Bangkok Dining Experiences This Year 2012/2555

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Federicoita, Aug 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    So far in this thread:
    ROSABIENG, LONG TABLE, KALPAPRUEK, BAN KHUN MAE, KUANG SEA FOODS, THE BUTTERCUP DINING ROOM, BASIL AT THE SHERATON GRANDE, THIP SAMAI, ISSAYA, OIISHI GRAND, NIPPON KAI DELUXE, THON KRUENG, ERAWAN TEA ROOMS, RAMEN CHAMPIONS

    ** To view the photos in full size, register as a member, it is free, and log in.

    IMG_4735.JPG
    Chicken breasts when marinated become more tender. Cook them on a griddle, add a salad to your plate for both colour and taste

    I would like to start a thread on dining in Bangkok. Of course I am aware that there are already two truly excellent threads on this topic started by the very knowledgeable member Kalboz. However, one is specific to Roof Top dining experiences ( a very popular thread) and that is where such venues, I believe, should continue to be posted.

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    It is said that to eat well in London all one needs is three breakfasts a day. I agree and that is why I escape to Bangkok!!

    The other, to which I have added my little contribution, was started in 2011 and, to date 102 replies and more than 8,248 views, which is a testimony to how popular the demand for this information is, which neatly links me to my point, that is, information on eateries need to be current and reviewed on an ongoing basis. To that end, I have specifically given this thread a life span, 2012 and this is where this year's experiences (different from recommendations) can be posted if you so wish.

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    Flavours from the East add value to any European kitchen

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    I admit that as good as it may be, there is more to food than just pasta (Rigatoni with mushrooms, broccoli and parmesan cheese)

    What qualifies me to write about food? Well, I could say that I was born and bred in Italy.
    However, I do not think that hailing from a particular country any longer qualifies one for anything and as much as Italians and our beloved French cousins would like to think so, we can no longer claim to be food leaders.

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    I used to think this was exciting as a kid, Orzo and veal cutlets with baked tomatoes

    The truth is that the world has moved forward and, it seems to me, that with it there is a fusion of flavours and ingredients which have made the options very interesting indeed.

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    Pad See Ew a la Giorgio Federico

    As Kalboz says "Bangkok is a food heaven" and ingredients here are often fresh and to eat well you do not have to spend a fortune albeit my own choices seem to include a mixture of the two.

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    Nowadays, burgers are very popular in Bangkok too and you cannot beat a freshly prepared burger

    I should also add that when it comes to cooking I do abandon myself with reckless abandonment and as well as eating food, preparing it and cooking it has been a long time hobby of mine.

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    Get to know your spices and herbs. We do not have to re-invent the wheel, just learn how to drive

    As to the photos, they do not belong to Bangkok but they originate from a few things I have fun preparing at my home.

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    There you have it. Buon appetito and don't forget the coffee.

    Posts to follow
    Giorgio Federico


    Nota Bene: The Calendar in Thailand is 543 ahead of ours, hence it is 2012 for us and 2555 over there.
     

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  2. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Rosabieng
    3 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Wattana, Bangkok
    2253-5868-9

    The first day I arrive in Bangkok after a period of absence, I do try to get together with a few local friends and we share a meal while catching up on our respective lives. To that end, and given that not everyone lives centrally, I tend to book a table at Rosabieng.

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    Simple spring rolls, crispy, flavoursome and ah, now I know, I am back in Bangkok

    Rosabieng is a Thai restaurant located on Sukhumvit Soi 11 about 70 metres down on the left hand side walking down from the main road. It has parking facilities but is easily reached on foot. The restaurant has an outdoor deck seating for approximately 50 or 60 guests, a little canal runs on one side and there is a separate bar and live music.

    The restaurant has a train theme to it, from the sign outside to the working scale train set inside. There is also seating on three different levels inside the restaurant, including party rooms on the second and third floors.

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    Gooay deeo senyai (wide flat noodles, on the right)

    I like Rosabieng because of its setting and relaxed atmosphere it provides in the middle of what is quite a vibrant and ever developing Soi in Bangkok (11, in lower Sukhumvit).

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    This evening's fish Pra Kao Tood Radseeiw

    Please do not make the mistake of thinking that this is an upscale restaurant because it is not, but nevertheless it is a respectable outlet. Most of the customers are Asians but I have also noticed a few Westerners. The service is prompt for the most part, with some of the food reaching your table quicker than expected. I often find that whatever I order here, the quality and taste of the food seems good and I always leave with the desire to come back and eat here again.

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    Fried prawns and some rice.

    I ate al fresco surrounded by trees (indoor dining is available but outdoor, unless it is raining, in my view is more appealing), I enjoyed the easy listening/jazz music and I have no hesitation commending the restaurant for its cleanliness including its rest rooms.

    Caution: the service here is average and it can be slow at times. However, all waiting staff seem friendly. You will find that the huge range of 100 plus dishes available will cater for most budgets and you will not need to call your bank manager to dine here.

    Rosabieng means “Train Dining Car” and it feels like a smooth train ride in the country albeit with food on the table and jazz music in the background.

    Giorgio Federico
     
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  3. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Long Table
    48 Column Building, Sukhumvit Soi 16
    Bangkok
    t. 2302 2557-9


    The writing is on the wall or for better use of words it is actually on the building itself as the fluorescent big capital letters can be seen from the busy intersection at Asoke. If you are on foot proceed to the “Column” tall building and once inside its smart atrium, you will need to use the lift to access the 25th floor. Once you enter you will be plunged into semi darkness, which is all part of the trendy setting.

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    Long table but small cushions??

    Once you arrive in reception, you may notice the large room separating into two stylish sections. To the left of the small reception counter which is also annexed to the resident DJ’s operating console, you will notice the long bar, which is creatively split between an indoor and an outdoor section. On the other side is the famous long table, all 25 metres of it in solid wood.

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    The long table, 25 metres of it but only a few centimetres per capita

    Running parallel to either sides of it are discreet but well lit small square seating areas, which are furnished in soft white leather and with many standard 48 x 48 red cushions bearing the name of the restaurant on one side. The tables are encased in the middle and you will be asked to remove your shoes to access these areas. The interior designers have a few extra surprises to capture yours senses including an unencumbered angled view over Sukhumvit and the luminous Terminal 21 building.

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    There are a number of tables and chairs scattered for dining al fresco. There is an infinity pool to the left of which, on the night I visited, I happened to see eight diners sat at a table which rested on top of transparent glass bricks over the pool water, at first sight a very cool experience.

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    As for food, most of the dishes were assembled in what is commonly referred to as high end cuisine.
    I tried the crispy stuffed crabs


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    Well, they assured me that there were some crabs there, somewhere.

    followed by Alaskan prawns.

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    Alaskan prawns look like...hmm, I am not sure what they look like anymore.

    Both dishes were served with rich and creamy sauces and their density satiated me pretty quickly, which in my view may be counterproductive.

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    A brief visit to the restrooms revealed further spots of semi darkness, these chiaroscuro effects being a regular theme at this location with a communal fountain island in the middle of the restrooms where to wash ones’ hands and efficiently attended by a member of staff dispensing towels.This, I would argue, is more of a place where you go to see and be seen as the environment and its layout are naturally predisposed towards people watching.

    Food served in white porcelain grabs your attention on arrival but this may not be necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. Remember that tax and service charge will add 17% to your already expensive meal and if you wish to minimise your expenditure, then try the happy hour menu which will include three items and one drink for 399 baht.

    If you are into fine dining, trendy settings and provided your budget allows for this expense then I would suggest the Long Table as a must do experience in Bangkok at least once. Alternatively, if you do not wish to splash out on a meal, simply go up for a drink or two.

    My own personal view. Long Table is a place where I would take a first time visitor in Bangkok as the first impression is a positive one. The quality of food, again my personal view, does not justify the price. I am not totally disingenuous but it would seem to me that the price may be kept at the higher end to attract a different class of people for whom social status is above everything else. However, the happy hour menu is very good value. Also, it is a worthwhile place to visit either for a pre dinner or after dinner drink whether you are with friends or on a date.

    Giorgio Federico
     

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  4. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Kalpapruek on First
    1st Floor Emporium Shopping Complex
    622 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok
    t. 2664 8410-1
    Open everyday from 11:00am to 9:45pm


    Located on the first floor at Emporium, this is a very easy to reach place and the BTS will take you there, just alight at Phorm Phon and enter the Emporium building.

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    The entrance

    A quick reminder, I am a born and bred Italian and food is important to me. I do not just like eating it but also cooking it.

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    An airy comfortable room and with plenty of natural light

    I would not say that I am a gluttonous type but I am fond of flavours, textures and to some degree presentation, although a Renzo Piano’s architectural consultation would not be necessary as it would not add value to the food I wish to eat.

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    If freshly made, a broth will do fine

    When in Bangkok, I leave the Italian food behind me and I hunt for Thai cuisine and I am also keen to learn more about Chinese, Japanese and Korean but I am too ignorant of the latter two to come out with anything sensible. Recently, I went to Ban Khun Mae and I drafted a review outlining that the ambiance met with my expectations but I was disillusioned with the food, a rare occurrence in Bangkok.

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    The view from the window. Maybe they took the inspiration for the wooden benches inside from the ones below?

    However, that single occurrence made me reflect that there are quite a few places like Ban Khun Mae in Bangkok, another one that springs to mind is Baan Kanitha, that market themselves in the higher end Thai Cuisine. However, when I visit these places I see very few locals there and in all truth, Pizza Hut makes Pizza and it is popular with many but as an Italian you would not see me there.

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    The Bar counter

    In that light, let me come to my main point that is, with so much choice, I intend to be more discerned as to what I choose to spend my money on. A typical example was that of Ramen Champions which cooks their noodles soup well but not much better than a Ramen at MBK where the same noodles can be enjoyed for one third of the price. I would stress that it is not about the money but more of a case if price justifies the product.

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    Life is not always a bed of roses...there are vases and other flowers too!!


    Hence, it was a welcome discovery to find a Thai restaurant that will cook genuine traditional food and located in an easy to find and spotlessly clean environment.

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    I must say thank you to a Thai friend for making such introduction and I confess to having trouble getting my pronunciation right here... KALPAPRUEK...there, I have since booked myself for speech therapy classes because after I say that my mouth becomes all distorted.

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    Now despite I am raving about the food, there is something odd about some of the seating here. Perhaps, when they came up with this idea they were trying to do something romantic but having dinner in a restaurant while seated on a wood slat park bench is a first on me and without cushions it may be a tad uncomfortable for some.

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    However, I am glad to report that the other seats, as you can see above, are perfectly fine. It all depends whether you want a view or not. The service is efficient and when accompanied by smiles it always helps.

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    Little details can distinguish one venue from the rest

    As to the food, the menu is comprehensive, the items well cooked, the ingredients fresh and the taste “Aroi mak” the Thai word for "Very Delicious"

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    Crabs on grapefruit, an interesting combination

    From tender chicken to seafood to salad to kanom jee noodles to roasted pork to beef to a variety of desserts, far too many to mention. You name it and they have it.

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    My Thai friend had spaghetti with clams or at least this is what they looked like to me. Apparently I was wrong. What is it then? The mystery continues...

    I confess that it is not cheap to eat here but neither is very expensive and I would suggest that this is a restaurant for all occasions where to have traditional food without (with all due to respect for the hard working street food vendors) plastic chairs, oppressive heat and car fumes.

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    There is room at the bar

    Kalapapruek, my first time but, hopefully, not the last
    Giorgio Federico
     

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  5. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Ban Khun Mae

    458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8, Rama 1 Road
    Patumwan District, Bangkok 10330
    t. 2250 1952 / 3

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    Ban Khun Mae has been on my radar for as long as I have been visiting Bangkok. "Next time I will go, next time I will go" I kept saying and I always ended up not going for one reason or another. However, this time I was determined to make it there.

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    Made it at last!

    The venue is near Siam BTS station and provided you know where to go and which soi to turn into, it will take you no time to get there. One indication is that, provided you are coming from the BTS station and you have turned into the correct Soi (5), you are likely to go past a crowd of people patiently waiting to get a seat Som Tam Nua, another eatery on my to do list and which is well known for its Issan food.

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    Ban Khun Mae looks nice from the outside and inviting from the inside finished in traditional teak wood and all staff look busy but welcoming. They even have two players on the “Khim”, a hammered dulcimer, one downstairs and one upstairs.

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    The menu cover is painted light green on wood

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    and it is filled with many intriguing options.

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    Some may think that photos detract from value but in my view they are often a plus in a menu

    My Thai friends and I are not terribly hungry and it is our own fault because we have capitulated to a humongous three scoop ice cream on our way there. Thus, all I can manage is two dishes; fish cakes

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    and a green Thai curry I look forward to both speculating as to how good they would be.

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    We wait for our food listening to the khim player just opposite our table, the sound of which is very pleasant.


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    Happy tunes are played here but is the chef listening?

    I notice that the vast majority of the clientele are westerners. As a matter of fact I take a walk downstairs with the excuse of quickly snapping a few photos and it is the same story. No Thais, how can it be? I thought this was a popular restaurant but evidently mainly catering for foreigners.

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    At first glance everything is how you would expect it to be.

    When the food arrives is reasonably well presented but it fails all expectations by being insipid, which is quite a rare occurrence in Bangkok. What happened to the flavoursome Thai dishes? As always, I am not inclined to overly criticise at the first mistake and I would like to return for a second opinion next time I am here.

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    Did she run out of herbs and spices?

    The range of prices are reasonable, we pay the bill and then leave hoping to return on a future visit but not sure when that will be.

    In summary, a good ambiance, softer lighting, helpful staff and cosy surroundings with live soothing music, courtesy of the khim players wearing traditional costumes but, on this occasion at least, very forgettable food.

    Giorgio Federico
     
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  6. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    I think the best food (and sometimes the worst - for food that has been sitting out in the heat for too long), is street food freshly prepared in front of your eyes. Cheap, tasty - no table clothes, no atmosphere (well except for the exhaust from passing vehicles) but EXCELLENT food at cheap prices :D
    Second best - food courts!
    Of course you have to trust your eyes and nose, but that's part of the adventure.
     
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  7. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Kuang Sea Foods
    107/13 Soi Rangnam
    Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok

    Take a leisurely stroll and take photos in Sati Phap Park, which is a little known oasis less ten minutes away from Victory Monument and then exit the opposite side from where you entered the park and this will neatly position you in Soi Rangnam.

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    Anyone for a massage while we are here?

    Heading left, approximately 150 metres down, is Kuang Sea Foods.

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    If I did not know anything about the place I would probably give it a miss but that would be wrong because despite the bright light inside, the basic interiors and too many staff hovering around and dressed in bright orange tops that makes you wonder if you’ve been “Tangoed”, the food fare here is actually very good.

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    Take crabs for example, you can have them baked, steamed, grilled, fried, deep fried even skewered for all they care. In other words choose the fish, think of how you wish to have it cooked and they will deliver.

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    There is no much sophistication involved in the place; just a large square room with stainless steel tables and chairs.

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    They keep live fish in tanks at the entrance and an exhaustive menu in available to show you all the hundreds of ways of how they can prepare your fish.

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    As to the food, they serve you with honest portions for the money asked and they are very tasty indeed.

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    While we are enjoying our sea food delights, an eastern European couple, which we later discover hails from Russia, comes in. They are drenched from top to toe and I cannot help asking them if they have fallen inside the fish tank by mistake but we all know the reason, it’s raining cats and dogs outside, oops sorry, it’s raining prawns and crabs outdoor.

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    I think crabs probably make the best lovers...it must be that twinkle in their eyes

    They (The Russians not the crabs) see us smiling and ask us if the food is any good to which I reply that we have eaten under duress and as that makes them laugh, I cheekily enquire how comes that two Russians know about this place. Are they perhaps members of a Tripadvisor community? They reveal their tour Thai guide told them about the place to which I quip “Damn! That good fellow of yours just talks too much. How are we going to keep this a secret?”

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    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”

    Ernest Hemingway, A moveable feast

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    The beauty about a place like Bangkok is that even when it rains, the temperature remains warm and in that light other then wet clothes, the rain can be quite a feature and it sure is the main show this evening as it keeps pouring down. We wonder whether we should leave now, in half an hour or even later. What could we possibly do in the meantime? That is easily resolved as we call one of the waiting staff over and order more food and never regret it!!

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    This is Cotton Fish. Never heard of it? Me neither but it tasted good!!

    Kuang Sea Foods, it does what it says in the tin that is, sea foods and does that very well. Thumbs up, oops, claws up from me!

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    Is there an expert and scientific way to select a crab? Sure, "Eeney meeney miney moe, catch a crab by its claw, If he hollers let him go, Eeney meeney miney moe" There you have it.

    IMG_9325.JPG

    Giorgio Federico
     

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  8. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    The Buttercup Dining Room

    The Buttercup dining room at the Arnoma Hotel
    99 Ratchadamri Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok.
    Opposite Central world side entry in Ratchadamri Road.
    T. 2655 5555 ext 7507 email fb@arnoma.com

    There is buffet and BUFFET
    Mamma always me told me to stay away from any establishments in the high street that offer buffet. They are battle places for hundreds of people daily, she explained. The food will be neither fresh nor cooked as it should be. I believe she had a point. By the same token my mamma has never been to Bangkok and this is another key point.

    You see? There are buffets here, which are really good value for money and others that will fill you up until your are content for days on end. The Buttercup dining room at the Arnoma hotel will probably do both. Not only there is enough variety but the food is really tasty and we are talking International and Thai culinary delights here.

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    Also, I suspected it may be good because as soon as I walked in most of the tables were already taken by Thais and it was just gone 12.00 noon. This was a good sign, I surmised.

    I was with an American friend who is a resident in Bangkok and this was his first time too. Unfortunately, by the time we got there my camera’s battery was virtually dead and would not wake up to take one more picture. However, I went by during another morning before service started and here are a couple of photos.

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    You can enter the dining room either from the spacious lobby or at street level. Immediately before you is a long table with an assortment of hot and cold food. Immediately to the right of the entrance from the lobby, there is another table, smaller, with two hot chafing dishes.

    The room has a busy feel with so many hungry people continually going to and from the buffet but do not let that worry you as the food is continually replaced. The large glass panels provide plenty of light and the temperature is pleasant. The overall look is that of a bistro and be prepared to put up with people chattering all around you.

    However, you will be here on a food expedition and the cacophony should not be an issue preventing you from enjoying the little dessert and the homemade ice cream available.

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    The price is a very appealing at 320 thb net per person and the buffet is served daily from 11:30 to 14:30 hrs. They also have a Thai clay pot style buffet in the evening from 18.30 hrs at 280 thb but I have not tried that yet.

    If you go, please post a comment here of your experience.
    Giorgio Federico
     
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  9. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Basil
    250 Sukhumvit Road
    1F Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit
    Bangkok
    t. 26498366


    From time to time I tend to splash out a little money.

    It is neither a narcissistic impulse nor a need to impress. Rather it is influenced more by a desire to dine in fine surroundings and wanting to treat myself and/or my guest/s to something a little different.

    When I am in this type of mood, I tend to be more selective but after conferring with a couple of gourmet connoisseurs, I was told that I would not be disappointed. It is a special occasion as I am dining with a good friend celebrating a birthday and tonight’s dinner is on me.

    The internal decor is pleasantly contemporary and stylish.This also seems to be reflected in the way the food is presented.

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    "Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch!" Orson Welles

    The tricoloured rice in this photo perhaps does not look that enthusiastic but it was soft and fragrant.

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    It is hard to find failings with this kind of food and the photos speak for themselves.

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    "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf

    If you are in doubt as to what kind of atmosphere you are likely to find in these places which have low lighting and soft background music, let me tell you that it is a highly relaxing experience and, in addition, the service, on the evening I visited, was very attentive but discreet at the same time.

    Prices are on the higher end of the scale but please remember that you are the Sheraton Grande after all and it has to be expected for such fine surroundings.

    Beautiful and luscious but not overly decadent is one way of describing the overall feeling and if people hold this venue in high praise I can only add that, according to my experience of this restaurant, it is deservedly so.

    Giorgio Federico
     

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  10. HLC

    HLC Silver Member

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    Thip Samai
    313 Thanon Maha Chai
    Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon
    Bangkok 10200
    http://www.thipsamai.com/
    Only open in the evenings till late - 5.30 pm to 1.30 am

    Had the opportunity to have stuff myself in Bangkok over the weekend ;)

    Right after arrival, I had to go back to have the excellent Pad Thai at Thip Samai. This restaurant only serves Pad Thai! They have been in business since 1966 and judging by the number of reviews posted on their wall and the number of customers they have every time I am there, they are famous for it.

    [​IMG]

    My favourites at this restaurant are the Pad Thai with shrimp wrapped in egg, and their house special Pad Thai.

    [​IMG]
    The egg wrapped Pad Thai is on the right, whilst the other two are the house special.

    The house special comes with very generous toppings of sliced green mango, dried squid, toufu, shrimp and crab meat - these are generally piled on top of the very flavourful Pad Thai. Actually in this case it was Pad Woon Sen (using glass vermicelli instead of the usual thin rice noodles) as I find it soaks up the flavours better. However, with all that topping, it does get a bit chewy and is not liked by all.

    The egg wrapped Pad Thai is to die for....possibly the best Pad Thai in Bangkok or any where else for that matter. Unfortunately they cannot do it with woon sen, or it would be my top favourite! Seeing how they do it is a treat in itself - just a flick of the wrist and it's all wrapped!



    Whilst you're there, you must also have their orange juice - just superb!

    Just a couple of things to note....this is your basic local thai restaurant so things do not look as nice as in the high end establishments - expect to sit on tables on the uneven pavement outside the restaurant (which is what I prefer) and during the rainy season, the drains can get to be a little odorous :). Also, for Pad Thai, this place is expensive - we paid 790bht for what you see on the table. But.......it is worth it! If you haven't tried it, you should!
     
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  11. HLC

    HLC Silver Member

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    Issaya
    4 Soi Si Akson
    Sathorn, Bangkok 10200
    http://www.issaya.com/issaya-restaurant.php?cmd=off

    Issaya was highly recommended by some friends who went there last month. The chef is an award winning Thai - Chef Ian Kittichai - and they serve modern Thai fusion type food, specializing in home grown (in their garden) and organic produce.

    [​IMG]

    Although I'm not that into modern style Thai food, the thing that sealed the deal was the location of the restaurant - in an original 1920's thai house. The ambience is perfect for a romantic dinner and since it was the wife's birthday...:)

    The food was overall good, although I'm not used to seeing Thai food served and plated in the French style!

    [​IMG]
    A shrimp appetizer on the left, and baby back ribs on the right - these were appetizers!

    [​IMG]
    Main course of soft shell crab, and lamb shank massaman curry - thought lamb was an interesting choice of meat for the curry and it was not bad except that it seemed a little too salty

    [​IMG]
    Desserts of traditional thai ice cream with a modern twist....

    Commensurate with restaurants of this class, and comparing to your typical thai restaurant in Bangkok, dinner was on the expensive side - 2,900 bht with just water. We don't drink, so didn't check but I can imagine it would be a lot more with wine....

    For a nice romantic dinner with that special someone, Issaya would be near the top of the list. Finding the place can be a problem as it is off the main roads, and even the restaurant had a problem trying to explain to my taxi driver how to get there.....but that is where Google maps is most useful! ;)
     
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  12. HLC

    HLC Silver Member

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    Oiishi Grand
    Siam Discovery Centre

    Nothing special about this place....just a good, value for money Japanese buffet restaurant!

    [​IMG]

    It was a Sunday...and at 2 pm the queue was still about an hour long! We were A46...and as you can see in the picture, it was only about A31 - we queued at A24 and it was about an hour before we got it, and only because about 5-6 tables gave up waiting! At 699 bht nett, with a large and varied spread of decent quality....what do you expect!

    [​IMG]
    Salmon sashimi with ebiko....not your usual dish anywhere

    [​IMG]
    And they had sablefish (black cod) that they steamed to perfection!

    No other pics....as I was too busy stuffing my face :D

    Definitely will be returning on another trip! ;)
     
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  13. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Nippon Kai Deluxe
    The Emporium Shopping Mall
    Fifth Floor
    622 Sukhumvit Road
    Khlong Toei
    Bangkok
    t.2259 9392

    A friend calls to invite me to have lunch and I accept enthusiastically but I am not too sure when he tells me that we will eat sushi and I let him know.

    IMG_6676.JPG

    “What’s wrong with sushi?” he asks
    “Nothing is wrong with sushi but please understand that first I do not know much about Japanese food and second I am not too keen on sushi. Can we not have Thai food?”
    “Why is that?” he asks
    “Well, I am Italian for starters, I love Thai food and where I come from if you said to someone “Hey, I got a piece of raw fish, would you like to eat it?” it would sound like an insult”
    “It’s not that bad really” he says trying to appease me.
    “Really? I reckon sushi was invented by a couple of poor guys who wanted to open a restaurant but did not have enough money for the kitchen”
    “I recommend you have Beef Teeryaki then.”
    I accept the invitation a little reluctantly, get on the BTS and I am there at the agreed time.

    IMG_6672.JPG

    I will concede the following;
    One; the view on a pretty landscaped Benjasiri Park is very good

    Two; they actually serve cold beer in a frosted mug. How cool is that?

    IMG_6673.JPG

    However, the price, in my view, is more than what the food is worth when compared to like for like venues but to their credit the service is quick, friendly and polite. However, eating the waitress is not the recommended thing to do. She is there to serve and you are there to behave.

    IMG_6675.JPG

    The interior decor reminds me of the polka dot underwear this pretty girl I once knew used to wear.

    IMG_6677.JPG

    It looked great when I dated her at 18 but somehow I grew out of it. I feel the same with this place, which tries to be trendy but the evidence does not seem to match their aspirations and it leaves me ambivalent.

    IMG_6674.JPG

    As to the Beef Teeryaki, I actually opted for salmon...cooked salmon that is.

    Would I come back?
    I would return for a drink and canapés, perhaps an entree’ too and the view is worth a visit.

    Giorgio Federico
     
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  14. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Thon Krueng
    239 Soi Thonglor 13
    Sukhumvit 55
    Bangkok
    t. 2391-8703


    When Thai food is at its best
    During the first evening of my latest sojourn and, breaking with tradition, I decided to go and dine at Thon Krueng. I am told that Italians can be fussy with their love for food but as far as I can tell my Thai friends are a close match sharing this passion. Therefore, my company for dinner is a good Thai friend with a preference for food which must be either “Aroi” or “Aroi Mak” there are no other acceptable standards other than “Delicious” or “Very Delicious”.

    IMG_8989.JPG

    The sign above the entrance

    Thon Krueng is nearly as old as I am or that would be true if I was just over 30 but given that I am nearly 50, I hope my alleged seniority has helped me make a discerned choice when opting for this restaurant but I should not have worried as this little jewel is just as well known to Bangkok food lovers as Wat Arun is to the occasional tourist.

    IMG_8990.JPG

    All major cards accepted

    Now, let’s put this into context, we are in Thong Lor or should I say hip and trendy Thong Lor, which has seen an ongoing upmarket development for many years now and stylish people come to this area of Bangkok to eat Italian, Japanese and of course Thai.

    IMG_8985.JPG

    The menu is comprehensive and well laid out with many attractive photos.

    If you have never been, take the BTS to Thong Lor, turn into Sukhumvit Soi 55 and then walk to Soi 13 or hop on the little red bus for a very modest fee which will not even exceed 10 baht. Technically, Thong Lor is Sukhumvit Soi 55 but once you enter it, you could easily spend days checking out all of the many sub sois branching off from this road.

    Now at the risk of sounding snobbish, this is an area where real estate is expensive and the people who live here seemingly want to keep it that way.

    IMG_8999.JPG

    A water feature, often a welcome addition

    In that light Thon Krueng with its mixed basic furniture and waiting staff who have been there since the original tiled floors and walls were laid may seem a little out of tune.

    IMG_9000.JPG

    The internal decor is not spectacular but quickly forgotten as soon as the food arrives

    However, do not be fooled by appearances because what Thon Krueng does not provide in internal decor it can certainly make up with the quality and variety of its food.

    IMG_8991.JPG

    I do not wish to bore you with the details of what we had.

    IMG_8992.JPG

    Just look at the photos I have posted and make a note of the telephone number and address above. Then pick up the phone and book, if possible, and try it for yourself.

    IMG_8993.JPG

    When I show my Italian friends this dish of "Spaghetti with meat balls" they always ask "We can see the funny looking spaghetti, but where are the meatballs?

    IMG_8994.JPG

    I tell them "Look closer, the meatballs are inside" and I mean every word of it...I have lost many friends since then!!

    IMG_8997.JPG

    The food was Aroi Maak for me and my Thai companion tells me it was Aroi Maak Maak and who am I to argue with a Thai on Thai food?

    IMG_8998.JPG

    Will I be returning here to sample and enjoy more food? Most definitely. Thon Krueng gets my “Thumbs Up...Maak Maak”

    Giorgio Federico
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
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  15. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Erawan Tea Rooms
    2/F Grand Hyatt Erawan
    494 Ratchadamri Raod
    Bangkok
    t: 2254 1234
    Opening Hours: daily 10.00 to 22.00 hours
    Nearest train: BTS Chit Lom

    Where East meets London's Fortnum and Mason in Bangkok!

    IMG_0205.JPG

    A friend once told me that coffee is sexy.
    How comes? I asked
    Well, he reckoned, it must be because when inviting that special person into your lodgings it’s always on the pretext of “Would you like a cup of coffee? It’s never a cup pf tea!”

    IMG_4687.JPG

    Good coffee is like friendship: rich, warm and strong

    Should you prefer coffee or cappuccino, cafe' au lait, macchiato, skinny latte, ristretto, zebra mocha, galao, iced or Irish coffee, mocha or mazagran, yaunyang, pocillo, turkish coffee, kopi susu, guillermo or even dirty chai that is not a big deal because it is not just tea that is served here but more, much more.

    IMG_0206.JPG

    However, tea, as the name gives away, features prominently in this gem of a venue on the first floor of the Erawan building and overlooking the popular Buddha shrine, which goes by the same name.

    The operation opens its glass doors at 10.00 hrs and you are welcomed by clean, polite and smiling staff very neatly dressed in their ivory top jackets with delicate green trims and brown skirts. Staff appearance here is de rigueur and they are all able to converse in English.

    IMG_0209.JPG

    "Welcome Sir, would like a drink ?"
    "You took the words out of my mouth...how about some dirty chai and a little affogato to follow?"

    The place is spotless and in tune with the pristine looks of the rest of the building. There are ample wooden tables and comfortable burgundy settees. The ambiance and lighting are extremely relaxed and they serve a huge variety of drinks with a satisfactory range of foods which are all well presented. I am entertaining an old friend here. We order our teas and proceed to put the world to rights.

    Only your "real" friends will tell you when you have dribbled coffee on your shirt

    IMG_0207.JPG
    An hour later, we feel a little peckish but not famished enough to have a full lunch. Therefore, we order a plate of seasonal fruit and for good measure my friend, who is a lover of all things sugary and sweet, adds a Crème Brule.

    "A woman is like a tea bag, you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water"
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    Crockery here is smart as one would expect and the cutlery supplied comes with wooden handles. There are real cotton white napkins and not the paper serviettes one sees so often these days.The choice of cake on display seems modest but it changes frequently.

    "When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that's when I think life is over"
    Audrey Hepburn

    If the Erawan Tea Rooms were to be transposed to London, they would likely be in competition with Fortnum & Mason, although I admit that it seems to lack that old grandeur that these nineteen century buildings have in Europe, the latter being so quaint and old at the same time. By the same token Erawan Tea Rooms is less stuffy and more contemporary while remaining classy.

    IMG_0208.JPG

    If your interlocutor is a good conversionalist and you want to repair to a quiet place away from the hustle bustle of Rachaprasong in Bangkok or you simply want a little rest from your shopping, I cannot think of a better place where to spend time, sharing a little conversation while having something to eat and sipping tea or whatever drink you happen to fancy. Ah, the simple pleasures of life.

    IMG_0210.JPG

    Giorgio Federico
     
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  16. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Ramen Champions at Arena 10,
    55 Sukhumvit, Thonglor Soi 10
    Opening Hours: 11:30 to midnight Daily

    Question: How many noodle shops does it take to offer a decent Ramen in Thong Lor?
    Answer: Apparently six.

    The complex is the brainchild of Oishi’s founder Mr Tan and you cannot miss the smiling life size doll like replica of what to me looks like the character from Postman Pat but allegedly it is Mr Tan himself. Good to take a fun picture with. However, why six noodle shops in one place? I asked. Because they compete for our attention and loyalty I was told.

    IMG_9246 - Copy.JPG

    "OK but why? What’s the point? It is not as if anyone can manage to eat six noodles dishes in one sitting." I was not given an answer.

    If you think that you will be able to eat a noodle soup at each of the shops, then think again. I tried and failed and I have an appetite!

    IMG_9239.JPG

    After the first serving of noodles, you are more than likely to feel quite full and in case you remain a little peckish, order one of those giant ravioli the Japanese prefer to call Gyoza but they look like ravioli to me. They definitely, cannot be confused with a Chinese wanton.

    IMG_9242.JPG

    Now, a confession, my taste of Japanese food is not yet fully developed. I am trying but it is not growing on me. Therefore, please take my advice with a pinch of salt! However, here is my main point. I cannot logically find a good reason for paying 190 to 250 thb when I can get the same quality Ramen at MBK for less than 80bht. Do you have any suggestions? Answers on a postcard please.

    IMG_9243.JPG

    What about the ambiance and the internal decorations that I so often rave about in my Thai reviews? Regrettably, I cannot find any points of inspirations no matter how much I try. Perhaps, there may be some reviewers that will find the layout of the six shops attractive and with all things Japanese it often is. However, despite the helpfulness and lovely smiles from the staff, the idea of dining in something a little larger than a cubicle, which reminds me of my garden shed and where the lighting is non descript, it is not going to pass the Giorgio Federico’s benchmark on good value for money. You are free to think that I am a cheap skate although I prefer the more elegant term "high value seeker".

    IMG_9237.JPG

    To give some credit to the noodle shops, the taste was good. I did try two of them even though I did not finish my bowl in either attempt, but again Ramen in Bangkok is also good elsewhere and for one third of the price and with ambiance not being there...well I think I have made my point.

    IMG_9245.JPG

    If you wish to go and blow your money on noodles at three times the standard price while dining in a garden shed, by all means do so, I will not stop you.

    IMG_9248.JPG

    I have seen a number of cats in my life time but a green one with painted nails was a first on me! Maybe that is the colour one turns into when one eats too many Ramen?

    Giorgio Federico
     
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  17. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    We ordered food from Basil which was very expensive and we were not impressed at all by the quality of the food or the final product of the dishes ... I dare say, however, that the best dish I ever had was at this hotel. During Happy Hours at the Living Room, I requested Rossini's menu and ordered a ravioli-like pasta dish that it was the most delicious dish I have ever had: home-made 'pansotti' filled with roasted veal in truffle essence.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Located at the Erawan "Mall" next to the Grand Hyatt Erawan ... another disappointing experience (to be all honest here). The service was lacking, the food was mediocre at best, and the tab was very high as they include the ++ to the bill. Ordered two dishes and both were immemorable. Nice decor, however.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    Thanks, I know our taste in Thai food is very similar so I really appreciate not wasting money at Basil - maybe I'll have a chance to try your rec at rossini - normally I wouldn't eat italian in Thailand, but it sounds like I should make an exception.

     
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  19. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    I guess no comment, eh? :D
     
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  20. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    You got me when I was trying to edit to figure out how to quote the text without the pictures - still haven't got it right:oops:
     
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  21. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    The Italian food I have had in Thailand is just as good and even better than the dishes I had in Italy ... the Spaghetti alla Carbonara that I had at the D2 Chiang Mai 's Moxie was just as good as the one I had at Piazza Farnese in Rome. At the same time, I have had some awful Italian food in Thailand, such as Biscotti's at the Four Seasons Bangkok.
     
  22. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Well Kalboz, it sounds as if the next drink may have to be on me.

    I am sorry that you had a disappointing experience at Basil.
    Mine was genuinely good though.
    Thus, I can only deduce, knowing your vast knowledge in affairs of the palate, that they may lack consistency in what they produce. By the way, what did you have?

    As to the Erawan Tea Rooms, I am surprised at the way the service was lacking and it goes to prove the good value these threads have for all of us.

    Being Italian when in Bangkok I tend to immerse myself in Thai food. Therefore, I cannot offer comments about Italian cuisine in Bangkok as I have not tried it yet.

    Thank you again for taking the trouble to post these comments and I am glad that you liked the decor at the Erawan Tea Rooms.

    Best
    Giorgio Federico
     
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  23. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Our experience at Basil was in December 2010 while the Erawan Tea Room was in February of the same year.
    You mean to say you never had a pasta asciuta while in Thailand? :confused:
    No trouble at all ... and the drinks are on me :)
     
  24. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Dear Kalboz,

    I have checked my records for Basil and it seems I dined there in 2011. Perhaps they learnt their lessons??
    Ah, pasta asciutta, now you're talking!!
    However, credit must ne given where due and our Thai friends never fail to impress me in the kitchen.
    It will be a pleasure to have a drink with you.

    Best
    Giorgio Federico
     
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