Thursday, December 20, 2007

Off to Kanchanaburi Province

Wat Tham Seua and Wat Tham Khao Noi
Heading to Sangkhlaburi. Any hot food tips? I'm all ears.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Asian sandwich, Seafood Sausage

Another day in China Town, another day of conspicuous consumption. This time I was not alone, but once again the stomachs were relatively full. No matter, room can always be found. A few weeks back I spied a man selling some really nice salap bao. I don't usually like salap bao that much. They always taste a bit on the junkie side, but have a lot of potential. This man was selling something more delicious looking than normal, so a return visit was in order. Unfortunately we struck out. He was not where I had spied him previously. Instead Miss K gravitated toward this stand.

Miss K, who spent her early years in Malaysia, claimed this is a Malaysian snack. I had previously seen what looked like colored goo filled sandwiches before, but these appeared much more wholesome. I asked the man the name and he said something about honey.

We purchased a bag of peanut and honey? filled sandwiches/pancakes and ducked into the entryway of one of yaowarat's many gold shops and dug in. Both E and I found these incredibly familiar tasting: they were like an Asian version of a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Very nice.

Next we did a run through of Chaoren Krung 16. I stopped for some dim sum.

Shrimp dim sum sounded nice, but so did the scallops. Miss K suddenly directed my attention toward a sausage like object saying it was "very nice." It seemed like a good idea.

Suddenly I was holding a 100 Baht(!) seafood sausage. After the first bite the price made sense. It was filled completely with only shrimp and crab. I tried to capture a better image of this snack but it just looked rude.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another Bami Post

Great food in Bangkok is a tricky business. Yes, it is fair to say that there is good to be found an any given street corner, but once you've eaten it for a while it all starts to seem rather, well, the same. Laad Na tastes like laad na, hoi thod tastes like hoi thod, the snozberries taste like snozberries, etc. Then, along comes a version of an old favorite that simply destroys what you are used to. Trouble is, finding these places can be bothersome. How many plates of only passable khao man gai can you eat before you can't stomach another? The more I get used to eating Thai food, the more perfection I demand, and the more difficult it is to get satisfaction. I assure you that this isn't being unreasonable. This is a big city with a mind boggling number of places to try. There are some absolute gems out there.

I was alerted to a famous bami stand earlier this year very near my house. Reports suggested that it was good, more expensive than usual(50 Baht, oh the humanity!), and popular. People drive from the surrounding businesses to get a taste of the finest bami in the area. After one visit I was converted, and elsewhere many other bowl became only passable.

On a recent visit, we were pleased to find the place rather uncrowded, even after a van full of office workers piled in before us. Without thinking we each ordered one with everything:

Here's a very large bowl of: dry bami, red pork, pork dumplings, and lots of delicious crab. I could have done without the red pork. Although one of the things I was told about this place was the quality of the pork, it seemed too red and too sweet. Besides that, this here bowl is hard to beat. Even though I usually prefer shrimp dumplings, these here pork dumplings are fresher than any I have ever tasted. We saw one of the owners putting them together in the back. The real highlight of this bowl is the crab. Many bami stands will offer you a little tease of crab, where after you've eaten, you remember that even though you ordered it with crab, you can't remember actually tasting it.

Go to this place. If you don't love it , I'll reimburse you. Honest.

Bami Place With No Name
181 St. Louis 3 (Sathorn 11)
Hours? Lunchtime. Not Wednesdays.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Title Forthcoming

This man tempts me almost daily after work. He's cooking up a Chinese origin snack that took a while for me to develop a taste for. In this case location certainly was everything. After a day at work, a fresh snack is always hard to pass up. It was only a matter of time before he had me hooked.

Trouble is, I don't know the name. I've asked, he's told me, and I've forgotten. Typical. Also, he's almost always just finishing as I walk by, thus the cooking process is elusive. Any ideas on the green that is used?

Here's some a cookin'. On the right they sit next to some Kanom Kui Chai; dumpling of sorts filled with any number of things which include: Chinese chives, bamboo shoots, and or taro. They're all served up with a thick, black, soy sauce, and chili.

Do take care to eat them soon after ordering or they will soak up all the sauce and become scary blobs.

This is what happens when you take them to go, put them in a bowl in your kitchen, and take photos. Good for documentation, but not much else.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bug And Bee

Today was king Bhumibol Adulyadej's 80th birthday. Most people had the day off to stay home and wear yellow. I was one of them, but so were the street vendors. Times such as these call for eating in a restaurant. Oh my. We proceeded to Bug And Bee located on Silom Road. Bug and Bee is a little bit strange really. They serve a sort of Asian and Western fusion with a focus on crepes. No kidding.

I admit to being a little uneasy with a lot of "fusion" food out there. Yes, both Mexican and Vietnamese food, two personal favorites, are what they are because of cultures coming, er, being forced together. Unfortunately, these days the fusion label is often applied to trendy, weak food.

Ranting aside, I've never been blown away by Bug and Bee's food, but their space provides a good place to sit undisturbed with a friend, a book, or even your laptop.

Bug and Bee has really gotten into the holiday spirit. The Christmas spirit in Thailand is represented mostly by consumerism in the form of "sales" and displays at the local malls. You can hear all of your (least) favorite holiday songs and see really beautiful Christmas trees. Bug and Bee decided that since red is a Christmas color, strawberries would be an appropriate food to emphasize the Christmas spirit. Where I come from, there are not fresh strawberries in the month December, but I'm very happy to make strawberries a new Christmas tradition. The Strawberry season is very short in Thailand and the supply is relatively limited. They are also relatively expensive as well, but for a special occasion, they're well worth the splurge.

I started the meal with a fresh strawberry smoothie, with tapioca at the bottom. A very Thai twist to a good western style smoothie. Could do without the whipped cream though.

The real star of the show was one of Bug and Bee's signature crepes filled with: apple, pineapple, ginkgo nuts, cashews, gnocchi!?, roasted chillies, and topped off with fresh strawberries.

On the side was a yam tua plu, with pomelo, in a cabbage leaf. Nice touch.
This dish was actually surprisingly familiar as I sampled something very much like it on my street on Chinese new year.

Bug and Bee
18 Silom Road, Bangrak
Bangkok Thailand 10500