September 9, 2007

Going home to eat

Hello gang! I have returned! Did ya miss me? Of course not, since you have Brenda holding the fort while I went home for 2 weeks. Hehe.

This trip home was a unique one. I mean, I don't think my family and I had eaten out that much within 2 weeks in our lives. But it was easier for us and for our maid if we were to eat out during the week of wake at the temple.

Not all of the restaurants in Bangkok has a website, so I'm just going by what I remember and will try to give you guys a link the best I can.

Brace yourself. This is a LONG one. :)

Royal Kitchen
Sukumvit 55 (Soi Thong Lo), opposite Soi Thong Lo 25

Royal Kitchen, according to my brothers, is a staple for club-goers as they do open late to serve up their famous congee, Chinese rice porridge, in the wee hours. (And of course, with Thong-Lo being Bangkok's trendiest club/bar strip.) They are also famous for their Hong Kong style barbecue suckling pig but we didn't have that. We went in for a late dinner but the place was quite full still. A few tables of foreigners in there too.

The entire family (dad, oldest brother and wife, and older brother and long-time girlfriend) was present and we ordered pretty much the usual fare. Jelly fish salad. Steamed chicken in Chinese cooking wine. Stir fried veggies. And steamed fish in soy sauce. My sister in law ordered a bowl of congee. And I think we ordered something else too I just don't remember. Everything was delicious and service was great.

Khun Ying
Thai - Seafood
Sukhumvit 63 (Soi Ekamai)

Apparently, Khun Ying gets Japanese tourists here by the bus load and they are still a local's favorite. My brother and his girlfriend who lives nearby frequents this place for their yummy food and reasonable price.

Well, when we were there, we fell for the price trap and shelled out about $30 for a plate of peppercorn stir fried crab which was market price PLUS fresh out of the tank. Whoops. But despite the steep price we paid, the crab was pretty good. Here, we ordered a fried fish with chili and garlic sauce. Usually they'd top the fish with the sauce, but not knowing how hot the sauce was going to be, we asked to have it on the side. And lucky we did. The sauce was a bit on the greasy side but after skimming off the fat floating about on top, it was very tasty sauce. We also ordered fish cakes (Todd Mann), and that was delicious too.

Le Dalat Indochine
Sukhumvit 23 (Soi Prasanmit)

Overpriced for Vietnamese food? Yes. But is it worth the money? I think so. Having been a lifetime fan of Dusit Thani Hotel's Thien Duong, this place is equal to that in taste and lighter on the wallet. We ordered pretty much the same thing we usually did, the shrimps wrapped sugar cane, the meatballs (Nam Nuong), spring rolls, some other items and ended with a small bowl of pho each.

The food was delicious and the service was great. Our wine glasses were never empty, let me put it that way. :) The decor of Le Dalat is what wins me over. Inside this converted historic 1950's villa is filled with Chinese and Vietnamese antiques and arts. The staff themselves are in the traditional Vietnamese garbs which added more to the atmosphere. Then again, the table behind us were French so that REALLY added to the feel. Hehe.

Greyhound Cafe
Thai cafe and fusion food Central Chidlom

Tucked away in the corner of the 3rd floor of Central department store, this sleek eatery can get packed during lunch rush. Greyhound is actually a clothing store but they branch out to do these trendy little cafes that actually may be more popular than their fashion line nowadays where Bangkokians flaunt foreign name brands. The decor is on trendy side, and all the waiters wear quirky slogan shirts.

Their menu is of the fusion flavor as well as a few traditional dishes. I have a few favorites here. The basic bacon and egg fried rice has the description of "what we always wanted our mom to make but she never did"--and it is exactly that! Rice, bacon, egg, flavored with Maggi sauce, no garnish, no nothing, served with a side of clear pork broth. The soba salad is lightly dressed, just a little tangy, and goes extremely well with the prawns. The dressing is super addictive. I found myself dreaming about that salad sometimes. We rounded out the meal with their famous Lod Chong Singapore. Lod Chong is essentially pandan flavored noodles served up in sweetened coconut milk and shaved ice.

Their dessert menu is extensive from baked goods, big enough to top off a meal, and a whole case full of ice cream. Also a new addition, the cafe now have a parfait bar where you can build your own little dessert or go with their variety of toppings. Oh, and if you order iced tea, they serve it up with iced tea ice cubes. No watered down drinks here!

Kalprapruek on First
1st floor, Emporium Shopping Complex, Sukhumvit Road

Famous for its "palace" food back in the days, KP is still a very good place to grab normal Thai grubs with some fusion items included. Who else would have spaghetti a la Thai salted fish with dried chili! I went there with my classmates and we ordered gazillion things. We had beef tongue stew, papaya salad, green apple salad, some other Thai salad, fried fish with this yummy sauce, and gosh knows what else. The wine list is generic...essentially red or white local wine. Not bad if you aim to find something alcoholic to wash your food down and livening up the atmosphere.

We stormed the dessert counter and started to walk off with their display plates when a waitress stopped us. LOL. We sampled everything they had to offer: orange cheesecake, chocolate cake, brownies and custard apple sorbet. But what we had to order another piece of was their apple crumbles which served with hot caramel sauce and cold blueberry compote. Massively addictive!

Zen Cucina
Central World Plaza

The name suggested fusion. But the food is mostly traditional. Well, we didn't go to Zen Cucina looking to try something new. Dad and I were craving Japanese and there it was. The price was very reasonable. Although I was tricked by their menu, and shame on me for that.

The sashimi platters started on the left side of the menu with the giant boats, then to the left with the smaller platter. The page ended with the cheapest around $30 of all imported fish. If you flip to the next page, like my dad did, you'd find the cheaper combination of imported and local fish all the way to the cheapy all local fish. I didn't quite get that far and ordered the least expensive imported fish, thinking it was the LEAST expensive thing. It was pricey, no doubt, but I think it was worth the money with the sweet shrimps and I think abalone, fatty tuna and other deliciousness.

Other than that, we had mixed tempura, garlic fried rice, and steamed fish head in soy sauce, my dad and my favorite item. And for dessert, I tried out the green tea creme brulee. It wasn't bad but it was probably not the best combination either. I don't know. I couldn't say I love it like I love the lavender infused creme brulee at Adams Avenue Grill in San Diego, but I would order it again in a year. Heh.

Soi Ton Son/Langsuan

This was my first Italian food experience! Somewhere there is a picture of my brothers and I there in our Italian soccer jerseys. Heh. Paesano has been around all of my life quite literally and moved a few times to its current location at the bottom of Soi Ton Son. My dad knows the owner who kept coming out to chat and to make his recommendation the entire meal through. Not to mention that he personally tossed us a specialty salad with prawns for us on the house. It was definitely yummy before I hit a pile of sliced chili hidden one onside of the salad. Ouch.

Paesano, as much as I have loved their food, was a bit of a miss that night we went. The French onion soup is still the best in town in my opinion. But the best part of the meal came in the form of small rack of Australian lamb with, I think, pan gravy. The lamb has only a mild lamb smell, and it melts in your mouth as it mingles with the complimenting sauce. And finally, the proverbial cherry on top was the chocolate lava cake. Not too sweet and just the right texture. They only have a limited number of these so ask to have one on hold for you when you order your dinner.

Le Pre Grille
Soi Langsuan 4

The meal that ended my trip was a plate of pasta with perfectly seasoned and baked giant scallops at Le Pre, my brother's favorite restaurant tucked away in the nooks and crannies of our street.

We ordered up a storm that night, all went down smoothly with my brother's choice of French merlot. Escargots, garlicky and juicy. Chicken pate served with a side of caramelized red onion. And everyone else ordered one main course each: sea bass with capers sauce (I liked this one as well), red snapper with butter sauce, rock lobster bisque, duck leg confite served with sauteed potatoes and mushrooms and orange sauce (this too!), sliced roasted duck breast with raspberry sauce. For dessert, we had lemon ice sorbet with vodka and Blanc Manger, a pudding with fruit sauces.

Now I know why this place is my brother's favorite. I think it's now mine too!

No comments: