I recently took a test called the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI, for people who are thisclose with this sort of stuff. BFF!), and discovered that I am an INFP. In case you aren’t well-versed in the alphabet soup-like murk that is the MBTI, allow me to illuminate you (because that is my leading function. No, it is really not): there are different kinds of people in the world. One group of people likes to go out and make friends and be happy, and the other likes to mope around in their rooms, listening to The Smiths and doodling “Mrs. Tom Colicchio” in their journals over and over again. Yes, they do! And one group likes to look at the world as it actually is, and the other likes go lala in lala-land with their fingers in their ears. And one group likes to think and be logical, and the other…you get the picture…they don’t like logic, no not at all.
So take all those characteristics that pretty much guarantee you will be misunderstood and socially awkward, and you get INFP. This makes it tricky for us (2.2 percent of the population, because I’m all about the numbers. No, I’m really not) to go out and socialize, but if there is a stonking big heap of deliciously grilled scallops, myriad bowls of fried noodles and a couple of plump sea bass(es…?) cocooned in a layer of banana leaves, there is enough distraction to ensure that no one will go away thinking you are a great big weirdo who says strange things.
That is why I like Elvis Suki (00/37 Soi Yodsae, Plabplachai Rd., 081-899-5533, 02-223-4979, open 17-23 daily. Now with an air-conditioned room!). Because there is a lot of food there. Also because it is delicious. Thai-style sukiyaki is a sort of hot-pot that a Thai-Chinese man claimed to have invented in the 1960s from a dream (no, seriously, I am not making this up…probably. His restaurant is on Rama IV road next to the “Galaxy No-Hands restaurant”, another great Thai contribution to the world).
The suki here comes ready-made and is not so purty, so there is a bit of disappointment for those ESTJ types who like to boss everyone around and do everything themselves (just kidding. No, I’m really not), but the delicious, sweet-tart sauce lightens the sting a bit. Another dish that completely wipes out that sting and replaces it with the food-inspired goosebumps that all people who love food know and chase, every day: a whole sea bass, slathered in a swampy mass of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, and some other stuff that the waiter is very wary of revealing, baked in a banana leaf — a dish so yummy it will solve everyone’s problems and bring about world peace. I did not take a photo because everyone ate the fish before I could get to it. The second one, too. Selfish bastards.
But I did manage to take a photo of their unofficial specialty, hoy shell song krueang, a grilled scallop paired with a tiny chunk of pork — ingenious — which, when drizzled with a little of the sweet-tart seafood sauce, bring out the sweetness in each other. Really! What I’m talking about:
The only thing about eating here, and I’m sorry introverts, but it’s true — you need a big group. Bribe them with fish and scallops. Pretend that you’re a lot of fun to be around. Tell them about the ice cream in front, a great little stand scooping up freshly made sorbets of lime, coconut, lychee and zalacca, plus “off” flavors like beer, vodka Red Bull, and banana-cheese (email@example.com, 089-111-6836). If worse comes to worst, go find an ESFP. They’ll believe the best about anyone.