In this lesson, we'll learn some basic phrases for ordering food at a restaurant in Thailand. But you can also practice these phrases at a Thai restaurant in your own country. I'm sure the staff will be surprised!
First, if the restaurant is very busy, maybe the staff didn't notice you yet, and you didn't get a menu. So you can ask for one:
ขอเมนูหน่อย ครับ / ค่ะ khǎw menu nòi khráp/khâ = Can I have a menu?
Then, in many restaurants the waiter or waitress will stand and wait to take your order right away after they hand you the menu, so if you want to take your time looking, you should say:
ขอดูก่อนนะ ครับ / ค่ะ khǎw duu gàwn ná khráp/khá = Can I take a look first?
When you're ready to order something, the formula to use is:
ผม / ดิฉัน เอา... phǒm / dì-chǎn ao... = I will take…
Names of Thai DishesThe names of Thai dishes are often made up of 3 parts:
(Style of cooking) + (Description) + (Type of meat)
For example: แกงเขียวหวานไก่ gaeng-khǐao-wǎan gài = green curry with chicken
Here you can see the three parts:
(แกง gaeng = curry) + (เขียวหวาน khǐao-wǎan = green-sweet) + (ไก่ gài = chicken)
Some common types of cooking are:
ผัด phàt = stir fried
แกง gaeng = curry
ต้ม dtôm = boiled (used for soups)
ยำ yam = spicy and sour salad
And the 3 most common types of meat are:
หมู mǔu = pork
ไก่ gài = chicken
ทะเล thá-lee = seafood
Let's combine the sentence for ordering food with a popular Thai dish:
ผม/ดิฉัน เอาผัดกะเพราหมู phǒm/dì-chǎn ao phàt-gà-phrao mǔu = I'll have stir fried spicy basil leaf with pork.
RiceOf course, you can't forget the most important part of a Thai meal:
ข้าว khâo = rice
An easy and quick meal is fried rice. You can say different types of fried rice just by changing the last word, for the type of meat:
ข้าวผัด khâo-phàt = fried-rice
ข้าวผัดไก่ khâo-phàt gài = chicken fried-rice
ข้าวผัดทะเล khâo-phàt thá-lee = seafood fried-rice
Paying for Your Meal at a Thai Restaurant
Finally, you'll need to pay for your meal. Thai people heard English speakers from different countries saying either "check" or "bill," so we just combined both words together in one easy phrase:
เช็คบิล chék-bin = Bill please!/Check please!
Or you can ask to pay another way:
เก็บตังค์ ครับ/ค่ะ gèp dtang khráp/khâ = I'll pay now.
Did you get hungry for some Thai food by reading this lesson? I hope you have fun trying out these phrases on your trip to Thailand, or at any Thai restaurant in your own city.
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