Thursday, July 27, 2006

Krung Thep Part 2

Roti Boy is doing well in Bangkok. We all love our carbs don’t we? I'm so proud of our exports. Also found some funky shoes which were from Malaysia! How come we don't have them here? Anyway, meals were challenging with Sash because she doesn’t eat meat. So I couldn’t try a lot of things. I was overjoyed when we met up with several old friends for dinner at Ana’s Garden. We had a feast! Deliciously moist and tender pork satay, grilled pork ribs, spicy basil chicken, fish cakes and fried fish just to name a few. Everyone barely ate, preferring to drink instead. More for me! It was Pav’s birthday so we stopped by Coffee Bean (not the horrible chain but Thailand’s own) to get an assortment of mini cakes. The green tea cake and white chocolate cheesecake was quite fun in a tacky way. We also had some shochu with oolong tea at Pav's which was surprisingly delicious together and packed quite a punch.

The day before while Sash was getting a hair cut, I went to check out a Thai ice cream chain at J Avenue called IBerry. Had delicious black sesame ice cream which was full of toasted black sesame giving it a nice texture to the smooth gelato-esque consistency. Only 40 baht per scoop. Bargain! I really wanted to have some more but it was quite close to dinner time. Had dinner at cheap and cheerful place Ootoya. I had pork braised in soya milk. Yes, you read right. Soya milk, not miso. It was really yummy! It was more like a combination of stock and soya milk. I liked the subtle bean flavour.

On Sunday I had a good hearty lunch of greasy stir-fried rice noodles with seafood and basil. Damn it was spicy! My ears were on fire! It definitely woke me up for Chatuchak though! You must take the underground to the last stop which is after Chatuchak Park. This brings you right into the market where the nicer clothes and bags are (turn right after you come out) and to the stones (turn left, past the books). Its a longer trip than the overground but less walk! I encountered some bite-size custard puffs which I couldn't resist. Evil little things! Before I knew it, I already finished the whole lot! The picture is deceiving because Sash has exceptionally tiny fingers so infact, the look a lot bigger than they were.

My last dinner was with Gi and Sash at a quaint restaurant around Thong Lor. Didn't quite catch the name. It seats no more than 20 people. We had some mushrooms in white wine and green salad to share. I had pan-grilled duck breast with peach sauce for my main. I like how there was one piece of canned peach! It was actually very tasty. The duck was not gamey at all and the sauce was a mere hint of peach. Just simply home-style cooking. I was pretty shattered from the 5 hours at Chatuchak. I really felt it as we went to the old part of town to meet some industry people. As I sat there watching Sash talk film with her peers and listening to a young artist belting out tunes on his guitar, all I could think about was why I don't come back more often. Its only 2 hours away! I'll be back soon, with fellow meat-eaters so I can try more delicacies. Chomp chomp.

My final meal was with Sash's sister at Conrad. How could I resist a final porkout? Homemade bacon even! Mmmmm. Ya kiteng chan ma gehn pai!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Krung Thep Part 1

Sawasdee! Just got back from a fun and filling trip to Bangkok. Its been about 10 years since I last saw Sash. She hasn’t changed a bit except she is a now promising producer of films in Thailand. Bangkok is very different when travelling with a local, in a car. I also went to a lot more cafes and restaurants as opposed to the street food I normally eat when in Bangkok. I arrived very early in the morning. Sash’s mum got someone to drop over bags of fruit shortly after. Good old mum, she knows her daughter well. All Sash had in her fridge was booze and butter!

We had lunch at Siam Paragon because I needed a pair of shoes. I can’t believe my stupid pair of shoes snapped right on the tarmac walking to the damn plane. We went to a café called Chilli and shared some crispy fish som tam and raw salmon salad. I also had grilled pork with sticky rice. After lunch we went to Visage for dessert. She had the chocolate passion fruit mousse and I had a chocolate éclair. Good stuff and best coffee I had during my trip. I had a lot of bad coffee the rest of the trip except for the last cup at Conrad Hotel. It was so strong! My god, I think if I had left my spoon in it, it may have dissolved. Don’t be fooled by Greyhound’s trendy interior and display of cakes because both coffee and cake suck. We bought some rice noodle parcels filled with seafood for dinner but when we got home, Sash’s mum organised a full blown meal complete with two maids to serve us. You got to love Thai hospitality. We had grilled king prawn, fried fish and homemade nam prik with assorted vegetables. It was incredibly appetising and comforting. The dishes were cleared and we were brought plates of beautifully carved fruit. Damn… We also had some jasmine scented jelly which was quite horrible because I felt like I was eating soft soap. We went off to Suan Lum night market to work off the food. There are lots off nice shops where you can get bargains. Good place to go if you are not around for Chatuchak or J.J as the locals call it.
The next day we visited Playground. We had dinner at Kuppa which reminds me of a trendier Delicious. I had duck liver parfait to start and a steak sandwich to follow. The duck liver was really nice! Creamy with a heady hit of brandy. The steak sandwich was just what I needed. Meaty with lots of caramalised onion and wholegrain mustard. We went to meet another friend at To Die For. Beautiful place with a huge deck, double sunbeds and retractable roof. Shame about the coffee and cake. Coffee was weak and the cake, disappointing. Oh well, lying there under the stars more than made up for it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dragon Meat Would Be Tasteless...

...because I am sick. One good think about being sick is that I've completely lost my appetite but somehow Fuzzy still managed to lure me out to dim sum at Shang. I figured I would have some porridge and watch him stuff his face with delicious dim sum. They were really busy, I guess all the other cheap charlies were using their discount cards too! They made us wait for quite awhile and it wasn't until I told Cuz to tell them that I was pregnant and reaaaaally needed to eat that things seemed to speed up a little.

There was no porridge for individuals which made me and my imaginary baby quite cranky. So poor me just had to indulge in some dim sum. They were quite tasty considering my tastebuds were out of whack. We started off with egg tarts which had the faint taste of stale lard. Not attractive but we ate it all up anyway. They were tiny! Next to arrive were the char siu pow and char siu sow. Char siu pow are for kids and it really appeals to the child in me. I am immediately transported back to the turtle pond at Merlin, running after my cousins with my mouth full of pow. The pan-fried turnip cake was more flour cake than turnip. Obviously I made Fuzzy eat all of it. The four treasures cheong fun was very tasty and melt-in-the-mouth. I liked that best, and the har gau. Don't bother with the shanghai dumplings, they were dry and soupless on the inside. What?!
After lunch we went to have coffee at Lemon Garden 2 Go. I had a coffee and macaroon as we pondered about relationships with mothers and friends. How you can never win an argument with or mothers and how some friends share a little too much. The funniest thing was that I bumped into Fuzzy's mum, my Aunt, at the gym. Never one to pull any punches, she started berating me for being too thin and looking "horrible". Gee thanks aunty. Three kilos ago, I needed to lose weight and highlight my hair. Now I am "anorexic", "midget-like" and still need highlights. Ah nothing like family to reduce you to a 5 year old once more. This was like getting caught after we threw our char siu pow into the turtle pond. Sigh..

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Love Love Love

Its Saturday night and I’m recovering from the night before with a hot cup of green tea and some bad Jean Claude Van Dumb movie playing in the background. The man has a mullet for goodness sake! Last night a group of us threw our old friend a surprise party in honour of her engagement. Thirteen of us had dinner at Sandias in Medan Damansara. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now. Authentic Mexican food! Finally! Molé, ceviche and tequila! Bring it on!

It’s a cute little place nestled somewhere in between Piccolo Mondo and Silom. Unfortunate but it definitely means less competition right? The bread they served us at the beginning was really tasty. I love the texture but it would’ve been better with a bit of salt. I can’t believe I am saying that. I had a bite of Datin’s quesadillitas. They were yummy and cheesy! Like curry puff but with cheese and sour cream. Mmmm. I also dug into Boo’s watercress, pears, caramelised nuts and fresh cheese salad with a wild flower honey balsamic dressing. It was quite tasty but something was missing. Not enough cheese and nuts I think. I was disappointed by my soup. It sounded a lot richer and heartier in the description when infact it was kinda watery at best. And the dried chilli was a little strange for me. It was bitter, sour and sharp all at once. The mains proved to be much better. I had the turkey with red almond molé sauce and rice. I loved it. I’ve never had mole before and the taste startling and complex. There were different layers with each bite both familiar and new. The closest thing I can think of it tasting similar to is ha gow but without the prawn-yness. The beef was pretty good too. I'm so glad Dween didn't finish his so I could polish it off. Don't waste food! Dessert was an adventure. There was a really strange cake which tasted like really firm and dry kuih. Turns out it was ciku cake. I guess it must be for them what kuih is to us, traditional tea-time treat that is readily available. The lemon custard cake was good. Not too sweet but syrupy at the same time. The chocolate cake was average. I'm jaded about chocolate cakes (but I would highly recommend Nigella's old fashioned chocolate cake. It is by faaaar one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever tasted).
Anyway, after dinner we headed over to Star KTV around midnight and sang the night away until 3:30am. I am croaking a little bit today. It was a beautiful night with the closest of friends. We drank, we laughed, we teased. I am very happy for soon-to-be-Mrs Lian. I haven't seen her this happy in a long time. I wish her and hubby-to-be the very, very best. Love you long time! xxx

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rose, Rose I Love You

Porkie Homo and I met up last week for dinner after a long absence. Both of us are now home owners and have to cut back on the eating out. After checking out the shops in Starhill and feeling empty-handedly depressed, we sought solace in one of our favourite places, Shanghai. The food does tend to be a little heavy on the msg sometimes but I am willing to make an exception for the delectable, succulent, little dumplings from heaven - siew loong pow. We also ordered the royal bridge biscuit, braised fatty pork, lettuce in superior soup (Why do they always state the obvious. Why would you want to order inferior soup anyway??) and fried glutinous rice noodles with preserved vegetables. Alot for two people? Just nice actually. We even managed a dessert each. Oink. The dumplings were fab as always. As were the royal bridge biscuits. The braised fatty pork was so-so. I've had better. The vegetables were crisp and the soup had a nice ham flavour to it. I didn't like the fried glutionous rice noodles. Too doughy for me. For dessert he had the almond bean curd which came in chopped up pieces with fruit on top. What the? I like it set into the mould so I can scoop it out spoon by spoon. Its like eating up mashed up tofu-fah. What would be the point? I had black sesame rice dumplings in ginger soup. That was good! Not too sweet and the dumplings burst easily leaving a trail of sweet black sesame in place. It was pretty expensive and we didn't even have anything alcoholic to drink. This month is going to be expensive I can just tell. Sigh*

Monday, July 03, 2006

Who Ate My Cake?!

I had a super active week. Not much time for blogging in between work, gym, rock climbing and organising my mum's 60th. Am tempted to make her a cake out of fatty pork with a fried lard crust but settled on getting a butter cake made instead. The rest of the guests may not appreciate pork cake. Speaking of cake, I was suddenly inspired to try out a recipe for low-fat swiss roll with apricot preserve, which I substituted with my leftover apple sauce. In 30 minutes, I whipped up my first swiss roll. It rolled! Ok, it did crack with the first fold but came together after that. It was good! I was surprised by how good it tasted. It tasted like the kai tahn kow with kaya that my grandfather used to eat at teatime. Its strange how the familiarity of the eggy swiss roll displaces the taste of the apple sauce. I had barely cut a slice when Lian came to pick me up for a friend's full moon. She had a bite and thought she was eating kaya roll too. Strange. Anyway, I spent 6 hours on Sunday at Camp 5, yoga-ing and rock climbing. On the drive back, I was really, really looking forward to having my second slice of swiss roll. I was thinking how nice it would taste with a hot cup of milo. Mmmm. Alas! Aghast!! It was ALL gone!! It was a Goldilocks & The Three Bears moment. If I had brown fur, I would be the grizzliest of grizzlys! "WHO ATE MY SWISS ROLL?!!" Turns out it was Sistalocks. The greedy cow ate it all up. All 27cm left of it, all by herself! I don't think she realises just because its low-fat doesn't mean you can eat the whole cake! What a biatch! Sigh... So poor me had to go without. Woe is me! Sniff... (Maya if you are reading this, this is your cue to deliver a basket of cupcakes :-))