Archive for the Watthana Category

Bangkok – Japanese food in Thonglor

Posted in Bangkok, Central Region, Thailand, Thonglor, Watthana with tags , , on April 20, 2019 by gannet39

Another reason I chose to stay in Thonglor is that it’s a hub for Bangkok’s Japanese community. Japanese food is my go-to when I want a change, and this was certainly the case after a couple of weeks of eating northern Thai and Laotian food which are very similar. There are many other Japanese eateries in the neighbourhood but I think these are some of the best…

Here’s my map.

Nirai Kanai (Intermediate A), 138/1ซอยทองหล่อ11 ถนนสุขุมวิท55 แขวงคลองตันเหนือ Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana

This attractive semi-outdoor restaurant (the name means ‘Heaven of Happiness’) is the local branch of a Tokyo chain selling Okinawan food, the distinctive cuisine of the southern islands of Japan. I’d had my first experience of it the year before in Ginza, during a holiday in Tokyo (post here), and really enjoyed it.

In particular I wanted to eat Umibudo again, a seaweed that looks like bunches of tiny grapes.

I had this with a selection of sashimi.

In Tokyo I hadn’t been keen on the draught version of Orion but the canned version of this Okinawan beer is okay.

I tried several kinds of Awamori (a rice distallate like shōchū) in Tokyo but wasn’t in the mood this time. Here’s a handy chart to help you choose one though.

A lovely spot, wish I could go again.

Kushikatsu Daruma (Intermediate B), 205 ซอย ทองหล่อ 9 Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana

This is the Bangkok branch of an Osakan chain that specialises in traditional kushikatsu (deep-fried golden oysters, tuna, prawns and vegetables in a breadcrumb batter).

I had a couple of Kushikatsu but went for more healthy choices as well like the Edamame steamed soya beans, cold tofu, assorted pickles, fried capelin fish, grilled skate wings and some Ikayaki octopus balls.

So nothing fancy, just good, simple Japanese food. I can’t get it in my home town so I make the most of it when I can.

Ramen Ajisai (Elementary B+) 125/1 ซอย สุขุมวิท 55 Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, www.facebook.com

A Japanese noodle shop selling tonkotsu ramen, my favourite, on the next block from where I was staying. I had their extra thick soya sauce tonkotsu twice and still wanted to go back again (B+).

You’ll need some gyoza pork dumplings and a cold beer to go with it.

And that was the end of my holiday in Bangkok! Time to head up north…

Bangkok – hipster eating and drinking in Thonglor

Posted in Bangkok, Central Region, Thailand, Thonglor, Watthana with tags , , , , , on April 19, 2019 by gannet39

Trendy Thonglor has heaps of good restaurants and bars. The places below are all on the modern Thai tip, see the next post for Japanese food in Thonglor.. You’ll find all the places below and more on my map.

Supanniga Eating Room (Intermediate A), 160/11 ถนน สุขุมวิท 55 Thong Lo 6 Alley, Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, www.supannigaeatingroom.com

A hip, popular restaurant serving traditional dishes from all over Thailand. Everything I had was great.

The Appetizer Platter showcases northern flavours like Mieng Yong (shredded pork with peanuts and sweet roasted coconut wrapped in cha plu leaves, and Ma Hor (mince pork stir-fired with garlic and peanuts and served on slices of tangerine), all served with Khaotang Namprik Kakmoo (rice crackers and a chilli pork crackling dip).

The star dish of the menu is considered by many to be the Moo Cha Muang, an Eastern pork stew with Thai herbs and cha muang leaves.

Also the Ka Lum Tod Nam Pla, fried Chinese cabbage with fish sauce, is a powerful umami dish from Trat province in the south-east.

And a mushroom rice with grilled shitake was good too.

Kate’s Mojito, made with dark rum, mint leaves, lime juice and brown sugar is pretty decent.

Everything was excellent. A definite recommend but book well ahead as it’s very popluar.

Soul Food Mahanakorn (Intermediate A), 56/10 ถนน สุขุมวิท 55 ซอย ทองหล่อ Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, www.soulfoodmahanakorn.com

Another popular modern place, handy for the Skytrain, with good food and interesting cocktails.

I started with some Southern Thai Lamb Samosas made with Australian lamb, cumin and served in a spring roll wrapper with a mint and yogurt dip on the side.

I really enjoyed the Yam Hua Plee, shredded banana flower grilled chicken and basil, tossed in a sweet and sour coconut dressing.

The Pad Cha Kob, stir-fried frog with chilli paste, herbs and young coconut, was a little challenging but okay. It brought back memories of the first time I ever ate frog, also in Bangkok, back in the 80s.

The Sticky Tamarind Ribs, pork ribs braised in a tamarind barbecue sauce and grilled with caramelised pineapple on the side, are always going to be a crowed pleaser.

The Kanohm Maw Gaeng, peanuts, egg and Thai coconut custard, tasted good but didn’t photograph well.

Another good place I would definitely recommend.

My friend Ian tipped me off about a couple of good cocktail bars along the main drag. My favourite was The Rabbit Hole at 125 Sukhumvit Soi 55 as it has low lighting, a great soundtrack and highly skilled mixologists serving an innovative cocktail list that includes many local ingredients.

Also good is The Iron Fairies at 394 Soi Sukhumvit 55, www.fenixfairy.com which is larger but guests seemed more packed in. They have live music, which isn’t always a good thing.

Both bars were very darkly lit so I’ve not bothered posting photos, but suffice to say the locals know their cocktails.

Thonglor even has its own hipster shopping mall, The Commons…

Roast – The Commons (Intermediate A), 335 ถนน สุขุมวิท Thong Lo 17 Alley, Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, www.thecommonsbkk.com

Roast is a third wave cafe on the top floor of The Commons that does great coffee and food. They’re reputed to make the city’s best flat white.

I can also vouch for their juices and smoothies (A).

Also the Pulled Pork Burger in a toasted brioche with red cabbage slaw and house made fries on the side is rather fine (A).

Another good spot for a coffee is Goodfellas Cafe at 1039-1041 Sukhumwit 55, goodfellasthonglo.thailandhotels.site, just by the Skytrain station.

And finally, the antithesis of hipster…

Much as I love tasting new things sometimes all you want is a taste of home. This is particularly true if you haven’t been home for quite a while as was the case with my old friend Lisa and her friend and colleague Jason, two teachers from my neck of the woods in Yorkshire who had been living in Bangkok for a couple of years. They took me out for traditional English Sunday dinner at The Robin Hood www.robinhoodbangkok.com in nearby Phrom Phong.

As we all know, what tastes good is what tastes familiar and after a month away from home, boy did this taste good!

Japanese food in Thonglor next!

Bangkok – staying in Thonglor

Posted in Bangkok, Central Region, Thailand, Thonglor, Watthana with tags , on April 18, 2019 by gannet39

After working in north-east Thailand and a short holiday in Laos, I came back to Bangkok for a few days before flying home. This time I wanted a contrast from the wooden villa in the old town where I’d stayed before, so I chose a modern apartment in the up-and-coming and very hip district of Thonglor.

Thonglor is the area around Soi Sukhumvit 55, and its side streets, which runs north off Sukhumvit Road and is within the larger Watthana neighbourhood. It has its own Skytrain station so you can get to many places easily. My map here.

I stayed in a serviced apartment in the Aspen Suites www.aspenbangkok.com.

I live in a block of flats myself because I love having a good view out of the window at different times of day.

The complex also had a small but decent gym which I was in dire need of after eating my way around two countries! The clincher though was the infinty pool. Video here.

Just the spot I needed for a spot of R&R.

The other reason I stayed in Thonglor is because it has lots of good restaurants…

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