PEr FYI

December 3, 2017

Coffee Beans by Dao, Bangkok…you’re in the right place

Okay people. You know how you’re always asking about trendy places to eat? You know who you are. Well, Coffee Beans by Dao is for you.

The scene in the restaurant could have been choreographed by Vogue. They do a delicious fried noodle shrimp + crab meat in yellow curry egg sauce. Don’t make the mistake I did…leaving without trying their dessert. This place built its reputation on its extensive desserts…..from their supposedly delicious cheesecakes to doughnuts.

Pull up a chair and people watch – an afternoon well-spent. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 18, 2017

Som Tam, Bangkok…possibly the best fried chicken wings I’ve ever had in my life

It was named Bangkok’s best som tam restaurant by CNN Travel. That was good enough reason for me to visit.

Of course I had the healthy and low-cost somtam with dried shrimp and peanuts. Papaya salad – or som tam – is a mainstay of Thai cuisine. It was a blend of savory umami, sweet, spicy, and tart. However, like the pork shoulder BBQ and hot and spicy crispy nil fish, there were ordinarily average.

Don’t miss the fried chicken – deep fried chicken wings to be precise – which triumphs over the som tam. Absolutely loved the lightly battered wonderfully crispy and succulent wings showered with a generous heap of fried garlic. They were possibly the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life. To be sure, I devoured a second basketful.

The food may not be worthy of going out of your way to visit, but if you are in the area,  fairly fast service, a basic but cozy décor, reasonable prices and addictive deep fried chicken wings are good reasons to pop in. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 28, 2017

Thip Samai, Bangkok…decent but not world-beating

The most famous Thai dish anywhere! For all Pad Thai newbies, you’ve missed out on stir-fried noodles with egg, tofu, and loads of toppings

Superb padthai  (small prawns) – padthai with shrimp oil, fresh deep sea prawns and wrapped with egg. There was a clear lack of grease and their texture which was neither too soft nor too firm. The noodles themselves were zesty and a had bold, stocky seafood taste to them. The one wrapped with egg, there’s only goodness inside. Even if you’re feeling extravagant, don’t bother upgrading to a Padthai song-kreung. Although it’s a generous dish – padthai with shrimp oil, fresh deep sea prawns, crabmeat, sliced squid and sliced mango, it stumbles badly though. It’s awfully dry and mellow.

The predominance of Thai customers is a reliably good sign. There’s no reservations so prepare to queue. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 1, 2017

ChaTraMue, Bangkok…Thailicious tea

Who said non-alcoholic drinks are safe? It’s 2:00pm in Bangkok and I’m sucking down Thai tea without regard for the diabetic onslaught that will follow. May my blood sugar levels be damned.

Thai iced tea is one of the first things people fall in love with when dining at a typical Thai restaurant. This tea is bright orange. It will look like you took a handful of carrots and threw them in a blender with some water. Cha TraMue has outlets and kiosks all over Bangkok. An array of flavours, they also have the option of adding tapioca pearls…just like bubble tea. The tea flavours really stand out and not as sweet as most other Thai tea.

So delicious and sooooooooo worth it! #Addicted #ThaiTea. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 6, 2017

Lee Noodle, Bangkok…cheap (and astonishing) duck noodle

Between cafés, street food stalls and lesser-known restaurant deals, Bangkok has a host of bargain bites that don’t cut back on flavour or finesse.

Lee Noodle, on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor BTS station) is a budget-friendly hole in the wall guaranteed to whet your appetite without leaving a gaping hole in your wallet. Small and simple, this coffee-shop may be tiny but its purse-friendly homemade noodles which can be accompanied by moist succulent duck or crispy roasted pork belly or crab or charsiew or wanton (or all of it for 80 baht) is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Dangerously good, and it won’t cost you much more than 100 baht for the biggest, most delicious bowl of noodle you’ve ever tasted. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 26, 2017

Muay Thai Live, Bangkok…1 1/2 hours simply flies by

Thai boxing, also known as Muay Thai, is similar to regular boxing but with the addition of kicks, knee and elbow strikes and various clinching techniques.  It is reputedly one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

In a nutshell, Muay Thai Live at Asiatique Bangkok is a choreographed live performance combining entertaining performances with sounds, lighting and music effects and muay thai fights with storylines. Directed by award-winning Thai film director Ekachai Uekrongtham, the 90 minutes show traces the history of the art of Thai boxing and its place in Thai culture.

I never thought I’d say this of a local production but one and a half hours simply flies by. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 17, 2017

No Idea Café Gastropub, Bangkok…. pub with something special on the menu

Pubs only used to care about serving up the perfect pint, but now a good number of them are creating gourmet menus that go above and beyond your basic pub grub.

No Idea Café presents modern and inventive takes on traditional European fare. There’s the tasting board – salami, parma ham, cheese, chorizo, caper berries, olives, baguette, roasted garlic aioli which is comforting and satisfying. The twice cooked pork belly – fennel apple slaw, braised red cabbage- worked surprisingly well. Although parts of the meat was a little tough and the dish would have benefited from a little balanced cooking. The atmosphere is casual and the beer flows fast. Naturally, as a gastropub, most of No Idea’s interesting drinks are alcoholic.

This is not a trendy spot. Rather, it’s inviting and unpretentious. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 16, 2017

Cut & Curl, Bangkok…you can trust with them your tresses

Filed under: Activities, hair salon, Thailand, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 4:05 pm

Haircuts are just like jeans. Whether you pay $10 or $100, you need to find the right fit.

Centralworld is well-served by swish salons. Cut & Curl is a narrow salon which is sleek and simple. The whole vibe is comfortable and relaxed, the young, super-friendly, down-to-earth team is without any airs or graces and the clientele is an eclectic mix reflective of Bangkok dwellers. The cut trim itself, by Khun On, is frills-free, which includes a thorough scrub at the washing station and a simple blow dry, that showcase my newly snipped style perfectly.

Happily, my locks were in very safe hands indeed. Added bonus: Cut & Curl takes walk-ins. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 9, 2017

Urban Retreat, Bangkok…Save your money and go elsewhere

Thai massage isn’t for everyone, especially when it’s done traditionally (read: aggressively). You’re not there to be pampered. You’re there to be worked on. And walked on.

Smack dab a stone’s throw from the Asok BTS station, this urban oasis offers a full menu of spa services from massages and body scrubs to body mask and waxing. Sadly, their traditional massage here was  no-ecstasy, all-exorcism. The masseur – Khun Waew – resorted to simply ‘brute’ strength more than correct technique. She ignored everything I asked for, which was to focus on my lower back. I really think this woman has no clue on the proper technique of Thai massage and started making things up.

Save your money and go elsewhere. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 26, 2017

Calypso, Bangkok…burlesque, or rather more appropriately boylesque

Filed under: Activities, attraction, cabaret, restaurant, show, Thailand, theatre — Tags: , , , , , — PEr @ 8:41 pm

Bangkok is, without question, the world capital of gender-bending performing arts.

At Calypso, the ladyboys take the stage for a 75-minute-long splashy show that features dancers, lavish costumes, musical interludes and comedy. Some of the boys-as-babes try their best to impersonate and lip-sync some of the most well-known female musicians.

Yes, everything is opulent and over the top. But the prices are steep and the bar staff can be snooty.

My advice? If you’ve seen this kind of cabaret before, there won’t be a lot of surprises here. But if you never have — or if you’re a fan — it’s probably worth the coin to take in Calypso. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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