Wednesday, December 09, 2009

you like thai? thai good; you like shirt?

This sort of thing really is the lowest form of wit, but in heartily recommending the Thai House in the centre of Cardiff for their excellent food (I literally ate so much grub I could barely move or speak afterwards) I can't help but also have a brief chuckle at the unintentional amusingness of some of the names of the dishes to the English speaker.

Why this is inherently more amusing than in, say, an Indian restaurant is partly to do with the unfamiliarity of the names (most people are pretty familiar with words like biryani, tandoori and dopiaza) and partly because most of the names appear to be one-syllable words strung together.

So once you've chosen between the Pak Joop Bang Tord and the Hoi Mang Boo Ob (vegetable tempura and mussels, respectively) to start, you've then got to choose between things like the Gang Musselman Gai and Gang Musselman Gah On, both of which sound like brutal sex crimes but are in fact curries with peanuts and potatoes (chicken and lamb respectively) and the even more disturbing Bed Tord King Dong which sounds very very wrong on at least two levels (it's actually crispy duck), accompanied by a side order of Kow Pat Gung (wrong again: it's fried rice).

The Pak Boon Fai Dang doesn't have a particularly amusing name, but its English description reads "Morning glory and young kale with a hint of chilli." Turns out this isn't what you might think - it turns out morning glory is one of several names for the leafy plant Ipomoea aquatica. Anyway, I'd never had it before, but it was quite nice. Then again most nondescript green leafy things would be quite pleasant with enough soy sauce and chilli on them.

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