Friday, April 30, 2010

Racha Dim Sum (King Dim Sum)

My team wanted to have dim sum for lunch but there is no dim sum restaurant next to our office. Then some one told us that there is actually one very close by and is very popular. So, we knew where we wanted to go for lunch.

The restaurant is not very large and it was packed when we arrived. However; we were lucky to get the last table. There is nothing special about the decor or atmosphere.

How the system works is that anyone who wants dim sum goes to the cooler where all the dim sum is stored. You choose the dim sum you want and they will steam it for you. We kind of went overboard by ordering two baskets of each dim sum (some even three baskets).

As well as the dim sum; there is a large choice from the menu. The first dish was a small plate of crispy pork and red pork.

The first dim sum was squid with vegetables.

The next was minced pork dim sum.

The next was shrimp dim sum.

The next was minced shrimp topped with corn & peas.

The next was minced pork with broccoli dim sum.

The next was spicy shrimp dim sum.

The next was crab craw dim sum.

The next dish was steamed vegetable with oyster sauce.

The next dish was stir fried shrimp & broccoli.

The next dish was deep fried fish with rice noodle in gravy.

The next dish was bamboo in curry.

The open area where they prepare the duck, crispy pork and red pork.

The entrance of the restaurant where the steamer for the dim sum and the duck & pork preparation area are located.

We ate so much that we barely could walk out of the restaurant. This was not the best dim sum in town. However; the food was good and the dim sum was not bad at all. The price is also very reasonable. Another good point is that it is near our office.

(I will get the address & phone number very soon)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Zeist used to be our neighborhood restaurant. One of those places that is near your home; you might forget about it sometimes but when it comes to thinking where can be have good food at reasonable prices, good atmosphere & decor, reliable & consistent and near the house. Zeist was always the place we thought about. But moved. We were sad.

Owner & Chef Art was a national champion swimmer then decided to learn to cook in a small city in Holland called Zeist. Now you where the name of his restaurant is. Chef Art is a young, charming and very nice person. He always treats you as a special customer. He always comes out of the kitchen to great guest and ask them how their meal is. He is also very open minded; if there is something wrong with the food; he will not even discuss it, he will do something about it.

The new location of Zeist is not the best location for us because of the traffic in Bangkok; Zeist is now on Sukhumvit soi 19; this is an area we have to plan to go. Even planning to go there from our place can be tough due to the traffic.

The new location of Zeist is also not the easiest to find. It is on the second floor of an undescriptive building. The first time we went to look for the place, we could not find it and gave up. The second time we went to look for it; we passed it but eventually found it. The good thing about the new location is that there is lots of parking.

The new Zeist is much much larger than the old one. The atmosphere and decor is about the same. The only difference now is that Zeist has an outdoor loungy area for dinning, drinking or hanging around with some tapas and a glass of wine. There is also an outdoor pizza oven.

The amuse bouche was small slice of fish. I have to admit; I was not paying attention to what the waiter said when they served this dish (sorry chef Art). My friends and I were deep in conversation.

The first starter was toasted baguette with mushrooms. The baguette was of good quality (it is very difficult to get good bread in Bangkok) and nicely toasted. The mushrooms were fresh, plump, juicy and very tasty. Good combination of crispy from the bread and softness from the mushrooms.

The second starter was clams. A simple dish but the clams tasted very nice due to the wine and vinaigrette sauce.

The third starter was beef carpaccio with fois gras shaving. The fresh & very thinly sliced beef was of good quality and had a very nice consistency & taste. Extra flavour was added with the fois gras shaving.

The fourth starter was scallop carpaccio. Unbelievably fresh & thinly sliced scallops. The taste was very nice because chef Art did not try to drown the scallops in sauce. Simple olive oil and some herbs made this dish a hit with everyone.

The white wine to go with our starters was a 2007 Robert Weil Reisling. This is one of my favourite reislings. The wine was nicely balanced between the dry, acidity and juicy peach and lemon fruit. The wine had both intensity and elegance. Can I say this wine was yummy?

The first main dish was grilled fish. I actually cannot remember the type of fish this was. However; it was grilled very nicely, the fish had good texture and it was moist & juicy.

The second main dish was beef cheeks. This is one of my favourite dishes at Zeist. I cannot mention how many times I have had this dish and every time it is so so good. The beef cheeks were so tender, juicy and tasted so good with he red wine sauce. Vegetables accompanied the beef cheeks.

The third main dish was roasted duck. The duck chunks were huge. The duck was roasted perfectly, the duck was still light pink inside. The duck cut like butter and it was tender and juicy. The red sauce added intense flavour to the duck.

The red wine to accompany our main dishes was a 2005 Intriga. The cabernet sauvignon wine was medium bodied with a fine structure, black and red fruit flavors, chili and herbs that added complexity.

We shared the dessert which was hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream. Barely any of my friends eat dessert because either they hate it or they are on a diet. However; when this chocolate dish arrived at the table; everyone had dug their spoons into the oozing chocolate cake. Once you break the top; hot and soft chocolate erupts out like lava. The chocolate is rich, thick and intense. The ice-cream is a nice contrast to the hot cake. Nice ending to a nice meal.

Overall; Zeist is still a very nice place to go for basic & authentic French food. It is not pretentious and the food is hearty and delicious.

The service is inconsistent; it can either be very good or it just can be a disaster. We never know why this is.

The new loungy area is a nice idea as well as the outdoor pizza oven. Of course the smokers will be happy with the outdoor lounge. But with the April heat; it is not my choice to sit outside. I will wait a while.

The one thing I really hate is that there is a TV in the main dinning room with sports on. The dinning room is lowly lit to convey some kind of mood; but the glaring TV ruins any effect chef Art is trying to get through. The TV is useless and a waste of space.

Sukhumvit 19, Sukhumvit road,
Bangkok, 10110

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kazokutei Japanese Udon & Soba

We passed this new Japanese udon & soba restaurant the other day while we were shopping on Thonglor. It was packed with people and the place looked interesting so we decided to try it for lunch the next day.

When we arrived the place was packed and lucky for us we got the last table. The atmosphere is noisy with conversations and the decor is simple wood tables & chairs (almost IKEA like). The place has an unbelievable number of staff in the open kitchen as well as in the dinning room. For sure you will not have to wait too long for your service & food. We were very wrong!

We ordered Japanese ice tea. When they served Oishi green tea in the bottle; which we found strange, but immediately knew who was behind, sponsor, owner, investor, etc. for Kazokutei...Oishi group. Kazokutei is probably another Japanese udon & soba chain from Japan that has been sprouting out all over Bangkok. I have not tried them all but so far; but for sure, some are better than others.

We met people we knew when we arrived at the restaurant. It was a man who was married to a Japanese woman. We asked how the food was and her reply was "Stay away from the fried food. It's awful. Stick with the udon or soba only!" We got scared.

We should have taken their warning. First of all; for the amount of staff they have in the kitchen, we were very surprised how long it took to get our food. The first dish was Japanese fried chicken. When it was delivered; it was shocking to see how oily & greasy the chicken was. I had to take some tissue to soak some of the grease off the chicken. I am no chef; but I can deep fry food better than this restaurant. Once we bit into the chicken; it was not even crispy, it was soggy as a baguette in a swimming pool (ok, I know that is weird but that was the first thing that came into my mind). That means the oil was not hot enough and they did not cook the chicken long enough. The chicken had no taste. This dish was absolutely disgusting!

The next dish was the udon set with tempura. We were not very happy with this dish as well. The udon noodles were clumped and glued together. We could not even believe that they could not even get cooking the udon right. The tempura was not as crispy as it should have been (probably again due to their mis-understanding about how to deep fry food). Very disappointing.

The next dish was recommended in the menu as the most popular and best selling; so I took it. The dish was dry soba with minced seaweed, diced egg & cucumber and a large prawn tempura. There was a sauce that came with the dish and it had be to pour over the soba noodles to add flavour. This probably was the best dish of the lunch; but, it was bland. No acidity, sweetness, saltiness...nothing. It was weird; I could see the food but there was no taste when I put into my mouth.

Overall...never again!!! There are too many delicious Japanese restaurants in Bangkok to suffer through that again.

I did not even ask for a business card for their address. However; just to let you know, Kazokutei is on Thonglor very close to soi 10 and across the street from Starbucks. But, believe me, its not worth looking for.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Al Matum

We wanted to have simple food after our massage at Health Land on Ekamai. We normally have Japanese food after the massage since it is not too heavy. However; we decided to try something different. We remembered that a new som-tum restaurant opened on Ekamai 12.

The restaurant is situated in a charming house and most of the dinning area is in the very nice garden. The garden has very simple bamboo furniture with pillows for extra comfort.

Large trees are scattered throughout the garden and has hanging lights and ground lighting to give a dramatic effect to the garden. The garden is well manicured with bushes, flowers and plants.

There is nothing special about the indoor dinning room; but, I thought the plastic animals on top of the roof overlooking the garden was cute.

The first dish was som-tum Thai. The portions are small but was enough for two people. The som-tum was well balanced with sweet, sour, tangy, acid & spicy. Fresh papaya, tomato and long bean. The som-tum had good taste, colour and texture.

The next dish was larb moo (minced pork salad). This was not the larb I am used to. The minced pork was chunkier and there was less herbs such as sweet basil or mint. Non-the-less, the taste was very nice and the extra crushed roasted rice gave good texture.

The next dish was Isaan sausage. I do like these little sausages when I can get them. The grilled sausages had a good sour and savoury taste.

The next dish was grilled chicken. This was a really skinny chicken but it was grilled nicely, it was juicy and it tasted nice. It was not the best grilled chicken I have had but it was not bad at all.

The next dish was deep fried fish salad. This was the only dish we did not like because first it was not the dish I thought I ordered; which is a deep fried fish skin salad. What appeared was a crispy fish salad that was way too sweet. It was more like a dessert than a savoury dish.

The evening we went for dinner; there was only another table occupied. I thought how sad it was that not more people were not enjoying the calm and relaxing atmosphere of Al Matum as well as dinning outside under the stars. The food was good. The service was good. The prices are incredibly cheap. I do hope this place survives.

Charoenchai (Ekamai 12)
Sukhumvit 63
Bangkok 10110
02 281 2842

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yuu Nguan

There is basically NOTHING to eat near my office. I really mean NOTHING! We simply are in the middle of no where. So; everyday during lunch time, there is an exodus of people & cars leaving our office to have lunch. Lucky for us; that there are very famous sois with amazing food near by our office (too far to walk to).

One of those famous soi is St. Louis (soi Sathorn 13). There is so much choice in food that we are spoiled for choice. Today; we all decided we wanted noodles, so one of the best places for that is Yuu Nguan. Like the majority of restaurant on soi St. Louis; they are all very basic with no air-conditioning, no special decor or no atmosphere. What is important is the food.

Yuu Nguan is popular for its noodles. The combination of the different type of noodles and toppings is endless. I will give you some examples of what we had.

The first dish was bamee haeng (egg noodles...dry, no soup) with fish ball, pork ball, fresh pork, fish sausage & fried pork ball (all the soups have the same toppings).

Yuu Nguan's very yummy home made deep fried wontons. Very crispy outside and the pork filling very tasty and moist. The wonton was not oily or greasy which is a good thing.

The next dish was sen lek (small rice noodle) with tom yum.

The next dish was fish roll in clear soup.

The next dish was bamee with yen-tah-foe sauce (egg noodle with fermented red soy bean sauce with no soup).

The next dish was woon sen tom yum (glass noodles with tom yum).

The fresh fried fish sausages and pork balls.

The open kitchen where the soup experts make the soup to order in front of everyone.

You cannot miss Yuu Nguan. It is by far the largest bamee restaurants on St. Louis as well as it is right next to this Chinese temple. If you look for the temple; you for sure will find this very yummy place for noodle soup.

238/1 soi St. Louis (soi Sathorn 13)
Bangkok 10120
02 286 0004