Bangkok street stall Racha745 will send you to Thai makan heaven
Soi24, in Bangkok's Ramkhamhaeng area, is a hidden haven for street food
The problem with eating in Thailand is the names of the places and locations, especially far-flung spots where not many tourists visit.
We just can't pronounce it right to the cabby no matter how accurate we try to be.
Little hole-in-the-wall nooks along unpronounceable streets and back alleys where deliciousness resides - those are the worst, yet best places to uncover makan gems.
If I had not worked with local researchers and editors of our past Makansutra food guides of Bangkok, I wouldn't know much about the Ramkhamhaeng area in Bangkok, much less Soi 24, the quaint little food street haven boasting hipster cafes alongside traditional food stalls.
Thank goodness for private-hire car and taxi apps.
At Racha745, a huge open wood fire greets you at the entrance of this big tented streetside eatery.
You will be attracted like moths to a flame at the sight of salt-grilled red tilapia (350 baht, S$15) in skewers turning slowly over the amber heat.
If you skip this, it is like going to a Liverpool and Manchester United game at Anfield but only to buy some merchandise.
The fish comes dry, hot and packed with rock salt, but when you peel the skin off, a layer of juicy and flaky flesh beckons.
The next thing we know, we are forking the flesh and submerging it into a jaw-dropping chilli, lime, lemongrass and coconut milk dip.
Wrap it in the salad leaves provided before dipping.
Then the Moo Yang (grilled pork, 100 baht) shows up.
It has been a while since I had one this good, as it is actually grilled - unlike many fakers who deep-fry or pan-sear it.
The bite is soft and roasty, and it comes with another spicy, tangy dip with a bed of salad.
I adore the burnt ends.
The Fried Curry Squid (450 Baht) comes in only one portion size - huge, and it is executed with street flair.
They don't overcook the squid and it is tossed in a rich, moist, spicy, coconut-y curry paste. It is moreish over rice.
Then you notice the service "edge" here.
Friendly cross-dressing "beauty queens" wearing four-inch stilettos circumvent the area, taking and deftly serving up your orders at double speed.
Very entertaining and harks back to our Bugis Street hawker days.
The BBQ river prawns (325 baht) come fresh and hot, and the flesh is sweet and crunchy. When I bite into the giant head for the roe, the heavens open. And don't forget the wicked chilli dips - so "bad", it is good.
Another nice touch are the seats. You can choose between regular tables and plastic chairs or sitting on the floor kampung-style by the covered walkway on thick mats with food served on low, kiddie tables.
The other authentic element is the thick photo menu, which has no English words. Then again, food pictures speak a thousand words. You just point and go - to Thai makan heaven.
Ramkhamhaeng Soi 24 (opposite shop number 346)
In front of Rajamangala National Stadium, Entrance 5
5pm to 5am daily
K.F. Seetoh, the founder of Makansutra, dabbles in street food businesses like Food Markets and has his own TV shows on cable. He publishes food guides and online content. He is also the creator of the World Street Food Congress. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.