Tag Archives: Thailand

Top 8 Thai food (According to “Daco”,Free Japanese Magazine)

28 Apr

I used to love picking up all the free magazines available in Bangkok, including “Daco” a Japanese free magazine, cater for Japanese expats in Bangkok.

Yesterday before I went to the foot massage, I stopped by a Japanese bookstore and they happened to have a new edition of DACO.  The front page basically saying “Top Eight Thai Food”

I was curious, so after I settled into my foot massage chair, I had to check it out to see what are their “Top Eight” .  So here it is,

1 )  Tom Yam Goong (Spicy Thai soup with shrimp) – OF COURSE!  Japanese are Crazy about them

2 ) Somtam (Papaya Salad) – My Ex-boss (Journalist) loved Somtam

3 ) Noodles – The Japanese are crazy about ” Bamee” or the eggs noodles

4 ) Pad Thai – Obviously

5 ) Khao Pad (Fried Rice) – They have that too

6 ) Khao Man Gai ( Chicken Rice) – They probably go to Pratunam for that.

7 )Gaeng Kiew Wan (Green Curry) – Easy choice to order in any Thai Restaurant.

8 ) Curry Crab – ….???!!!???…..

…..

I’m not sure where the Chicken Rice and Curry Crab come from, and I’m surprised that they don’t have the Chicken Basil Rice. But it’s understandable though since the Curry Crab place, “Somboon Restaurant” is very famous among  the Japanese. If you grab any Japanese Guidebook on Bangkok, you’ll definitely see the restaurant’s name in it, after all, their ex-prime minister went there and loved the place.

Anyway, What I love about how they do it in the magazine is that they dedicate the whole page to each dish, explaining thoroughly what the food are, from the background to  ingredients and how to order them, and their Thai staff’s take on each dish.

I love how they really do the research.

It would be interesting to know what your Top 8 Thai dishes are. I’d love to hear your feed back.

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DACO (www.daco.co.th) is available at Japanese Bookstores (Kinokuniya, Tokyodo Book), Isetan, Fuji Supermarket and various Japanese stores and outlets in Bangkok

Checking out the street food price in BKK : Quick walk on Wireless Road

23 Apr

I’ve read more and more complaint about the rise of street food in Bangkok both from twitter and from a Thai web board, so I decided to check it myself.  I have to admit that I haven’t been eating the food from the street for a while, and when I do, I usually go around Silom, Sathon and Ploen Chit area, where the food price there tend to be more expensive than in other area anyway.

According to a survey by Adecco, who published “Thailand Salary Guide 2011” , it stated that average salary for a junior position with 0-5 year experience are between  6,200(US$200) THB  to  15,000 (US$500)THB. The minimum daily wage in Bangkok according to Ministry of Labor of is 215 THB or about US$7 per day. When I look at the figure, it is quite difficult for me to imagine living on very little money. Being a  freelancer, sometimes I have to live on a small budget, and trust me, it is tricky to survive on 200 THB a day.

Office Lady buying lunch from the Khao-Raad-Gaeng Stall on Wireless Road

I’ve read on a popular Thai web board that a plate of rice with curry, stir-fries or others on top  (Khao-Raad-Gaeng) would cost between 35- 40 baht  and if you want some kind of eggs on top, then you’ll add 8 more baht. For drink, soft drink is between 7-10 baht, iced coffee is between 25-50 baht.  When you add all that up, it’s easy to spend 100 THB for a meal.

200 THB is not an ideal budget to survive a day unless you don’t have to travel and only spend the money on food.

……………….

Yesterday I had an appointment in All Season Building on Wireless Road, after the appointment I decided to do a quick walk to check out on the street food price.

Wireless Road street stalls at lunch time

I only checked out the snacks sell around the area, as I thought it was more interesting than the rice/noodle shops. Thai office women usually buy snacks back to the office for their afternoon break, so even if they pay 50 baht for lunch they would certainly buy coffee, fruits or other snacks after as well.

Thai omelette with rice pric

But I was surprised that amongst the snacks sold by the street, there’s a cart that sell Thai omelette.  So I took the photo of the price list.  15 THB for omelette with rice, 20 baht for adding minced pork, 25 baht for omelette only and 30 baht for 2 eggs omelette with rice.

30 baht for just omelette with rice??!!  That sounds crazy but consider the price of the eggs now is very high, it is understandable.

Corn, Sweet Potato and pumpkin seller

Now, lets check out some snacks, I walked past the lady who was selling corns, sweet potatoes and pumpkins and decided that I wanted a bag of corn already cut off from the  cob. I asked her the price, and it was 15 baht per bag, which wasn’t bad at all.

fried chicken on stick and friend chicken tendon

The fried Chicken on the stick price, how ever, I thought it is a little on the expensive side, It is 15 baht per a tiny stick where as fried chicken tendon is 30 baht /100 gram which is not much. As much as I like fried chicken I don’t think that I would be a customer.

There’s also several other stalls that sell interesting snacks, and the price over all is acceptable (except the omelette rice and the chicken on the stick) I would not mind going back there and try some of the snacks I haven’t seen before and spend more time talking to the street food sellers checking out on their thoughts on the food price hike.

That would be fun.

Bangkok: Convent Road, back to the childhood

22 Apr

The other day I was having a coffee appointment with a journalist friend who is new to Bangkok. He was running errands when I called him asking if he would like to meet for coffee.  He was up for it, and I told him to meet at Starbucks on Convent Road just off the Saladang BTS station on Silom.

I arrived early on purpose so that I could walk around the road where my primary school is. There’s a catholic school on the street and I went there from grade one to about half way through grade seven before I went to study abroad.

A School on Convent Road

When I was at the school, there used to be a rule that students were not allowed to buy food off the street outside school premise, not even at the shopping mall nearby. I think the rule was imposed on and off for a while, and for the kid like me who absolutely love food (especially the Moo-Ping or grilled pork and sticky rice right outside the school’s fence) it was hard to stick to the rule.

While I was walking along the road, I noticed a lot of changes. My coconut ice-cream uncle is no longer there nor his nephew who took over the business, the once very popular book/comic store  is  now a convenient store and my favorite noodle shop no is no longer my favorite.

An old man biking

Another thing that I noticed was that there were so many people pushing the carts, whether it was food carts, or some other kind of carts through this road to go to the main street of Silom. I guess that there must be a space where carts are being kept somewhere nearby. It’s always interesting to see them pushing the carts containing what ever inside, some of them made it look like they are moving the lightest cart in the world.

Food Sellers getting ready for the business

I arrived Starbucks first, ordered my coffee and managed to take a few photos while waiting for my friend who arrived shortly after. He is new to the city but already noticed about the price of street food rising and he also pointed out that street food that sells in Silom are mostly Chinese food.  I never thought of that before, but as I looked right outside, there’s a stall being set up, and it was a “Kueh-Chub” cart.  (click here for more details about “Kueh Chub”)

…He was right…

"Kueh Chub" - Chinese noodles stall

Apart from Kueh Chub stall, this street, around 5-6 pm is always packed with other food stalls such as, the BBQ pork stall, fish maw stall, noodles stalls, pork legs stalls and many more.  The stalls would open until very late to cater for office workers and tourists as well as the party goers, as the street is right opposite the famous Silom Soi 2 and 4.

A boy, busy pouring the soya eggs, preparing a "Kuah Chub" ingredient

I would say, Convent road is pretty good and convenient for people who live around there to get food. Not only it has varieties of street stalls, but there are also restaurants and and Irish Pub.  It is certainly one of my favorite place to go for food after work, and I would always bump into friends or even my primary school teachers who still recognized me even I left school many years ago.

Ever Soneva So Chocoholic : The Ultimate Chocolate Room

27 Mar

Last Friday, I had an opportunity to spend a night at Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, just off the south-east coast of the Gulf of Thailand.  Although the stay is short but it’s been a very pleasant experience,  I’m not going to go into details here as I’m not going to do a resort review (but it is AMAZING!)   but I’m going to tell you about my favorite facilities of this resort, “Ever Soneva So Chilled” and Ever Soneva So Chocoholic”. From the names of these two venues maybe it’s not hard go guess that they are ice-cream parlour and chocolate room!.  I only had a taste of one scoop of ice-cream out of more than sixty flavors they have but I can definitely say that the ice-cream was fantastic. I could’ve done ice-cream sample if I wanted to but I had to passed, as I had my eyes fixed on the chocolate room.

Guests enjoy picking the chocolate varieties

At Soneva Kiri,  ice-cream and chocolate are complements to guest, guests can indulge in both ice-cream and chocolate all day! I went there in the afternoon planning NOT to eat any of those beautiful chocolate but had to give into the temptation.

Easter eggs!

It seems like some of the chocolate, if not all of them are made in this room, I saw some of the chocolates being set in the molds.They even have the easter eggs as well! Now I regretted not taking one of them home.

To die for

There are so many varieties of chocolate here from the cocoa drinks to truffles, all of them are premium grade chocolate.  I was truly in heaven and couldn’t resist picking some of them to taste.

Heaven on the plate

On my plate were two macaroons, chocolate and green tea, a piece of  “rose” chocolate and a piece of “almond” chocolate and a cocoa drink.  All I could say is that I simply had “heaven” right there on my plate, there’s no other words to describe it. Period.

Ever Soneva So Chocoholic” absolutely lives up to its name and I just simply can’t wait to go back to Soneva Kiri to have a piece of the chocoholic experience again.

 

Soneva Kiri by Six Senses

110 Moo 4 Koh Kood Sub-District, Koh Kood, Trad 23000, Thailand

BKK Bagel Bakery, tried and tasted (2)

4 Mar

So, continued from my previous post,  without further adieu let the tasting begin!  There are 5 bagel sandwich menus on the board, but….unfortunately the smoked salmon is out today,  I’ll have to come back to taste the smoked salmon bagel next week.

*By the way, this is the honest testing as the bagels are not paid for, although Eric and Tri were sharing the bagels with me.*

Tasting No. 1 ) The Show stopper(225 baht) : Turkey, Harvati cheese, bacon,  lightly brushed avocado spread (More Plssss) and whole grain mustard  served on a plain bagel

The Show Stopper

Verdict :  Loved the whole lot! I was surprised from the very first bite, The fillings are generously stuffed  (hence the price of THB 225) and you can taste everything in one bite. The only downside was that I couldn’t find the avocado spread until I dissected the sandwich.  It would be nicer to have thicker avocado smear on my turkey sandwich though.

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Tasting No.2) Fin or Feather(175THB) : Homemade Tuna or Chicken Salad  lettuce, tomato, red onions, served on a whole white bagel,

Fin or Feather? I went for the fin

Verdict :  The fin was good but not great  I’d like more mayo and salt in my tuna salad. But again, everyone have their own preferences of their tuna salad sandwiches.

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Tasting No.3) The Verrazano(225 THB) : Home made spiced roast beef, whole grain mustard, swiss cheese, lettuce, served on plain bagel

The Verrazano

Verdict :  I’ve been looking for real deli roast beef sandwiches for so long.. and this one is the answer to my prayer.  All I can say is “Y-u-m-m-y!”

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Tasting No. 4) The Veggie Monger (150 THB) : Hummus, alfafa sprouts, tomato, carrots, avocado spread, red onion, served on poppy bagel

The Veggie Monger

Verdict : As much as I love the humus, it’s a bit strong for me, but for the vegetarians out there?  Go for it!

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Apart from the coffee, bagels and bagel sandwiches,  Bkk Bagel also serves coleslaw and pasta salad.  I ordered a serve of  coleslaw (45 THB) and I was not disappointed. The mix of the ingredient are perfect, simple, fresh, tangy and crispy.

BKK Bagel Bakery is my new favorite place, with its location conveniently situated by the Chidlom BTS station and downstairs from many of the foreign media bureaus I think the future of the shop is very bright.

Now only if I can convince my mother to move from her usual place to here……..that will be my plan for the next few weeks.

 

BKK Bagel Bakery, Tried and Tasted (1)

4 Mar

Few months ago, a friend of mine was talking to me about the lacking of good bagels in Bangkok. Fast forward a few months later, here I am sitting at the “BKK Bagel Bakery” sampling almost every menu on the board!

A bite of Roast Beef Bagel, part of my tasting

The original idea of the bagel shop came from a co-owner, Eric Seldin, a long time Bangkok resident who had been craving for good bagels in Thailand for many years. After years of working as a camera person, he suffered a stroke  a few years back, his priority in life had changed. He needed something to keep himself busy. When he met  his business partner Tri Kanchanadul on twitter in 2009 the idea of opening the shop came through very quickly… and the rest….is history.

Caroline Schule, Deli manager

Apart from Eric and Tri, another main force behind the Bkk Bagel Bakery is Caroline Schule, a native of Washington DC . Eric had been a long time friend of Caroline’s father Jim Schule and originally approached Jim to come to Bangkok for the Bagel shop, but unfortunately for Jim (and fortunately for the shop!) the timing wasn’t right so he send his replacement, Caroline instead. Coming from a family where food has played a big part of her life and with a catering background, at 26 Caroline knows what she’s doing. Before jumping on a plane to Bangkok, she was in an advertising business and doing “catering on the side” from her home’s kitchen.  Now, at the Bkk Bagel Bakery,  Caroline design all the sandwiches menus as well as baking her famous “red velvet cupcakes”  For those who wonder if Jim, her father is coming to Bangkok or not, Caroline reassured me that he will be heading this way around April and the menu will be expanding real fast.

Yummy Bagels in the basket

I missed out on the grand-opening on March 1st because I was very sick.  So I decided to come in today to sample all the sandwiches. I had tried and tasted the bagels  since before it opened and was a regular customer last week for the bagel and cream cheese breakfast.  Even took home for my sister who immediately texted me how good the multigrain Bagel was, well, after all she just loves bread and bakery… what can I say.

Coming up….  BKK Bagel Bakery… Bagel Tasting,  stay tune!

Bkk Bagel Bakery :  518/3 Maneeya Centre North, Ploenchit Road ( BTS Chidlom Station, ground floor next to the Kipling shop)

Tel + 662 254 8157

Palm Oil Shortage in Thailand, a good time for me to get off fried food?

21 Feb

Earlier this evening after a day of work, I decided to go for a quick dinner before going home.  As I went pass the oyster omelette place not far from Taksin Bridge BTS station I didn’t hesitate to walk in.

The truth is I was craving for this oyster omelette for ages, and heard that this place was quite good.  For those of you who do not know what it is, basically it is a Chinese dish originated from Teochew/Fujian area with the main ingredients of oysters (of course!), corn starch, eggs and bean sprouts accompany with Sriracha or chilli sauce mixed with chilli vinegar.

exvzx.jpg

As I was halfway through the dish thinking that my omelette was not as crispy as it should be, I remember about the “Palm Oil shortage” that’s currently occurring in Thailand. In some supermarkets, the palm oil are out of stocks and the price of the bottled oil raised by about 9 THB (approx 30 cents) The shortage has become a problem that it has become under the DSI (Division of Special Investigation)’s investigation!

In many of the forums, the topic of palm oil shortage has become a concern. I mean,  many of the street food in Thailand are fried, and those fried food stalls are widely known that they re-use their oil which is very unhealthy. With the crisis now, consumers are concerned about the health factor and thinking about putting off the fried food (at least until the crisis is over), not to mentioned that many of the stalls are out of business including my neighborhood fried pork/chicken.

Reading many topics posted in the food forums, many people are asking about the recipes/menus that are not involved oil, I think people are already forgotten that original Thai food do not really involved oil. There are still other way to cook like grilled, boiled and steam. Maybe this is going to change the trend of the food we eat. Maybe we are going to go back to the original way of eating?

As I was finishing my dinner with 1/4 leftovers (it was too oily for me.. very ironic I know) I asked the shop owner how the palm oil shortage effected the shop.

“We had to cut down on using the flour as the cost price is higher”

Hmm.. not sure if that’s relevent, but he definitely said that he has to pay for the higher price of the oil.

Do you pay for the eggs by Kilo? I asked  as I was handing him 100 baht note(*Thailand had recently introduced the eggs to be sold by weight)

“No, we still doing it the old way.”

I thanked him, picked up my change and wished him luck.