A typical Thai meal includes four main seasonings: salty, sweet, sour, and spicy.Indeed, most Thai dishes are not considered satisfying unless they combine all four tastes. When eating out, a group of Thai diners would order a variety of meat and/or fish dishes, plus vegetables, a noodle dish, and possibly also soup. Dessert may consist simply of fresh fruit, such as pineapple, or something more exotic, such as colourful rice cakes, depending on the region.
We not only pay attention to how a dish tastes: we are also concerned about how it looks, how it smells, and how it fits in with the rest of the meal. We think of all parts of the meal as a whole - sum rap Thai (the way Thais eat), is the term we use for the unique components that make up a characteristically Thai meal.