If you asked me to explain the name of Ting Thai Caravan I wouldn’t know where to start. But as far as I can tell it has very little to do with caravans – that’s boxes on wheels and the camel kinds. But does it matter? Well no, not really, this is the best Thai street food you’re going to get in Edinburgh. In fact, probably the best street food of any origin. If, that is, you can still call it street food when it’s served indoors.
Ting Thai Caravan
Teviot Place, EH1
I was introduced to Ting Thai Caravan – or Caravan, as it’s more commonly known – last summer by my old flatmate who was besotted by the place, and it’s now by far one of my favourite places to grab some delicious street food. I was late to the party though, Caravan has been around for a couple of years now, starting out as a pop up during the Fringe in 2012. Today though it’s become a permanent feature of Teviot Place (opposite Bristo Square), much loved by students and those who are looking for something a little different.
The ‘festival pop up’ vibe has remained an integral part of Caravan; it still looks as though it’s not a permanent eatery three years in. The walls are exposed brick, the plaster ripped off and no effort made to smooth it out, there’s a wall of posters for local music and club nights, the long tables house several groups at a time, the menu is still compact and printed in black and white, most dishes are still served in little brown boxes (except the one I chose and took a photo of…). It feels authentic and smells delicious. If you go at the weekend you’re also likely to have to queue.
What about the food? Well, it’s every bit as delicious as you might expect. I am no judge on exactly how authentic it is, but it’s certainly delicious. Whether you want rice, noodles, curries, fish, pork, chicken, etc. etc. (you get the picture) there’s something for you to enjoy.
On this particular visit I opted for the khao moo daeng (I have no idea how to pronounce it, but went for it anyway and then had to point to it on the menu as the waitress had no idea what I was trying to say – I’m great like that). It was a delicious bowl of steamy rice, topped with slices of slow cooked pork, slices of cucumber, chilli and a moo daeng sauce (I’m not sure entirely what’s in it, but it’s sort of sweet, sort of spicy and sort of smoky – I suspect I will be a food critic shortly with a description like that). To drink alongside it I opted for the tangy and refreshing lemongrass and ginger juice – I could have drunk it all day.
If you have yet to try Ting Thai Caravan, it comes highly recommended for a light meal if you like a little bit of spice and aren’t afraid to try something new. You should also be prepared to totally botch the name of whatever you’re ordering. They also have some of their dishes which are cheaper at lunchtime (until 5pm, I believe), and you have the option to take away if you fancy sitting down on the meadows with it.
We are big fans of this place, and just wish it was a little closer to where we normally are in town!