Good Eats

I wrote this up for my food blog the other day. It just now dawned on me that it’s a post perfect for Thai-Blogs!

So, here it is.

A Bangkok dining experience

Thai people LOVE to eat.

Food carts and stalls are everywhere. I haven’t seen any other country where the entire floor of the shopping mall, not just one section of it, is dedicated to restaurants AND a food court.

Everything you want, we have it. Italian and Japanese would be the most common restaurants you’ll find in the city. Japanese food tends to stay pretty traditional but you may run into a Thai-styled Italian here and there.

If you can’t make up your mind of what you’d like to eat, the Food Loft at Central Chidlom and Central World Plaza would take care of that for you.

At a traditional Thai food court, you’ll have to go purchase some food coupons to use instead of cash, wait for your food and lug your own tray, and then return the unused coupons. A hassle from top to bottom, really.

But the Food Loft takes that to a whole new level. A “new dining concept” as they call it, the Food Loft is essentially a serviced international food court with a bar. You are given a “ticket” with a bar code when you enter. Then you are directed to the seating area where the hostess will seat you, put a “reserved” sign on your table and off you go venturing. There you will find Thai, burgers, pasta, sushi to Korean barbecue. The bar has gazillion things to drink from sodas, tropical fruit juices, beer, wine and, yes, cocktails. Wherever you order, you give them the ticket, they charge your order to the ticket and give you a receipt. You go back to your table and give the waiter your receipt and they’ll pick up the items from whatever stations you visited and bring them to you.

There’s the cashier at the exit. You just give her your ticket and everything on your tab comes up for you to pay for all at once.

Aint’ that awesome?

My culinary adventure in Bangkok usually started at home. My maid cooks dinner most nights. Breakfast for me usually ended up being leftover from the night before. The maid also knows where to get good and trustworthy street food for occasional breakfast and most lunch like egg noodles with BBQ pork (Bahmee Mhoo Daeng) across from Mater Dei Institute in Soi Langsuan (what I grew up eating since kindergarten), chicken-broth steamed rice and steamed chicken (Kao Mann Gai), and incredible Jay Gee garlic fried chicken and sticky rice from Soi Polo.

Oh all the dishes you can’t get at a Thai restaurant in the US, not even in LA! Like fried mackerel with Naam Prik Pla Too, this dipping sauce made out of chili paste , shrimp paste and other spices, with a side of egg-dipped and fried Asian eggplants and other steamed local vegetables. Like Gaeng Somm, hot and sour vegetable soup made with fermented chili paste and tamarind juice and shrimps.

My maid totally rocks my world.

My school friend also owns a Thai restaurant not too far away. Kinnaree Gourmet Thai is on Sukhumvit Road Soi 8, a quick walk from the Na-Na BTS station. The atmosphere is catered for tourists and foreigners, but the flavors are oh so very Thai. Like one of the blogs called it, “Thai flavors with western presentation”. You won’t find too many locals at the place, but I will NEVER miss an opportunity to go there for dinner.

So I called up my schoolmates and we had an informal reunion dinner there. My favorites are the soft shell crabs with 3-flavor sauce (Pu Nimm Samm Rot)and the mixed seafood grilled skewers with this wicked dipping sauce (Ping Talay). There were many other dishes that Note, the owner, ordered for us and at some point I ate so much I totally lost track of what else was on our table.

Well, the chocolate martinis her bartender kept bringing to me didn’t help either. Hahah!

Their cocktail menu is packed full of everything from basic stuff like collins and sours to creative mixed ice blends served up with fancy 3-ft. straw! (Gosh, I wish I had some pictures on me!) The dessert was also divine. Note ordered us the ice cream sampler which had a scoop each of custard apple (Noinah) sorbet, passion fruit sorbet, and chocolate gelato.

Another fantastic gourmet meal I had in Bangkok was at Opera Riserva 1983 Wineteque in Sukhumvit Soi 39. The wine bar side of L’Opera Restaurant next door, the Riserva is a trendy wine bar with a wine list many pages long and a full authentic Italian menu. I must say that they have the best Italian food I had in Bangkok so far. The fact that they had Limoncello on their drink menu was definitely promising. 🙂

We had antipasto plate with just the meat, and a few pasta plates and a pizza. I had rigatoni with Italian sausage and porcine mushrooms which was very tasty. My brother ordered the pizza which was a super thin, hand tossed crust topped prosciutto, some other stuff, and dollops of mascarpone. Oh, my god. It’s the first time I’ve ever had mascarpone in Bangkok outside of a tiramisu!

Bangkok is truly World’s cuisine in a nutshell, I swear!

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