Bird’s Nest Soup – Would You Eat This Cure-All Swiftlet Saliva?
The glitz, glamour, and shiny metal things, makes you feel more like you’re in a casino than a Bangkok restaurant. And with all the casing passing through the business, it might not be so different from a casino anyway.
Let me make the birds nest story short for you:
Little birds, tiny swiftlets to be more precise, build nests high up in caves near the sea. The nests are crafted with swiftlet saliva (that sometimes comes with little extra goodies like sticks and feathers), that’s discharged into a lattice weave, and then dries.
It takes weeks, but finally the proud result is a little concave, sort of a quarter of a sphere, miniature dish of bird saliva, or birds nest.
The bird’s nest then goes on to sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a few nests, depending on the many varieties and qualities.
Thailand, with its southern cliffs on the ocean, happens to be a pretty famous place for harvesting bird’s nest. So in that regard, Bangkok is one of the cheapest places to sample bird’s nest soup (at least a whole lot cheaper than in Hong Kong or New York City).
I won’t go into all the details, but eating bird’s nest is pretty much supposed to be a cure-all.
Burapa Bird’s Nest (บูรพารังนก เยาวราช) is a well known spot for a dose of bird’s nest soup (รังนก) in Chinatown Bangkok.
So I ordered the 2,000 THB per bowl of bird’s nest soup (รังนก). NOT. I got the second cheapest one available: 300 THB per bowl.
It came in a small white soup bowl, along with gingko nuts, a bit of high quality honey, and a soft boiled egg.
The bird’s nest soup (รังนก) is pretty much prepared just by adding hot water to the bird’s nest, bring it back to life from being hardened sticky saliva.
I’m hardly an expert at bird nesting, but I guess what you’re supposed to do is crack the egg into the soup before digging in.
How does it taste?
Actually it doesn’t really taste all that much, but if it’s alright for me to say, it does sort of taste, birdy.
The soup is sort of thick and a little slimy. And within the soup are little chunks of things that are gelatin like, but really don’t have much flavor. Occasionally you’ll get a little feather in your spoon!
After slurping down your slimy bowl of bird’s nest soup (รังนก), you’ll then have the opportunity to spend your life savings on a jar or box to take home.
Prices vary greatly, but I do know that you might need to hit the casino jackpot before you purchase some of the prize stock at Burapa.