The List

It’s August already and the end of the year is fast approaching. Just like that.  In a few months 2011 will be over and done with.  However, there are still a zillion things I want to do and so today I give you instead a list of places I still want to go to and things I want to do before the year is up.  I’ll probably be adding to this list as the months go by so ideas are more than welcomed!

Walk up to the Golden Mount Temple;
Go inside Hualumphong Train Station;
Take a one day train trip on Thailand’s ancient railroad (steam engine if possible);
Take the Chaophraya Express Cruise 9 Temple Tour;
Take a one day trip to Pattaya;
Take pictures of old shop house signs in Old Bangkok;
Walk along Saphan Kwai, an old business district;
Discover the wholesale flower market (PaklongTalad);
Visit the Grand Palace;
Explore the weekend jatuchak market;
Organize my photos and burn DVDs;
Finish making my handmade books;
Reorganize Having “Me” Time Website;
Initiate an event;
Run the 5K Bangkok Marathon;

If you have any suggestions for places I should go to and things I should do, please feel free to let me know!! Lets start on this journey together for together we are better 🙂

Bangkok Dining: Brunch at “The Horse Says Moooo”

This past weekend, my friends and I went to try out a new restaurant. Thanks to one of my dearest friends, who always seeks out wonderful new places, we get to try out new restaurants and eateries which aren’t located in hotels and department stores. Those are left for the days when you need a safe option. This weekend we went to a Restaurant and Winebar on Sukhumvit Soi 33 called “The Horse Says Moooo.”

It’s a strange name that really catches your attention and has everyone asking “What is the name again?” the first time they hear it. That was certainly my reaction. It is also a name that once you’ve heard it and been, it’s hard to forget. I definitely won’t be forgetting it anytime soon (which I suppose is what the owners must want.)

We went there for brunch, but they are also serve wine and beer and have live music in the evening so
the atmosphere must be quite different. It seems to be a restaurant of many “moods” depending upon the time of day. Perfect for a horse that needs variety. The brunch mood was calm, cosy and I felt like I was eating in a private room. It was Saturday so the brunch crowd wasn’t too big and there were only a couple tables while we ate there. I loved it and thought it perfect for alittle mini-reunion because then you are sure to hear the person opposite you whilst just relaxing and taking your time eating. You don’t need to feel pressured to vacate the table for the next person in line.

What about their food? Starters was Grandma’s original pancake with butter, honey and maple syrup(200thb). The pancakes were crispy on the edges and the middle soft.  Just the way I like it. Maple syrup is always good and they provide it in a jug so you can have as much as you want.

We ordered the all time favorite brunch food of Eggs Benedict (350thb). It came out beautifully arranged and equally tasty. I loved the freshly poached eggs and the salmon. My only wish was that we had a little more of the hollandaise sauce. I suppose I also am a bit of traditionalist. I am not too big a fan of the citrus in the sauce, but it was still good nevertheless. Yes, I will go there and eat it again.

Next was the corned beef hash with potato slices and fresh thyme (280thb). This was one of my favorite dishes. I think it’s because for me it’s like comfort food. It simple yet satisfying with corn beef and potatoes. I feel like that food critic in the animation “Ratatouille” that gets pleasure from a dish that reminds him of home. (The only difference for me is that I don’t eat beef hash at home, but it is someone like one of those comfort foods.)

Crab cake salad with lemon creme fraiche (250thb) came next. It was good and seemingly more healthy than the beef hash, but the amount of fresh crabs they put into the crab cake might be enough to make anyone with high cholesterol scared. It’s good a good scare though, I love crab cakes which are filled with crab meat. You really taste the flavor and biting into it is very satisfying. I also loved the fresh greens they put on top. It complements the crab cake well.

Our final main dish was Toad in the hole with yorkshire pudding, italian sausage and onion gravy (300thb). It’s a large portion so beware when ordering. I loved the sausage (yet I always do) and the pudding was great too. Though, I think my stomach was just a little too full from all the other delicious dishes to really appreciate it’s flavor. You will just have to go and try it yourself.

For dessert, we ordered the Raspberry Tiramisu. It was out of this world. I love raspberries. In fact I love anything berry so it’s always a delight for me to eat. I have to tell you though that here you really get a full satisfying serving so make sure you have enough space to eat it all.

The pictures and the writing is once again making me hungry so I shall have to say my farewell. I know not who the owners are, but I heard that the name comes from the years they were born. A group of friends with some born in the year of the horse and some in the year of the pig (which in Thai pronounced “moo”) Wonderfully original isn’t it?

It’s accessible by BTS Phromphong station (the same one as Emporium) and they have 4 hours parking at the UBC building at the beginning of Sukhumvit Soi 33. The restaurant is just a short walk and is located diagonally opposite Novotel Lotus hotel.

Oh here’s their contact info: Tel. 02-662-0402 Fax. 02-662-0402 Website: http://www.thehorsesaysmoooo.com they also have an FB page so check it out. I tried their website and seem to have trouble, but you might have better luck than me! Bon Appetit.

Bangkok Dining: Taling Ping

Since my good friends are out eating at Taling Ping today (which I have to skip due to a bad stomach)  I thought I’d write about this restaurant that is a great place to take guests from out of town or a place to have little reunions over authentic Thai food.  The great thing about this restaurant is that it has expanded from it’s original location on Silom’s Pun Road to the convenience of Siam Paragon and Central World Shopping Malls.  All within BTS access.  Wonderful if you are meeting friends who are coming from different parts of Bangkok.

Taling Ping is somewhere I always take my guests from out-of-town for a relaxing dinner combined with some shopping.  It serves traditional Thai cuisine with a good ambiance and good service.  Make sure you get there early for the seats fill up quite quickly.  Their food is reliable and the taste is consistent no matter where or when you go.

There are a few favorites of mine at the restaurant.  I especially like
the basic chicken wrapped in pandan leaves.  It’s something I’ve had since I was little, it’s not spicy and it’s delicious.  Their curries are equally tasty. They of course have the Tom Yum, Kaeng Som as well as red curry with mushrooms.  To have a balance meal, they also have an assortment of stir fried vegetables which all taste good.  Hmm..thinking of it makes my mouth water.

Their menu comes with pictures so if you are not familiar with the names of Thai dishes, the pictures are a great help. 😛 The prices are also quite reasonable ranging from 150-250 per dish.  Service is good and seats comfortable (which enables you to have a good long dinner.)

The original restaurant is on Soi Pun, Silom Road but there are also two other locations which are in Siam Paragon and Central World Shopping.
At Paragon it is on the Ground floor towards the North Side and at Central World it is on the third floor.

Okay my stomach is growling now so I’d better go.  Remember, if you have out of town guests, Taling Ping is one option for Thai food which is especially useful when you find yourself taking them shopping 🙂  Enjoy!

Bangkok Dining: Mexican Food @ La Monita

Sunday night is here and finally this writer gets to continue on with her blog. The fast few days have just been hectic, tiring and not enough “me” time. There have been some comments that I haven’t been reviewing enough restaurants so tonight I want to share with you a Mexican restaurant that just makes you feel like you are in the Americas.

It certainly does remind me of college days when we’d go to Happy Hour after hours or after late study sessions at night to munch on quesadillas and nachos. Since moving back, I’ve been only to a few places that serve good quesadillas, nachos and other mexican foods. La Monita is one of the better ones.

The first time I went to La Monita was about a year ago when it was just newly opened. Near to the Ploenchit BTS station it is only a few minutes walk to the row of shop houses neighboring Mahatun Plaza where the restaurant is open. I went with a long time friend of mine and together we ate several dishes, all were delicious and good. The restaurant itself was relatively quiet with only a handful of tables, dim lighting and relaxed service. You felt like you were in some remote Mexican restaurant. What I did notice though was that most of the clientele were expatriates. I kept in mind that I will have to go back and eat there again.

This past week, I had the opportunity to go back with another group of friends and what a surprise I had. Within the space of one year, the restaurant had expanded to occupy a neighboring shop house and it was brimming with clients. In the new adjoining section, they even had a second floor as as far I could see, all the tables were occupied. Reservations were needed. This restaurant was no longer a remote little place, it was now a hot and happening place. I even unexpectedly ran into a couple of old friends whom I had not met in a long time.

Okay so its now a busy restaurant with lots of people, but what about the food? The food was still as good as I remembered it to be. I love quesadillas and the ones at La Monita come with a choice of fillings and size. You can have either the ten-inch or twelve-inch quesadilla depending upon your appetite. I had the chicken ten-inch one and I have to say that it was very satisfying. The filling was well cooked and the guacamole is just enough to give it bite and taste.

I also had the soft-flour Tacos and those were equally satisfying. Soft wrappings with lots of stuffings have always been a type of food I enjoy and especially so when the filling isn’t too rich nor heavy. Their beef nachos were also delicious as well as rice with a kind of cuban topping. (If I remember correctly) They also have a number of other dishes on the menus including ensaladas, but since the dishes are relatively large, we could not stuff ourselves with anymore food.

If you want some drinks to go along with your dishes, they also serve drinks so its a good place to go for some “happy hours.”

The decor is simple and in bright colours which liven up the place. The seats are simple benches or if you want a higher view, they also have high chairs to go with the high tables that line the front of the restaurant.

The service is fast, efficient and friendly. Overall, I think La Monita is a great place to go hang out with friends, colleagues for a relaxing Mexican meal of Tacos, Quesadillas and Nachos 🙂 Buen Provecho!

“ISAO” Japanese Fusion Sushi Bar

 

I’m taking a break from moving and clearing away clutter today and instead take myself on a virtual holiday to a great sushi place I tried out with my dear friends over the holidays.  It’s called “ISAO” and is located at Sukhumvit 31, accessible by BTS Phrom Phrong station.  (They have 1 parking space, so I recommend taking the BTS or the taxi.)  I like the sushi there, I like it very much and right now wish I could go for some “Jackie” or the “Spicy salmon.”

 

The restaurant is not big but it has a second level where they have quite a few tables.  Upon entering, you immediately feel like you are in Japan.  It’s clean, cosy and feels authentic surrounded by bamboos.  The tables and chairs are comfortable.  You could spend a good two hours there chatting away and catching up. (We did anyways)  I think it would also be a good “date” place or somewhere to just go have a nice quiet lunch if you are out of ideas and don’t want to spend your life in the shopping malls.

 

The best part though is the food.   It’s a fusion sushi bar so what did we eat? We ate sushi rolls.  Amongst the five of us we ordered 12 dishes.  Imagine that.  It was just ridiculously good we just wanted more and more and not one of them disappointed.   The presentation was good and the taste even better, we had various versions of cute caterpillars with smiley faces (Jackie) and Dragons with long bodies of avocado.  They had spider rolls and scallop (Volcano.)  If you don’t want rolls, they also have karage (fried chicken) and other choices like tonkatsu.  We had the chicken and that too was good.  The ingredients were fresh and it reminded me of the great sushi rolls I had in the US.  I’ve not had such good ones yet in Bangkok.  This one tops my list for fusion sushi rolls. 

 

Price wise? For ordinary rolls like spicy salmon/tuna its about 250thb (~$8) and the more exqusite ones like Jackie and Dragon are 350thb (~$11.5).  After twelve very fulfilling dishes coupled with some smoothies, we totalled about 750thb ($25) each, but then I don’t think people usually eat as much as we did.  We ate as if it were a buffet.  I have no excuse, but it was New Years’ Eve and we had our little mini gift exchange 🙂

 

Anyways, thank you my dear friends for being great always and also recommending this place to me….Gosh I want some now!  I read that the Chef’s from Chicago’s “Green Tea” but am not sure about that. Does anyone know for sure? Please share your experience if you’ve been there and love/not love this place 🙂  Itadakimasu 🙂 

Oh here’s their website:  www.isaotaste.com  If you want to make reservations, call them at +662-258-0645