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Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft

Have you really seen or tasted street food in Bangkok? I have been there countless times and have eaten every single street food available. It is one of my most favorite cities for eating. And it is a very vibrant, very alive country. Here are some of the street food pictures I have taken throughout the years:

Bangkok Street Food

I first went to Tuk Tuk a couple of weeks ago to meet some foodie friends. The place is huge and I felt more like I was in a gastropub instead of a Thai restaurant. The menu is quite small. All these buzz going around about this place and street food (all in one sentence) got me all confused because I was expecting street food in form and fashion with dishes in the $4 to $5 range.  However, most small plates hover around $9 and entrees are about $14 with serving sizes tinier than kids’ meals.  Actually, it is not really surprising as this is an offspring of pricey Nan.  I did not take any of pictures on my visit (there are some here and here). I will include photos I have found (and borrowed) from Melissa‘s flickr account and some that I found in my stash.

Bangkok Street Food
took this in Bangkok, circa 2000

Bangkok Street Food
took this in Bangkok, July 2007

Tuk Tuk Thai Loft
photo courtesy of Melissa Libby

Moo Yang
This is my ultimate favorite street food and the most traditional in Thailand. These skewered thick strips of pork are marinated in a sweet, soy-based sauce. The taste should lean more toward sweet. The version here leaned more towards salty. I prefer the authentic sweet. I do love the presentation of this dish with its hanging skewers. Interestingly enough, the skewer handles were refrigerator-cold, yet the meat was warm. Verdict: Weak.

Bangkok Street Food
took this in Central Thailand, late 90s

Hoy Tod
This light pancake is made with mussels, bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro and then topped with sweet chili sauce. I have seen a lot of this sold at floating markets.  The version here is good but it is quite difficult to mess this up anyway.  By the way, if you ever get a chance to go to Bangkok, do NOT miss the floating markets.  It embody the culture of the land.  Just a caveat, the water is beyond dirty as sewage seeps from the pipes to the river, so make sure to cover your mouth if you are going through the river as the boats go really fast and water splashing in your face (read: mouth) cannot be avoided. Verdict: Ordinary.

Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft
photo courtesy of Melissa Libby

Mieng Kum
I have seen this mostly in Chiang Mai where the toppings are encapsulated in a fresh green leaf that is folded into a ball then about 5 or 6 are skewered together. In restaurants in Thailand, this popular appetizer is served on a big platter with leaves — usually bai cha plu (betel leaves) or spinach — and toppings which you must build on your own, much like the Thai Lettuce Wraps you see here in the US. The condiments are placed on top of the leaves and eaten in one bite. The result is an explosion of flavors in your mouth. Typical toppings and condiments include peanuts, onions, coconut, lime, ginger, chiles, some sort of sweet sauce, toasted coconuts, and even dried shrimp. Here, they have taken the pains (and the fun) out of building your own leaf and comes pre-built. This is one of the best things on the menu here and I recommend it highly. Do take note of the different flavors that you get in one bite — each flavor and texture is simple but become complex as a whole. Verdict: Outstanding.

Asia Street Food
rising buns taken at a street stall in South Thailand, around 1998

Sala Pow
Just about any Asian country has a version of steamed buns. The ones here resemble its Chinese cousins, with its barbecue pork filling. The buns are soft and moist and the filling is okay. You can get better ones at just about every other dim sum place on Buford Highway. Verdict: Meh.

Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft
photo courtesy of Melissa Libby

Ba-Mee Moo Dang
There is this street in Bangkok where the food stalls (make shift kitchens and dining area) are set up at night then packed up and gone (like nothing happened) before the sun rises. You must have an iron stomach to eat at stalls like these because the dining implements do not get washed that well. An assortment of noodles are either dipped in broth or stir-fried with meat and veggies. Ba-mee moo dang uses thin egg noodles as is the case here. The flavors are spot on: the noodles are bathed in flavorful broth, drained, then mixed with Thai BBQ pork, peanuts, scallions, cilantro and yu choy. Verdict: Delicious.

Pad Mee
This noodle dish is a very inexpensive street food that is served either as a soup or dry such as here. Vermicelli noodles are stir-fried with mushrooms, sprouts, scallions, and egg. There is really not much flavor going on here (and the portion is teeny-tiny) so I suggest you skip it. Verdict: So so.

Bangkok Street Food
took this in Bangkok sometime in Summer 2004

Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft
taken with my iPhone

Kra Pow
This minced pork sauteed with sweet basil, garlic, and red chilies is a Thai staple. It is literally found everywhere. Stir-fried in giantic woks all over the streets in Thailand, it is served in styrofoam containers on a bed of hot, steaming white rice and topped with a fried egg. Here, the perfect balance of sweet and salty plus the taste of spices were excellently captured. I consider this in the top two in the metro. Verdict: Beyond perfection.

While you will not be able to experience true Thai street food here, there are some dishes that are worth trying and coming back for. Prices are very steep and portion sizes are miniature (the Kra Pow which is a big plate on the menu is literally 5 bites/spoonfuls). We were still so hungry after our dinner here that we had to go to H&F a few blocks away to eat some more just so we can be full.

Insider tip:
Located in the old Taurus space.

The scoop:
Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft
1745 Peachtree Rd
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 539-6181

Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft on Urbanspoon

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft - World Breaking News // Dec 24, 2009 at 2:07 am

    [...] more here: Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft Tags: ball-then, chiang, fresh-green, Green Tech, [...]

  • 2 Puii S. // Dec 27, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    It’s Thai tapas not just street food. These are some things you will find on the streets in Bangkok. I am from Thailand and I think their food reminds me of home. It is the most traditional thai food I’ve seen in Atlanta. I love their fun presentations. Yes the meing kum is not the typical wrapped leaf. When we eat this at home we actually wrap each one ourselves as we eat it. The kind you saw in Thailand is the kind you buy as a farang. They are still doing there soft opening. The will be opening in January.

  • 3 Sean // Dec 28, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Man that was a fun night…and the food..!

    I could go for 2 orders each of the pad mee and the and moo dang right now. Late night munchies

  • 4 pharmacy technician // Jan 4, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Nice post & nice blog. I love both.

  • 5 Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft | Food and More with John Kessler // Jan 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    [...] the way, check out Chloe’s great post in which she compares the food at Tuk Tuk to actual Thai street [...]

  • 6 Andre Hylton // May 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    i had a disasterous evening at the restaurant. Actually, the food was quite tasty and my companion and I were having a nice time. At the end of the meal, in which we accumulated up a decent tab for a restaurant of this price point ($160), I left a customary 15% tip.

    My companion and I walked out of the restaurant and down the elevator and to my car in the parking lot in the back of the building, where we were accosted by our waitress “Zi” who complained about the tip and asked for more money. Mortified and angered, I gave her an additional $20 dollars on top of the 15% tip. I responded in shock quite frankly and should not have given her anything.

    This type of behavior is unacceptable. I have a call in to management.

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