Anyone who is following my blog since a while, will now know that I keep hunting for vegetarian / vegan food wherever and whenever I travel. So when we were planning to visit Bangkok, some friends recommended the May Kaidee’s place to us as a must visit.
Initially we were quite skeptical because vegetarian food in Thailand is quite tricky (in some places that we visited they said that fish and shrimp paste is also vegetarian) but for some reason we decided to go and give this a try. And I am so glad we did.
May Kaidee’s is an institution in itself where vegan Thai food is concerned in Thailand and May’s story is a complete Cinderella story. This place was set up 20 years ago by May (pronounced as Mai), an extremely poor young girl who loved food but couldn’t follow her dream due to the family circumstances. But after getting an opportunity to move to Bangkok to help her aunt cook in her vegetarian restaurant, May began to create her own tasty traditional Thai dishes that substituted meat with vegetables. And this was a huge success. Today the food at May Kaidee is some of the best vegetarian Thai food you’ll ever find in Bangkok.
We decided to visit May Kaidee when we visited Khao San road. In terms of the location, it is quite confusing but my personal directions are – when you reach the beginning of Khao San road and see the yellow auto / tuk-tuk hanging on a building on the left had side, keep walking straight forward, cross a bridge on a river and you then see a small place on your right hand side. May has 2 other restaurants and the directions are at – http://www.maykaidee.com/directions
We had a bit of a problem locating this place, but once we did we just sat back and enjoyed ourselves. This place is quite small and also has a cooking school in the back. There are only about 8 – 10 tables in this place and the ambience is very simple and basic (nothing fancy).
The food here is traditionally Thai and everything is vegan. Our host was awesome and we just told him our preferences and then he recommended the dishes to us. We tried the Penang curry, fried rice, papaya salad and the spring rolls with peanut sauce and it was all incredible. I also tried the desert – sticky rice with fresh fruits and some fruit shakes – and they were awesome too. The food was spicy, just like the way we like it and ingredients super fresh. We ate to our hearts content and then simply kept eating because the food was so good.
But the best part was the price of this feast. The 3 of us ate some 7 – 8 dishes and 3 drinks for just THB 450 (approx $18). So it is a vegan cum budget traveler’s paradise. 🙂
We didn’t have the time but if you do then be sure to take a cookery class here. They teach all about the ingredients used in Thai cooking, a trip to the local market, the actual cooking / techniques of a few dishes and then the tasting. It is super fun way of spending a day and a great way of eating this healthy stuff back at home too. 🙂
Another thing that we didn’t do but you can is – on Saturday night visit the the branch no. 3 behind the Burger King. Here, every week, they cook an unlimited vegetarian buffet dinner and for only 120 baht ($5), you get to eat as much curry, papaya salad, sautéed veggies, rice dishes and Pad Thai as you want. It also includes a traditional Thai dancing show. I have heard it’s a fun thing and also a place to meet more interesting and like-minded people.
So the next time you are in Bangkok, be sure to visit this place and spend at least 2 – 3 hours just eating away. 🙂
Post my visit here – I read that in English, “May Kaidee” means “May Sells Well” and boy, she sure does.