Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bamboo Chic @ Le Méridien Hotel

My friend wanted to take me to the restaurant of the Le Meridien Hotel. He said that it was really modern & cool and that he heard that the food was not bad at all. We always forget that Le Meridien opened on Surawong Rd., which is not the easiest place to get to because the traffic is horrendous to get from anywhere in Bangkok. Therefore; it never comes to our minds to have dinner there. However; I was curious to see the hotel and to try the food and seeing the hotel.

Here is a clip from the official website describing Bamboo Chic:
'Le Méridien Bangkok’s signature restaurant Bamboo Chic will be introducing an exciting new food and beverage concept. Original and contemporary, with an eclectically Asian ambiance and an injection of the tomorrow’s Europe will set the stage for its modern take on fine exotic cuisine including Japanese, Chinese and Thai.'

After we entered the lobby of the hotel, we had to take an elevator to Bamboo Chic. Once the elevator doors open; we entered a different world. We had to walk over the floating & glowing bridge and the bridge was surrounded by glass windows that had bamboo sticks guarding the bridge. After we crossed the bridge.....

We arrived at the restaurant. The dining room was huge; the volume and scale of the restaurant is impressive. However; at the same time, because the place is so huge and there were only three tables occupied (including ours), the restaurant did not feel cozy or comfortable. The ambiance is moody due to the very dim lights. The lights are so dim; that we could not read the menus. The waitress was nice enough to bring extra candles for us.

We decided to only try the Japanese food. The first dish was California Rolls. I really hate it when they put mayonnaise on top of sushi (but it seems like I am the only one who finds it yucky). The salmon & filling in the sushi were fresh and tasty.

The next dish was Ebi Tempura. The shrimp tempura was deep fried to a nice golden brown. The tempura was crispy on the outside and the shrimp was firm & juicy.

The next dish was Mix Japanese Salad. Nothing Japanese about this salad except the Japanese salad dressing. However; the vegetables were very fresh and tasty. The salad dressing had a nice sour, tangy & acidity taste to it.

The next dish was Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab Roll. Nicely made...the roll was firm, the ingredients were fresh and the combination of textures & colours made this dish very nice.

The next dish was Vegetable Tempura. Just like the ebi tempura; this dish was deep fried nicely to a light golden brown. The tempura was crispy on the outside and the different vegetables were soft & tender on the inside.

The next dish was Salmon Sushi Squares. This dish was a bit bland and we felt that there was too much rice for this sushi. However; I have to admit that we ordered so much food that when this dish arrived; we were not that hungry. So, I will be fair and have to go back to Bamboo Chic and re-try this dish.

The Sushi Bar.

Overall; Bamboo Chic is pretty good. We have had better sushi at other places in town, but there is nothing to complain about here. The food was made properly, cooked nicely and tasted good. The prices were on the high side due to being in a hotel. The service was very good (well, it should be since we were the only ones in the restaurant).

Hopefully; more people will try Bamboo Chic, because it is really sad to sit alone in such a huge restaurant.

40/5 Surawong Road
Bangkok 10500

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mr. Joe

There is one place that my team and I really like to go for lunch. It is a a simple but special place...they specialise in crispy pork. That is the main reason tons of people during the weekday flock to Mr. Joe's place. To eat the incredibly crispy & tasty pork. We know the stuff is not good for our cholesterol levels; but once in a while is good for the soul & spirit.

Mr. Joe's is the typical shop house turned into a restaurant. The place is very simple with aluminum chairs and tables. No air-conditioning, and no decor. Just really good crispy pork.

We started with dim sum because we were so hungry. The Shrimp dim sum were ok. A bit on the dry side. I guess they were sitting in the steamer a bit too long. They were also a bit bland. Not the best in town, but they were sufficient for five hungry guys.

The Pork dim sum were practically the same in terms of being a bit dry and bland.

The famous crispy pork. The pork skin is so so crispy, the meat is so tender & juicy. I really hate the texture and feel of fat. What is so great about Mr. Joe's crispy pork is that it is not too fatty. The percentage of pork meat vs. pork fat is very nice. We had to order two portions because it was so good.

But, what I really really love at Mr. Joe's is their famous soup with crispy pork. The soup comes with hollow tube like rice noodles. The soup also includes soft stewed pork and crispy pork. The soup itself is so tasty. The total combination makes this soup so incredible. I had two big bowls. I wanted another one but I held myself back because we had to go back to the office and I knew I would fall asleep if I ate too much.

The staff preparing all the orders for the people eating in the restaurant and for the people taking away.

The traffic to get to Mr. Joe's was horrendous. A trip that should only take around 30 minutes back & forth; that day took us about an hour. We always convince ourselves that it is worth the trip because the crispy pork at Mr. Joe's is so so good.

313/7 Thanon Chan (at the corner of soi 44)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Miyatake (Gourmet Market)

My friend had lunch at Miyatake MBK and told me that we must try it because the tuna is so so good. Miyatake already has a very good reputation in town for serving very good tuna; however, they are also known not to be on the cheap side. Miyatake already has several branches in town. The ones I can think of are in the Fuji supermarkets. We knew that a Miyatake just opened inside the new Gourmet Market in K-Village; so, our destination was K-Village for lunch.

As usual; K-Village was amazingly busy. Parking was almost impossible to find, but we were lucky in finding one right away. Miyatake is in the middle of the new Gourmet Market, which not difficult to find. Apparently, some people had the same idea as us to have lunch at Miyatake that day. There are not many seats available at the counter, but we were lucky that a couple was paying their bill.

There are several choices on the menu; but Miyatake is famous for their fresh fish, either for the sashimi, sushi or don sets. We enjoyed sitting at the counter because we could see all the action in the kitchen.

The first dish was the avocado, ebi & maguro don. The ebi and maguro had wonderful colour, texture and were amazingly fresh and tasty. We were disappointed with the avocado; not because it was not fresh or that it did not taste good, which it did. It had toooo much mayonaise...yuck. It really ruined the appearance and the overall taste of the avocado.

The second dish was maguro/ toro don. The tuna was prepared three different ways. This dish was absolutely wonderful. The tuna had wonderful colour and textures and it tasted so so good.

Overall; both dishes were fantastic. The ingredients were fresh & tasty. Both dishes had a kilo of rice underneath the tuna that we could not even eat it all. Both dishes were also accompanied with miso soup.

The only complaint was from my friend who said that the portions at the MBK branch were much more generous. I have not been to the MBK branch, but I have to agree that the bowls that the food was served in was in the small side. Especially when, the maguro/ toro don dish was 450 baht.

The bright and open space of Gourmet Market. We like the idea of the new Gourmet Market. This hall is only for fresh products & produce as well as the restaurant counters. While on the other side of the mall are the non-fresh products.

Sukhumvit Soi 26
Klongton, Klongtoey, Bangkok, 10110
02-258 9919

Saturday, May 22, 2010

VT Naem Nueang

We read about a very popular Vietnamese restaurant on Thanon Pradist Manudharm. VT Naem Nueang is very famous for their branches in the North East of Thailand and has a huge following. I have no idea how long VT NemNeung has been in open in Bangkok. But, we needed to try it.

Here is the review from the BangkokPost that tempted us to try VT Naem Nueang...
'Local naem nueang aficionados know that Daeng Naem Nueang in Nong Khai (opened in 1968) and VT Naem Nueang in Udon Thani (opened in 1986) are two of the most respected naem nueang masters in the country. Whenever people go to the two northeastern provinces, they always bring back home from one of these shops many sticks of the yummy grilled pork roll, packets of very thin and rubbery rice paper, bags of gooey brown sauce and a bountiful portion of fresh vegetables. Together they form a very healthy yet scrumptious treat commonly called naem nueang, which is undeniably the most popular Vietnamese fare among Thais.'

We were impressed with the size of the restaurant and the amount of people in the restaurant. We were lucky, when we arrived there were few tables being cleaned up. However; all the tables filled up fast and then there was a queue of people waiting for a table. The amount of people coming in and out of this place was amazing.

The decor is a mix of classical country with a bit renaissance era. It does sound strange but it some how works in a strange way. The restaurant is very bright with sun light streaming in from the large glass windows. The furniture was white country styled chairs and white tables with flowery motif table clothes.

The first dish was Kra Yor Sod (fresh spring rolls). The rice paper was stuffed with egg, preserved pork, shrimp & vegetables. Eaten with a bean sauce topped with crushed peanuts. The kra yor sod were smaller than what I am used to but non the less they were very fresh and tasted very good.

The next dish was Kha Kriab Pakmor Yuan (steamed raviolis). Steamed flour sheets stuffed with minced pork, minced shrimp and Jew's ear mushroom topped with deep fried onions. Eaten with a carrotand sauce. This dish has lots of textures and flavours. A really nice dish.

The next dish was Nemnueng small set (preserved pork set). Two small pork sticks accompanied with cucumber, green beans, green mango, green banana, garlic, chillies and rice paper to wrap everything together. Eaten with a nuoc-mam sauce. The combination of flavours was great.

The next dish was Khanon Bueng Yuan (stuffed crispy crepe). Crispy safron & coconut milk crepe stuffed with minced pork, minced shrimp, bean sprouts and Jew's ear mushroom. Eaten with a coconut milk & cucumber sauce. I am bit biased because I still consider my aunt's khanon bueng yuan the best. However; this was pretty good. The crepe was thin, light and crispy. The stuffing of plentiful, juicy and tasty. The only thing we did not like was the coconut milk & cucumber sauce. I never had such a sauce, I actually do not even think its Vietnamese and it was waaaaay too sweet. We decided to use the nuoc-mam instead and it was much better.

The next dish was Kouy Jub Yuan (pork soup with noodles). Tough & tender rice noodles with pork ribs bones with preserved pork and topped with roasted onions. The soup was very flavourful and the soup had tons of goodies such as the different type of noodles and different types of pork. A nice way to end the meal.

Overall; VT Naem Nueang was very good. Apparently, I was not the only person who thought so that day because tons of people were enjoying the food there as well. The staff is young and not really switched on but they are efficient once you ask them for anything. The restaurant is huge with three two huge dinning areas. There is also a small kiosk outside where they sell the naem neuang sets to go. Loads of parking. On top of all this; the prices for the food were so affordable.

Pradit Manutham Rd.
Behind Palm Street shopping row near Golden Place Supermarket

After lunch, we decided to go visit the Ratchaprasong area. This was the day where thousands of volunteers came out in solidarity to clean up the area after the Red Shirt chaos. I have heard horror stories of how the area was so dirty and smelled so bad. This was a great idea to go clean up the area.

Thousands of volunteers with their soaps, scrubs, brooms, gloves and masks to make this area a better place. It was an amazing scene to see.

The burnt Central World. Firemen still hosing down the destroyed building. Very sad to see.

Foreign journalist on top of the water trucks...hopefully, they will show a cleaner side of Bangkok.

Even after the mess of the Red Shirts...we can really say, Amazing Thailand because of the good hearted people who came out and spent their time trying to make Bangkok a better place.

Friday, May 21, 2010


We always enjoyed the Nara restaurant in the Erawan. But due to being so busy and the latest chaos from the Red Shirts. We were not able to go to the Erawan to enjoy the yummy noodle soups from the Nara.

Until now! They finally opened another Nara on Thonglor in the 8Thonglor Building which is much closer to my home. We were so happy when the doors finally opened. The decor is eclectic with motifs of birds and trees covering the walls. The main colours are purples, lavenders and blacks. The space is very large & long. There are so many tables that you will be assured to have a table any time.

The first dish was som tum with crispy pork. The som tum was so fresh. There was tons of textures from the crispy green papaya & carrots, peanuts and crispy pork. The taste was a very nice combination of sour, sweet, spicy & acidity. The crispy pork skin was so crispy and the meat was so usual the som tum was so so good.

The first soup was Kuay Tiew Som Tum. I ordered the soup with sen mee. The soup had amazing and well balanced flavours...sour, sweet, tangy and sour. The soup had loads of fresh pork, pork balls, ground pork and topped with crispy pork skin. The soup had extra texture from the crispy green beans & crushed peanuts. A really yummy soup.

The next soup was Kuay Tiew Sukhothai. My friend also ordered the soup with sen mee. The Sukothai soup had shrimp balls, roast pork & pork ribs. The soup also had a spicy tom yum. The soup had crispy green beans and crushed peanuts for added texture. This was a more complex soup than the Tom Yum. On top of all that...the soup was accompanied with deep fried wonton skin and green leaves. An amazing soup. One of my favourites.

For dessert; I had chao kuai (black grass jelly in syrup & ice). This is just a refreshing dessert on a hot day. It was light and very tasty. My friend can never understand how I can eat such an unattractive dessert. However; I never judge a book by its cover. A simple and tasty dessert.

Overall; the Thai food is very good at Nara. We had a discussion with a friend once who did not like Nara because he considered Nara a Thai restaurant for foreigners. Meaning that Nara does not have authentic taste and the food has been modified to please the foreigner's taste. This is were we had to disagree. We were introduced to Nara by Thai friends who we consider to be foodies and we trust them when it comes to food. We think that the Thai food at Nara to be very delicious and authentic in taste. On top of having very good food; the service is so professional and friendly, the ambiance is relaxing & comfortable and the prices are reasonable.

We are very happy.

88 Thonglor Soi 8
Bangkok, 10110

Thursday, May 20, 2010


This is a post to say farewell to Lenôtre on Thonglor. Lenôtre finally closed its doors at the Penny Corner Mall. I am sad to see it go because they had really really yummy pastries. This was probably the best French pastry shop in the area and maybe even in Bangkok.

Lenôtre was in a nice space facing Thonglor road. Lots of light coming in from the large glass windows. The decor was simple because the pastries were the highlight.

Every time I entered Lenôtre, I wanted to eat something. My friends are not dessert people; however, I always dragged them into the place so that I can have something sweet to eat.

The selection of pastries were always beautifully displayed. The choices were amazing.

Lenôtre exactly made the pastries like they make them in France. We were always guaranteed the authentic French taste.

When they were open at the Emporium, I used to run there every Friday to buy croissants for the weekend breakfast. I always had to be fast because they ran out of croissants by noon time. That was how good they were.

The first dessert was the Chocolate Eclair.

The second dessert was a Raspberry Dome.

The third dessert was the Pear Tart.

The fourth dessert was the Chocolate Box.

All the desserts were beautifully made, they were all so delicious and made from the finest ingredients. I now have to go hunting for another pastry shop that makes pastries as good as Lenôtre. So so sad.

(I think the only Lenôtre left in Bangkok is at the Paragon Mall)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ma Du Zi

We were invited to a cocktail party at the Ma Du Zi Hotel. Ma Du Zi is a stunning boutique hotel in the heart of the Sukhumvit and Asoke junction. When I say 'stunning', I mean that it is unique and nothing comes close to it in terms of design. They can also rightfully claim to have the largest beds in Bangkok...maybe in Thailand. You can fit a family of 10 in their beds.

Sorry, back to the party. The reason why Ma Du Zi invited guest for a cocktail party is to introduce & to meet their new Japanese chef who will be the new chef for their French restaurant 'La Truffe'. What an amazing idea to have a Japanese chef cooking French food. I do not want to call it fusion food; but more like French food with Japanese flair. I am sure it is going to be a huge hit.

The loungy area of the hotel. A very comfortable room with large sofas, a large B&O television and beautiful Buddhas watching over the room.

The Japanese woman playing a Japanese musical instrument to greet guest when they enter the party.

Smoked salmon on toast h'or dourves.

Gazpacho h'or dourves.

Vegetable cups h'or dourves.

Tempura h'or dourves.

Lobster cup h'or dourves.

The roast beef being cut by one of the staff. The beef was amazingly tender, juicy and tasty. On top of that; what the chef is also famous for is his rendition of Bouillabaise. It was a blend of French, Japanese & Chinese influences. It tasted so good. The sneak preview of how the meat will be cooked and served as well at the fine tasting Bouillabaise at La Truffe was so interesting that we are already thinking when we should go for dinner to try the real thing out.

Guest enjoying the party.

The round bar when the bartenders were serving a special cocktails to welcome the guest.

We are looking forward to trying out La Truffe. For sure I will blog about it for your reading pleasure.

9/1 Ratchadaphisek
Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110