Saturday, October 29, 2016

Just a thought, Oldie vs. Trendy

Having been writing blog for sometime and most of the time I have been trying to keep posting a weekly basis, this would be my last post before taking a long break. Writing blog does give pleasure of sharing experience. Of course, some are great, some are enjoyable, and some are unacceptable. Living in the world of social media nowadays, I, personally, do often feel somewhat uncomfortable despite writing the blog.

Thus, I have come to decision that this post would be my last blogging for now before returning in the future. Just need sometime off really. More time on dining table with beloved one and family with flashing photos. Of course, there will still be one or two for instagram and things like that. Anyway, for this blog I will be comparing a few of those the local has enjoyed for long while the trendy stuff has as well penetrated the market especially for those young generation. All of which are Tubtim Krob @ Wongwein Yai, Strawberry Cheesecake Kakigori @ After You, Coconut Ice-cream of Pa Na @ Hua Ro Market in Ayutthaya, and Tiramisu Soft-serve of Kiss the Tiramisu @ Siam Square.

First of all, it is Tubtim Krob at Wongwein Yai. Tubtim krob has long been one of favourite desserts for generations. These ruby like water chestnut are just crisp and sweet and when combined with a touch of syrup and coconut milk, it is just awesomely delicious. I, personally, can go on and on with this dessert meal after meals. However, it seems to be freaking hard these days to find a good store/stall that sells nice one. Just when I was a kid, a nice tubtim krob can be found like within the neighbourhood.

Anyway, this one at Wongwein Yai is a famous one and is just wonderful. Love the freshness and crunchiness of water chestnut. The sweetness of syrup is just right. Having along with salim or coconut is equally pleasant. Going there can be difficult but this is not a hurdle for me at all when I feel like one.

P.S. They also serve vermicelli with fish curry and soft-boiled egg (Kanom Jeen Nam Ya).

Tubtim Krob (THB40)

water chestnut, salim, and ruby water chestnut

For Strawberry Cheesecake Kakigori at After You, I have to say that this might be the only one at After You I would actually eat. As posted a long while ago, After You has never been my choice of dessert. With those toast soaked with yakky melted butter and ice-cream that is full of esters aroma, I will never touch it. But this kakigori is another story in my view. They do it much nicer that others. The ice flakes are creamier and with more flavour. If there is more of the strawberry sauce, it would be more balance. By the way, kakigori is just shaved ice in Japanese. You may also find the word Bing Su in Korean shop. But if you go on street food in Thailand, it would simply be Nam Kang Sai (น้ำแข็งไส). They are all the same word but just different marketing terms.

Anyway, at the price of THB235 (if I recall it correctly) for just shaved ice and strawberry sauce is way too excessive in my view, not even counting in the long queue you will have to encounter. For me, I surely rather go for 8 of tubtim krob than just a bowl of this shaved ice. But it has been a trend in Thai for the last year and still now. You can find it anywhere. Wish the younger generations will realise the goodie of old time local food.

Strawberry Cheesecake Kakigori (THB235) 

If ones have been following my blog, facebook, or instagram, they would recognise that I am one of the ice-cream lovers. Back in May when I had a chance to visit the old capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, I did not hesitate to search for a nice ice-cream stall. Indeed I did find one at Talad Hua Ro (Hua Ro Market) which sells the classic coconut ice-cream: Pa Na.

Na is the name of the owner and Pa means Aunty in Thai. This ice-cream stall is just a tiny corner in the market. There are perhaps less than 10 seats for you to sit while enjoying your treat. At the price of THB30, you get a delicious cup of coconut ice-cream with your choices of topping. My favourite would have to include sticky rice and candied palm seed definitely. If you want to go for a more rustic one, have them on bread. Surely classic and heavenly delicious. The best parts of Pa Na Coconut Ice-cream are just everything. The ice-cream is creamy and yummy. The toppings come in variety. The local atmosphere is priceless. Everyone is friendly. Hey, THB30 for coconut ice-cream is expensive??? Hell no for me. It is a treat for me.

Coconut Ice-cream Stall of Pa (Aunty) Na @ Ayutthaya

Coconut Ice-cream with your choice of topping (THB30)

Coconut Ice-cream on Bread (THB25)

Now it comes to a posher side of ice-cream. The Korean brand, Kiss The Tiramisu, offers just one choice (as far as I'm aware of at the time of tasting): Tiramisu Ice-cream of course. However, they recently offer Banamisu flavour also. Suppose it is banana flavour. The cost of savouring this Korean soft-serve would be THB159 for one. Good god!!! THB159 and it does not even satisfy me. Ok, it is not that bad, enjoyable at a certain level. But please, it is tiramisu, not vanilla soft-serve with a dash of chocolate flavour. Oh, did I miss out the coffee part. No, I did not. I barely sensed the coffee bit when eating. Give me back my THB159 pleaseeeeee.

Kiss The Tiramisu @ Siam Square

the owner must really love Mary Poppins in my view

its soft-serve with filling to resemble tiramisu: Tiramisu Ice-cream (THB159)

shaving in the chocolate

Anyway, the point I would like to make here is nowadays we seem to forget all those nostalgic goodies and tend to be lured with those pricey fancy stuff. Personal opinion, I have to make it here. Not trying to discredit anyone here but purely pointing out that the local food can be equally great and at a more realistic price. Just don't forget them before they are no longer available.

Well, wish everyone enjoy their savouring. I will surely do. Sometime may be in any restaurants. Sometime may be strolling around on streets finding the best kept secret. Travelling the world to search for local culture could also be. Sipping Barolo while typing facebook can be a regular activity or swallowing in glasses of Burgundy somewhere on earth. Instagram with glasses of Champagne in someone backyard. Surely most of the time, dining either opposite or by the side of Deadly Bunny. Or even grilling my own steak, tossing pasta, blending soup, or baking something in my tiny orange kitchen. Bon appetite to you all till we meet again.


Tubtim Krob @ Wongwein Yai, Bangkok
184 Thanon Lat Ya
Khlong San
Bangkok 10600

Open Hours: daily from 08:30am - 08:30pm
Tel: +66 (0) 2438 2118


Pa Na Coconut Ice-cream @ Talad Hua Ro, Ayutthaya
Tha Wa Su Kri
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District
Ayutthaya 13000

Open Hours: daily from 09:00am - 01:00pm


Kiss The Tiramisu @ Siam Square Soi 3, Bangkok
258 Siam Square Soi 3
Pathum Wan
Bangkok 10330

Open Hours: daily from 12:00pm - 09:30pm
Tel: +66 (0) 91 562 9956

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When I feel like ice-cream!!!

Often I crave for ice-cream. Swensen's is usually the typical joint that can be found anywhere and it is decent enough, I have to admit. Technology these days seems to go beyond our imagination. Not the ingredients and technique it supposed to be but yield similar result. Salute. However, there are 2 small places in Bangkok that I from time to time have to stop by to fill by blood vein with more sugar and fat. One is in Soi Sukhumvit 39 called Ampersand and the other one is tucked in a small Soi on Charoen Krung Road which is Gelato Finale. Both are delicious but different in someway.

MapAmpersand Boutique @ Sukhumvit 39, Bangkok
Charged Price: THB79 per scoop
Visited: 2 May 2016
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Value for money: 6/10
Services: 5/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Ampersand Boutique is just a small joint in Baan Prompong Building in Soi Sukhumvit 39. This ice-cream parlour seems to position itself a little bit towards homemade/high-end stuff. I have to say it is wonderful enough to keep insulin keeps working. Texture wise they are firm and full. Not too sweet is a plus point for me. Personally, smoothness is the point they could improve to make their ice-cream beyond satisfaction. Recommend to try their classic range to start off.


Mango & Sticky Rice with Chocolate

Ampersand Boutique @ Sukhumvit 39, Bangkok
Floor 1, Baan Prompong
147 Soi Sukhumvit 39
Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana
Bangkok 10110

Open Hours: daily from 12:00pm - 10:00pm (from 10:00am during weekend)
Tel: +66 (0) 2662 0351


Charged Price: THB60 per scoop
Visited: 2 May 2016
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Value for money: 10/10
Services: 6/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Gelato Finale is perhaps my favourite found of the year. Tucked in a small Soi of Charoen Krung 46 where anybody would expect nothing like this to be there. It is right next to Bang Rak Market. Driving there can be hassle in finding parking lots. However, BTS can be convenient enough.

I gotta say that this place has decorated to bring the ambient to a friendly point. It is comfy too. For a delicious scoop of gelato at the price of THB60 in Bangkok, I would say it is a bargain. This is Bangkok, not Italy. Usually expect something expensive not for value. But it is not the case here. Texture of each scoop is just soft, tender, smooth, and most of all creamy. If it is near my house, I could drop by daily. I would recommend you to try just anything here. Finale, it is!!!

Ferrero Rocher and Amaretto

Gelato Finale @ Charoen Krung 46, Bangkok
20-26 Soi Charoen Krung 46
Bang Rak
Bangkok 10500

Open Hours: daily from 09:301m - 09:30pm except Monday

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso 2010

Date of Tasting: 13 May 2016
Wine Type: Red
Grape Varieties: 100% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol: 14.5%
Origin: Tuscany, Italy
Appellation: Toscana IGT
Expect to Pay: ~ EUR80
Chubby Appreciation: 94/100
Critics' Opinion: JS - 95/100, FS - 95/100, WA - 96/100, WE - 97/100, AG - 97/100, WS - 93/100, CT - 93/100

Appearance: Dark ruby.
Aroma: Sweet oak, coffee, cassis, floral and spices.
Palate: Deep and full in the mouth. Sweet and smooth but somewhat rigid tannins with balance acidity. Notes of black berries and spices. 

Somewhat modern but lovely. It is accessible at this stage but more time in bottle should be a reward. Otherwise, pop up an hour before sipping. Its strong structure will support long aging. Accompany with rich food to enjoy. Cheers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Khun Lek Khao Mok Kai @ Charoen Krung, Bangkok - คุณเล็ก ข้าวหมกไก่ @ ถนนเจริญกรุง กรุงเทพฯ

Cuisine: Thai Muslim Food
Charged Price: THB150 per person without alcohol
Visited: 9 July 2016
Food: 9/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Value for money: 9/10
Services: 5/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Khao Mok or Biryani is something rather common in Thailand. Thanks to the magic of mixing spices of Muslim culture. However, a really good one and authentic can be difficult to find. Here on Thanon Charoen Krung and opposite Charoenkrung Pracharak Hospital, Khun Lek who is the owner of this tiny joint, Khun Lek Khao Mok Kai, produces such wonderful khao mok.

Khun Lek operates her shop only during lunch time and I can tell you that things run out pretty fast. Make sure you are here not too late if you don't want to get disappointed of something running out. As mentioned, it is a small place and only around 10 tables, so be patient. To get here, driving might be your only choice as there is no major public transport around except bus.

Khun Lek Khao Mok Kai @ Charoen Krung, Bangkok

just a small joint of 1 commercial building

This is where the delicacy prepared

perhaps 10 tables

surely something good on the wall

Typically, khao mok with chicken is common. But I tend to go for something with beef each time I visit as you won't often see khao mok with beef around. If you fancy combination, they can also do it for you for example Khao Mok Chicken + Beef - ข้าวหมกไก่ + เนื้อ (10/10). I have to really say it is fantastic. The quality of rice that has been prepared well with spices is top of the class. Chicken and beef were as well tender, juicy, and flavourful. In case of fancy something rare, Khao Mok Mutton - ข้าวหมกแพะ (9/10) could be your pick. Again very nice with its distinct character. Among chicken, beef, and mutton, my top pick would have been beef. To couple the meal Beef Soup - ซุปเนื้อ (8/10) was also a good choice. With a bit of spice from chili, it just completed the meal.

Personally, khao mok of Khun Lek is one of the best in town. So bon appetit if you are visiting Khun Lek.

Khao Mok Chicken + Beef - ข้าวหมกไก่ + เนื้อ (THB80)

Khao Mok Mutton - ข้าวหมกแพะ (THB130)

Beef Soup - ซุปเนื้อ (THB70)

Khun Lek Khao Mok Kai @ Charoen Krung, Bangkok - คุณเล็ก ข้าวหมกไก่ @ ถนนเจริญกรุง กรุงเทพฯ
2432/3 Thanon Charoen Krung
Bang Kho Laem
Bangkok 10120

Open Hours: daily from 11:00am - 03:00pm except Sunday

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chateau Malescot St. Exupery 2006

Date of Tasting: 18 November 2016
Wine Type: Red
Grape Varieties: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
Alcohol: 13%
Origin: Bordeaux, France
Appellation: Margaux, Troisieme Grand Cru Classe
Expect to Pay: ~ EUR50
Chubby Appreciation: 92/100
Critics' Opinion: WA - 91/100, AG - 91/100, WS - 92/100, WE - 92/100, JS - 93/100, FS - 92/100, ST - 90/100, JR - 16.5/20, DC - 90/100, CT - 91/100

Appearance: Dark red.
Aroma: Tobacco, cocoa, oak, plum, rose.
Palate: Fine but somewhat dense with medium-full bodied. Velvety tannins. Earthy. Dark cherry and bitter chocolate. Complex to the end.

Gear towards modern style but still feminine / elegant characters of Margaux. Delicious indeed. Ready now and good for another decade. Lamb shank to couple and you are good to go. Salute!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Baan Malako @ Rayong, Thailand - บ้านมะละกอ @ ระยอง

Cuisine: Noodle
Charged Price: THB100 per person
Visited: 1 July 2016
Food: 9/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Value for money: 8/10
Services: 5/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

During bank holiday break, we had a chance to visit Rayong and indeed we did spend our opportunity to try out the local stuff. Baan Malako was one of them and is the one we really appreciated. It is a very local joint that serves noodle with spotted mackerel. I have to say it is really fabulous. So simple, so delicious, and so local. The place is spacious and I would guess it can accommodate 50 people easily. Also you don't have to worry about parking space as there are many parking lots right in front of the place. Only problem is they do not serve dinner (T<>T)"

Baan Malako @ Rayong, Thailand - บ้านมะละกอ @ ระยอง

rather spacious

The Menu

Since this was our first visit, so we did decide to try both with and without soup: Stewed Noodle with Mackerel Fillet and Fish Ball (10/10) and Fish Ball with Fillet and Noodle in Soup (9/10). I have to admit that I could be a little biased towards stewed noodle as I personally not the kind of soup-eater. Nevertheless, both were simply delicious. They were flavourful. The fillet were fresh and tender. Usually mackerel can be somewhat tough but it was not the case here. We did as well give a go with Pad Thai with Spotted Mackerel - ผัดไทยปลาอินทรี (8/10) and it did not disappoint us at all. The vermicelli noodle used for pad thai (Chan Noodle - เส้นจันท์) was originally from Chanthaburi Province which is right next to Rayong. So I would presume that the very best Chan Noodle must be from this area. Yes, the noodle here was wonderful. Tender but also possesses some chewiness. Excellent texture. Combining with great local ingredients and fresh mackerel fillet, this was a wow dish. Without doubt, Baan Malako will be another in my list to revisit every other time when popping by Rayong. 

Soup vs. No-Soup

Stewed Noodle with Mackerel Fillet and Fish Ball (THB60)

zooming up

Fish Ball with Fillet and Noodle in Soup (THB60)

fish ball with fillet

Pad Thai with Spotted Mackerel - ผัดไทยปลาอินทรี (THB60)

Baan Malako @ Rayong, Thailand - บ้านมะละกอ @ ระยอง
33 Moo 6
Tambol Klaeng, Amphoe Muang
Rayong 85000

Open Hours: Mon - Sat from 08:30pm - 04:30pm
Tel: +66 (038 648 617

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

les Heritiers du Comte Lafon Macon Milly-Lamartine Clos du Four 2013

Date of Tasting: 15 March 2016
Wine Type: White
Grape Varieties: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13%
Origin: Burgundy, France
Appellation: Macon-Villages Controlee
Expect to Pay: ~ EUR25
Chubby Appreciation: 92/100
Critics' Opinion: WE - 92/100, WA - 91/100, JR - 17/20, CT - 89/100

Appearance: Light yellow straw.
Aroma: Mild citrus. Stony, rocky and smoky. 
Palate: Fresh and clean on the palate with lovely minerally stony touch. Lingering notes of citrus and apple. Vibrant acidity. Structured and depth as well. Wonderful complexity and length.

Love the stony touch of this wine. Great concentration with fruits too. Easily a great wine for everyday either with food or as aperitif. It would surely worth waiting for some development. But why wait. It is already delicious. Salute!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sühring @ Yen Akat, Bangkok - ซูห์ริง @ ซอยเย็นอากาศ กรุงเทพฯ

Cuisine: Modern German
Charged Price: THB4,500 per person
Visited: 30 May 2016
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Value for money: 5/10
Services: 6/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Suhring, a modern German cuisine run by Suhring brothers, launched epically during early 2016. I believe Suhring is under the same group of sponsors as the famous Gaggan. That explains implicitly the logic behind its style of food. Without doubt, food here come in those small portions and presented using modern technique.

Personally, this is my first chance to visit this place and it was during Albert Bichot wine dinner. The overall impression with this place was good but not great. Some dishes were delicious but some missed elements here and there. But the wine were definitely gorgeous. Apart from food, I have to admit that the ambient of this place is really lovely. It is a house-converted restaurant. It is spacious and with beautiful garden. The downside about this place is its location. It is nowhere near public transport access point. Hence, driving or taxi remain your only choices. For those who drive, beware of limited parking space. Otherwise, you will have to park along the Soi.

Sühring @ Yen Akat, Bangkok

a beautiful house of the restaurant

spectacular seats within the glass house area

the dining hall

As for wine, the line up for the night were:

Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis 1er Cru les Vaucoupins 2013 (92/100): Lovely Chablis with early access. Fresh with white fruits elements.

Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis Grand Cru Moutonne Monopole 2007 (93/100): Richer and deeper than the former one. Notes of mineral and floral. Wine for food it is.

Chateau Gris Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru 2011 (93/100): Sweet black fruits and oak harmony. Perfect for meat dishes. Expect more in a few years time.

Domaine du Pavillon Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Clos des Marechaudes 2013 (93/100): Opulent with earth and fruit forward. Give it time to reveal its class.

Domaine du Clos Frantin Echezeaux Grand Cru 2012 (94/100): Definitely harmony in the glass. But it is a long way for this guy before full enjoyment.

Albert Bichot line up for the night

The dinner started with those small bites / snacks / amuse bouche (or whatever you may call). Spiced Tomato Cracker with Fermented Garlic (7/10) did show nice taste of tomato along with spices but Avocado, Smoked Eel and Horseradish (7/10) was somewhat confusing. It was delicious but could not really detect the distinct character of avocado and eel. On the other hand, Frankfurter Grüne Soße (6/10) was presented gorgeously but the taste did live up with its look in my humble view. Taste of herb, yes. Unbalance, yes also. As for, Duck Liver, Chicken Skin, and Sea Buckthorn (6/10), the sea buckthorn was the weak link in this case. It didn't seem to pair well with pate though the overall texture was lovely.

Spiced Tomato Cracker with Fermented Garlic | Avocado, Smoked Eel and Horseradish

Frankfurter Grüne Soße

Duck Liver, Chicken Skin, and Sea Buckthorn

The last nibble came with a more fruitful size: Pork Knuckle Sandwich, Sauerkraut, and Marjoram (7/10). Rather nice actually. A bit of sauerkraut would be even better. Tender texture with flavourful taste. Moving on to a more proper size dish. Simmentaler Roast Beef, Pickled Mackerel, Capers, Beetroot, and Apple (7/10) would be a lovely one if it had come without mackerel. The combination of beef and mackerel in the same plate seemed confusing though the beetroot and apple cut well through fattiness of beef. The strange thing is this dish was paired with Chablis. Not a perfect pair but interesting. Then we had a plate to share: Cold Cuts & Pickles: German Rustic Sour Dough + Cultured Butter + Griebenschmalz | Soft-Pretzel + Obatzda (8/10). Wonderful indeed. The sour dough was outstanding. I would not pay much attention on sauces here: cultured butter, griebenschmalz, and obatzda. I think when the bread is nice, just plain butter could already bring you to heaven so as cold cuts.

Pork Knuckle Sandwich, Sauerkraut, and Marjoram

Simmentaler Roast Beef, Pickled Mackerel, Capers, Beetroot, and Apple

Cold Cuts & Pickles

building up

Moving on to heavier dishes. Celeriac Tortellini with Summer Truffle (9/10) would be the highlight of the meal in my view. Beautiful aroma of truffle. The tortellini was as well perfectly executed. Love this one. It seems the Italian dish performed much better than the German ones tonight. Next was Hungarian Duck Roasted on the Bone, Pumpkin and Lavender Jus (9/10) which was almost equally great as the tortellini. Flavourful and tender. Sweetness of pumpkin also cut through the flavour of jus well. Execution and ingredients are the keys here, I think. For lamb dish, it was Salt Meadow Lamb from Piet Van Den Berg, Beans, Saffron, and Herbs (7/10). Not extraordinary but enjoyable here. Honestly, saffron is too elegant and it looked as though unique aroma of lamb overwhelmed the great saffron here.

Celeriac Tortellini with Summer Truffle

Hungarian Duck Roasted on the Bone, Pumpkin and Lavender Jus

Salt Meadow Lamb from Piet Van Den Berg

Here comes the dessert. I have to say that dessert were superb here. Both Buttermilk, Cucumber, Gin, and Tonic (8/10) and Waldorf Salad (9/10) were just delicious. The cucumber one cleansed the palate pretty well. So simple, classic, and refreshing. For waldorf salad, this was a great transformation from salad to dessert. Freshness is the key, again. The crumb added 3rd dimension to creaminess of dessert. The meal then ended with a small bite of doughnut (if I recall correctly).

All in all, this is a restaurant for experience but not for often visit in my view. Nice and enjoyable but it lacks here and there and the meal can be very long.

Buttermilk, Cucumber, Gin, and Tonic

Waldorf Salad

petit fours (doughnut?)

Sühring @ Yen Akat, Bangkok - ซูห์ริง @ ซอยเย็นอากาศ กรุงเทพฯ
10 Soi Yen Akat 3
Chong Nonsi, Yan Nawa
Bangkok 10120

Open Hours: daily from 06:00pm - 11:00pm for dinner
Tel: +66 (0) 2287 1799
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