Premium local products, authentic Thai tastes — at great value prices await at Siam Paragon’s Gourmet Market.
By Percy Roxas.
When Siam Paragon opened as one of the biggest shopping centers in Asia in 2005, it became an immediate hit among locals and foreigners in Bangkok. Built at the tune of Bt15-million, the 300,000sqm complex unveiled a range of fancy shops and restaurants — as well as other lifestyle offerings — that easily made it popular. Indeed, the shopping center became a hub for many, including foreign tourists.
Apparently in response to the demands of foreign visitors in search for Thai food products in luxurious, air-conditioned setting, Siam Paragon included in its offerings a flagship store of Gourmet Market on the Ground Level, adjacent to the food court and bread shops area that boasts a number of restaurants and food stalls. Gourmet Market is now recognized as “one of the world’s most famous stores” (according to Trip Advisor).
A visit to this 8,000sqm-grocery-cum-store-cum-specialty market will reveal a treasure-trove of premium Thai products selected under the Gourmet Thai brand. Several square meters of Gourmet Market are devoted to these “Gourmet Thai” products.
One particularly interesting section showcases local delicacies that tourist love to take home. These include the “Galamae Raman,” a caramel goodie that is the specialty of Samutsongkram province. This caramel, made from coconut sugar that is double boiled to create a naturally harmonious texture which is aromatic, mellow, and sweet – is one of the best sellers here, purchased even by many foreign heads-of- state when they visit Bangkok, says our source.
Other local “Thai snacks to remember” are the “Chinoi Fried Crispy Durian” from Chumpon, made with quality Montong durian known for its crunchiness, sweetness, and richness; the “Oven-Dried Banana,” Phitsanulok’s baked namwah banana baked with a unique aroma and tender taste; and Kanchanaburi’s “Crispy Silky Pork Flavored Rolls,” which are rice cracker rolls that are crunchy, sweet, and rich. These rolls are made more exciting by the addition of freshly prepared shredded pork. A delicious, exotic Thai snack to try.
Another section showcases “Gourmet Selected” products, labeled on the “best grown fruits from the best Thai farms, and with the best taste and quality.” These are mainly Thai fruits carefully sourced from hundreds of local orchards. Only the best of the season – fresh, organic, chemical-free, and meet international standards — are chosen for selling. Some say you’d be hard-pressed to find fresher tropical fruits, especially rambutans, Tup Tim rose apples, aromatic coconut, durian, and “sa-la” elsewhere. And don’t forget those quality mangoes sourced from the same garden that exports them abroad.
Gourmet Market also sells the best of local rice. Rice on sale — from top-grade jasmine variety to aromatic and seasonal grains — come from the best sources around the kingdom. The selection and quality of choices are impressive. There are even medicinal rice varieties for the health-conscious.
Also, Siam Paragon’s food court are a wide range of restaurants and food stalls to fulfill your hunger or thirst after shopping. In fact, a range of shops is now open, from those selling typical Thai specialties such Northern sausages from Chiang Mai, specialty sweets (from Khanomthai Kaopeenong), and dumplings (from Kui Chai Khun Mae) to trendy new stores such as Kyo Roll En, the current rage of Thai teenagers. Kyo Roll En specializes in “charcoal and green tea soft serve ice cream,” which is perfect for a refreshing break after hectic shopping. Try it.
So, thinking of bringing a taste of Thailand back home? Drop by the Gourmet Market, Food Hall, and the Take Home Zone of Siam Paragon. In quality, price, and taste – “Gourmet Thai” is certified world-class!
Gourmet Market & Food Hall
Ground Level, Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok (BTS: Siam)
Tel: 02-610-9000 // www.siamparagon.co.th