Thai PM hooked on Kaeng Tai Pla despite TasteAtlas critique

Photo via Facebook/ เศรษฐา ทวีสิน - Srettha Thavisin and ThaiRath

Kaeng Tai Pla may not have tickled the taste buds of international food critics on the TasteAtlas platform but it still won the hearts of the Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and many locals in Thailand. Surprisingly, its title as the world’s worst food sparked a surge in sales of the dish, particularly in Thailand’s southern provinces, proving that even in the culinary world, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Food guide platform TasteAtlas launched its 100 Worst Rated Foods in the World and listed Kaeng Tai Pla, or fish entrails sour curry, as the worst dish in the world.

PM Srettha expressed his opinion on the ranking in an interview with several media outlets today, April 4, saying food preferences are subjective and everyone has the right to critique each dish. Despite this, he said personally loved it but respected to opinions of others.

The 62 year old Thai prime minister acknowledged that Kaeng Tai Pla might be too spicy and possess a strong aroma that is not favoured or familiar to foreigners. These factors have contributed to the dish being classified as the worst food in the world.

Related news

PM Srettha pointed out that while Kaeng Tai Pla may not appeal to foreigners, several other Thai dishes have earned top spots in various rankings, such as massaman curry, kanom krok, tom yum, pad thai, and phad kaprao.

The Thai PM also mentioned that the National Soft Power Strategy Committee continues its efforts to promote Thai cuisine internationally but admits that certain Thai dishes may not resonate with global food lovers.

Sales soar in south

Aside from the support by the PM, other Thai people also came forward to support their beloved dish, causing its sales to soar and making the worst food for foreigners but best dish for locals in Thailand.

One popular restaurant in the southern province of Satun, Nong Beer Reatuarant, reported receiving over 40 orders of Kaeng Tai Pla this morning, April 4.

Restaurant owner Orragee Thachaphan made known to media outlets that foreigners may not be familiar with the dish and might consume it differently, similar to how they approach cream soup. However, the dish is best enjoyed with rice, vegetables, and other dishes with sweet notes, such as red braised pork belly, known as Moo Hong.

Despite its ranking, Orragee is confident that Kaeng Tai Pla will always remain a favorite among locals.


ORIGINAL STORY: Kaeng Tai Pla from southern Thailand voted worst dish in the world

TasteAtlas, one of the globe’s most famous food guide platforms, declared Kaeng Tai Pla from southern Thailand as the worst dish in the world in its 100 Worst Rated Foods in the World.

Multiple Thai dishes have made their names on the world’s best dishes by TasteAtlas but there is no chance to shine for Kaeng Tai Pla, which is fish entrails sour curry.

The recent 100 Worst Rated Foods in the World ranking from the platform suggests foodies avoid trying this dish.

Kaeng Tai Pla stands as one of the southern provinces of Thailand’s most cherished culinary delights. It’s a dish that resonates beyond the region, often brought up by Thai people from other areas when discussing the distinctive cuisine of the south.

This sour curry, rich in fish entrails known as tai pla, serves as its cornerstone ingredient. Complementing the tai pla is an array of vegetables, including pickled bamboo shoots, green eggplants, long beans, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chillies.

In addition to the fermented fish entrails, some aficionados add fish flesh to the recipe. The preferred fish types, predominantly sea fish such as mackerels and cobia fish, are abundant in the southern waters of Thailand.

The resulting soup tantalises the palate with a spicy and salty fusion from the tai pla, accentuated by the aromatic blend of galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.

However, it’s the pronounced flavour and aroma of the tai pla that might have contributed to the dish’s ignominious distinction as the worst-rated food globally. Many Thai netizens have voiced their dissent, suggesting that the ranking overlooks the unfamiliarity of the dish’s taste to foreigners.

Even among locals, some have yet to sample the dish or do not favour it, making it unsurprising that it fails to captivate international food enthusiasts.

Other dishes in the top ten include fermented shark meat from Iceland called Hákarl, a popular Egyptian dish called Fesikh, Yerushalmi kugel from Israel, Luther burger from the US, Pani ca meusa sandwich from Italy, Jellied eels from England, Calskrove from Sweden, a Spanish treat called Peladillas, and a Norwegian dish made with sheep’s head called Smalahove.

Although Kaeng Tai Pla may not impress world foodies, three other dishes from Thailand managed to appear in the top 10 of the world’s one hundred best dishes list, including pad kaprao, khao soi, and phanaeng curry.

FoodThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

Related Articles