Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bonchon Chicken, Thailand

I finally got to cross another item off my list of things to eat in Bangkok this year. For months, I hesitated to try the Bangkok franchise version of the beloved Bonchon Chicken after reading several reviews that they are incomparable to other Bonchons out there.

The thought had totally left me until I stumbled across a brand new stand at Siam Paragon. Even though it's just a kiosk, you would expect there would be some quality control here right? Apparently not.
Despite the fact that I have picked up my dinner from trusty Thai KFC already, I was determined to give it a try.  I asked the vendor what sauce and she'd recommend soy garlic was most popular so I got 5 boneless pieces to go.

Words like "mouth watering", "delish", "extra crispy", "juicy" were some of the few that came to mind as I anticipated for the chicken.  However.....
I took my first bite into a dry, rubbery meat. That was hardly what I was expecting. The chicken tasted like it had been chilling out all day, cold and stale. The batter wasn't crispy and quite thick.  The famous sauce was overly salty and it smelled and tasted like something artificial. I could hardly finish one piece let alone eat the rest. As a devoted fried chicken connoisseur, this was utterly unsatisfactory
My experience may be different had I gone to the main location at Thonglor. Nonetheless, for an expanding establishment with 3-4 branches now, I certainly would have expected quality at this location.  I'm glad I had KFC as a plan B, which, by the way, is about 100 times greater than in North America. Stay tuned for my new post as I detail the awesomeness of Thailand's KFC!
Precisely my reaction after tasting Thailand's Bonchon Chicken..

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cute Pig's 100 food you should actually eat before you die

After going through the 100 Food List Challenge on Facebook, I have come up with my own list food you should try at least once.  It was very hard to come up with only 100...Some items may not be popular but worth trying once, while the rest should be indulged as frequently as possible. What would you definitely put on your list?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Secluded haven, Anantara Sikao at Trang

This 4.5 star resort is one of the largest, and located right by Pak Meng beach in Trang.  Compared to other resorts, it's right by the commercial road where there are restaurants and tour stands for booking private tours out to the islands.  Nonetheless, the beach is absolutely quiet and serene.  If you want to getaway from noise, you'll find the ultimate seclusion here.  During the evening when the tide is low, the sea level is so low that you could possibly walk really far out to other islands (maybe).

Tieb Tong brings traditional touch to Thai flavors (ร้านอาหาร เทียบทอง)

To say Tieb Tong is a hidden gem is a complete understatement.   If you are unfamiliar with areas in Chonburi, this restaurant is just as difficult to find as Platform 9 3/4.  Only true Thai foodies know of this humble restaurant that has been around for decades.  So, finding the place and dining there would really give you the bragging rights that you ARE indeed in the know.   If you want an authentic Thai taste, better make this your mission.  

Tieb Tong specializes on traditional Thai food from the central region. They keep everything old school and there is zero fusion happening here.  The decor is terribly outdated, although clean, cool, and comfortable.  There are several reasons why I'm naming this restaurant as one of the main must-go-to in Thailand.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cute Pig's Guide to Thailand: Mont มนต์นมสด bread and milk bar

For a famous, tourist-friendly mall such as the MBK, I was really surprised how very few foreigners have heard about this popular Thai cafe, Mont, short for Mont Nom Sod. Among Thai local, it is a well-known spot for fresh bread and dairy beverages.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cute Pig's Guide to Thailand: Post Songkran festival blues

I've been telling people the best time to come to Thailand is towards the end of the year.  It's the best time for snorkelling and diving as the sea is more calm, and the weather is generally cooler.  Summer season, particularly April is usually unbearably hot.  However, I did forget to mention that Thai New Year's day, or Songkran, falls in April and it holds one of the best festivals in the world.  Songkran is a big deal.  It is as big as Christmas in Europe and North America, as wild and epic as Halloween in New York City, and people take time off as long as 2 weeks.  I swear Thai people take the most time off work than any other nationals in the world. 

The annual tradition of water fight on Songkran originated as a way of paying respect for the elders and asking for their blessings by pouring water on the hands.  Over the years, that tradition has evolved into something much bigger and more fun.   The epic water fight doesn't last for only one day, but for the entire long weekend.  No matter where you travel in Thailand, at every alley, every corner, crevices, you would find a group of people with gallons of water and hose ready to splash you down.  So, if you don't want to get wet, your safest place is probably inside your house.
I want to have water fights with eleplants!
It's truly the most wonderful time of the year.
In all my years, I have never participated in the annual water fight festival until this year.  It really brings out the youthful spirit in everyone.  I've never seen so many people being happy and having fun together.  First, we started the day off by paying respect and ask for blessings from the famous Four Faced Buddha at Erawan Shrine.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lemongrass punch recipe

Today is a Thai New Year's day and I would like to share a simple, refreshing and distinctively Thai drink with you.  I have adapted this recipe from a seasonal drink from a restaurant in Thailand and it can easily be tweaked based on your liking.

So here's a short DIY:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Made in Candy, candy making like a boss!

 I've always been fascinated with these candies with cartoon pictures on them ever since I was little.  If you've come across these candies, I'm sure you've also wondered, "how'd they do it??".  For the first time today, I've finally seen that the art of making these cute candies has become the new "it" thing.

Monday, April 9, 2012

D'Vine Wine bar and Tapas at Crystal Park

There's a trending food scene going around in Bangkok and it's growing faster than germinating dandelions; wine bars.  Just around my area, I can count at least 5 wine bars within 2 km radius. Competition is fierce and each establishment must do their best to captivate patrons in more than one way for them to keep returning.  D'Vine Wine Bar & Tapas is one of the new places opened earlier this year.  I believe some Thai celebrities have also joined in this venture and thus, much of marketing and hype have been put in to this place.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Yummy Japanese soft serve ice cream in Bangkok

Scorching weather is hot enough in Bangkok to drive anyone crazy.  What better way to cool down that with an icy treat like a soft serve ice cream?

Cool it down the traditional way at Ootoya Kitchen
Omnitsu at Ootoya restaurant, 100 bath; scoop ice cream more for less.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Italian food in Bangkok: The BEST penne alla vodka and mussel pot...ever!

Wow, this post is long overdue.  It actually hasn't been that long since I visited one of the most famous Italian restaurants in Bangkok, Delicatezza.  I can only describe the style of cuisine served at this establishment as luxurious Italian fare served homestyle in a very relaxed environment.  The ambience is formal, yet has a sense of warmth.  It could be because the restaurant is built in a very large house.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cool snacks: Lay's Pecking duck with sauce flavour

Thai Lay's actually come up with some of the most luxurious sounding flavours such as "grilled squid with seafood sauce", "hot and spicy crab", "bacon and nori with cheese", the list goes on.  The one that captivated me the most was the "peking duck with sauce" flavour with an enticing crispy looking image of a Peking duck plastered on the bag.

Italian food in Bangkok: Italian Proudfa

Ken Teeradej
Serving Italian fare with a Thai twist, Italian Proudfa is not only a sister restaurant of the famous Chef Tanom, but it is also run by the brother of Chef Tanom himself.   Located in the commercial area of Town in Town, this modest establishment brings a vibrant variety to the neighbourhood at a reasonable price.  A little story behind the name, I was told by the manager that the restaurant was named after the chef's daughter, Proudfa.  

We arrived the restaurant a little before lunch and there was only one other table beside ours.  The manager greeted us warmly and made recommendation on their signature dish.  Mid-way through our meal, as I noticed the customers at the other table leaving.  I was starstruck to find famous Thai actor Ken Teeradej had been sitting nearby the entire time *o*  So he is a fan of this place too.  What a great sign *__* <3  My stalking skill wasn't up to par as I couldn't figure out what he just had earlier.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Italian food in Bangkok: Grossi Trattoria & Wine Bar

Located inside Intercontinental Hotel, Grossi Trattoria is rather formal and higher priced to be called "trattoria" by definition.   Regardless of what category it should be called, I love the space and setting of this place with natural lighting coming through the tall glass walls, dark colour scheme furniture, hardwood floor accented with black and white tiles.  The restaurant is quite popular amongst businessmen and travellers as it is often filled up during the lunch rush.  I discovered one of the main reasons why this place is always so busy during lunch.  There's an incredible lunch deal very few would pass on.

My rage comic take on life as a food blogger

Top 10 most popular food after the bar

What are the perfect ingredients for a meal to follow a long night of painting the town red?

From experience, observation and careful research, one can conclude that the major players are:

carbs + dripping grease + tons of sodium + loads of MSG = one satisfying late night meal

Sounds disgusting, but the heart and stomach want what they want.