Thailand Menu Tips

by Roger

by Roger | August 15th, 2008  

While most of the people you’ll run into in the most touristy areas of Thailand – especially the younger generations – will speak at least a little English, if you should get a little off the beaten trail you could be facing a Thai menu with no one around to translate for you. With that in mind, we thought we’d present a few Thailand menu tips here. Of course, with Thai being a tonal language, and with several methods for writing Thai using the Latin alphabet, this will only be a starting point for you. Your best bet is probably to bring along a good phrasebook that includes a menu guide, or to bring someone who speaks Thai!

Common Food Phrases
May I look at the menu? = kho duu menuu krhap? (for men); kho duu menuu kha? (for women)
Delicious. = arroi.
How much is this? = nee taorai?
The check, please. = keb ngern duai.

Popular Thai Dishes
fried rice = khao pud
Thai-style friend noodles = pad thai
Chinese-style noodles in soy sauce = pad see ew
sour & spicy prawn soup = tom yum gung
spicy northern chicken curry = kow soi gai
red Thai curry = panang
sour & spicy chicken = tom kar gai
jellied noodles with sour sauce = kwe teeyo
papaya salad = som tan

General Food Terms
rice = khao
rice noodles = kuai tio
wheat noodles = ba mii
breakfast = aa-haan chao
lunch = aa-haan glaang wan
dinner = aa-haan yen

Meats & Seafood
chicken = gai
spiced ground beef = larb
pork = mu
spicy sausages = nam
beef = neaa
duck = pet
fish = pla
prawn = gung

Fruits
banana = kluay
coconut = maprow
guava = farlung
mango = mamuang
lime = manao
pineapple = sap parot
papaya = malakor

Drinks
purified bottled water = naam deum kuat
tea = naam cha
coffee = kaafae
milk = nom
beer = bia

Potentially Important Phrases
I’m a vegetarian. = phom kim je. (for men); dichan kin je. (for women)
I don’t eat pork. = phom mai kin mu. (for men); dichan mai kin mu. (for women)
I don’t eat beef. = phom mai kin nuea. (for men); dichan mai kin nuea. (for women)
not hot = mai pet

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