Wednesday, July 18, 2012

other stuff we ate: bangkok

Not that I ever got tired of Thai food while I was in Thailand, but sometimes you have to "give chance to others" as my elementary school teachers used to say.

The best ramen place in Bangkok was just five minutes away from the condo. Bankara was full of Japanese customers when we were there for dinner on 6 May 2012-- a very good sign. In fact, we had to wait almost 15 minutes for a table, and it was worth it. I would gladly queue up for this ramen again.

Springy noodles, lovely fatty pork belly, melt-in-your-mouth chashu, the most AMAZING broth. 5/5

Rice topping with a generous slice of the same delicious pork belly under all that nori. 4/5

The gyoza was not bad, but I've had better right here at home. 3.75/5

Actually, two days earlier we ate practically exactly the same things at Fumi Japanese Cuisine on Siam Paragon's ground floor. We ended up there because somehow, in the vastness of the mall's so-called "Gourmet Paradise", we couldn't find anything we liked. We were tired and hungry, and Fumi had a vacant table. Of course, it can't hold a candle to Bankara.

Tonkotsu ramen. The sliced pork and mushrooms were nice, but the broth was too salty and commercial-tasting. 3.5/5

The pork belly was so-so, but the pure white steamed rice was super fragrant. I love jasmine rice. 3.5/5 

On 30 April 2012, a big group of us had a late lunch at Four Seasons Restaurant, also at Siam Paragon. The original resto is in London (!) and is known for the best roast duck in the world (!!). Well, of course we had to try it.

Tasty and tender, but I found the dark sauce kind of weird. I prefer Hong Kong's drier roast duck. 4/5 

The deep-fried pork belly (4.5/5) was excellent-- we ordered extra. The roast pork (3.75/5) was just OK.  

Everyone liked the fried calamari. I was happy to munch on the sliced chilies. 4/5

I was very excited by this tofu dish, but sadly, I found it too salty. 3/5

We thought that the kung pao chicken's color was strange. It tasted alright, but we couldn't get over the appearance. 3.5/5

I much preferred the Peking duck we had the next day (yes, duck again) at Great Shanghai. I have to say that the ambiance added a lot to my enjoyment. Notice the dark wood paneling, the red tablecloth, the lazy susan. It reminded me of my family's favorite restaurants in Hong Kong back in the '80s.

I can't remember the last time I had Peking duck this good. It was perfect. 5/5

It's the best in Bangkok. I'd say it's probably the best outside of China.

I've always been curious about the appeal of the Japanese-style burger. I've tried Sango in Manila and didn't get it, so I thought that MOS Burger in the basement of Terminal 21 might enlighten me.

The patty was bland and there was too much junk in the burger. I still don't get it. 3/5

I've fallen in love with the Michelin Guide's rating system-- it makes so much sense to me-- so I've decided to appropriate it. Taking into consideration the food, service and ambiance: I give Bankara Ramen and Great Shanghai three stars each (worth a special journey), and one star to Four Seasons (very good in its category).

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