Archive for Thailand

Tate Cafe, Bangkok.

After checking in our bags, we decided to grab a bite. There are many swanky looking dining spots in Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok and somehow my attention was drawn to the Tate Cafe by Le Notre. Perhaps it was the lush pastries on show (kept drooling at the sight of the macarons), the hot pink and black theme?

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we plonked ourselves and our bags at a corner booth seat, and made our picks from the menu which offered both thai and western fare. had water (THB30) to sip while waiting and even the bottle and cups were more bergaya than usual. lol.

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chose the club sandwich which came with potato chips and a salad (THB155). was good as the ingredients were fresh, crisp and well-made.

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my friend had the beef burger (THB180) which was served with potato wedges and a salad. looks good eh?

due to the time constraint (was running late to departure gate), i didn’t manage to try any of the desserts. and they all looked so inviting too! and i was definitely drooling after the macarons. so looks like the next time i am at the bangkok airport, i’ll be heading here for some sweets. can’t wait.

Tate Cafe by Le Notre
3rd Floor, Main Terminal,
Suvarnabhumi Airport
Bangkok, Thailand.

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La Casa, Bangkok

just got back from a whirlwind short break in Bangkok. flew in to meet my german housemate from my UK days as we’ve not seen each other for years. it was quite a laidback vacation from what i’m used to as they juggled between the full effects of jet lag and culture shock. but they sure enjoyed the street food and the area where we put up with.

thought they would enjoy khao san road as it’s filled with pubs & bars etc. but it sure wasn’t easy trying to get a ride back to our hotel from there as most cabbies and tuk-tuk drivers quoted figures 3 to 4 times of what we paid on a metered fare. thus, decided to have dinner there and try our luck after.

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they fancied some pizza so we entered this italian restaurant, la casa. it was bustling with the dinner crowd and featured two sections, with the upstairs being air-conditioned.

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quite like the ambience and decor there, which was done up in the colours of the italian flag, green, white and red. the menu is quite extensive and some dishes use thai ingredients for that local flair.

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i decided to have a pasta dish and chose handmade fettucine with prawns in a garlic, saffron sauce. the substantial portion of pasta did not disappoint, and the sauce was very aromatic and flavourful. my friend kept dipping her pizza base into my sauce.

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my friend’s boyfriend chose the pizza with minced meat and chilli. looks appetising, doesn’t it? and he managed to finish all 8 slices!

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my friend just chose the plain margherita pizza, with tomato puree and mozzarella cheese, garnished with some basil leaves. crispy, and fragrant, the thin crusts pizzas here were really good!

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while they chose to wash down their dinner with local beers, i opted for the cafe affogato. smooth espresso infused with the creaminess of vanilla ice-cream. yum.

judging from the dinner crowd, this italian eatery is very popular with the tourists. but must give them props for the extensive menu and above average food. bit pricey in comparison to local food, but that’s pretty much the norm, even in M’sia.

La Casa,
210 Khao San Road,
Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200
Thailand.

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Street Food, Bangkok.

Street food is aplenty in the streets of Bangkok and we were spoilt for choice. however i am inclined to believe that we didn’t eat as much this trip as we did last year, but still, here’s roughly what we had during the few days there.

(Photos galore ahead, apologies for slow loading time. )

Meatball Noodles
Our first dinner at one of the smaller shops nearby our hotel. The meatballs were very nice, and had quite a firm texture to it.

Vietnamese Dumplings
As we spent an entire day at the exhibitions in Impact Convention Centre, we had lunch at their Food Court, the Sky Kitchen. These are the Vietnamese Dumplings from Viet Cuisine, which was basically minced pork and some other vege strips wrapped in the thin, white skin. Served with fresh mint leaves and chilli sauce.

Grilling Meatballs
Saw many stalls of women selling these mini meatballs at Chatuchak Market. At only 10 Baht per stick, these were firm, flavourful meatballs were dunked in a sticky chilli-like sauce. After we bought 5 sticks, we went back for more.

Steamed Pork Vermicelli
Lunch at Chatuchak Market was at a corner lot restaurant selling various types of noodles and rice. We decided to try the “Noodles in brown soup with Steamed Pork” which was priced at 30 Baht per bowl.

Thin vermicelli (米粉) was used and apart from the tender steamed pork, two fishballs were also given, along with blanched kangkung (water spinach/convolvulus/蕹菜).

Grass Jelly Dessert
After a long day at Chatuchak Market, we stopped in front of this stall which sold a grass jelly dessert and couldn’t resist getting a bowl to share. the jelly, or as locals call it – chao koay is topped with crushed ice and demerara sugar. A very refreshing dessert.

late night hawker late night supper Lady Hawker

Braised Pork Rice
We actually had this for supper one day during our last trip to Bangkok as we were staying only across the road. We remembered it as being very tender and flavourful, hence the search for it again. The stall is along Phetchaburi Road, not too far from a corner lot 7-11. A sweet, young lady tends the stall, handling the cleaver with ease and expertise, as she goes about chopping up the braised meat.

Roast Pork
Another day at Chatuchak Market and we stumbled upon a food court like space somewhere in the midst of the hustle and bustle. On most tables, bowls of raw salad awaits you. Yet our eyes catches sight of the roast pork first and soon we were munching on crunchy, juicy, roasted pork bits.

chatuchak lunch
At the same food court in Chatuchak Market, we ordered lunch in the best way we could as few of the hawkers spoke any english, it seems. a lot of pointing and gesturing later, we ended up with thai style belachan (shrimp paste) rice and more braised pork. the latter was rather bland in taste actually but the rice, or khao kluk kapi as the thais call it, is fragrant and mouthwatering.

The rice is fried with shrimp paste (kapi in thai) and served with sweet pork (stir-fried with shallots, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar), grated raw mango, egg omelette strips, onion slices, chopped long bean, chilli, dried prawns and lime wedges. Smells and tastes heavenly even if some people may find the smell of the shrimp paste off putting. But as an anak Malaysia, the smellier, the better!

Thai Mix Desserts
Now the thing about Chatuchak Market is that little surprises are constantly at some corner, waiting to be discovered. And after a great foot massage, we saw this dessert stall outside with quite a long queue. Eager to see what the fuss is about, we also waited in line and chose from a myriad of colourful ingredients to concoct our own thai mixed dessert. the cold, sweet liquid instantly refreshes and the various ingredients provided an explosion of taste.

Fried Insects
Just outside Chatuchak Market were more food stalls but we weren’t very hungry anymore after having the thai mixed dessert earlier. yet i couldn’t resist the inviting looks of these fried insects and ended up asking for 20 baht worth of fried grasshoppers and worms. the lady scooped the bugs into a small bag and sprayed them with a soy sauce mixture. i loved how crispy and crunchy it was despite it being a tad too salty.

Khanom Krog
Found these oval, bite-sized hotcakes when I was walking down Soi 21. Made of a rice flour batter, corn is added into the mixture when it’s being cooked, and topped with coconut cream before being served. This lot cost me 10 Baht.Khanom Krog is quite a popular street snack in Thailand.

Braised Pork & Tossed Noodles
This is another place we remembered from last year. Situated along Phetchaburi Road in Pratunam, at a corner lot somewhat diagonal to the Platinum shopping mall, this restaurant whips up one of the best dry tossed wantan noodles ever. the portion is rather small though, but for what it lacks in quantity, it makes up in quality. garnished with blanched leafy vege, pork wantans, char siew, spring onions and crispy lard, it is almost similar to sarawak’s kolok noodles. the amount of noodles stacked up in its glass display shows that this place is very popular. my only complaint is that the noodles are a little too oily. as for the braised pork, it is definitely one of the best we have had in bangkok so far. and i thought i’d be tired of braised pork by now…

Thai Salads

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Our last meal in bangkok was at Yum Saap in Central World Plaza. Not exactly street food but we were rather pressed for time and entered the first restaurant we saw. The rolls you see in the first photo is not from Yum Saap though, but from a roadside stall opposite the mall. The chilli dip is excellent, hitting the right spicy & sour notes. Also had a minced pork omelette, a pad thai (fried flat noodles) and a minced pork noodle soup. The noodles used were akin to those instant ones from Maggi, which was a disappointment. The other dishes were somewhat mediocre.

we chose two salads – my favourite yum woon sen (glass noodle salad) and a crabstick & longan salad. the latter was much better than my usual choice. and i had better glass noodle salads in back home. but both were very spicy and i found myself reaching for my glass of tea. and i normally can take rather spicy food without breaking into a sweat.

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Well, hope you enjoyed this post. :)

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Breeze at Lebua, Bangkok

Bangkok’s Sirocco has long been featured in some of the reference books in our line and hence, we made it a point to visit Lebua this time round. And we were in for a treat as our bosses decided they would buy us dinner here! However when we arrived, we learned that to dine at Sirocco, one has to make reservations in advance and the Sky Bar wasn’t open yet due to the slight drizzle. But we could try Breeze, at the 52nd floor for the experience of dining high up admist the city skyline.

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We started off with drinks at Ocean 52, the bar / lounge that leads out to Breeze. We were served mixed nuts, which included fresh almonds, walnuts etc. love the plush, velvet seats which we could sink in. the environment is rather muted and quiet, which is great for discussions and the like. Barely 15 minutes after we were seated, we were told that our table was ready and we were ushered out to Breeze.

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You are made to feel like royalty as you enter Breeze. The 25m illuminated glass sky-bridge should be enough to awe you as it suspends above a lily pond and draws your attention to the city skyline. Above that, attentive ushers and waiters show you the way and consistently tell you to watch your step as you walk through a maze like corridor to the tables, which is meant to guide you through the best sights of the restaurant. We were lucky to get a nice table, at one of the glass balconies and got quite a good view of the bar and also the city skyline.

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Before the orders are taken, the waiter hands cold towels for us to freshen up. And believe me, this is such a relief, esp. in the midst of Bangkok’s heat! Your preferred water (sparkling or still, or rather Perrier or Evian) is then served. As the bosses were buying, we asked them to order while sipping our drinks. Apple Mojito for me and the Breeze Punch and Strawberry Smoothie for my colleagues. Thought we could have more drinks later when we went up to the Sky Bar. And as we were waiting for the food, we were served honey roasted sesame cashew nuts with various pickles.

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For starters, we had the Wasabi Prawns and the deep-fried soft shell crab with garlic and curry leaves (recommended by the waiter). The prawns came in a little deep fried basket of eggroll sheets and was coated in a creamy, wasabi sauce. I quite liked this and I am not normally the biggest fan of wasabi. But the horseradish taste was subtle here, and the prawns big and juicy. Frankly, we were quite excited about the other food we ordered after we tasted this. The crab was a bit of a letdown as I expected it to be crispier. We initially wanted to order something else which wasn’t available that night and was recommended the crabs.

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Actually we were caught unawares of the fact that Breeze served mostly Asian style seafood as we were expecting more of an western menu. However, they had various barbecue dishes featuring australian and new zealand meat. We ordered the braised pork belly, new zealand lamb rack, fried australian prime rib eye, steamed cod fish, chicken besse and beef hor fun. Sad to say, none of the main courses we ordered stood out. In fact, my boss compared the braised pork belly to that obtainable in the cans from china (which only costs a couple of ringgit). the australian beef was frankly wasted in being cooked that way – stir fried with ginger and spring onions. even the beef in the fried hor fun had no taste to it. the chicken was only deep fried and served with a light mango salad. our best dish was perhaps the fish, but that was mostly due to the freshness of the fish itself.

Dining at Breeze is indeed an unforgettable experience thanks to the efficient staff, excellent view and ambience. However, I don’t think any of us are in a hurry to return as the quality of the food does not befit the price charged for it. I think we were all disappointed as we had such high hopes for it after hearing all the rave reviews. We made a quick stop at the Sky Bar at the 64th Floor but didn’t stay as the place was quite crowded and there was little space to stand, let alone any place to sit! Just one circle around the multihued Sky Bar shows you all there’s to see and we were satisfied with just that.

Breeze
Lebua at State Tower,
1055/111 Silom Rd,
Bangkok 10500,
Thailand.

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