Friday, June 30

Conrad Hotel, Bangkok

87 Wireless Road T. +66 2 690 9999

I tend to turn to room service only as a last resort as I am seldom impressed with the food. This one though turned out ot be a nice surprise. The burger was moist and juicy, the fries nice and crisp. To round it off with the well ripened mango with sticky rice (top), and red rubies dessert (water chestnuts with sweetened coconut milk, bottom left) was divine.

Savoey Seafood, Bangkok

Lumpini Night Bazaar, Rama 4

This is a convenient place to have Thai seafood and shop at the same time. Tucked at the back of the night market, it’s a full service seafood restaurant that tosses up a pretty good meal. I had to have my favourite woon sen claypot (vermicelli with seafood - top left) and tom yum goong (hot and sour seafood soup). They also recommended that I try the farmer’s vegetable (top) that looked like a creeper but tastes fresh and crunchy. Total bill came up to over 700 baht / US$18.

Veges, Bangkok

This must be the reason why the Thais are sooooo slim. A number of their dishes come accompanied with fresh vegatables: leaves of cabbage and chopped up long beans. Looks raw alright but when dipped into the accompaning chilli sauce, turns into something totally addicitve.

Food Loft @ Central Chidlom, Bangkok

#07-00 Central Chidlom, 1027 Ploenchit Rd

Many of the food courts in the higher end malls are evolving into psuedo restaurants. This visit, I decided to check out the one at Central Chidlom department store.

The food was tasty alright. I had the usual laab (left), a hot and spicy meat salad, and grilled chicken with sticky rice. Delicious. Wish I could order more, but there is only that much the stomach can take. Will have to do more walking till the next meal.

Thursday, June 29

Condiments, Bangkok

This is a standard feature in most Thai dining establishments. The containers may vary but essentially they contain chilli powder, sugar, fish sauce and a sour chilli sauce. Great with noodles, rice, and whatever else they are serving.

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok

This is street food heaven for me. Today’s special (for me) was the duck noodle soup. Oodles of smooth rice noodles, covered in a dark tasty broth and topped with a full duck drumstick. Add to it a sprinkling of chilli powder, sugar and spicy chilli dip (as the Thais do) and the dish evolves in one that is oh so full of flavour.

I also love the drinks they serve here – coke out of glass bottles and poured into traditional metal mugs. Total cost of the noodles and drink: 40baht / US$1.

Lan Som Tam Nua (Papaya Salad Restaurant), Bangkok

Siam Square Soi 5

This has become an all time favourite restaurant for me in Bangkok. By the name of the restaurant, their specialty is the som tam or papaya salad with different variations. I tried the one with what they termed “preserved egg” or salted egg (top) as we know it. The combination of the saltiness from the egg and the spiciness from the som tam is delicious.

What else is delectable is their baskets of chicken wings, so fragrant and crisp and taste so good with the sticky rice (below). My other favourite (everything is a favourite here!) is the hot and sour soup. Yums!!!

Wednesday, June 28

Ji De Chi (Hong Kong Desserts)

Liang Seah Street

The Chinese name for the stall (and it only has a Chinese name) translates literally into “remember to eat”. But does one really need reminding when it comes to desserts? This is one of a few but growing (at least I hope) specialty dessert places that serve traditional Hong Kong style dessert, from steamed egg, steamed milk, to walnut paste, dumplings in ginger soup (bottom right) and hashima (I call this frog’s spit). My favourite here though it the cold mango dessert (top right) that is filled with chunks of mango and a sprinkling of the sac of the grapefruit. Depending on the time of the year, the grapefruit is replaced with pomelo. Goes down extremely well on a warm day. Prices are way reasonable, averaging S$3-5 / US$1.70-3 per serving.

Adam’s Indian Rojak

Adam Road Food Centre

Indian rojak is like a salad of sorts – a selection of items, all fried and then chopped up: dough balls, dough balls with fillings like egg, potato or vegetables, crunchy prawn cake, fish cake, tofu, tempeh (lentil patty), sausages (contemporary addition), etc. These are but some of the items I usually pick from amongst an extensive selection. The chef usually would add to this a generous helping of chopped (yes more chopping here) cucumbers, raw onions and green chillies. The rojak is eaten with a spicy peanut base dip. Sounds not so healthy but tastes pretty darn good, especially when eaten at tea time. The Adam Road version is a pretty good one since the mark of a good Indian rojak stall is in the dip.

Thursday, June 22


Found islandwide

Other than my all time favourite soufflé (though to this day, I cant quite figure out why they removed the lemon soufflé from the menu), and extensive selection of desserts, a nice bite for lunch is their otah bruschetta – a spread of the spicy otah paste (a spicy minced finsh mixed) on toast. Nice variation of a traditional dish.


UE Square #01-22 T. 6234 1778

The sandwich here was simply stunning. Amazing breads like what you would get in France – crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, packed full of parma ham, parmesan cheese, rocket and a light spread, lightly grilled. Heaven.

This was but one of a selection. (I have my eye on the Atlantic that is filled with minced crab and one other that features foie gras - yes I am a practitioner of planning many meals in advance!). Prices were reasonable too – averaging S$15 / US$8.80 a sandwich. I accompanied my sandwich with a delicious skinny latte. The place though – with all the trappings of a nice funky café, could do with a little more care with the detailing. The main trash can was left by the entrance, and the paper napkin store was all too visible to the diners.

Va Va Voom (Vietnamese)

36 Seah Street

We came back to savour our favourite dish here, the lemongrass pork chop version of the bun thit nuong (Vietnamese cold noodle salad) and also to cast the net wider to try its other dishes.

We ordered the an interesting chicken salad that was both spicy and crunchy; a fresh Vietnamese roll, though fresh, was a bit too packed to allow the full flavours of the ingredients to come through; and the sour seafood noodle soup that tasted disappointingly like a regular beehoon (rice noodle) soup but with a tinge of sourness to it.

What we did enjoy was the plum soda drink that had quite a kick. Tangy, plummy. Nice.

Xian De Lai Shanghai Cuisine (Hotpot)

18 Liang Seah Street T. 6336 7505

The Liang Seah street stretch is starting to look like hotpot central and at really good prices too – catering to the younger crowd that plies this area. Xian de Lai looks interesting enough and busy, and with just one hour for dinner (we were heading to a play), we made a quick decision to check this out.

The restaurant serves a hotpot that offers two soup options: regular and mala (spicy and tongue numbing). But prior to filling it with the stock, it served a base of kung pao frog legs, a dish spiced up with dried chillies. The mala soup was added after we were done picking at all the tiny pieces.

This was followed by an all you can eat selection. You can take your pick from a variety of dumplings, vegetables, meat slices, tofu, etc, to cook in the soup. Our favs from the menu were the different dumplings, frozen tofu, and selection of other soy products. Not too bad a deal at S$18 / US$10.60 per person. The dips were rather standard though – cut chillies in soy sauce and a fresh chilli sauce, unlike those special mixes that I have come to expect of hotpot restaurants like Xiao Ping in Chinatown.

Friday, June 16

Canapés, Toulouse

Here is an assortment of canapés that I had throughout the few days in Toulouse. The tiny bites – both savoury and sweet – depending on whether it comes before or after the main meal serve as an enticing appetizer while dressing up the table ever so delicately. Tastes lovely paired with either champagne or coffee.

Profiteroles, Toulouse

This is one of my all-time favourite dessert when in Toulouse, profiteroles filled with ice-cream and drowned in melty dark chocolate – makes my day.

Les Caves de la Maréchale, Toulouse

3, rue Jules Chalande

More dining in caves, this time in one that is marked by life size marble like statues. We shared an assortment of starters: terrine and tanpanede with bread that was simple and nice; a baked cheese salad that was superbly light; and an escargot pie – interesting since the cheese masked practically everything. I had the duck confit for my main and found it too dry.

Le Club, Toulouse

This is the very first time that I have had foie gras in soup and it was lovely. Nicely grilled yet very well complimented by the light beef broth. Mains was a grille turbot (yes, more fish!!! Urghh!!!) with penne. I lapped up the penne of course, leaving much of the fish behind. And finished with this interesting looking white chocolate and fruit cannelon dessert that I found a tad too sweet.
Oh... we also had a really interesting starter - a cold melon soup that was served in the tinest of dishes that was great in getting the appetite going.

Thursday, June 15

Café des Arcades, Toulouse

14 place du Capitole

This was a nice meal but I have had one fish too many and still they keep coming! I started with the smoked fish appetiser, followed by a grilled fish (top) for the mains. Lovely presentation but it's just too much fish. Dessert was a variation of a panna cotta. Nice but not quite my thing.

Sorbet, Toulouse

You kind of know that its summer in Europe when the ice-cream stands start sprouting up all over the place. I had a scope of the strawberry glacé – nice and sweet, perfect for the warm evening.

Wednesday, June 14

Le 19, Toulouse

19, descente de la Halle aux poissons

Dinner was served in this musky wine cellar. Lovely décor and like all French meals, it started with a glass of bubbly. First course was a tasty foie gras served with lovely crusty French bread (top). Followed by average albeit fresh fish dish. A warm chocolate cake with the melty chocolate centre wrapped up the meal. At this point, I can’t quite figure if it is a case of way too much food in a day for me to appreciate what is served or if my palate is just getting fussy from everything that I have tried.

La Cantou, Toulouse

98, rue Vélasquez

Ah… the only good meal I had. We started with these beautiful canapés that dressed all tables before the meal and also with dessert. Gorgeous assortment of tiny savoury bites.

The meal started with this lovely chopped salmon on a packed biscuit based. Loved the taste of the fresh thyme on it.

This was followed by a divine lamb dish – the meat was well marinated and superbly tender, and tasted fabulous with the little pot of potato mash.

Dessert was a lovely fruit cocktail with coconut sorbet. It was obvious a lot of care went into the presentation.

Lunch was beautiful, set in this lovely garden of a cottage on the outskirts of town, though a bit hot (it was the start of a sweltering summer!).