Friday, December 30, 2011

Sornthong Restaurant, Bangkok, Thailand

 One of the more popular Thai chinese restaurants in Bangkok, Sornthong was filled to the brim with people on this Friday night. We made a reservation but we were late so ended up waiting for about 20 minutes before a table was ready. No matter!

 The building itself was really really old and both floors were just packed with people.

 We started off with some satay - never did quite imagine satay was common in Thailand but apparently it is, and instead of the Singapore / Malaysian type with fat chunks in between, this was solid meat!

{ Chicken Satay }
 A whole platter of tiny steamed prawns! Fresh and small enough for you to eat with the shell even if you don't mind the fact that all the prawns weren't deveined @.@

{ Small Steamed Prawns }
 Oyster omelette was easily the best dish of the night - world of a difference compared to the strange gooey one at Baan Itsara, it was a little gooey as well but just enough to be nice and not cloying. Generous with the bean sprouts and slightly crispy.

{ Oyster Omelette }
 Ordered the crab claw but got the prawn - curses! Despite being seriously over-prawned in this Thailand trip (not exactly a bad thing) we thought this to be much better than the Baan Itsara rendition as well. Which could only mean morreeeeee fat!

{ Prawns with Vermicelli }
 No surprise now that this a staple at Thai restaurants, lol :)

{ Deep fried SnowFISHH!!!! }
 We opted for the clear Tom Yum Goong with no spice (!) and it came with dry chilli and cut chilli padi by the side. Mix and match to your own level of spiciness! Honestly I thought this worked out better for everyone so that people who can't take spice can still enjoy a slight tinge of piquance, whereas people like me who love torture can put enough chilli to obtain chilli high :)

{ Tom Yum Goong }
Other links :

Even on livedoor!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chao Lay Restaurant, Hua Hin, Thailand

 Now we can't quite end our stay in Hua Hin without visiting one of the most popular seafood restaurants in town - Chaolay Seafood. The restaurant is built on a jetty, so I would imagine a nice sea view and a gentle cooling breeze in the day time, but unfortunate the waters were pitch dark and the breeze a tad too cool at night!

 The place was packed to the brim with throngs of locals and tourists alike.

 We opted for more seafoody options this time! The grilled prawns with a kind of tom yum dip was great - prawns were big and fresh and not too expensive (by Singapore standards).

{ Grilled Prawns with Tom Yum Dip }

 The Thai style curry crab was definitely not what we expected! Instead of curry curry we were presented with a kind of curry paste crab - the curry paste actually reminds me of the sweet curry gravy that some brands of instant noodles have. Can't say if it's good or bad but it's different no doubt!

A quick search reveals ...

This Thai recipe for stir-fried crab in curry sauce, Boo Paht Pong Karee, is unique in Thai cuisine, as it is prepared
with dry curry powder and sometimes fresh milk. Normally, Thai curries are prepared with a curry paste
of fresh spices and coconut milk. Almost every recipe for this classic Thai dish adds oyster sauce,
nam prik pao, white pepper, egg, fresh chilies and Chinese celery.

{ Thai style Curry Crab }

 The Thai style spicy otah cooked in coconut was great! Reminds me a tad bit of fish amok in consistency and with the coconut and coconut milk, but not as strong (in coconut) and more chilli.

{ Thai style Fish Otah }

 Squid in salted egg sauce was not too bad, but you can't quite taste the salted egg. The chinese style is far superior!

{ Squid in Salted Egg Sauce }

 We also ordered a myriad of other dishes such as the pineapple rice (fantastic), omelette and thai style steamed fish. The aftermath of a veritable feasting!

Other Links :

Baan Itsara, Hua Hin, Thailand

 Second day we off to the royal town of Hua Hin for a nice beach resort getaway! Not forgetting to stop by another popular Thai restaurant for more Thai food goodness. Once again checking my trusty guides ...

Lonely planet : #10 of 36 things to do in Hua Hin
                                   #4 of 23 seafood restaurants in Thailand

 Well I have no doubt in my mind that there are more than 23 seafood restaurants in Thailand ... so I doubt all these lists have much significance. Anyway! The place is located next to the sea so you do get a decent (albeit chilly) sea breeze during your meal. Definitely not recommended during monsoon however!

 Once again we stuck to our usual favourites, including - yes! - the deep fried fish with Thai fish sauce. Have to say the taste doesn't vary too much from place to place, and even the sauce tastes rather similar to ones we've had in Bangkok.

{ Deep Fried Snowfish with Fish Sauce}

 We saw this rather peculiar dish being served so we asked the waiter what it was - mixed seafood in sweet basil. And wowzers, while not looking too palatable, taste was simply spectacular! Imagine really deep flavoured, rich pesto (no nuts though, just basil) with mixed seafood. So liberal with the basil the fragrance and herbiness was unbelievable. And very generous with the seafood as well! 

{ Mixed Seafood with Sweet Basil }

 Some were big fans of the Thai style oyster omelette so we tried this rendition - have to say this was a little too awkward for me. While these omelettes have that pasty, gooey flour bits, this was a little wayyyy too gooey and it tasted raw and undercooked. The egg itself was slightly undercooked as well - most of us preferred it slightly crispy.

{Thai style Oyster Omelette }
 Ah, vermicelli with crab claw or prawn never fails to remind me of this classic. This is actually my first try in a long long long LONG time, and while it tastes great it's not quite my cup of tea! Cooked in pork fat and sacks of herbs in the bottom, it's important to mix it properly to get the fat and herb juices well coated before eating. Pre-mixing, the noodles will be dry; post-mixing, the noodles will be glazed with the fatty oily goodness but it was a little too much for me! Prawns were huge and fresh though.

{ Baked Prawn with Vermicelli }
 The signature sweet basil dish definitely left a long lasting impression in my mind! And if you're itching for dessert after a hearty seafood meal, across the road from Baan Itsara is a nice little "eighteen below ice cream" that serves great coconut ice cream :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Taling Pling, Bangkok, Thailand

 First stop in our short new year's trip to Bangkok was at Taling Pling for lunch! While small and seemingly hidden in an alleyway, it seemed really popular with locals and foreigners, and a quick search on Google later ...

Tripadvisor : #61 out of 1,016 restaurants in Bangkok
Lonely planet : #11 of 720 things to do in Bangkok
                             #25 of 2,596 things to do in Thailand

Must say, pretty impressive stats! It's also been featured on the Tatler website, NY times website, and a legit sounding

Itching for Thai food - on with it!

's mom suggested we start with a popular local appetizer which to be honest I've never seen, heard or tasted before in Singapore. A search later back home revealed it to be Mieng Kham - chaplu leaves or raw Kai Lan with ginger, garlic, onion, chilli padi, lime, and the awesome peanut and dried shrimp mix in the middle. Throw 'em all onto a leaf, wrap, and consume. Yummy and refreshing with sweet, salty, sour and piquance all rolled in oneand relatively healthy too!

{ Mieng Kham }
 We had our usual Thai food favourites - Tom Yum Goong is a must of course! I'm always impressed by how each the Tom Yum Goong in most restaurants in Bangkok all taste different but are all awesome in their own way.

{ Tom Yum Goong }

{ Thai Fish Otah }
 As I would soon come to realize, I was extremely well acquainted with this dish by the time my trip was over. Have to say moderation is in the best order when it comes to this popular Thai dish, especially if you devour the head like I do. Fishing (..heh) through the head without getting impaled by a sharp bone is a true art form!

{ Deep Fried Snowfish with Fish Sauce }

{ Thai Green Curry Chicken }

 We had other crowd favourites such as papaya salad (REALLY SPICY), olive rice, and pandan chicken (which was awesome as well). Suffice to say that every place we visited in our Thailand trip has been properly 'audited' for quality so of course, food here was an awesome start!

Address : 60 Pun Road, Silom, Bangkok (off Th Silom) - check here for more transport details
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