Monday, August 30, 2010

Dinner at La Terrasse du Mimosa (Montpeyroux, France)

It does not get dark in the summer until around 8:45 pm. So sitting outside for dinner is such a pleasant experience. To see the brilliant colours of the day and witness the changes of the colours in the sky until it get dark is pure magic.

There is no where as fabulous to eat in the town of Montpeyroux than at La Terrase du Mimosa. It is a picture perfect post card of a bistro in the center of the town. Sitting under the trees during summer is wonderful.

La Terrasse is a combination of; bar à vin, bistro and cavistes (sells wines from around the area). Because La Terrasse supports the local food and wine producers; these people in return also support the wine bar/ bistro. Therefore; there is always such a lovely atmosphere of friendship at La Terrasse.

Every Sunday is music night in the place central at La Terrasse. The week before (which I missed) was tango music and I heard it was a huge success and very fun. Our evening was a Jazz combo named 'Symphonic Balzar' composed of a clarinet player & acordion player. The terrasse was packed for dinner and music.

Sitting outside at The Terrasse; we all agreed that it was like sitting in a old Hollywood movie that romanticised the French village life. Everything seemed to be perfect; just like in the movies, from the weather & the atmosphere.

The first wine we had was a 2008 Les Calcinaires (blanc) from Domaine Gauby The nose of this wine was fresh & flattering. The aromas of roses, notes of white fruits and flowers. The wine was very refreshing, good balance & good acidity. A white wine with a long finish. It was really good!

The second wine we had was a 2009 Les Calcinaires (rouge) from Domaine Gauby. The wine had a lovely deep purple colour. The nose of the wine was seductive with ripe red fruits. And the wine in the mouth had hints of spices, had a long finish and tannins were present. A very yummy wine!

People sitting around the wine barrel enjoying wine, music and conversation.

Symphonic Balzar in the background playing to the delight of the customers.

The appetizer was a platter of different Tartines. The lovely tartines were a celebration of the summer's harvest. The tartine were (starting from the top left and going clock wise) figue & roquefort cheese, sardine & tepenade, sun-dried tomato & hard local cheese shavings and white cheese with local herbs. All of them had such wonderful flavours & textures. Truly an amazing starter to remind us that we are indeed the south of France.

The second dish was Risotto with Seafood. The risotto was cooked perfectly and had a nice hint of safron. The seafood was fresh and added nice taste and texture to the dish. A hearty and yummy appetizer.

The second dish was the Terrasse Trilogy. The trilogy consisted of seasonal canteloupe & ham, mashed pois chiches & vegetable sticks and brochette of lamb. My friend chose this for his second dish and he told me that it was very good, so I believe him.

The main dish was pan fried Veal. The veal was cooked to perfection. The quality of the veal was amazing, it was so tender & juicy and it was cut into like butter. The meats of the region are so so good.

I love coming to La Terrasse du Mimosa during the summer season. The brilliant colours, the lovely atmosphere and of course the wonderful food and wines. Nothing compares to La Terrasse around here!!!

23 Place de l'Horloge
34150 Montpeyroux
Tel. 04-67-44-49-80

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Languedoc for Harvest

I just returned to the Languedoc for the harvest of the vineyard. It is my first day back to the south of France and the weather is absolutely amazing! The most stunning blue skies and a cool breeze blowing down the valley. It was only around 28 degrees (compared to 39 degrees the past week before I arrived).

To stay awake (from my jet lag) and before dinner; we decided to take a look at the renovated chateau in the small village of Arboras which is next to our town Montpeyroux.

There is no other stunning view of the whole valley as from Arboras. On such a gorgeous day, we could see all the vineyards for miles and miles.

The Arboras village is very small as you can see from the winding roads. It was so quaint and quiet.

We passed a house that was selling home-made Miel de Chataignier for 6 euros as well as Confiture de Figues for 4.50 euros. We could not resist because the woman was actually cooking the confiture de figues and the smell was so tantalizing.

Another view of the village. We were the only ones walking around the village. Every home in the village of Arboras is built on the sloping hill so every house has the most stunning view of the valley (as seen from the photo above). Lucky Arboranians!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pa Toy at the Department of Civil Aviation

My office colleagues took me to a new & great place to have som-tum near our office. To my surprise; the very popular place for som-tum was situated in the Department of Civil Aviation at Suanplu.

When we drove up to the Department of Civil Aviation and I thought the guards would stop us and ask for identification before entering. However; they were not even interested in us so we just drove pass the security point and drove to the som-tum place.

The som-tum place is in a huge make-shift building made with a tin roof. There are several food stalls (but most of them were closed except for a fruit stall and a bamee stall) but everyone comes for the som-tum. We had to call early to reserve the food because if we did not do that; there would be no more food, which is normal by 13:30.

The first dish was Som-Tum Thai.

The next dish was Larb Moo (minced pork salad).

The next dish was Larb Pla Muek (squid salad).

The next dish was Yum Woonsen Talay (seafood glass noodle salad).

The next dish was Kai Thot (fried chicken).

The next dish was Som-Tum Kai Kem (salty egg).

The next dish was Mushroom Soup.

The next dish was Kor Moo Yang (grilled pork neck).

The next dish was Yum Talay (seafood salad).

The next dish was Moo Thot (deep fried pork).

The small kitchen that made all the wonderful food.

Overall; the food is simply wonderful. Each dish was made of the finest & freshest ingredients. Each dish was so flavourful and tasty. Everything was so so delicious. The place is comfortable and the food comes out at amazing speed for the number of people eating there. I think we decided to go there once a week now!

Department of Civil Aviation at Suanplu
Tel. 08-1341-6897

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

King's Palace Congee & Noodle Bar

We were walking around K-Village the other day and noticed that King's Palace Congee & Noodle Bar just opened. We looked at the menu and it looked so good that we wanted to try it out. The menu also mentioned that King's Palace have several branches scattered around Hong Kong & Kowloon. So, we came back to try this Hong Kong styled restaurant serving Hong Kong style food.

The place was very busy for lunch during a Saturday. The restaurant is full of sunlight due to the large windows surrounding the place. The decor was minimalist with white tables, white dishes & cups and black chopsticks to add some colour to the table.

There is a huge open kitchen where the Hong Kong chefs were preparing all the orders as well where we could see the lovely roast pork & goose hanging in the window. We really felt like we were in Hong Kong. The majority of the waitresses & chefs were speaking Cantonese.

The first dish was Fresh Shrimp Wonton with Tossed Noodles (175 baht). The shrimp wontons were huge, the shrimps were plump and the wonton skin were thin. The bouillon was really tasty. The home made tossed noodles were thin, fine and really good. A hearty bowl of noodles & wontons.

The next dish was Anise Seed Beef Tenderloin with Noodles (150 baht). The beef was so fall apart tender while the tendons added a more chewy texture to the soup. The home made noodles were thin & fine and yummy. The bouillon had a lovely beef, anise seed and ginger taste. The combination of textures and flavours in this soup was amazing.

The next dish was a regular order of Roast Goose (350 baht). The goose was very tender and juicy. I could have eaten another order but I controlled myself.

The next dish was Steamed Vermicelli Rolls with Roast Pork (180 baht). The vermicelli roll's skin were too thick and it overwhelmed the dish. They were stingy with the roast pork. This was our least favourite dish. Too bad because normally this dish is really good. This dish was a waste of space on the table!

Overall; a great place for Hong Kong Noodles (I will have to return to try the Congee). Who needs to travel to Hong Kong now that K-Village has a place to go to? The service is good, efficient & somewhat friendly.

K-Village (2nd floor)
Sukhumvit Soi 26
Bangkok, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110
Tel. 02-661-5042

Sunday, August 22, 2010

La Truffe at Maduzi Hotel

It was my friend's birthday and we were invited to have dinner at La Truffe french restaurant at Maduzi Hotel to celebrate the birthday. Maduzi is a unique luxury boutique hotel at the corner of Sukhumvit soi 16 and Ratchadapisek Rd. The hotel is one of the nicest hotels in town for its decor. And I swear to you...they have the largest beds in town. I think one bed can sleep a family of 10. They also have the most amazing waterfall shower...I wish I had one (forget the typical rain shower, those are passé now)!

Warning...Maduzi is more like a secret private club than the typical 'hotel'. Their philosophy is that the privacy of the customer is the main object and priority. So, not everyone is allowed into the hotel. Unless you have a reservation to the restaurant or the password for the hotel, then you are not allowed to enter.

We all took the dinner menu. For the amuse bouche...tempura minced fish. The tempura was deep fried to a deep golden brown. They were very crispy on the outside but were still so soft on the inside. A nice way to start the meal.

The first dish was Maduzi's interpretation of Salade Niçoise. Instead of being in a bowl, the salad was constructed in a tower like fashion. First layer potato, second layer greens, third layer egg, etc. A good idea and a good tasting idea on top of it.

The next next dish was Potato & Fish Croquette with Oyster. The croquette was deep fried to a golden brown. The croquette was flaky & crispy on the outside and when we broke the croquette up; the inside was soft and tender. The croquette was a fine blend of textures and light flavours.

The next dish was Pan Seared Australian Tenderloin. The tenderloin was cooked to perfection (rare). The beef was tender and juicy. Just lovely.

For the last dish; we were given a choice of cheese, salade César or dessert. Since; I was dinning with foodies who do not like dessert, everyone opted for either the cheese or salad to end the meal.

The last dish was a Platter of Matured French Farmed Cheeses. A nice selection of cheeses (though I thought the portion was on the stingy side) and the cheeses tasted very nice.

The last dish was Salade César. My friend loves the idea to end a meal with a salad. I could not agree with her more. The salad was refreshing and what I liked about the salad was that it was not swimming in a ton of creamy sauce (yukky), so the salad just stood out more and tasted fresher for it.

Overall; a lovely evening with good food and atmosphere. The restaurant's theme is almost like a private library. The colour scheme focuses on browns, whites and blacks. The lighting is strategically placed to add a soft glow to the room yet enough light at the tables to be able to read the menu comfortably and see the food when it arrives (I hate restaurant that are so dim that you need a flash light to read the menu). The atmosphere is upscale yet was cozy. The service was friendly and very efficient.

9/1 Ratchadapisek Rd.
Bangkok 10110
Tel. 02-615-6400

Friday, August 20, 2010

Muslim Yellow Rice with Roasted Chicken & Spices

One of the most famous road side places for Muslim Yellow Rice with Roasted Chicken & Spices is on Rama IX Rd, which is great for us since it is very close to our place.

This place has no special design or decor. It is a giant tent with different food stalls serving different types of Muslim/ Halal food. They have the typical aluminum tables with red plastic chairs. The food was for sure the superstar of the place.

You have to come very early if you want to eat the 'lamb'. The lamb is so good here that it is all gone by noon time. We arrived around 13:30 and of course there was no more lamb but thank goodness there were some other wonderful foods still available.

The first order was Beef Soup. Huge stewed beef chunks & tomatoes and loaded with tons of herbs. The beef was so tender. The soup had the perfect blend of sour, sweet, tangy and spicy. This had to be one of the tastiest soups I have had in a long time. This is Bangkok, the capital of amazing soups. But, I have to say this one was exceptional (we ordered another one because it was so so so good).

The next dish was their very famous Yellow Rice with Roasted Chicken & Spices (Kao Mok Gkai). The yellow rice was firm and cooked very nicely. The chicken was tender (but I always with they would offer more chicken than one leg since there is always a kilo of rice on the plate). The yellow rice & chicken had a lovely flavour from the spices.

The next dish was Chicken Satay. The chicken was so tender and the flavour hit us immediately after the first bite. The marinade for this satay must be their secret. They also have beef satay.

The next dish was Murtabak stuffed with Fruit. We actually wanted their famous Murtabak stuffed with beef. But to our disappointment, they had a very busy day and ran out of beef. So they asked if we wanted the Murtabak filled with fruit & raisins instead. We accepted and decided that the mutabak with fruit & raisins would be for our dessert. The murtabak was good but since we were already had the mind-set of having this dish with beef; so it was a bit sad.

In this corner of the tent were the drink stall and the beef noodle stall. We ordered ice-lemon tea, and I have no idea how they made it but it had to be one of the best ice-tea I have had in a long time. It was not overly sweet and had the perfect sour taste to it (we had to have another one for each of us).

At this corner of the tent was the Satay stall, Yellow Rice & Chicken stall and the Lamb stall (which was already closed because there was no more).

The sign in front of the tent to let you know that you have arrived at the right place for fantastic Muslim food.

Overall; an awesome place for delicious food at ridiculously affordable prices. The staff were so friendly and the food came at amazing speed. I truly cannot wait to go there again.

Rama IX Rd. soi 41 (look for the huge Volvo sign and you will know to turn into the place to park)
Direction going to Suwannaphum Airport