BANGKOK — Along with two apparel shops, that which is also gone from Soi Sukhumvit 55, aka Thonglor, is its street food scene after a ban on sidewalk stalls went into effect Monday.
As expected, there are no longer som tam restaurant tables intruding onto the footpaths. But after the ban, some small push carts selling grab-and-go food had also disappeared.
So we wondered how the folks there to work – not play – are holding up, or more precisely: What are they eating? We went out and asked some Tuesday night. Here are their answers.
“7-Eleven only. Normally I sometimes have Look Chin Ping (grilled pork balls), but it’s also gone. If I have time, I cook from home and bring it to work,” – Na, masseuse at right
“This grilled chicken cart is the only food cart left around here at night. The vendor made a deal to park it under the roof of the hair salon. I’ll just eat here. The ready-to-eat food cart that used to park in front of 7-Eleven? I heard they moved to Rama II. They can sell there,” – Bunthom Pittana, a motorcycle taxi driver despairing of the ban when we spoke to him last month.
“I ate at the street food place inside the next soi. It’s a private lane, so the place can still sell. It costs around 35-40 baht. But today it’s even more packed because there is no other place to go, so everyone went there. It’s good for me; I can go any time. But for those who have a specific time for their one-hour break, it must be difficult. I don’t get it. They want us to pack our lunch from home?” – Mek, security guard
“MaxValu. Some of their food is a little bit cheaper than 7-Eleven, by like 3 baht. Or sometimes I go back to eat at home. My home? It’s in Bang Na,” – motorcycle taxi driver who declined to give his name.
“I don’t have any problem. My workplace offers meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner,” – Ja, employee at the Grande Centre Point Sukhumvit 55 Hotel