Friday, December 30, 2011

Ladie's night at St. Regis Bar Bangkok!






 Located right on Ratchadamri Road, St. Regis Bar offers a stunning view of the sunset over Bangkok in a luxurious and intimate setting.  My favourite night is on Thursday when ladies get unlimited bellinis from 6 to 9 pm!




Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hyde & Seek Gastro Bar


Hyde & Seek has been called "Thailand's first London-meets-NY-meets-Asia gastro bar".

I'm not sure if it's actually the first, but I definitely felt like I was at all 3 of those places while I was there.  The ambience is mellow, yet sophisticated.  The menu screams, "I'm British!" but with a spicy twist, while the presentation and execution of the dishes look like they come from a contemporary restaurant in New York.

A brisk walk through Hyde & Seek with Cute Pig:

The geniuses behind Hyde & Seek definitely know how to please the crowd and they know it how to do it very well.  The restaurants are divided into 2 sections, the indoor and the patio, which is probably more popular for socializing.  At night, Hyde & Seek makes quite the adult playground for the local hipsters and foreigners alike.  The preppy kids and corporate go-getters come here to unwind over their one-of-a-kind bar selections.  The lights are dimly lit with lounge music blasting in the background (oftentimes with live dj's), setting the mood for a fun-filled evening ahead.  Here, you know you are being taken care of.


In terms of price range, it's definitely at the international standard, which may equals to being on the high "Thai" spectrum.  In comparison to other international cities, with the quality in place, it's actually quite reasonable.





Menu

Part I : Luncheon
Caesar salad tossed in delicious house-made dressing
 
popcorn shrimp
Spagetti with spicy vongole, arugula and pesto
Jasmine flan

Part II : Night out and pub fare



From top left, caesar salad, tender day-old duck breast with creamy mashed potato and mushrooms, pan-roasted fish with parsnip puree, and crispy rosemary string fries with garlic aoili.

The day-old duck breast was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Too bad it only came in 2 bites...
The portion for the mains are quite small.  I had to order quite a few plates to fill my bottomless pit.  Nonetheless, trying out a variety of dishes was a good trade-off.

If you are looking for a trendy spot to lounge in the centre of Bangkok with good eats, Hyde & Seek is one you won't want to miss!

8/10
$$$

Tel: 02-168-5152

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

50 years of excellency, Methawalai SornDaeng เมธาวลัยศรแดง


Located right by the Democracy Monument, Sorndaeng has maintained its reputation as an outstanding Thai restaurant for over 50 years.  The first time my father dined here was when he was still a university student who just moved to Bangkok.  Both he and my aunt remembered it like yesterday how delicious the food was back then.  Due to its location, it is amazing that the restaurant has survived through many historical events and up rivals, and still opening its door today.


The interior is decorated in an elegant European style with beautiful china.  The ambience is quite comfortable.  With large windows, there is enough natural sunlight and outside scenery. But do not be fooled but the western decor, the authenticity and quality of the fine Thai fare being served here is impeccable.  Every single dish is exquisitely presented, the taste is divine; it is a meal fits for royals.  The price range, to my surprise, is extremely affordable.

Sorndaeng is popular amongst foreign visitors and it's an absolute go-to place if you are ever in Bangkok.
Blended watermelon

Their appetizers were superb.  Mee grob, or crispy noodles, and kratong tong (pastries filled with seasoned ground pork) were quite the delectables.
Ho Mok 
Tod mun pla (fish cakes)
Green curry pork ball
Yum tua ploo
A closer shot of carved pumpkin
panang moo
9.5/10
$$
Tel: 0-2224-3088


Monday, December 26, 2011

Turkish ice cream


Turkish ice cream, also known as dondurma, is known for its uniquely thick consistency. As I came across a vendor in Bangkok, I tried vanilla and mango flavor dipped in chocolate and peanuts.  The vanilla was a delicate milky flavour.  I was quite in awe by its "gooey" and stretchy texture when digging out a spoonful. It was smooth like a gelato, but thicker and more chewy. The 2 main ingredients giving the qualities of Turkish ice cream are salep (flour made from the root of orchid) and resin.

Another trademark of Turkish ice cream is the vendor with a sense of humor and entertaining the patrons.  Our vendor was very friendly and would pull a prank on the customers by flipping over the ice cream cone as he was handing them out.

It definitely was a cool experience.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Delicious ramen in BKK; Chabuton




Chabuton's founder, Yasuji Morizumi, has several bragging rights under his belt.  In 2002, he was reigned as ramen champion on Japan's famous variety show, TV Champion.  His ramen restaurants were also featured in ZAGAT LA 3 years in a row.  In 2010 "Mist", one of his shops in Hong Kong was awarded with a Michelin star and featured in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong & Macau 2010.   

Presently, Chabuton is expanding all over Bangkok as its popularity is soaring.   Almost 2 years ago, I visited Chabuton at Central World location.  At that time, I found my experience to be extremely mediocre.  I was not impressed by their gyoza or the ramen.  The restaurant was busy, but the quality just didn't meet my expectation.  I almost forgot about that memory entirely until recently.  

My first lunch in Bangkok this trip landed me back to Chabuton when my parents dragged me to its newest location at Terminal 21.   I must say that it is business as usual here.  All the tables were filled with constantly flow of patrons coming in.  I was skeptical, but I was willing to give it another go. 

 I ordered chicken karage which arrived in 4 small pieces.  Again, it wasn't anything special.  The skin wasn't that crispy and the seasoning was only sub par.  For 75 bath, 4 small pieces of average tasting fried chicken are kinda pricy.

 These 2 bowls look identical to me.  However, one is number 4 shio tonkotsu ramen (B.175), and one is number 5 kara kara shio tonkotsu ramen (B. 195).  I think someone made a mistake here, because not only did they look the same, they also tasted the same.

This experience, however, was much better than the first.  This time, the broth was quite rich, flavourful, and savory.  Just plain delicious with lots of garlic flavour. I could pretty much slurp down the entire large bowl of just broth.  The pork slice was quite thin.  The ramen was topped with ground pork mixed in with spices. The noodles were smaller and thinner than other ramen noodles, but they were good, nonetheless.  The "large" bowl was kinda small.  The price tag is still quite expensive compared to the portion.  Although, this time it's a trade off for quality over quantity.

Wow, I guess you can really find a good ramen in Bangkok.





Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kingyo


About two weekends ago, I had my first visit at the ever-popular Kingyo and I was really drawn to the traditional design elements.  While they give modern touches to traditional Japanese cuisine, much attention is paid to details all around, especially with a contemporary flare in a historical interior setting. 


Lunch Special


Since I love surprises, I opted for the $16 mystery lunch box special with items that changes daily.  Lucky me, I got the very last one! When it arrived, I was so thrilled I ordered it.  With 10 small dishes to sample, it was probably the most interesting and exciting bento box I've ever ordered.  I really appreciate the variety this lunch set had to offer.



My favourite, fried chicken! A large piece of juicy chicken karaage served over cabbage and zesty vinaigrette

To the left is a piece of tamago with cheese and seaweed topped with grated radish.  Next to it is a fried oyster with tartar sauce.

This is a cabbage salad with peppers, seaweed and bonito flakes with a very acidic. vinegary dressing.

Negitoro, or chopped tuna and green onion.  It was very smooth, but I wish there were more seaweed to eat this with.

Tuna tataki with chopped almonds, garlic chips, in a spicy sesame soy dressing.  It was vibrant and very tasty.

Here are some savoury dishes.  Agedashi tofu in a thick, dashi-based broth with mushrooms and dried scallops.  Below it is the pork belly in a delicious savoury sauce with creamy mashed potato.

The lunch box was anything but boring and it was certainly satisfying.




P, the healthy peasant, ordered the grilled fish set $10.80, which again looked like a very traditional Japanese meal.  Along side were tasty deep fried lotus roots that were sweet and savoury, leaving us wanting more.  The marinated black cod, served with yuzu miso sauce, was tender, flakey, and had a slight sweetness from the marinade. The other half, half a mackerel, was served with grated daikon and shiso.  It was smoky with crispy skin.  No saturated fats here, so healthy and so delicious!

Dessert

We saved room to try out their house-made yuzu and chestnut gelato with brownies ($5.20).  The brownies were a bit too dry, even with the gelato. P and I agreed that the chestnut gelato somehow had an aftertaste resembling lipstick?!  Weird.... On the other hand, the yuzu gelato was plain heaven,

The verdict
I am now a big fan of Kingyo and will most likely return for more of their mystery lunch box set.  The quality and execution of the food was way better than its sister restaurant, Suika.  Pricing is quite reasonable, service is efficient, and I really love their unique decor.

  Kingyo Izakaya 金魚居酒屋 on Urbanspoon