Thursday, January 28, 2010

Coconut ice cream at Chatuchak Market

After having a very good lunch at Chatuchuk Market; it was time to get my dessert. There is a very famous & popular stall that only sells fresh coconut ice cream. This was the 'original' coconut ice cream stall. When it became so popular, others started popping up as well. But, we still go back to the original.

First, you order an ice cream, then the boy will hand to you a plastic cup of fresh coconut juice (by the way, which is very good to fight your cholesterol level) while you are waiting for them to prepare the ice cream. The ice cream is placed into a coconut shell and then topped with fresh coconut meat and peanuts.

Since it is very very very hot at the Chatuchuk Market; this ice cream stop is very refreshing and a great tasty break from all the walking, shopping and bargaining (the most fun part of Chatuchuk) that we do while at Chatuchak Market.

The ice cream is rich, soft, creamy and yummy. The coconut meat and peanuts add extra texture. I just love going to Chatuchak Market.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thai food by ex-Thai Airways stewardess at Chatuchak Market

We read an article about an ex-Thai Airways stewardess opening a small restaurant at Chatuchak Market (the very famous weekend market). The article gave a very good review of the food; so we needed to try it. Chatuchak is a favourite place of mine to visit on the weekend if we have the time. Now there is another reason to visit Chatuchak.

The place was packed when we arrived. The decor like all the other restaurants at Chatuchak is very simple with wooden tables & chairs and fans to cool down the customers. You can see on the wall in the background all the great reviews/ articles about the place. The concept of the restaurant is you can either choose a single plate of rice and select some items to go on top of your rice or you can choose a selection of dishes to try; its kind of like Thai tapas. We wanted to try everything so we chose several dishes to share.

The first dish was fresh crab meat. A very simple dish with light taste of crab and fresh scallion.

The next dish was plump shrimp with ginger. We were not sure what the sauce was, but it was sour & sweet at the same time with loads of ginger aftertaste.

The next dish was chicken with ginger and chinese mushroom. A dish for ginger fanatics.

The next dish was pork & egg in five spice and coconut juice. A favourite dish of mine because my grandmother used to make this for me all the time (I once tried to make this dish; it turned out to be so bad that I don't think I will try that again). The pork was very tender and the jus was on the sweet side but that's the coconut juice's fault.

The next dish was yellow curry with chicken. The chicken was very tender and the curry was rich, thick and tasty. I am sure you can imagine scooping up that rich sauce and putting it on the plain steam rice. Delicious!

The next dish was fried cat fish topped with deep fried onions. The fish was soft, sticky and sweet; while the fried onions were crunchy and salty. A very good combination. However, we did find the sweetness of the fish to be too much.

The last dish was gaeng som with fish. An amazing soup with load of texture from the fish and vegetables. The soup is a tasty combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy.

Every table gets a big basket of fresh herbs and vegetables to go with their food. What a great idea to add extra texture and flavours.

The woman in the middle of the photo is the ex-Thai Airways stewardess. She is dishing up the orders for the customers. The only bad thing about this place is that you have to be quick if you want to eat something. The place is very popular now and since the food is pre-prepared, by 2:30 pm, everything is gone. Which is a good sign of how yummy the food it. A great aspect of this place is that the ex-Thai Airways stewardess promises that there is no MSG in the food. Finally, a place/ person who thinks that stuff is not needed to have delious Asian food.

Overall; its a simple but charming place to go to have lunch on the weekend if you are going to Chatuchak Market. AND the price is so cheap. For all the food we ate; the bill came to only 450 baht. Nothing bad about that!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pasta 54

A friend of mine introduced me to this very unique restaurant. The restaurant is in the chef's home. Here is the short story of the chef. She studied in Italy, came back to Bangkok, got bored so opened the restaurant in her home.

She turned one of the rooms in her home into the dinning room. Very basic decor with a few Italian memorabilia hanging on the walls.

The first dish was tomato, mozzarella & basil salad.

The second dish was rocket salad.

The third dish was minestrone soup.

The fourth dish was speghetti with bacon & garlic.

The fifth dish was home made cheese ravioli.

The sixth dish was pepperoni & parma ham pizza.

The seventh dish was pork chop.

The eighth dish was Italian meat balls.

The ninth dish was fish.

The tenth dish was pasta carbonara.

The eleventh dish was mushroom pizza.

This is the house/ restaurant. When you arrive, you ring the doorbell, the maid comes and opens the gate for you. Takes you to the room that was turned into the dinning room, turns on the lights, the music and the air-conditioning. Its cute in a strange way. Its just like going to someone's home to eat and paying afterwards for their cooking.

Overall; it is not the best Italian food in town but it is very good. Very home cooking. The pastas tasted very good. The pizzas were also good but I was not a fan of the pizza dough. Pasta 54 uses good ingredients and the food is cooked well. The prices are very reasonable and the portions are good. I personally, like the concept of eating in someone's home. Very unique for Bangkok. It is a cozy place to eat and hang around. The chef and her help are very friendly.

I only know where this restaurant is but do not know exactly the address. I will get it for you guys very soon. All I know is that Pasta 54 is one of the sub-sois of Thonglor.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ruen Thong

My department had a farewell lunch for a collegue and we took him to a very popular Thai restaurant near the office. Since there were so many of us; we went overboard ordering food; but we enjoyed every single dish.

The experts ordering the food for everyone. Since we ordered so much food (double portions of course since there were so many of us), I will just name the food for you and you will have to trust me when I say that the food was delicious.

First dish kao-tung (fried rice cakes with coconut & peanut sauce).

The second dish was kung chae nam pla (raw shrimp salad).

The third dish was som tum Thai.

The fourth dish was yum tua ploo (wing bean salad).

The fifth dish was gai-yang (grilled chicken).

The sixth dish was tom-yum goong.

The seventh dish was yum nuea (grilled beef salad).

The eight dish was kung mae nam tod kra tiem (deep fried prawns with garlic).

The ninth dish was pla tod nam pla (deep fried fish in fish sauce).

A simple restaurant but serving amazing tasty Thai food at really affordable prices. I am surprised how busy this restaurant gets during lunch time with office workers. Our office and this restaurant is pretty much in the middle of no where. It just shows how good the food is here if people take the time travel for the food.

9 Narathiwasratchanakarin Road Chongnonsee Yannawa Bangkok 517/9
Bangkok, 10120
- 662 6811284

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2 Star Michelin chef Edouard Loubet at La Scala, Sukhothai Hotel

A two star Michelin chef was in town and cooking at La Scala at the Sukhothai Hotel. The visiting chef was Edouard Loubet (at 26 Edouard was the youngest chef ever to earn a Michelin star. His inspired dishes are infused with an abundance of hand-picked local ingredients mixed with an eclectic haul of obscure, especially delicious delicacies), the Chef & owner of 2 Michelin Star La Bastide de Capelongue in Bonnieux, France. We read fantastic things about the chef's cooking, so had to go to the promotion at the Sukhothai.

The Scala is normally the Sukhothai's Italian restaurant. But, when the promotions, is normally at held at La Scala. The restaurant is a stunningly modern space with an amazing lay-out and decor. Earthy tones of browns, blacks & beiges with hints of burgundy run throughout the restaurant. The lighting is great and the ambiance is chic & stylish. The food at La Scala is very very very expensive and that is one of the reasons why we seldom go eat there.

The open kitchen is in the middle of the restaurant. So, no matter where you sit in the restaurant you can always see what is happening in the kitchen. That is part of the fun of going to La Scala; seeing the action in the kitchen.

The first dish was carrots from chef Edouard's garden. He hand carried them from France. They were the most amazing tasting carrots ever.

The second dish was ecrevisse (cray fish). The ecrevisse was so fresh & firm. The bouillon the ecrevisse was laying in was so good that I just poured the whole thing into my mouth. I could not waste time with a spoon.

The third dish was loup de mer (sea bass). The loup de mer was cooked perfectly; it was moist & tender (very fresh). The jus added fantastic flavours to the fish.

The white wine we had was Trelans 2005 by Alain Chabanon. The Trelans is probably the most unique white wine in the world. It can actually claim the title of the only white wine with the assemblage of chenin blanc and vermentino. The wine was a luscious golden colour with a complex nose and overtones of dried flowers, citrus and spice. Rich, rounded mouth: an intriguing blend of tangy herbs with hints of honey and apple. It went very well with the food.

The fourth dish was baby lamb smoked with rosemary in a woke. The presentation was a show in itself. Chef Edouard arrived at our table holding a wok with a lid. He lifted the lid and a puff of smoke poured out revealing a beautiful baby lamb smoked with rosemary & herbs. The chef took it back to the kitchen to be prepared. The lamb was cooked perfectly, it was so tender & juicy and it tasted fabulous.

The side dishes for the baby lamb. Lovely vegetables in bamboo steamer and pomme dauphinoise.

The red wine we had was 2003 L'Esprit de Font Caude by Alain Chabanon. The L'Esprit wich is made of 70% Syrah/30% Mourvèdre; and has a long maceration and 24 months in barrique. The wine was seductive, had a liquoricey nose with some sweet fruit and a bit of spiciness and earthy complexity. It had a chunky palate, quite tannic, in a rich savoury style. Quite a big wine with a touch of alcohol on the finish. A gorgeous wine and one of my favourites.

The fifth dish was a melange of citrus fruit toped with vanilla ice cream. A refreshing break before the hot desserts arrived. The pomelo & oranges were a good combination of sweet, sour, tangy & acidity.

The sixth dish was creme brule. The creme brule was perfect; rich, creamy, and smooth.

The seventh dish was a soufle. The soufle was so light that we did not want to touch it or it would have collapsed. But the delicate & soft soufle had loads of taste. Very yummy.

The mini desserts to go with the coffee.

The whole evening turned out to be absolutely FANTASTIC. The visiting chef Edouard turned out to be very friendly person, he ended up talking to us for a while. He was even interested in the Languedoc wines we were drinking since he is from the South of France as well. We gave him a taste of the wine and he was very impressed.

We have to say that this was 'the' best visiting chef promotion we had been to in Bangkok and believe me, we have been to a lot. We don't know if it was because he brought his staff from France, or that he hand carried several kilos of carrots (and I am sure other things as well) on his flight to Bangkok, or that he simply is an amazing chef with great talent or it was the combination of all that, that made the evening very memorable.

We are looking forward to the next visiting chef promotion at La Scala. Actually, we already reserved a table for the next one and we cannot wait...its going to be Pascal Barbot and Christophe Rohat (formerly sous chef and maître d’hôtel at l’Arpège) of the impossible to get a table L'Astrance from Paris! Yes, can you believe it? The three star Michelin L'Astrance is coming to Bangkok! Yeeepeeee!!!

La Scala @ Sukhothai Hotel Bangkok
13/3 South Sathorn Rd., Silom / Sathorn, Bangkok - 02-3448888