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

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 2007

Date of Tasting: 16 April 2016
Wine Type: Red
Grape Varieties: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
Alcohol: 13%
Origin: Bordeaux, France
Appellation: Saint-Julien, Deuxieme Grand Cru Classe 1855
Expect to Pay: ~ EUR100
Chubby Appreciation: 91/100
Critics' Opinion: WA - 90/100, WS - 90/100, WE - 93/100, FS - 92/100, ST - 91/100, JR - 16.5/20, DC - 91/100, CT - 92/100

Appearance: Dark brick red.
Aroma: Fresh but ripe black fruits. Chocolate and spices.
Palate: Medium-full on the palate with firm but smooth tannins. Dark fruits and cherries seemed to nominate with secondary notes of earth. Fresh character. Rather short on the finish.

This is more on the elegant side in my view. A nice experience but not a wow one for me. It was fresh, it was smooth, and it was seductive. But it was not attractive. There are some missing elements and structure. Impressive effort and charm though. Accessible now and at least in the short term future.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mitsumori @ Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok - มิตซูโมริ @ ซอยสุขุมวิท 23 กรุงเทพฯ

Cuisine: Japanese
Charged Price: THB400 per person without alcohol (lunch)
Visited: 2 May 2016
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Services: 6/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Mitsumori may be related to the Ootoya chain of Japan. But it is a step forward in term of quality and delicacy. For this one in Bangkok, it is located within Soi Sukhumvit 23. It might be a little hassle for those who do not drive here as the location is somewhat deep into the soi: cc. 8 to 10 minutes walk (600 meters) from the entrance of Soi Sukhumvit 23. Nevertheless, driving here might equally gives some headache when the place is crowded as there are less than 10 lots for parking.

What surely calm my nerve down about quality of this Mitsumori when I walked in was the Japanese expats crowd. I did not see many local here. More than 80% was Japanese. The very first word in my mind then was "authentic". And yes, it did not disappoint us at all. I believe, apart from quality of ingredient, Mitsumori shows excellent bbq range like yakitori. The lunch set is as well superb. As for atmosphere, it is comfy enough with Japanese feeling. There is a counter of around 10 seats in the centre of the restaurant where guests can enjoy chef performing bbq.

Mitsumori @ Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok

~ 6 - 7 car lots for parking only

the counter seats

performance by bbq chef

the menu

It was one fine lunch when we visited Mitsumori. We had Oyakojyu - ข้าวหน้าไก่บ้านโอยาโกะ (7/10), which is simply grilled chicken cooking in a similar way to katsudon, and Hot Soba with Sakura Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura (7/10). Rest assure, quality was indeed great. Chicken was tender and flavouful. Alongside condiments were delicious too. The soba had nice texture. The one with chewiness but soft as noodle should be. Simply classic and lovely. The lunch set also comes with a choice of coffee or tea. A set is certainly wonderful enough to fulfill one's need for a meal. Will surely return.

Oyakojyu - ข้าวหน้าไก่บ้านโอยาโกะ (THB320)

Hot Soba with Sakura Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura (THB360)

Iced Coffee to end the meal

Mitsumori @ Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok - มิตซูโมริ @ ซอยสุขุมวิท 23 กรุงเทพฯ
47/1 Soi Sukhumvit 23
Thanon Sukhumvit
Khlong Toey Nuea, Watthana
Bangkok 10110

Open Hours: daily from 11:30am - 02:30pm for lunch and 05:00pm - 10:00pm for dinner (09:00pm for Sunday and public holidays)
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