My life with a pinch of sugar.

Category: Reviews

Singapore Food Adventure (P.2): Rise and Shine

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Since I was in Singapore-a country most reputable for its culinary arts- I thought what better way to start the day than with a hearty one-day worth of calories meal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. No one should feel guilty from indulging in thick slice(s) of buttery brioche even if there is extra slab(s) of butter and jam on top. One gotta live a little once in a while.

Here is to part two of my food adventure in Singapore.
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Wild Honey@Scotts Square

Following the good review from Lady iron chef, Wild Honey at Scotts Square is ranked quite high on my “what to eat in Singapore” list. With its convenient location on Orchard road, quite close to YMCA hotel where I was staying, Wild Honey is my very first impression of breakfast in Singapore. Ploy and I met up with House at the restaurant around 9:30 in the morning. We all decided to order one plate each plus an after-dessert.
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I ordered the Portobello Road, which is also a vegan dish, consisting of two of the restaurant’s signature brioche toasts with Portobello mushroom, spinach, red peppers, and two perfectly poached eggs.
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Ploy order Norwegian (I was going to order that but she beat me to it), which is two whole-wheat brioches with avocado, asparagus, two perfectly poached eggs wrapped in Norwegian smoked salmon and served with REAL GOOD hollandaise sauce.
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As for House, he went for something simple (but not really), a full English Breakfast, which makes up of (ITS SO FLUFFY) scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, potatoes and grilled tomatoes with two-very awkward looking but tasty-brioches. Haha. So much for wanting a simple breakfast. Our dessert was Brittany, which is panettone french toast with fresh baby bananas, salted caramel mascarpone, toffee’d hazelnuts & salted caramel sauce. Even though I was so full, I couldn’t help but drools at the sight of this dish. My favorite part of Brittany is the french toast with crust that is very crisp, nutty and sweet and go so well with the soft chewy center. Honestly, Wild Honey at Scotts Square really put many breakfast and brunch places in Bangkok to shame. Not only is the portion wayyyyy bigger, the meal is overall very satisfying. Even though the price is not such a bargain, it is worth it for such a cozy ambience and a decent service in Singapore.

Wild Honey@Scotts Square
Address: Scotts Rd, Singapore 228209
Phone:+65 6636 1816
Monday-Friday: 9:00–22:30
Saturday & Sunday: 8:00-22:30

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Artisan Boulangerie Co.

Have I ever mentioned that I love bread? Well in case I haven’t, I LOVE BREAD. When I was searching for the best bakery in Singapore, Artisan Boulangerie Co came up nearly on top of the list. The bakery is owned by Eran Mayer, an award winning French baker who moved to Singapore with dreams of making this country a better place with his amazing quiches and croissants.
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Scanning the array of options on display, I decided to order my favorite pastry, which is the almond croissant. I loved it ( as well as the quiche, the chocolate chip twist, and I’m sure if I try more of his baked goods, I’ll be in love with them too.) Ploy ordered Salmon with dill and cream cheese, which took forever to arrive but the waitress made up for it by giving us a complementary pastry of our choice! We chose to go with the salmon quiche but regretted it after because it ended up tasting so good (we had to kinda finish the whole thing and skip lunch.) So if you’re ever around the neighborhood (or not), stop by Artisan Boulangerie Co, trust me you won’t regret it.

Artisan Boulangerie Co.
01-01, 118 Killiney Road
Singapore 239555
Phone: +65 6444 8130
Daily: 8:oo-22:00

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Kith Café

For my third day in Singapore, I made a reservation for lunch at Jaan at Swissotel, which was what I was looking forward to for the whole trip (more about this later). So for breakfast, Ploy and I wanted to go for something a little lighter. I decided to look up small cafes around our hotel and Kith Café came up with really positive reviews.
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Kith café is really small but cozy with an outdoor patio. I was really tempted by the sweet treats shown on the counter but resisted the temptation and ordered Beetroot, carrots and green apple juice with chia seed, which was very refreshing.Ploy ordered a cup of hot mocha, which was good cuppa coffe. I really like Kith Café. I can imagine myself having a late breakfast here or spending my free afternoon on the patio just watching cars go by..

Kith Cafe
Address: 7 Rodyk St #01-28, Singapore 238215
Phone:+65 6341 9407
Daily: 7:00-19:00

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Tiong Bahru Bakery@Tangs Orchard

Yeah so it was our last day and we just had a very full dim sum lunch but we still managed to order five different pastries from Tiong Bahru Bakery. Yep. Five. Oh and we also ordered coffee too, just to complete the experience. That’s totally normal right? By the way that was a rhetorical question.
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I ordered chocolate lava, almond brioche and chocolate almond croissant, which was a must since it was the last piece left on display. Ploy ordered a slice of teacake and a giant financier. One advice I can give you is to not take the staff’s recommendation. Go with whatever your guts is telling you to order. This is to avoid the situation in which you found yourself asking the question why the hell did I ordered this?! The chocolate lava is nothing extraordinary. It wasn’t even ordinary. When cut, the cake lacks the gooey, rich, chocolate sauce flooding out from the center.
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The tea cake is alright but doesn’t taste or smell like tea, more like a good banana bread. What we love (I love) is the financier, almond brioche and chocolate almond croissant. I don’t know if almonds has to do with why these pastries tasted so good but I’ll accept that as a logical explanation (financier is a French cake made out mainly of almond meal).

Tiong Bahru Bakery@ Tangs Orchard
310 Orchard Road,Tangs Orchard L1-16B, Singapore 238864
Phone: +65 6735 3787
Monday-Thursday, Saturday&Sunday: 8:00-22:00
Friday: 8:00-23:00

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Road Trip (P.2): Kaeng Krachan National Park + Chailay Seafood Restaurant at Cha-am

IMG_6893Happy New Year folks and Happy Birthday to me. Yup I’m finally 20 and legal. Can’t believe I’m hitting the big 2 0. This holiday has been amazing. Bangkok has been surprisingly cooler than past winter and for longer too! It was definitely one of the rare holiday treats for any of us, Bangkokians, who are used to the hot and humid climate that marks the beauty of this city. Finally I get to dig out my wool sweater and actually go all out with the fall/winter fashion without feeling the funny glares and raised eyebrows from passerby. Another thing I love about December/January is that my whole family gets to spend the longest time together. I love waking up in the morning knowing that they are downstairs having breakfast or watching T.V and that the house is filled with the warm smell of coffee and with whatever I’m having for breakfast. It’s the best feeling to wake up to. Don’t you agree?IMG_6890Now for part two of my family road trip I’m taking you guys up hill to Kaeng Krachan national park, which stretches from the area of Petchburi province to Prachuap Khiri Khan province, and is currently the largest national park in Thailand. The park is approximately 2,914.70km and is also now being considered as one of UNESCO heritage site. In case you’re wondering how I happen to know all this. Many thanks to the contributors of Wikipedia.com.

I fell asleep the whole drive up to the sightseeing point. When we’ve arrived I’ve noticed that this place is not yet as crowded as many of the other tourist attractions. Yes there are a few tour buses parked along the narrow street, but compared to the Emerald temple in Bangkok or the Jomtien Beach, Kaeng Krachan still seems to be under the tourist’s radar. It seems like you can also do some bird watching around this area since it seems to be the home of many rare species of birds not found anywhere else in Thailand. But for my family trip (with a less adventurous crowd), a couple of snapshots and we were out of there.
IMG_6898Our final stop is at Cha-am beach where we (or rather I) were on our (or my) search for the freshest seafood. As we drove along the Cha-am beach, there were so many seafood restaurants with signs claiming to be the best. But having read so many diverse reviews-both good and bad-about places around the area, I had my doubts. So with the satiation of eight hungry fellow travelers (my parents, grandparents, two of my house maids, the driver and myself) resting upon my shoulders, I felt its my duty to give them not only a full stomach but the satisfaction to their taste buds. In the end I came upon one restaurant on the internet, which offers not only good ambience but the freshest fish, shrimp, and crab as well.
IMG_6944IMG_6948Chailay Seafood Restaurant is not situated at the most accessible location. From the road that runs alongside Cha-am beach, head straight towards Wat Neranchararama, do not enter the temple, keep going straight. You will see so many small seafood restaurants at both sides of the road, but keep going straight until the end of the street. There will be a narrower road and keep going straight until you reach an intersection, turn right and keep going straight and there you will see the restaurant sign “Chailay Seafood (ชายเล ซีฟู้ด)”.
IMG_6903IMG_6906The reviews were right, Chailay Seafood restaurant does have a great view of the beach and the many colorful fisherman boats moored to the dock. It was quite sunny when we arrived, perfect for a tanning session, which was obvious from the many tables of foreigners in their bathing suits, clearly enjoying their meal as well as their rays of sunshine.
IMG_6909IMG_6914We got a table beneath the shades but close enough to bask in the amazing view of the seaside. First, my dad ordered the crabmeat fried rice. Personally I think the cook was being stingy with the crab but made up for it with the rice, which was fragrant and well-cooked. If it weren’t for the scant amount of crab, this fried rice could have been my favorite dish. Next came the stir-fried shrimp and asparagus, the shrimp is big, meaty and very delicious!
IMG_6917IMG_6927One of my favorite dishes is the Thai green papaya salad with horse crab, which has the perfect combination of salty, sweet, sour and a tinge of spiciness. To me, this is a damn good papaya salad. We also ordered the fried oyster omelet. I’ve never before have eaten a bad oyster omelet. This oyster omelet is not bad, but isn’t exactly the best. It’s just that, again, the cook is not being generous with the amount of oyster given. Still, the dish is fried and served with a spicy sauce, so we did finish the whole thing.
IMG_6935 IMG_6931Next came the Thai shrimp cakes, which was my dad favorite out of all the dishes. I’ve had better shrimp cakes with crispy outer texture yet firm and soft shrimp on the inside. Chailay Seafood’s shrimp cake is big, crispy but lacks the firmness and tenderness that a good shrimp cake should have. We also order tom yum sea bass, which is very spicy! So if you’re not such a fan of chili, stay clear from this dish. For me I love it! I love the tenderness of the fish and the spicy yet sweet and sour taste of the tom yum soup. The last and final dish of the day is steamed Rainbow fish with soy sauce and assorted mushrooms. I practically ate half of the fish so I’ll let you be the judge of whether I like it or not 😛
IMG_6940Overall, if anyone is ever in Cha-am, I would recommend coming to Chailay Seafood restaurant. Sure it may not be the trendiest place that serves the most delicious seafood in town, but I would go there just for the ambience. You can enjoy cracking crab shells and savoring its sweet meat while breathing in the serene backdrop of the ocean. How awesome is that? After all, not many of us go to the beach for a Michelin star quality meal, right?

Road Trip 2013 (P.1): Meklong Market

IMG_6767Hello! I’m so literally sugar high right now. I just got back from a one day road trip with my family to Cha-Am (ชะอำ) beach and it was so awesome. At first I was kind of dreading this trip since I just got back from Singapore a day ago (will blog about this soon!) and was exhausted from all the eating and the walking. But if I stayed home I would really have missed out because in the end today turns out to be a day well spent. I always thought taking a road trip would make a great end to the year. But this road trip is even better than what I had in mind, a journey accompanied by seafood, local confectionaries and the beach is my 2013 grandest finale.
IMG_6795IMG_6772This year, just like last year, my parents would take my grandparents  and I on a short trip as a new year’s treat. They thought it would be a good change from staying at the house and being so intensely occupied with the ongoing political riots in Bangkok. So my parents rented a van, woke up super early, packed tuna sandwiches and roll(s) of toilet paper before leaving the house at 6:15 am. But since I’m such an early riser myself, I wasn’t so affected or bummed out by the early schedule. Besides I had the whole backseat to myself and practically turned it into a temporary day bed.
IMG_6805IMG_6809The final destination of this trip is Cha-Am (ชะอำ) beach but we made occasional stops along the way to check out notable local markets and do some sightseeing. The first stop is Meklong market (ตลาดร่มหุบ). At first glance, the market appears to be just like any ordinary fresh market. It wasn’t long before I realize that this narrow alley of shops is located on an operating railway. Crazy right? So what does these shopkeepers do when a train approach. It turns out that the farmers and shopkeepers know the train’s timetable by heart and would scurried away before hearing the sounds of the approaching engine. Hahaha imagine what a thrill it must be to have to face this kind of anticipation for a living.
IMG_6832The market includes the long alley that makes up the railway as well as a larger enclosed space, which specifically sells fresh seafood from river prawns, crab to fishes half the size of my body and I’m telling you it isn’t small. The market is not for all kinds of tourist. The fishy aroma and the deep puddles on the floor make it less than ideal for those who prefer to encounter food served on beautiful silverware, cooked and ready to indulge. As for those who wanted to get more hands on with food, especially fresh seafood, and doesn’t mind getting down and dirty, Meklong market is definitely worth checking out. My dad, mum, and grandma seemed to be enjoying themselves, stopping by most of the stores, skipping only one or two, and bargaining prices with the shopkeepers. I think they bought more than half of the variety of the seafood there. Let’s just say I’ll be spending the first few weeks of 2014 eating nothing but crab omelets and shrimp fried rice.IMG_6766IMG_6878IMG_6880

Meklong market is also packed with so many Thai confectionaries. This is the part where I go around wide eyed and practically hopping from one stall to the next. The first sweets I tasted at the market is black sticky rice with sungakaya, which is egg custard, wrapped in banana leaf (ข้าวเหนียวสังขยา). The taste is not out of this world good but is still a pleasure to eat nevertheless. The next sweet wasn’t photographed since it was gone so fast that I felt guilty asking my dad for his half-eaten share. It was a sugar palm cake (ขนมตาล), which is yellow in color. According to my grandmother, sugar palm cake can be commonly found in Bangkok but it’s rare to find ones that are truly made of palm sugar. The one I tasted at the market is made out of pure palm sugar, it was mildly sweet and frgrant, SO GOOD. I also bought the sweetened taro (เผือกเชื่อม), which is one of my favorite post-meal dessert. I like to fool myself into thinking that taro is a kind of plant and so it must have some kind of health benefits, making it good for me. If you have read my previous blog, you’ll know that I do these kinds of self-reassurances A LOT. So bear with me. The last sweet treat that I tried at the market (notice how I specifically said market and not the entire trip J) is known as kralan or kao lam (ข้าวหลาม), which according to Wikipedia is consisted of sticky rice, red beans, coconut and coconut milk molded into a bamboo stick. Again, the taste didn’t make me go wide eyed but still it’s hard to go wrong with all my favorite components of sticky rice, red bean and coconut in one dessert.
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Having sampled so much sweets, I’ve learnt one important lesson today: never enthusiastically point out every tasty looking stalls to grandma. She’ll eventually buy me the whole market if I do. Next time if I ever do go food shopping with granny, I’ll learn to keep calm and hold back my excitement.

Meklong Market
Kasem Sukhum Rd, Mae Klong, Mueang Samut Songkhram, Samut Songkhram

Isao: Bangkok’s famous Japanese fusion.

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Isao is a Japanese fusion restaurant in Bangkok that is tucked away in the middle of soi Sukhumvit 31. This cozy sushi place has a reputation that exceeds its small size. Tables are usually fully booked so if you happen to instantly crave for their famous sushi sandwich or Jackie roll, you can either prepare to queue up for 30 minutes to an hour (been there, done that) or take my advice and make a reservation. I promise you won’t regret it.
IMG_3117IMG_5725 Isao is famous for their sushi rolls. Their salads and a-la-carte menus are very good as well but every time I’m here I only have my eyes on the rolls. Even before seeing the menu, I knew right away what I wanted to order. Their signatures include the noteworthy sushi sandwich, which is spicy salmon and tuna sandwiched in-between crispy tempura rice, crisp and so full of flavors. Jackie, which is sushi roll shaped into a caterpillar filled with avocado, fish roe crispy tempura, and finally wrapped with rice, seaweed and meaty shrimp. My favorite is crunchy, which is similar to sushi sandwich but is served with a special Japanese sweet sauce. Another of my favorites is winter, which consisted of crab meat, carrots, radish and wrapped with Japanese cucumber topped with crisp daikon, a very light and refreshing mouthful
IMG_5715Now I have to warn you, last time I was here, I decided to order salad and fool myself into thinking that I was having a guilt-free lunch. However, I soon realize that just because a dish has the word “salad” in it doesn’t mean that it comes with leafy green lettuce or cabbage. Isao’s spicy salmon salad consists of spicy salmon, avocado, sesame seeds and special cream sauce, which is good nonetheless. If you’re looking for something greener, go for House salad, which comes with healthy looking greens and a homemade sweet and sour dressing, also another of my favorite!IMG_5722At Isao, there’s more than meets the eye: a special item not included in the menu. See..now I have your attention. Lava maki is consisted of avocado, crispy tempura, shrimp, topped with long sliced salmon and lava sauce. The dish comes with 5 pieces of maki. Next time you’re there, just ask one of the waitresses for the dish; they’ll know which “lava maki” you’re talking about.
IMG_5730All in all, this Japanese fusion restaurant is one of my most favorite sushi places in Bangkok. Everytime I leave, I always come back wanting for more. It’s not a bizaare thing for me to wake up one day craving myself some sandwich sushi and crispy crunchy rolls. If you come here, you might just know what I’m talking about. Gosh..just writing about it is making me drool.

Isao
5 Sukhumvit 31, Watthana, Bangkok 10110 
‎Tel: 02 258 0645

Than Ying Restaurant: A Royal Thai Cuisine

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Even though I was born and raised in Thailand, there’s still so much about my own culture that seems so foreign. Thai Royal cuisine is one of them. I heard a lot about Kao chae and its uneven reputation. Some people seem to love it while some are not so convinced by the idea of eating rice soaked in jasmine water. To me, even though I’m not the biggest fan of eating soggy rice, I love the beautiful presentation and delectable side dishes that comes with it. I sometimes just omit the rice and eat the side dishes by themselves.

To find out more about Thai Royal cuisine, I gathered my team of hard-to-please critics, my very own mother and grandmother, and ventureed towards one of Bangkok’s oldest and well-known restaurants.

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Situated on Pramuan road, Than Ying is not located at the most ideal location. The restaurant is an old house with a tiny welcoming sign (so small that my mum had to abruptly break the car or we would have missed the entrance). The restaurant was founded 20 years ago by H.S.H. Princess Sulabh–Valleng Visuddhi ,who used to be head chef in the royal kitchen at Sukhothai Palace. The restaurant used to be on Soi Phipat but moved to its current location three years after it first opening.

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Walking through the entrance, I can feel every bit of my mum’s constant raves about table manners coming back to me. Maybe it’s because of all the photographs of the royal family placed around the restaurant. Suddenly I was reminded to sit up straight and chew with my mouth closed. The restaurant’s interior is beautifully decorated in an orthodox fashion with hardwood floor and glass chandeliers. The walls are lined with family portraits of people dressed in ceremonial costume. Sitting here it was like I’ve been transported in time when foods were served in most delicate manner on beautiful china and gold silverware. Not to mention, the waiters were super polite and they talked in the softest of tones.

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ImageFlipping through the menu. I really like how their menu includes lots of pictures. Everything look so tempting that I have to keep reminding myself that I’m only ordering for three. In the end, apart from the Khao Chae, I chose to order Khao Tung Nha Tang (ข้าวตังหน้าตั้ง), which is crispy rice crackers served with pork dipping sauce, Tod Mun Pla Krai (ทอดมันปลากราย), which is spicy fish cakes with sweet sauce, Yum Tua Plu (ยำถั่วพลู), which is Wing beans salad in sour and sweet sauce. All dishes came looking colorful and vibrant (and in generous portions I might add). Khao Tung Nha Tung  is definitely a must try. It is served with 7 rice crackers but the waiters will serve more, if asked, to eat with the remaining sauce. The Tod Mun Pla Krai is tasty but not too oily. I can definitely taste the herbs and the seasoning in the fish cakes and it pairs so well with the sweet sauce. As for the Yum Tua Ploo, it is one of my most favorite Thai dishes. The restaurants’s version is decent but I prefer my mum’s homecooked rendition of the dish, which is truly my all time favorite.

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Now let’s talk about the Khao Chae. Khao Chae is composed of many side dishes plated on miniature pedestals and rice soaked in jasmine water,  all of which are placed on an exquisite tray. Here at Than Ying there are 5 different side dishes.

1. Luk Kapi (ลูกกะปิ) Shrimp paste seasoned with shallots, ginger and garlic, rolled into a ball and fried to golden perfection

2. Horm Daeng Todd with Kapi (หอมแดงทอด) Shallots covered in Kapi and and fried until crispy.

3. Prik Yuak Yud Sai (พริกหยวกยัดใส้) Sweet pepper stuffed with minced pork and wraped with intricate fried egg layer.

4. Mhoo Foi (หมูฝอย) Shredded sweet pork coated with palm sugar and fish sauce before being deep fried.

5. Chai Poh Pad Kai (ไช้โป๊วผัดใข่) Chinese turnip, sweetened and stir fried with egg.

All of these are eaten with the jasmine rice, which is very fragrant and overall adds a delicate texture to the taste. Mum and Grandma didn’t really like the taste of Khao Chae, their taste preferences are more on the spicy side and would prefer something with a little chilli in it. As for me, I think that eating Khao Chae is all about the experience. Even if there are far more delectable Thai cuisines out there, the beautiful arrangement of dishes and the extricate carving of vegetable garnishings of Khao Chae’s presentation, adds to its the overall taste.

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For dessert, I ordered Gluay Cheum (กล้วยเชื่อม) which is sweetened banana with coconut milk ice-cream and Fuk Tong Cheum (ฟักทองเชื่อม) which is sweetened pumpkin with coconut milk icecream. I personally love the sweetened pumpkin. It was chewy and sweet and goes very well with the creaminess of the coconut.

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Than Ying restaurant opens from 11:30-22:00 daily. It is located on Pramuan Road and is accessible by car (parking space available) or is 5 minutes walking distance from Surasak BTS station.

Khao Chae set must be called to order one day in advance.

Than Ying Restaurant
Tel (66) 02-236-4361, (66) 02-235-0371
Fax (66) 02-635-0113

Yaowarat: Two hungry souls’ search for food.

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Sunday is guilt-free day.  It’s when my mum and I decide to make an exception to our never-ending diet and fill our tummies with whatever we want to eat… and what better place to start than at the heart of a foodie’s paradise.

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One word when I think of Yaowarat? Food. Good old local street food. The kinds that are enjoyed by the side walk fragranced by hot air and car fumes, seasoned and broiled by sweaty and (usually) grumpy faced cooks. The complete taste of Bangkok’s very own China town. Today, because of the ongoing Gin Je Festival in Bangkok, Yaowarat is flooded by a sea of hungry vegans. The streets that are usually emptied during midday are lined up with food carts and restaurants selling non-diary and faux-meat products. Theoretically, “non-dairy” and “faux-meat” are two words that sound as unappetizing as it could possibly get. Who would have thought that these meat analogues, which are comprised of tofu, soy protein and mushroom, could work its magic and taste just like pork and chicken meat?

IMG_4691IMG_4696IMG_46985 minutes into our arrival and I’m already in desperate need to fill up my empty stomach. My mum and I end up buying mixed vegetable fried rice dumpling from one of the food tents in front of our first stop, the Dragon temple, for a quick bite. Honestly, I don’t think anything fried could pretty much go wrong, the outer layer of the dumpling is crisp and chewy from the rice flour and even though the portion of the filling is meager, it still tastes pretty good. Other options nearby are golden fried noodles with bamboo shoot, carrots and Chinese kale (ราดหน้า) or red bean and black sesame Purée (ถั่วแดง/เผือก กวน) for dessert.

IMG_4705IMG_4715As we move on to our next destination, my black hole of a stomach isn’t yet satisfied. Luckily, we come upon a small restaurant within the Old Market, called Hong Kong Noodles, that is pretty packed and so we assume that it’s well worth trying. When we’re seated, my mum orders the Chinese rice noodle with tofu, shitake mushroom and coriander (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหลอด) as well as the mushroom fried in sweet sauce and white sesame (เห็ดสวรรค์). A fine piece of advice? Do not order the mushroom. You’ll end up sucking on your fingers and eating every last piece left on the plate. I couldn’t put down my chopsticks. It’s that good and addicting.

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Our food adventure isn’t even close to ending. The old market is filled with stalls selling fresh fish, crab and shrimp. There’re also small restaurants, with names that precedes its exact location, constantly packed with hungry customers. Common dishes sold are noodles with fish, shrimp or pork balls, dumplings and steamed buns. There’re also shops selling all kinds of dried fruits and others selling fried proteins for vegetarian that pile up like heaps of copper colored pinballs.

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Walking out of the narrow street of the Old Market is like walking out of a food cave. My eyes need to momentarily readjust to the flash of sunlight.  Outside, many trolleys are selling pomegranate juice as well as roasted chestnuts. These trolleys are in such abundance that I think it’s pretty much the symbolic icon of Yaowarat. At noon, mum and I are still in our search for something to nibble. We settle at one of the restaurants by the main street, selling vegetarian side dishes served with jasmine rice and vegetarian noodles. We order Guay Jub (ก๋วยจั๊บ) to share, which is simply rice noodles, rolled in cylindrical form served in dark clear soup with tofu and coriander. To spice up the dish, I add some hot chili flakes and a tinge of vinegar. Da yum! Extra seasoning makes such a difference!

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As we’re getting full and strolling along the street aimlessly, stopping occasionally to buy some tofu or shrimp balls back home for dad, I have a sudden craving for something sweet. Besides, an eating trip is not complete without a little dessert to clear the palate. In the end, we settle at a small shop called Singapore Pochana, which serves pretty much the best Cendol (ลอดช่อง)- a green rice noodle dessert, serves with jackfruit and coconut cream- around the area.

IMG_4772 IMG_4774IMG_4781After slurping the very last drop of the coconut cream, I think I’m all set to survive without a meal for at least a day or two. My stomach feels so friggin tight and I’ve to resist every temptation to secretly unbutton my pants. However, the success of today’s spontaneous food adventure prompt me to keep finding more days in a week to splurge and spoil my appetite. After all everyone needs their own sweet escape once in a while 🙂

 

Spring Epicurean Market: Sunday morning into a food coma.

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Thailand’s seasonal system is pretty messed up. Everyday I feel like I’m either in a colossal sauna or a mega steam room since the weather simply alternates between hot/ humid and just plain wet. Last Sunday was no different. However, the happening of the Spring Epicurean Market on the green lawn of the Spring and Summer restaurant brought about a breath of fresh air. The market is held every last Sunday of the month with local vendors selling organic products ranging from home grown vegetables to freshly baked goods.

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To me, the word “market” in Thai paints a pretty graphic picture of a dimly lit and un-air-conditioned space with pigs and chickens on chopping blocks. And so I was quite excited when I heard that various farmers market are popping up around community spaces such as K-Village and Nawamin City Avenue offering a good venue for a family outing or a casual meet up with friends.

IMG_4419Yes, Sunday is that one day of the week when the streets are cleared and most people don’t get up until their internal alarm clock spontaneously decided to chime. But since I have always been a morning person, I made plans to meet my lovely friend, Bee, who was a doll to sacrifice her beauty sleep for an early morning outing with me and my family at 8:30.

When I arrived with my parents and met up with Bee, the lawn of the Spring and Summer restaurant had already turned into a playground where children ran around without a care in the world. Some people seemed to have arrived earlier and were enjoying their morning breakfast and coffee out in the open.

IMG_4464Judging from the look of things, I was pretty glad I skipped breakfast… Everything looked so good and appetizing that I literally jumped from vendor to vendor, tasting pretty much everything that I could get my hands on. It wasn’t long before my parents gave up on my enthusiasm and retreated into the restaurant to enjoy a cup of coffee in peace, leaving bee and me at our state of overexcitement.

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IMG_4430IMG_4465Bee and I went around different booths to take a peek (and an occasional tasting) of what was selling. The quinoa stuffed tofu and jasmine rice sushi from Spring restaurant was my favorite. It tasted so light and healthy…I think I could have eaten more than 10 if I weren’t so tempted to try out the foods from other stores. Bee and I also tried Joe Sloane BBQ’s grilled chorizo sausage with mango and applesauce on sourdough bread, which tasted absolutely delicious. One of the booths was also selling fruit popsicles, which was a hit for the kids, and the one next to it, from Appia restaurant, was selling mean looking eggplant lasagna.

IMG_4429Before leaving I made it a priority to check out Amatissimo café’s beautiful pastries and ended up buying their famous cronut (croissant + donut), macadamia nut sticky bun and almond croissant. Personally, I think their baked goods are just godsend… don’t know how they do it but seriously, how can bread tastes this good?

IMG_4457Altogether, the trip to the market is a great change to my usual Sundays. It was nice to see so many families out and about, enjoying good food and supporting local produces. I look forward to going back there next month and perhaps try out the healthy looking burrito or zucchini pancake from Absolute Fit Food..mmm.. or maybe the chocolate carrot cake that I’d been eyeing on… 😉

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