    Lisa – good on you for trying, I haven't even tried yet! Can't wait to give it a go soon though 🙂

    Hannah – hehe, exactly 😉

    SSG – me too!

    Leah – oooh I wish I could have given you all a recipe! Maybe next time I go back I'll film her cooking it, if she'll let me 😉

    Blithely Unaware – totally 😛

    Michele – you're welcome hehe!

    Heidi xo

  • chutneyandspice June 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    brilliant, I love the photos and how I wish I could have some of that Pad Thai for lunch. I am doing a pad thai cookery evening with a thai friend who lives in our village, I can't wait to learn how to do it properly – especially now I have seen your lovely photos.

  • Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi July 1, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I've been dreaming of heading back to Thailand ever since the cold weather kicked in here in Sydney. I spent six weeks there last year and can't even TELL YOU how much pad thai I ate during that time! It sounds you've stumbled on cart cookery perfection — I'm hoping I'll get back soon .. *looks out the window wistfully*

  • John Newell July 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Love Pad Thai and that one sounds great.

  • wikigirl July 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    That sounds absolutely amazing! I keep telling C about your trips and I'm trying to convince him this is where we should go next 🙂

  • Sherilyn @ Wholepromise July 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    So authentic and so real. I love this.

  • Heidi July 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    chutneyandspice – oh that sounds wonderful!! I wish I could come too 🙂

    Keely – hehe, I'm with you. Hopefully we can both get back there soon! Cart cookery perfection indeed!!

    John – oooh it was 🙂

    Sherilyn – it was wonderful!

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef July 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Oh how delicious! I have favorite places like that dotted around Australia, and… is it sad that I remember towns and places by dish rather than by name?