Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bangkok Eats

Was there from 18th till 20th July. My first time at BKK, while it's a recurring trip for the rest of the gang. We ate twice at Platinum Fashion Mall 'coz it's conveniently located opposite our hotel...

Platinum Fashion Mall

Food Centre at Level 6

At Platinum Food Centre, they go by cashless concept, and you got to purchase the Food Centre card from counter at Level 6 (opposite the dessert stalls). Food prices start from roughly 40 baht onwards, while drinks from 12 baht onwards. So armed with 3 cards, we went around various stalls and bought a couple of items to share.

The orh luak was nice, although it's more starchy than SG's version. Plump oysters (not very big) coated with fried egg and eaten with beansprouts that has been heated up by the hotplate.. yums!

oyster omelette, with phad thai next to it...

Had a shock when I first saw the chicken satay. First thought, "So flat??!" Haha, second thought, "Served with toasted bread?!?" Hahaha, talk about food culture shock! The chicken satay has very lean meat, and is well marinated with tumeric. There's a pork version as well, and it is darker in color. I felt that the pork version has a much nicer texture. Maybe because of its higher fats content.

chicken satay

The stalls selling satay has this jar of yellow liquid that I thought was oil. Apparently, it turned out to be some vinegary syrup that they will pour into the bowl of raw cucumber, onions and green chili salad. Sweet and refreshing (because I didn't eat the chili!)

salad (came with the satay)

If you want clear tasting soup, go for the fishball soup. Very clean tasting. The assorted fishballs had some tasty ones, some bland ones and others tasted pretty ordinary...

assorted fishball soup

Do order the beef noodles soup served in claypot. I don't know which stall it came from, but it has a rich flavoured robust soup. Spicy as well! Shioks!

Another winner is the fried chicken cutlet rice. Simple dish that fills you up, and the chicken was super crispy! The rice if not wrong, shoud be tumeric rice?

fried chicken cutlet rice

Apart from Platinum Food Centre, we also ventured into Chinatown for some sharks fin and bird nest. How commonly typical of us Asian tourists! :P

sights from Chinatown (Yaowarat)

My friend brought us to this dingy looking little restaurant. It's kitchen is right at the front of the restaurant (at the left hand side), while on its right flank, is selling cakes/dim sums. In the middle is the entrance to its dining area where you walk up a little step to the dining tables. As we enter, we were greeted by a Caucasian chef, who sounded French. Wait a minute... a French chef, in Thailand, and in a Chinese restaurant no less... whoa! The world has just gotten smaller. ;)

inside the restaurant

shark fin (500 baht, feeds 2-3 pax)

scooping it up

into my bowl, add a little pepper, add a little vinegar

with mushroom, a little crab meat, some fins and lots of beansprouts, and starchy soup

morning glory or 'kang kong' that looked 'old' but still yummy!

Is it just me? But I felt that roasted duck meat in Thailand, was so good! The sauce tends to be on the sweeter side, but the meat was really tender. Yums!

roasted duck (small @ 120 baht)

crab tang hoon

The crab tang hoon was another favourite. Probably because I needed the carbs! The noodles has a glistening sheen and has absorbed much of the essence. You can practically taste the sea with each strand of the noodles! However, towards the bottom of the pot, it became overly salty! The crab tang hoon here is cooked together with pork fats layered at the bottom of the claypot. The crab meat itself was firm, but lost much of it's taste to the noodles...

disappointingly tasteless meat...

Our group of 4 were full to the brim, but two of them decided to go ahead with the finale. Birdnest! Another friend and myself, were too stuffed to eat one more drop...

murky looking soup

bird nest shreds...

The birdnest was served warm, and has a mild sweetness to it. It certainly is different from the birdnest that mom cooked. Heh :P

Other restaurant that we tried, was MK Restaurant. It's a steamboat place, ordered ala-carte style. It's unlike the steamboat in SG, because the soup base was practically just plain water. Or maybe sweetened plain water?

mushrooms and vege (feeds 4)

beef slice, pig's liver and kidney, shrimp wantons, spinach noodles...

nothing left...

The soy chili sauce dip, was sweet! Hahaa, in Thailand, seemed like they like it spicy and sweet! The attraction of MK, should be of it's reasonably priced items and, a sudden dance routine performed by their staff, when you were in the middle of your meal! Yea.. dance! Quite entertaining.

cute staff doing the mk dance

We also explored Chatuchak and Aw Taw Kaw (farmer's market). After listening to horror story from colleague who fell ill after drinking tea from roadside stalls, I have this fear of eating from the streets. Yup, blame it all on him! But better to err on the safe side, I think. My tummy did felt uncomfortable after that dinner at MK... but most likely it was my own doing of not properly cooking the food 'coz no one else who ate the same thing felt ill.

food and drinks vendors at Chatuchak

mango stall at Aw Taw Kaw

The prices at the Farmer's Market tend to be pricier than standard market price in Thailand.

ripe and sweet mango (200 baht for 1kg)

I like the Black Canyon Cafe at Platinum Mall for it's inexpensive coffee and snacks. 1 cup of mocha for 65 baht? That's about SGD$2.80+.

super thick cafe mocha

smoked chicken sandwich

Of course, we explored a bit of our hotel as well. Amari Watergate was a pleasant hotel to stay. It has a cafe, called 'Bakery' that is open from 8am till 10pm. Of course, eating in the hotel means we gotta pay tax and service charge.

at 930pm, not much cakes left...

thai iced tea

Bakery's Thai Iced Tea costs about 150 baht before taxes, and it was quite delicious! But the price is double of the cafe just across the road!

Typically, the standard deluxe room do not come with breakfast. According to the staff, the breakfast price is 1200 baht. Which sounds really exorbhitant! However, we managed to get the breakfast at a discounted rate during our last day of stay, at a more reasonable rate.

It was rather disappointing, really. The spread was not like wow, but the quality of food was ok. The omelette counter was most popular! That was the only hot food counter that cooks fresh on the spot. The rest of the items available include the usual breads and pastries, salads, cereals and juices. I wished they had local items like phad thai, or something like that! But they only had fried noodles, which was just passable...

what was on my plate... well, no appetite after bouts of tummy ache the night before..

My friends found that the meal was quite ok for the price we paid.

sausages, noodles and ham


Was an enjoyable experience, but wished we had more time to try more of their local food!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Swiss Grill @ Coronation Plaza

Was there on a Saturday evening, not as crowded as we thought it would. My first time at Coronation Plaza area.

see this, and it's time to alight from the bus

The Swiss Grill/Butchery is located just round the corner of Starbucks. If you are walking towards the plaza, turn left away from NTUC and you will see Starbucks. Walk past Starbucks and Xin Wang, and you'll see Swiss Grill.

special menu

Not many items on the menu, mostly sausages and burgers. Saw that they had grilled lamb burger on the board, and it's not found in the menu. So decided to order that. My friend ordered the portobello mushroom burger, so I said, "Vegetarian??" Haha, nope. It came with bacon as well.

Add $2.50 for mesclun salad and fries. The salad is well drizzled with olive oil, and tasty. Fries was rather soft, and overly salted.

grilled lamb burger with added mesclun salad and fries

Come to think of it. It's rather pricey to have just one burger with no sides for $15.90! Total cost of the grilled lamb burger with sides, was close to $20! My my!

melted cheese, lettuce and caramellized onions

thick patty

portobello mushroom burger, with bacon crisps

The service was rather patchy, with our waitress serving two burgers but had no inkling of what burger those are... There is no service charge btw, only sales tax, so we can be more accommodating, I think...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Raindrops @ *Scape

Tucked into a neat corner, the place was not that hard to find. Just walk straight past the Cineleisure glass doors, turn right round the corner, past MacDonald's then walk up past Zhang Zhen Huan's fruit juice shop, past the ice-cream shop and voila, the signboard greets you with this month's promo (which is 4 main courses gets you a free bottle of wine in July).

As you approach, the service staff quickly meets you at the door. The entrance to the cafe is Japanese automatic glass door styled. Touch the handle button, and the door slides open. (Usually, they'll open it for you though.. ahhaa)

For appetisers, we tried the tataki tuna, which was pan-seared pacific tuna, shimeji mushroom ragout, salad & balsamico reduction. The texture of the tuna was interesting, and my friend thought it tasted like beef! The rocket leaves were quite bitter, and it somehow affected the mushrooms which I thought was bitter too! Wiki'ed ragout and it means "a basic method of preparation that involves slow cooking over a low heat."

tataki tuna

mushroom ragout with bitter leaves!

For mains, I've tasted the ribeye, meltique beef, pizza, pork kurobuta and fish & chips. The portions are quite generous, and it's good to share 3 mains if you're in a group of 4. Even so, I've yet to find the space to try the desserts!

meltique beef (prime cut)


The beef was tender! Ribeye was slightly chewier while meltique beef almost, almost melt in your mouth... Medium rare is how we liked it.



The kurobuta pork rack was interesting as well. Pork seemed to go well with fruits. The meat was well cooked and firm to the bite. Though I liked the parts nearer to the bone more. Tender yums!

kurobuta pork rack with apple sauce

well cooked meat

If you're not into red meat, then there's still fish & chips to consider. Served piping hot, fresh from the fryer.

beer battered fish & chips

Though, I can't really discern the beer taste but the fish flesh was fragrant. Enjoyable deep fried dish.

If you're not too keen on meats, perhaps a pizza might be of interest. My mom ordered the hawaiian pizza and she looked quite pleased!

hawaiian pizza (thin crust!)

The pizza crust was really thin and crunchy like a biscuit! The center of the pizza tend to be quite soft, so be careful of the cheese that looked like it was about to slide off the pizza crust!

Would like to go back someday... to try their desserts. Sipping coffee by the window during a lazy afternoon sounds like not too bad an idea...

iced cafe mocha by the window

Revisited on 8 December 2010

This time round, we ordered soft-shell crab with wasabi mayo dip, chunky mushroom soup and for mains we had kurobuta pork rack (again!) and marinara pizza, and for desserts (finally managed to try!) we had mascarpone mousse (tiramisu yes?) and creme brulee.

soft shell crab
wasabi dip rocks!

We actually wanted to order calamari or chicken wings but were told that these items were sold out.. at about 8+ pm! Wow. But we did see other table ordered the beer battered mushrooms. It looked good!

mushroom soup with truffle oil

The mushroom soup was enjoyable with chockful of mushroom bits, and generously drizzled with truffle oil.

marinara pizza (seafood)

capsicum, squid, fish and prawns

Our marinara pizza nearly became margherita pizza. Therefore, do listen carefully when the waitstaff repeats your order! =P

creme brulee
sugary treat
yummy, melt in your mouth and sweeet

Creme brulee tasted as good as it looked. The fruits were a little sour and tart, and it helps to perks up the taste bud after all the sweetness.

mascarpone mousse
soft and moist
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