Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pilgrimage to BKK 2011: Food

Somehow, we always end up in Bangkok when we wanna go on a short getaway. Actually, it wasn't 'somehow'. The elimination process goes this way:

I am hydrophobic and we aren't into spas so the beach-y places usually hold no meaning for us. So places like Koh Samui, Phuket and Krabi are out (though I must admit Krabi is really a beautiful and tranquil place for a quiet getaway).

Next is the consideration of the length of flight. Given that Anya is now a walking but not yet talking toddler, confinement within the enclosed economic plane cabin is a test of our creativity to keep her appeased occupied, tolerance of her screaming & the thickness of our skins. So 4 hours is a stretch while we think 3 hours will be quite bearable. With that, we eliminated destinations like Australia and Taiwan.

Basically, we are left with Hongkong or Bangkok. KL will be too near to feel like a proper holiday. I want to be able to sit in the plane and warm the seat. And then there is the madness of stiffening crowds in Hongkong. Plus The Husband and I could not agree on whether or not to go to Disneyland if we are there. Husband thinks Anya is too young to enjoy thus will be a waste of money while I think it will be pointless to be in HK but not to go Disneyland with a child in tow. Anyway, you get the point.

And so, the elimination process leaves us with the familiar Bangkok. Okay, more to the point. After being in Bangkok so many times, The Husband and I have a unspoken itinerary panned down which is like a tradition that we follow. We usually work around Anya's sleep-eat-play schedule and let her have an undisturbed nap in the hotel at least once a day. With that in mind, we will spend one of the afternoons at Platinum wholesale and retail mall (shopping for us), we will visit CTC on one of the weekend mornings (more clothes for the furkid) and we will slot in a couple of hours to go to one of the upscale departmental store, usually Isetan @ Centralworld (shopping for lingerie for me). Then, the rest of the times will be spent looking for food and eating. Which is copious amount of time, come to think of it.

Now, even for food, The Husband and I have traditions. There are two eateries that we will definitely go to when we are in Bangkok. Actually, these two places were introduced by the Shopping Accomplice when she went for a work stint in BKK years ago and I went to bunk in with her at her atas service apartment. From then on, I introduced it to The Husband, and we liked them enough to keep going back.

Without further ado, I shall introduce our first haunt:

Serves authentic Thai cuisine at affordable prices.
I can safely say that whatever that we order here is always served beyond average standard. What is outstandingly good that we tried so far are the green curry, the omelette and the sticky rice with mango whose picture is regrettably omitted here. The prawn-cakes were ordered for the benefit of Anya and turned out surprisingly popular among the adults too.

Taling pling now has a few branches though I still prefer the one in Silom. It is a stand-alone building that has a quiet and quaint ambience. Point to note though, the Silom branch serves pre-dominantly executives and business crowds and The Husband and I were rather under-dressed when we were decked out in berms and tees.
Best-dressed in the family goes to the tot

Given that we ordered four dishes, a dessert (sticky rice with mango) and a drink to share, the price came up to within SGD$50. And we made our bellies very happy with satisfaction. So there, if you are a Thai-cuisine lover, Taling Pling is the place to be! - Just be sure to be decked in smart casual attire at least.

Second haunt:
Serves Chinese-Thai seafood cuisine that is popular with both locals and tourists. Lots of Japanese sighted (they even serve sake!) and always bustling - think East Coast Seafood Centre.

Again, we have a favourite branch, which is the one in Bantadthong. Beware though, there are plentiful of imitations that even their website also have a disclaimer on it. On this trip, we were driven by a taxi driver to its imitator (also in Bantadthong) and it was a genuine mistake on his part. So even the locals get confused. For be sure that you are at the right place, look out for their signature red and white signboards.

Now, unlike Taling Pling, we had hits and misses in this restaurant. Based on my recollection, we specifically dislike their river prawns in tang hoon. On the other hand, we absolutely love the steamed seabass in chilli-lime sauce. We enjoy the gravy of their signature dish - curry crab though we find the quality of the crabs so-so.  But then again, we usually order their standard serving for the curry crab instead of those weighed Sri Lanka crab. This time round however, we did not order any crabs as The Husband had a tiny dental mishap and could not risk aggravating the situation. So, we ordered the seabass, a steamed prawn with salt, a prawn ngoh-hiong, and a stir-fried asparagus with scallops that was eventually omitted.

Unfortunately, Anya was cranky when we were in this restaurant, and as a result, the meal was a hasty one. Only one miserable picture of the well-loved seabass was taken.

Besides the two of our favorite restaurants, we found some really nice places to eat on this trip. The sixth floor of Isetan has been converted to house restaurants - predominantly Japanese. They are all thematic e.g. Okinomiyaki,  pasta, dons and katsu. We tried out the one that serves dons as well as the one that served pasta. We were very impressed with the former. We were there on our first night in Bangkok and even The Daughter loved the food there before she went on a hunger strike up till last night. Well, that will be another post altogether. Also, being fast-food junkies (The Husband and I), we had to try their KFC and were very pleased with the results. Well, at least the outlet that we went to (In Platinum mall) served really yummy chicken, so good that we concluded that they are better than the better ones in Singapore.

Now, as I'm penning down this post, I am salivating over the wondrous food of Bangkok again. However, The Husband and I reckoned that it will be a challenge for us to travel in the next one year or so to come. Right, it is time to go on a local food hunt for good Thai food. :P

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