Saturday, August 30, 2008


I used to live on Sukhumvit soi 23 and near by was this very little & fantastic Japanese restaurant. The name of the man who is the owner and chef is Sonie. His story in a very short version: he was living in America, he met his Thai wife there, they moved back to Bangkok, and he opened his first little restaurant on soi 23 (lucky for us). I remember when I first used to go there, it was empty and we just walked in and had fantastic fusion food and modern sushies.

Then all of a sudden his restaurant became very popular and had a cult following. So, he decided to open another branch on Sukhumvit soi 39 to accommodate all the hungry people. Then he closed that branch to open at Playground on Thonglor, then he closed that branch (long story) and is now open at J Avenue on Thonglor.

The branch at J Avenue is very long and bright with sunlight shining through large windows. What is nice about Sonie's is that he does not over use the Japanese design theme but does a nice clean and modern look with a Japanese feel.

Since we know the chef and have been going to his restaurants for a long time. Sonie was very nice to offer us a starter. It was a tuna tartare salad. Very fresh and flavourful. Sonie always makes the better tuna tartare. His spices add a good kick to the tuna.

We came to Sonie because he has very affordable lunch sets. The first lunch set was a 'sashimi rice set'. It came with miso soup, a cold penne amuse bouche and a Japanese mix salad.

The main dish was fresh mix of sashimi over Japanese rice. Not only did the dish look pretty, it was healthy for you and tasted great.

The second lunch set was 'spicy tuna tartare rice'. The set came with a penne amuse bouche, miso soup and a Japanese mix salad.

The main dish was one of my favourites at Sonie's. His tuna tartare is so yummy and spicy. The tuna tartare over Japanese rice is a healthy, light and wonderful lunch.

Both sets came with a dessert and a choice of coffee or tea. It was a panna cota with a red berry sauce. To my surprise, this panna cota was not that bad. I normally have suspicion about desserts that come with lunch sets. But Sonie's dessert had good consistency and the red berry sauce added the needed flavour and sweetness.

Sonie's Restaurant; J Avenue on Thonglor soi 15

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mister Pas, Food : Bar

A friend of mine took the initiative to gather our gang and have a dinner. We all work in the same building and yet we barely see or even talk to each. So, he decided that was not good and we had to change that. He decided to take us to a two table restaurant near the Khao-San Road area. He went there several times and thought it would be the perfect place for food and good discussion.

Mister Pas is truly a very small restaurant. You feel like you are walking into someones home instead of a restaurant. There are only two tables (actually, there are three tables but the third table was occupied by the owners very cute dog, take a look at the photo above, there is a cute little silver haired dog sitting the chair). There are two kitchens, one through a door and another cooking station in the dinning room (photo below), where they make the sauces and garnish the food coming out of the kitchen.

The first dish was shrimp & spinach quesadilla. A very nice starter, arriving on the table, hot and crispy. The filling of the quesadilla was tasty and the home made sauce was rich and flavourful.

The second dish was onion rings. Huge rings that were perfectly fried to a golden brown and crispy. The onion inside was fresh but did not have much taste. The home made sauce added the needed flavour to the onion rings.

The third dish was a simple mixed salad. A good mix of salads and the salad dressing had the right consistency of acidity and saltiness.

The fourth dish was shrimp, avocado & bacon salad. A bit stingy on the avocado & shrimp, but the few pieces that were on the dish were good and fresh.

The fifth dish was seafood salad. Again, stingy on the seafood. But the seafood was good and cooked nicely.

The sixth dish was seafood pasta. The pasta was cooked nicely. Good portion of seafood. The dish was well put together and tasted good. I would have not preferred to have the cheese added already to the dish. But my friends did not mind it.

The seventh dish was fried fish (sorry I can't remember the type of fish we had, maybe too much wine that evening) on a bed of salsa. Good quality fish but I thought it was cooked a bit too much. However, I did like that they cooked the fish on the skin side only making the skin very crispy. The home made salsa added the acidity and saltiness for this dish.

The eighth dish was pork rolled with bacon. The pork was cooked very nicely, still a tad pink inside. The pork was moist and juicy. Thai pork is always very good. The jus was the right saue to accompany this dish. It added flavour and did not over whelm the pork.

The ninth dish was pork loin. Again, nicely cooked, still a tad pink. The pork was moist and juicy. This dish was more simple than the first because it had no bacon to add extra flavour. The simplicity of this dish was what made it so good.

The tenth dish was penne mushroom & asparagus. The penne was cooked nicely. The mushrooms and asparagus added nice texture. The flavours were right with good olive oil and herbs.

The eleventh dish was seafood black squid ink pasta. Probably my least favourite dish. Though, the squid ink was cooked well, the seafood was plentiful and fresh. I felt there was something missing and that this dish did not have the flavours that would have made this dish memorable.

The twelveth dish was vanilla ice cream. Rich and creamy and well decorated. But again, nothing very special.

The thirteenth dish was apple tartin. A nice dessert, the apple added freshness and good acidity. The ice cream added the sweetness and creaminess. As a whole, it was well put together.

Mister Pas over all was a nice and different restaurant experience. I did like the coziness atmosphere due to only having two tables, cooking in the dinning room and the cute dog sitting on the third table. I liked that the owner was the chef and serving the dishes as well. It really felt like you were in his home instead of his restaurant. It is a nice place to gather with friends.

There were five of us and the bill came to 1,400 baht per person. I thought that was too expensive!!! The food was ok, but not so sure it was worth the cost. I will probably go back just because the atmosphere is nice, I like the simplicity of the food and how it is put together but the prices might keep me away.
If you go, I would suggest you take a taxi because parking in this area is very difficult.

Chanasongkhram, Phra Noakorn, Bangkok 10200
t: 02 6293207
mob: 081 9211920, 081 4563260
closed on monday
10:30 - 22:30

Monday, August 25, 2008

Greyhound Restaurant (Central Chidlom)

I decided to have a quick lunch with a friend. We decided to go to a very popular restaurant/ cafe in a very popular department store. The restaurant is called Greyhound and this restaurant was located in Central Chidlom. Greyhound restaurants are so popular, that this particular day, I had to wait 15 minutes for a table.

Greyhound is one of THE most famous leisure restaurants in town. There are about four (I think) scattered around town. The restaurant is owned by one of the most famous Advertising & clothing line owners (Greyhound clothing brand) in townl. Greyhound is famous for its wide choice of easy to eat foods like the Elvis Burger, Ham & cheese melt, Miss Saigon (Vietnamese noodle dish in a bowl), Khao man-gai, Pat-thai, etc., etc. Greyhound is also famous for their desserts.

All Greyhounds have very interesting & modern design and decor. This particular Greyhound was very modern and bright with sunlight shinning from the large windows. The decor in this Greyhound used a lot of steel & copper and the main colour tone was black, white & grey.

For appetizer we ordered Greyhound's very famous deep fried chicken wings fried with lemon grass and fish sauce. The chicken wings are mini (I guess mini chickens), but the flavour that comes out of it is big. The chicken wings come out first and they are a golden brown. They are perfectly crispy. I could eat hundreds of these things.

My friend had grilled beef (nua yang) with sticky rice (khao niow). The beef was grilled nicely and the beef was tender. The sauce that accompanied the beef was very flavourful.

I had the Chiang Mai egg-noodle curry with chicken (khao-soi). A Burmese influenced dish made popular in northern Laos and northern Thailand (Chiang Mai). I really really like this dish. I rarely can find this dish and when I do, I must have one. Again, very deadly for my health, but again, who cares. The dish comes with egg-noodles on the bottom of the bowl with curry like soup. A tender chicken leg is floating in the curry.

The instructions to eat the khao-soi was first I squeezed the lime into the khao-soi, then add the pickled cabbage and a spoon full of spicy chili oil (no shallots). Before eating, I mixed all the ingredients together, then I added the deep fried egg-noodle for a crispy texture. A wonderful dish!

Greyhound restaurant is a great place to meet friends for lunch (I prefer it for lunch rather than dinner). The selection of food is large, the food is really good and the ambiance is easy & cozy.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Great Shanghai

There is a very famous and popular Cantonese restaurant right next to the Emporium shopping mall. This restaurant has been around for so long, it is considered an establishment now. I have friends who remember going to the restaurant when they were very young with their families. And if you knew our age, this means the restaurant has been around for some time now. It is also very popular with the Japanese and Korean communities in Bangkok. Every day & night the restaurant is full with people, and that is a huge feat considering the restaurant is enormous.

The decor of the restaurant looks like it has been around for a while, not meaning that its decaying, it means that you can tell the restaurant has its timely charm. It has dark wood all over the wall and ceiling. Even the tables and chairs are made of thick & heavy wood. You can imagine that you are sitting in China in this atmosphere.

Great Shanghai is well known for the first dish was had. Their dumplings. The dumplings arrived like in Shanghai, in a large bamboo steam basket. The quantity of dumplings were fantastic and the quality were amazing. Thin skinned, the stuffing and the liquid broth inside the dumplings were so flavourful. We could have had another basket. But, we needed to hold back because we still had another Great Shanghai specialty coming out.

What everyone comes to Great Shanghai for is the wonderful 'Peking Duck'. I really love this dish. Its got to be one of the deadliest dishes for your health. But, when its this good, who cares! The crispy & shiny brown skin of the duck arrived perfectly skinned from the duck. Not much fat attached to the skin. The staff are very experienced and professionals at skinning the duck. You can witness the 'duck specialist' doing her magic. The duck comes comes out of the kitchen into the dinning room and put on the duck cart. The 'duck specialist' puts on her gloves, receives the duck knife and she carefully skins the duck. Laying gently each golden brown skin onto the dish.

All the condiments arrive as well so that we could make the Peking duck roll. We took a flour pancake, spread some hoisin sauce onto the pancake, placed a duck skin on the center of the pancake, placed one slice of cucumber and one slice spring green onion.

The result would be something like the photo below. To eat it, we took the pancake from one side and started rolling it into a roll like a cigar. Of course everyone has their own way of creating their duck roll. Some do not like the spring onion, some do not like cucumber, some prefer just skin in the roll. However, you like your duck roll, it always turn out amazingly delicious.

The next dish is what happens to the rest of the duck after being skinned. You have several two choices; either you have the duck meat deep fried or you have it minced and fried with chopped green beans. The minced version is so much better than the deep fried version. We always have the meat minced. When the dish is placed on the table, a plate of ice berg lettuce is also placed on the table. We took an ice berg lettuce and placed it onto the palm of our hand, then we took a big spoon full of the minced duck meat and placed it onto the middle of the ice berg, we added a big drop of hoisin sauce and rolled the ice berg lettuce like a taco. The result is a flavourful dish. The duck meat is moist & tender, the ice berg adds texture and freshness to the dish. Very nice! (I forgot to take the photo, but the rest of the duck carcass is made into a soup. A wonderful duck soup with bitter melon.)

We still had one bottle of wine left, so we decided to end the meal with a meat dish instead of the normal fried rice or noodles. The dish was tender beef in spicy sichuan sauce. The meat was very tender and the sauce was spicy but not to the point of over whelming the wine. I actually enjoyed ending the meal with this dish than a noodle dish.

We have been going to Great Shanghai for years. The food is wonderful; especially for the 'Peking Duck'. There are many Peking duck restaurants in town, but we always return to this one. The staff can be a bit slow and 'out of it' in the beginning. But once the food starts arriving, they start getting into their groove.

A recommendation. If you are like us and hate it when Chinese restaurants bring out all the food at the same time, which Great Shanghai is an expert at doing. Do what we do; order a couple dishes at a time. Then you can pace yourselves, instead of trying to eat everything at once before the food gets cold.

648-652 Soi Sukhumvit 24 Sukhumvit Road (next to Emporium Shopping Mall)
t: 662 2587042

Friday, August 22, 2008

Monday Free Lunch V

The weekends pass by very fast these days and then before we know it, its Monday. However, we, in my company do not mind, because its Monday Free Lunch again. The program in my company to keep its employees' stomaches full and feeling happy.

The first dish was noodles soup with fresh fish and shrimp. It was very impressive the display of bowls full of noodles, fish and shrimps when we arrived at the lunch area. We grabbed a bowl (could add more fish & shrimp), got the hot soup poured over the noodles, then went to put the condiments into the soup, such as chili, fish sauce, pepper, or fresh chopped green onion. Whats so great about the Monday lunch is you can eat until you drop.

The display of fresh fish and shrimp over ice.

The next dish was fried rice with chinese pork sausage and dark soy sauce. I really hate chinese pork sausage, so I stayed away from this dish. It did look good and lots of people told it me it was good. I will have to believe them.

The next dish was fried rice with ham. This was a much better choice for me. However, I thought the fried rice was lacking flavour. Thank goodness for the condiments, they added the needed flavour that was missing.

One of the condiments to go with the fried rice is soft boiled eggs. Soft boiled eggs goes well with most dishes; good examples are red pork rice (khao moo daeng), or stewed pork rice (khao kha moo). The eggs are not boiled entirely to make the yolk hard. The yolk has to be a bit runny to add more flavour to the dish.

Another condiment was deep fried small fish with citrus leaves. I really like this dish. I can eat them just as a snack. The fish adds great texture with its crispness and crunchiness. The fish add fantastic flavour of saltiness. The citrus leaves are an amazing ingredient for aroma and flavour as well.

The drink for the day was Rosella juice. A fruit that is good for your blood pressure and helps cure heat inside the body. Heat coming from eating very spicy foods or drinking too much alcohol. The juice was a bit sweet but very refreshing. Went well with the food.

The photos below are evidence that everyone in my office enjoys Mondays now.