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Travelogue: Back in the Big Mango


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June 22 – Bangkok

It’s that smell.

That thick, humid rotting smell of corruption and heat. Of heavy fruits that will take you by the nose and pull you Mowgli-style (or was that Baloo? But it’s a different sub-continent, anyways) sideways off of your path.

The papers talk again of influential figures, of “unusual wealth, of veiled threats, and of the interests of the military. The US makes comments of the need for democracy, and the PAD “takes” Government House while the Prime Minister, who hosts a cooking show, watches the action from one of the VIP karaoke rooms at the Army Club.

I’m back in Krungthep.

Why do I ever leave?

I’d arrived later than planned, which was fine with me. The original flight landed me at just before 8:00 a.m., and I knew that would spell trouble as far as checking in went. But 10:00 a.m…..well, that’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the 2 p.m. regular check-in, and, seeing as all I needed in this world was a shave, a shower, and….. that other word.

This timing works a lot better for me than the original post dawn arrival. I can check in, I can get this first part posted, and then I can get properly dressed.

I’m trying something different in terms of accommodation. I’ve taken a refurbished “apartment hotel” just behind Robinson’s at Asoke and Sukhumvit, a step away from the skytrain and the underground. I’ve long been a fan of the Emporium for their easy connection to Phrom Phong (and access to the Londoner, the Bull’s Head, the James Joyce, and the Robin Hood), but I’ve made it a mission to check out new locations, and this corner, with both transit systems, is a possible long term location for me.

But, that has nothing to do with food.

This is to be a week of eating. After I finished writing the Japan trip up (with the short little Hong Kong stopover), I was able to relax, to take my time about the house and play with different bits of cooking I’d meant to take up.

But, after a few weeks, I found myself……restive. Perhaps it was the weather. The days of heat and dust. And more dust. Perhaps it was the pressure of the Japan trip, which was never a “relaxing” vacation, but rather my (and Scud’s) approximate of a cultural holiday (Hey! Anime is culture!) But finally, with five months facing me before I could hope to be away again, I broke.

I’ve taken a week off.

I have a good boss.

And so, as always, I’m where I should be. The contents of my bag are strewn about the rooms. I’ve hung the tuxedo and dress shirts. The jackets, likewise, are put away. My trusty 12” Powerbook is plugged in and running.

And I’m preparing for my first meal.

A meal that should take up most of the rest of the afternoon.

Next: Brunch

Edited by Peter Green (log)
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Peter,

While I am glad as always to see you back and writing in Bangkok, it troubles me no end that strife always seems to erupt when you are there.

Care to explain away the coincidences?  :biggrin:

It's just an idle rumour cast about by ne'er do wells.

And pay no attention to the shirts I wear.

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hey peter you ever been to or tor kor market???? Hit me up if you want to go, im cray busy with 17 days till my place goes live, but i can always squeeze a trip in for "product research"

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Yayayyyayayayay! *does the happy dance*

When's the snail curry? Man, I can smell Krueng Thep but you forgot the miasma of stagnant klongs. Oh, wait you're in the wrong area. NM. Ah, the corruption, the wet towel heat/humidity, the money, ice chest air con, tuk-tuks, chauffered Mercedes, strict Aunties and indulgent Uncles, the food...

THE FOOD! Somedays I ask myself the question "why did I leave?" too. It's usually because someone just reminded me of home and all the lucious food I can get anywhere or anytime. There are days I weep at the thought of the dozens of selections of fruit. From apples at the King's project in the North to mangosteens, longons, barely ripe mangos with chili salt, rambutans in the central region. Don't even mention the pineapple. I think I was spoiled for life eating pineapple in Thailand as an end to dinner. *sigh* yeah I wonder why I left somedays too... Unfortunately, my boss (my health really) isn't as nice as yours Peter.

Have fun playing in the City of Angels! The rest of us mortals will be watching and waiting for any manna you wish to throw our way. :)

[bonus points to whoever can give me the FULL name of Krung Thep without resorting to google! I can only get as far as Krueng Thep Mahanakorn Ubon Rachattani and that's just because the Carabao song :laugh: ]

Edited by OnigiriFB (log)
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กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยามหาดิลก ภพนพรัตน์ ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์ มหาสถาน อมรพิมาน อวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะ วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์

how ya like them apples

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I'm relatively ignorant on Thailand. This will be fun and will have to do until I can get there myself!

Peter, that sounds like a great offer from Tim to do some "product research!"

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยามหาดิลก ภพนพรัตน์ ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์ มหาสถาน อมรพิมาน อวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะ วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์

how ya like them apples

Wow I'm inpressed! In Thai even. Er, now give me about 30 minutes to remember how to read Thai (kidding). Wanna translate for all those english speakers out there?

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กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยามหาดิลก ภพนพรัตน์ ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์ มหาสถาน อมรพิมาน อวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะ วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์

how ya like them apples

Wow I'm inpressed! In Thai even. Er, now give me about 30 minutes to remember how to read Thai (kidding). Wanna translate for all those english speakers out there?

Chai krub, it goes a little something like this:,,,,,Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit............ its kinda sing song when you pronounce it, please dont ask how or why i know this but cant ever remember alot of useful thai when i seem to need it most,,,, say this out loud and most thais think there is something wrong with the farang, blank stares or laughter are the most common responses

Edited by tb86 (log)
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กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยามหาดิลก ภพนพรัตน์ ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์ มหาสถาน อมรพิมาน อวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะ วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์

how ya like them apples

Wow I'm inpressed! In Thai even. Er, now give me about 30 minutes to remember how to read Thai (kidding). Wanna translate for all those english speakers out there?

Chai krub, it goes a little something like this:,,,,,Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit............ its kinda sing song when you pronounce it, please dont ask how or why i know this but cant ever remember alot of useful thai when i seem to need it most,,,, say this out loud and most thais think there is something wrong with the farang, blank stares or laughter are the most common responses

Hey the only reason a million Thai kids even KNOW the dang thing or some of it is cause the Carabao song!

Ok sorry Peter I hijacked your thread. Please return and report soon! (Though he's probably in a food induced coma about now. :laugh: )

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Peter,

Sorry I missed your PM...been bad about keeping up with the Gullet recently!

I second Dosa King (it's just around the corner) so if you want to do that at any point, let me know (or other options too!)

- Ellen

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Hey the only reason a million Thai kids even KNOW the dang thing or some of it is cause the Carabao song!

Ok sorry Peter I hijacked your thread. Please return and report soon! (Though he's probably in a food induced coma about now. :laugh: )

Wasn't the dance version done by Asanee and Wiharn, not Carabao? By coincidence I got a band to play that last night. Everybody sing along!

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June 22 – These Are Just Some of My Favourite Things

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I slipped (when you’re as damp as I am, you slip a lot) around the corner of the Erawan shrine, and into the soft shade of the trees in front of the Hyatt. Just past there it was a brief dodge through the morning restaurant taking up most of the sidewalk, and there I was.

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Back at the Four Seasons.

Once in the relative cool of the courtyard I was able to take a moment, compose myself, and then work my way through the greetings to my table.

Greetings can take a lot out of you. Maybe I could take up wai’ing as an exercise regime?

Now, while I enjoy a glass of champagne, let’s do a quick tour of what is on offer. We’ll begin inside of Madison’s, where I prefer to sit

Along one wall of the main room is the cold selection – vegetables, salads, smoked salmon, mushrooms, artichoke hearts,…..all the fixings for a good opening plate.

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Then, on the perpendicular, there’s a selection of cold cuts and cheeses. I do love cheese, especially any that smell as funky as these. We’ll be visiting here later.

You head to the entrance to Madison’, but take a hard left past the private room. This places you in the kitchen. On your left is the cold seafood – prawns, crawfish, scallops, oysters, mussels, and crab.

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As you leer at the cold seafood (which is where I spend a lot of my time), behind you the kitchen is hard at work. There’s a selection of fish and meat for you to order cooked to your preference. You just make your choice, and leave one of the chits for them.

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I look at the kitchen, and I’m struck at how spacious it is. But then I remember spending a lunch in there with Nicolas Joanny some years back, and at the time it was all I could do to keep my stomach out of people’s way.

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Oh, and there is some nice carvery to be had, too, if you don’t wish to wait for your protein.

Now, from the kitchen you come out and around the far corner, past the fireplace. This places you in the aisle running behind the glass doors fronting on Parichart Court.

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Down the inside of this run is plate after plate of dessert.

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I know some people who would be very happy just to stay here.

Past this are the baked goods, very fresh bread, and some nice pastries. But I know better than to fill up on such items.

And, at the door to Madison is the soufflé station, where they’re making chocolate melts and banana soufflés today.

There, that’s the first part. Now let’s step outside into Aqua, the Four Seasons’ bar placed in the courtyard.

To our right as we step back into the heat is an exotic selection of farang food. Ham, bacon, eggs. Hash browns. Hey, it may be mundane for us, but I’m certain some people quite appreciate it (and it can be hard to find nice ham).

After the breakfast standards there’s a station for pasta and risotto. Again, these are two items I do love, but I know that there’s a limit to my appetite, and so I restrain myself.

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Past the Italians we find the Japanese, with grilled eel, shabu shabu, and a selection of sashimi.

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Let us not forget the refreshments. Included in the brunch are a number of wines, generally Australian, although there’s a nice little Chardonnay from the Maipo that I’ll have to take a look at later.

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There are also wine cocktails of different sorts, and a selection of martinis.

And, that standby of morning beverages, the Bloody Mary.

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After the drinks, there’s a fish egg stand, built on a block of ice with by the fish pond. But this is primarily lump fish and ikura, and I just don’t find the flavour of ikura in Asia to be as good as what I have in Vancouver. But that’s just me.

We’ll leave Aqua for a moment (we’ll be back), and go to the other side of the door to Madison’s. First we find the Chinese station, with hanging meats and cheerful little steamers.

Beside this is the Indian station, doing tandooris.

And then we find ourselves at the entrance to Spice Market, the hotel’s Thai food. In front there is a grill going of different sausages, and just inside is papaya salad made to your taste.

Now we return to the centre of Aqua. Here, at the final installation, we find a selection of Mediterranean mezzes, a fine looking salmon that been baked in peppercorn bark, and then, my favourite…..

The foie gras station.

They do it four ways.

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You can have it as a soufflé,

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You can have it as a sausage,

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You can have it as pate under a bit of jelly and some endive,

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Or you can just enjoy it pan fried, which is my preference.

There, we’ve had a spin around the block. Now let’s settle down for some serious driving.

I opened with a cold plate to finish the sparkling wine that Reza, the manager, had sent over. It’s good when people know your habits.

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The asparagus here is something I look forward to now. I believe it’s coming from the Royal Projects, and is wonderfully crisp. The artichoke heart had the charm of pickling to support it, and the mushrooms are excellent, squeaky in texture, but having also benefited from a bit of pickling in the marinade. The salmon was good, but I am a Vancouver snob so I wouldn’t rant about it. And the Vietnamese spring roll was a little disappointing. Even with the plum sauce, there wasn’t enough herbal aromatics with it. And the whole point of a Viet roll is to give you an excuse to eat herbs.

Then I made a basic beginner’s mistake. I ordered too much, too quickly.

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I picked up some eel (I’m still going through withdrawal pains from Japan) and while there ordered some sashimi as well.

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My timing was horribly off. Rather than having enough time to finish the eel, and then refresh myself with the sashimi, I found both occupying the table simultaneously. Still, in a common theme I could cope. The octopus was particularly good, with a solid crunch as I worked through the exterior to the softer, wetter interior. And I had some sea bream, which turned out to be a very nicely textured fish. The tuna and the salmon were as you’d expect. But I must say good things about the wasabi, as I appreciate that they fresh grind their’s here.

Then things got out of hand. Some foie gras showed up. I just couldn’t walk by that table without ordering some. But this is hardly a complement of flavours.

I needed to slow down a bit.

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A Bloody Mary can be a big help in this regards.

Under control, I next took some Chinese.

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A little steamer of dumplings filled with fish and prawn mousse; some roasted red pork with a peanut sauce, and “Hong Kong style” sucklying pig, served over some steamed bread.

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Then I had to have some Thai. The poo nim – soft shelled crab crispy fried, and served with a sauce of basil, chillis, and lots of green peppercorn. This was very much a study in rawn phed, where “peppery” is the target flavour, rather than chilli hot.

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And I couldn’t pass up the sai eua. This was very good, having that bit of “pong” as tb86 said, the result of some fermentation being allowed to happen.

As a comment, the Bloody Mary, served here with a good peppery burn, isn’t a bad companion to Asian food, holding its own with the solid burn of Thai cuisine.

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That had covered me for the opening act. Now it was time to get started. I switched from Bloody Marys (what is the plurar for that? “Maries”?) to a Blue Moon Shiraz from Oz. Then my next selection was delivered, one of each of the foie gras preparations, all served with a nice drizzle of truffle oil.

Of these, I stand by what I’d said earlier. The best for me is the pan roasted. The “soufflé” is very nice, very much like a tawanmushi, but the sausage and the pate don’t do very much for me. But a good slab of foie gras, that’s hard not to get axcited about.

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Now it was time for some of that Maipo Valley Chardonnay and some seafood. I took the baby scallops, a few crab claws, and all the fin de Claire oysters I could fit.

I miss having oysters. I’d had a couple in Japan, but my last real blow out had been back in February, and that was a long time ago.

I love the brine from an oyster. But then, I’m a big fan of salt. This called for more oysters, and a vodka martini to go with them.

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One of the nice things (there are many) about brunch here is that when you get old and lazy (like me) you don’t have to get up to go get things. The staff will take care of it for you. This benefits as well in that they’ll do things I wouldn’t, like adding some fried coconut, onion and garlic to the side of a plate of oysters. This, with the martini, worked very well.

I had some more crab, as well, and then contemplated my options. I was beginning to slow down, and I had been there eating for two hours now. I decided to take some cheese.

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I concentrated on the ones that were runny enough that they could do a marathon. Of these the Brillat Savarin and the St. Mere were my favourites. The Talaggio was disappointing, being thicker in consistency. Good for others, but not what I was looking for.

With this I’d gone with another Chilean, a cabernet sauvignon this time. I finished this with the cheese and then looked back to the Blue Moon Shiraz for dessert.

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Then I asked for a cappuccino, as jet lag was beginning to take hold, and tried a light selection of the sweets, taking a mango moose, and a few of the pretty little egg flowers (flecked with gold leaf), and some chocolate, and a chocolate truffle.

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And then, to finish, the chocolate melt. Rich, sweet, and very hot.

During the course of this I wasted some of Reza’s time with idle banter, and did manage to get some idea of what’s coming in September with the WGF. But I’m sworn to secrecy on that matter (and you never know until the last minute for certain, anyways).

It was three o’clock, and things were beginning to wind down. While I was not the last table, there was a great deal of open space about. Cheerfully I paid, bid my fairwells, and started thinking about dinner.

Next: Sing For Your Supper

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Peter, once again you filled me with:

*ENVY (of your capacity to accomodate such meal)

*Jeolousy (that I am not there stuffing my face with you)

*Hunger (it's 8:00pm and I haven't fixed dinner yet and nothing in the fridge would taste remotely of the feast/brunch that you had).

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Ooooohhhhh! I love fancy hotel brunches! Is it only on Sundays? And probably holidays like New Years? I'll have to add that to my list for my next visit to Bangkok (whenever that may be!).

Speaking of Erawan...

In the basement of what used to be the Erawan Hotel (and is now some other hotel) is a bakery. They have the best palmiers you've ever had, and they haven't changed their recipe in 40-some years or more! (At least they hadn't by 2004 or 2005, the last time I was in BKK.)

Another place is that duck or chicken place at the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 15. I've never eaten there (my mother refuses to go there), but my cousin says it's very highly regarded with locals of all socio-economic backgrounds. If you're in the 'hood (and you sort of are), and you can't do Dosa King in my stead, I vote for that place. You can tell me if it's any good, and then perhaps I can convince my mother to get over her fear of germs...(or I could just go to Bangkok with someone who doesn't have a fear of germs).

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June 22 – Rock On

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Brunch went down well, and did a good job of carrying me through to the early evening. But I’d need to get some more Thai food into me before the day was done, or else I’d start going into withdrawal.

Tawan Daeng was the obvious choice. It’s a bit of a drive, but the taxi driver was happy with the long fare. I was hoping that some of my friends would join, but they did caution me that the was a wedding they needed to be at.

So, Mr. Peter’s reservation was in order, and I apologized that I might just be alone. But it was a Sunday night, and as long as I was ordering enough for six, they didn’t mind.

Let’s start with the beer. This is a brew house, after all.

They do a lager, a dunkel, and a weizen. I begin things with a liter of the dunkel.

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My memory was right. This is a pretty good dark. German standard, but with a richer head and a bit more velvet in the finish. I’d limited myself to a liter, but I remembered now that we’d had this in a 3m tower last time, and it was good.

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I’m certain if you ask any Bavarian what goes best with a dunkel, he’s going to say “why, raw prawns lightly ceviched with lime and nam pla, heavily laced with chilis and garlic, and garnished with bitter gourd and baby tomatoes.”

Well, maybe he’d say that in German.

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Next up was grilled pork neck. Like the prawns, grilled pork just belongs near a beer. This came pink and juicy with a tangle of crispy fried shredded basil.

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And I believe I’m on record somewhere regarding my passion for sai eua. This one was good, but I preferred the one at the Four Seasons a bit more.

The show was a bit different today from what I remembered. No cabaret acts, just straight Thai rock (or covers of Western oldies). As the clock rolled past 8 p.m. the place was filling up. Across the cavernous hall the tables started sporting beer towers, monoliths of malt towering over the crowded devotees at their base.

Just a sec, let me check to see if I have some hyperbole around, or if I used it all up.

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I went for the lager next. Not as satisfying as their dark, it doesn’t quite have the crispness that I’d like from a lager in this climate.

Still, it was wet like me, so it’d do.

Any beer hall worth its salt is going to have a decent washroom. I think I put up a picture of the “sink for vomiting” last time, but it doesn’t hurt to put it up again.

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But what really impressed me was the fussball table they’d installed just as you came in.

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Back at the table, I settled into my beer, and then realized that I had eaten everything.

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The house special tonight, on the big overhead screen, was deep fried duck beak. This sounded like a good way to keep my mouth busy between sips.

This wasn’t the wisest choice. There’s not a lot that’s edible on a duck beak. They made for reasonable gnawing practice, but otherwise they were just there.

Up on the big screen they were running a video of the building of the brewery (back in 1998 opened in 1999). Some good shots of the vats going in by crane, and then the big beehive building going up overtop.

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Somehow my liter of lager had evaporated. It must be the air conditioning. I went for the finish with a half liter of the weizen.

Again, not bad, and they hit the mark in what they were aiming for, but it was a little too sweet and full for what I wanted to be drinking right then. Of the three, the dunkel is the one to concentrate upon.

The band had switched over, and a young female singer introduced her father as the lead guitar. They also had an appropriately emaciated Thai David Bowie-look alike up there cutting a few numbers, too.

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It’s good to people having fun with guitars again.

At this point, I could feel the insides of my eyes calling out. I hadn’t slept for two days, and that was beginning to feel like a good idea.

There’d be plenty of time to eat more later.

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March 23 – Searching For the King

I know when to take a hint. Especially when it's coming from Rona. It was an early day, I would take advantage of it to get some business taken care of on Sukhumvit.

And business included Dosa King.

I’d seen the signs years back, but that was then, this was now. And now there was no Dosa King on soi 19.

However, the internet does come in handy at times, and in this instance I found out quickly that Dosa King had moved just down the street to Soi 11/1.

Easy.

I sweated my way down Sukhumvit and headed into the Soi. Dosa King was right there on the left, proudly advertising Southern and Northern Indian vegetarian cuisine.

I could do this. It’d probably be good for me.

But, when I entered, it seemed oddly quiet.

And dark.

And warm.

In fact, the whole block seemed to have passed into an age prior to electricity, a simpler age when computers were run on coal, and microwaves were wood burning…….

Yeah, power was down. And it probably wasn’t coming back. The owner was kind enough to suggest that I might prefer to come back on another day rathter than brave the steambath the dining room had become. Better to suggest this before I just get up and leave. It’s good to have certain decorum in things.

Well, what else was on my list and close?

Mongo’s! I’d been thinking about having a kangaroo steak ever since I read Carey’s The History of the Kelly Gang.

So I went vertical over Sukhumvit and walked over to where Mongo has their place with the patio looking out on the street.

They were shut down. Don’t know if they’ll be back, but the paper and soap on the windows isn’t a good sign.

One of the many rules of Bangkok. If you find a place you want to eat at, do it with an eye to the impermanence of Earthly things. Restaurants in Bangkok can be extremely impermanent.

What was left?

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Kinnaree. Thai food would be good, and Kinnaree, while somewhat farang’d, has a good reputation among many of my friends for good service and atmosphere.

It’s set back down soi 8 a little bit, past new serviced apartment buildings and other restaurants and bar, but you shouldn’t think of the clutter that exists on the odd side of Sukhumvit. Over here it was a little more relaxed without everything being cheek by jowl.

Kinnaree, as per formula, is in a renovated villa, the ground floor making up the dining room. There’s a small gazebo out front with a couple of bartenders who work the cocktail side, and they actually seem to have a strong cocktail menu. I did try to ask if they’d been involved in the recent mixology tournement (the winner came from the Conrad’s +87 – he’ll be going to Italy to represent Thailand), but the conversation didn’t quite work out.

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The décor is much as we see in Baan Khanitha and other Thai restaurants of this sort where “entertaining” is done. Nothing wrong with that, as I was quite interested in air conditioning at this point in my life. The art looked good, and everything was tidy and clean, as you’d expect.

It was empty except for members of the Thai and American foreign service who were finishing lunch nearby, discussing the current non-situation in Thailand. I listened in with one ear while looking over the menu (that used my two eyes. Can’t recall what I did with the other ear…it must have been a Van Gogh moment).

It’s a good menu. Some photos, which can be a help at times, but which I find slow things down a lot (it’s the “shiny” effect….I can’t help lingering over food shots), with some good looking entrees; salmon hor mok, boneless fish in tamarind, panang tofu…..

I asked the manager, Bamlung, about the vegetarian, as this was a question that had arisen on egullet before. They prepare all of the vegatarian material without nampla or kapi, so that’s not an issue. He was also aware of the different restrictions for different vegetarians – who wouldn’t do dairy products, some won’t do strong smells, such as garlic, onion, etc.

I was struck by the “mock” dishes on the menu. This was something we’d seen in Chengdu, where lamb legs, duck, chickens, and pork would be recreated in flour gluten and tofu, with just the right colours and textures.

My appetite was somewhat restrained, and I feel bad when I leave a lot of food on the table. Besides the 12 pages of entrees, they also had 5 set menus, and these looked more interesting than the standard tourist sets.

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My amuse was a tidy little tung thong – a tofu bag filled with minced chicken and taro, and then deep fried. A nice, one bit wake-up.

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It came with the fish in tamarind, which had been filleted and fried crispy, then to be smothered in a slather of the tangy tamarind sauce.

Beside that was a tom yam talay – a tom yam of mixed seafood. I know the big thing is to be the prawns, but I much prefer just taking the broth, trusting for the goodness of the seafood to have come out. Tentatively I tried the squid, and I was right, there is something different about the squid in the Northern waters of Japan that just makes them more tender.

The hor mok had also drawn my eye on this set. I like hor mok, be it done in a kranab (roasted or steamed in banana leaves) or baked in the little cups, or done as a straight fry, as it was here. The outside was extremely crisp, trapping the juices inside so you had a very pleasant experience. This came served on a bed of deep fried crispy shredded omelet.

And then there was the poo jaa – dear crab. This was steamed with the usual suspects – galanga, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaf, and then was finished by frying with egg and curry, working it up a bit like a mousse.

And with this came some very good rice – khao suay – soft and fragrant, each grain holding on its own.

Bamlung had given me some time on my own to eat, but was available for more questions. Kinnaree had been open now for two and a half years. The owner, Khun Wanasnan Kanokpattanangkul, opened with the intention to present authentic Thai flavours, but with reworked presentations and slightly new approaches. He’s taking the success he’s had here (and, as I said, this place is well regarded) and going abroad with plans for a chain of Kinnaree restaurants to continue the diasopora of Thai dining.

Hey, I found some more hyperbole! I though I used all that up at Tawan Daeng!

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Dessert was a perfectly suitable selection of cantaloupe, mango, and papaya. I love the fruit in Thailand (and that reminds me, I have some rambutan to eat around here somewhere).

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And some lemon grass tea to finish. It’s been a long time since I had this, but it’s still good.

Next – Where the Red Ants Dream

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*jumps up and down with glee* I know where you are going next, I know where you are going next! Yay!

Ok everyone... What are boys made of?

:laugh:

I WANT that elephant next to the cup of tea. (I collect elephants). Please?  :raz:

Tomorrow, with luck.

What is she located near?

There's also a really good ba mi place across from Panthip, but I hate going there (Panthip), I must admit.

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