Sunday, July 22, 2012

what i'll remember: bangkok

These are just a few of the things that I'll remember. Actually, my most vivid memories of Bangkok have no photographic evidence.

1. The Sky Bar on the 63rd floor of the Lebua Hotel. (Everyone calls it Sirocco, but that's actually the name of the fine dining restaurant next to the bar.) The view will literally take your breath away. Words and photos will never do it justice. Two drinks cost us a little over 800 baht (about US$13 each). It's money well-spent, seriously.

Here's the dome again, after sunset.

Friday, July 20, 2012

thinking of thonkrueng

I would never have thought to check out Thonkrueng Thai Restaurant if not for my friends who've been living in Bangkok since mid-2011. It's in a relatively obscure neighborhood not frequented by tourists. From the BTS Skytrain Thong Lo station, you still have to take a cab. Their signboard is barely readable, and they don't have a strong online presence. Their website is woefully inadequate, but no matter-- the food is more than satisfactory.

Started with my favorite Thai dish, som tam. This time with breaded and fried slices of salted egg.

Super tender stir-fried beef with holy basil. Often imitated outside Thailand, but never equalled.

Crisp morning glory (kangkong) sautéed with garlic. Seemingly effortless and yet so perfect.

Deep-fried crab or fish cake, can't remember exactly. Must've been overshadowed by the other dishes.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

food (court) porn in bangkok

Warning: This blog post will make you hungry.

Terminal 21 is now my favorite shopping mall in Bangkok not just for its over the top cuteness, but more importantly because of its food court on the fifth level, Pier 21. It's the only place I'm aware of where I can get this particular noodle soup with the incredibly addictive broth. There are a dozen other stalls where the selections are pretty exciting, too.

Lemony, spicy, good to the last drop. The first bowl I had was the fish ball and fish fillet one. The one in this photo with three different kinds of pork meatballs was equally ambrosial. I'd fly back to Bangkok in a heartbeat for this soup.

Fried chicken cutlets smothered in veggies with sweet chili sauce. The Thais do this type of thing so well: balancing heat with sweet and salty. Very nice with rice.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

the whole world is here

Today Yahoo! featured the 15 largest shopping malls in the world. Bangkok's Terminal 21 is not one of them, but if there's a list of "Most Fun Shopping Malls", it would be right up there.

From their brochure (unedited): Terminal21 brings you to the whole new experience of shopping with Market Street Style. We combine unique destinations from around the world such as Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood into one fully-furbished department store. Enjoy a perfect combination of fashion, food, and film, with more than 600 shops for urbanistas including the famous Urbanation. Fancy the 36 meter long escalator that connects together all the continents in our welcoming world. Easily reached by both BTS and MRT train service, we invite you to be the first to experience the brand new Terminal21 - The Whole World is Here.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Friday, July 13, 2012

not just eating

Lest you think that I spent all that time in Bangkok just eating, here's proof of some sightseeing activity.

This was the third time I visited Wat Arun, but the first time I brought back photographs.

sukhumvit 38 food street

I suppose there are some places in this world more wonderful than a street full of food, but truthfully, I can't think of any.

On 2 May 2012, when I arrived at the Thong Lo station of the BTS Skytrain and gazed down at this marvel, I got goosebumps.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

first day in bangkok

I arrived in Bangkok past midnight on 25 April 2012. In the morning, I woke up to this view.

This is not a hotel. It's much, much better.

Monday, July 9, 2012

my personal som tam heaven

In the urban jungle that is Bangkok, right beside the Phrom Phong station of the BTS Skytrain, just a few steps from a 7-11 store, is a happy place. The sign says "Very Good And Cheap", and it really is. No false advertising here.

From 26 April to 13 May 2012, this is where I went for my Som Tam (papaya salad) fix. This one had chopped salted egg mixed in it which provided an unusual creamy and salty note to the usual tangy heat of the salad.