Thursday, 29 October 2015

Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

To say that Alissa and I are fans of David Thompson would be an understatement. Earlier this year, Alissa, my parents and I cooked a Banquet Menu from Thompson's Thai Food Cookbook (as well as Grilled Pork Skewers and Mango Sticky Rice from Thai Street Food) and it was one of the best Thai meals we've had the pleasure of eating. I thoroughly recommend both books as essential reading for Thai Food enthusiasts; Thompson's encyclopedic knowledge of Thai cuisine results in recipes that are at once familiar and yet unusual as they revive recipes and versions of recipes from centuries ago.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

"Oh shit... Gaggan is #1!"

Such began my panic in March for a meal that was at that stage 6 months into the future. Having originally planned for a holiday to Japan with stopovers in Bangkok and Hong Kong, only to have our Bangkok time extended (and Japan leg cancelled) on the strength of Nahm and Gaggan's ascendency to the upper echelons of the restaurant world, a table at Gaggan was one of the highest priorities of our trip. I'm pretty organised when it comes to reservations, and had already planned a rough schedule for our holiday when the news broke that Gaggan - the Progressive Indian restaurant in Bangkok of all places - had beaten such luminaries as last year's winner Nahm and perennial favourite Narisawa to be voted Asia's Best Restaurant (later coming in at #10 on the World list). Having had some experience with how tough this kind of reservation can be once a restaurant gets this level of good press - booking a table at Attica when it came #21 in the world was hard enough - I immediately got onto Gaggan's website reservation system and made a booking. Thankfully, it was a fairly painless process and Alissa and I managed to secure a table for our visit in September.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Err Rustic Thai, Bangkok, Thailand (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

When planning for our trip to Bangkok and Hong Kong, Bo.Lan was one of the restaurants high on our list of places to check out. Unfortunately, the poor Aussie Dollar vs Hong Kong's pegged currency meant our time in Hong Kong was set to be much more expensive than we had initially planned, so cuts had to be made to our initially more extravagant plans for both countries. Bo.Lan was one of the restaurants that was unfortunately cut, however we were alerted to the existence of Err - a new 'urban rustic' Thai restaurant from chefs Bo and Dylan of Bo.Lan. Excited by the chance of trying their food (albeit in a more casual setting), Alissa an I quickly added it as a last minute addition to our itinerary.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

Although long highly regarded for its national cuisine, its only been in the last few years that Bangkok's fine dining scene has come into its own in terms of international recognition. With both Nahm and Gaggan having topped Asia's 50 Best Restaurants lists in 2014 and 2015 respectively and reservations made at both, Alissa and I were interested to try one of the more up and coming restaurants as well. Having seen Chef Ton in David Thompson's Thai Street Food series and receiving some solid recommendations for his restaurant, we decided to try Le Du,  a restaurant serving thoroughly modern food that builds on ideas and flavours from Thailand's rich culinary tradition.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Krua Apsorn, Bangkok, Thailand (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

In researching places to eat in Bangkok, Krua Apsorn was a restaurant repeatedly recommended, including multiple shout outs by David Thompson himself. Something of a Bangkok institution frequented by foodies in the know, Krua Apsorn have a few branches in the city, however the original branch on Samsen Road near Samsen Soi 9 is considered the branch to visit. Although the restaurant does apparently take reservations, their website is in Thai and I wasn't sure if sending them an email in English would be understood, so we decided to chance it and get to the restaurant for their opening. Just as well we did - almost every table was already booked, and waiting outside in the hot weather would not have been very fun at all.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Mango Tango @ Siam Square Soi 3, Bangkok, Thailand (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

After our meal at Thip Samai, Alissa and I wandered down the street in search of one of her all-time favourite desserts - Mango Sticky Rice. Eating this classic Thai dessert at a street food stall was a fun experience, and it was a well made example of the dish. While doing research on Bangkok's best Mango Sticky Rice stalls and stops, I stumbled upon a post by friend of the blog WenY, recommending a very deluxe take featuring Mango Ice Cream and Mango Pudding from a small chain called Mango Tango. Given the heat and humidity of Bangkok's climate the ice cream sounded like a winning addition, and with a Mango Tango outlet just across the road from Siam Centre, it was very conveniently located for a cooling afternoon snack.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Som Tum Nua @ Siam Centre, Bangkok, Thailand (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

In Australia, we tend to think of food courts as being greatly inferior to 'real' restaurants. This is not an unfair point of view given that every shopping centre food court seems to feature the same selection of generic brands selling the same unexciting chain store products, there is a certain low quality homogeneity to Australian shopping centre food. This presumption does not follow in many Asian countries, with the food courts in Bangkok's shopping malls featuring a plethora of genuinely excellent places to eat. Having decided to ease our way into Bangkok with a stroll through the main shopping malls of Siam Square and Siam Centre, Alissa and I popped into Som Tum Nua for lunch after hearing good things about the quality of their namesake dish - Som Tum, better known in the English speaking world as Papaya Salad.