Travel Musings: Bangkok 2014 Eats Part IV

So... this is in retrospect from over a YEAR ago. But finally here is the fourth and final post of my eats in Bangkok from last year following part I, II, and III.



Kum Poon in Central World specializes in Isan-style (northeastern Thai) cuisine. Located within the Central World mall, it's conveniently accessible to try the flavors of the north.

I was taken here by my good friend Gym who herself is originally from this region. We had a number of favorite Issan eats including:

Chicken wings


Issan sausage



Somtam #1



Somtam #2



Laarb


Fried rolls




Somtam #3



My assembled dish of everything...




As is from the Isan region, the dishes are spicy, pungent, all-around tantalizing in flavor. It's a real palate waker, even if you're not feeling particularly peckish. And all-around good food. It gets a great deal of raves for its authentic tastes so a great place for first time visitors to Thailand to get the Isan flavors without having to travel outside of Bangkok!

They also do a great range of traditional Thai iced desserts as well.






Kum Poon in Central World
Central World, 7/F, Beacon Zone, Rachadamri Road | Pathum Wan, Bangkok, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
026461044

While walking around trendy Thonglor, I stopped in at Boon Tong Kiat for lunch. It was an impromptu thing as I'd never heard of the place before but I decided to try it out.

As opposed to some of the more fancier, upscale joints around the area, Boon Tong Kiat is a more casual, humble affair filled with mostly locals just grabbing a quick meal. 

Is that dude on the right snapping a picture of me?

I found out later on that the place was started up by a Singaporean guy who then entrusted it and his recipes to a Thai family. So the menu features an interesting mix of Singaporean and Thai dishes. 

Mie goreng


Hainanese chicken rice



Bak kut teh


Good, decent, inexpensive (especially for the Thonglor area) food. As good as Singapore? No, but still miles ahead of anything I could get in Seoul.

Boon Tong Kiat
440/5 Soi Sukhumvit 55, Sukhumvit Rd., Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110 Thailand
+66 (0) 2390 2508

Can't stop at Thonglor without a stop at Roast Cafe. Good, strong coffee and I love their innovative menu which is always changing.  The little newspaper-style menus that get updated is great too. This was some kind of french toast style dessert. Not as sweet as it looked (even with the maple syrup) and great with my dark brew.






Roast Cafe
251 Thong Lo 13 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
+66 (0) 2 1852865
http://www.roastbkk.com/

Had time for a quick catch up and coffee with my good buddy Yord as well. He took us to a nifty little shop and cafe inside Central Embassy. The cafe portion has a nice outdoors patio that overlooks the British embassy grounds. Nice, hidden area and also with great coffee.


SIWILAI Rocket Coffeebar @ Central Embassy
Central Embassy, Thailand
http://www.rocketcoffeebar.com/
+66 2 160 5836

In contrast to the somewhat quieter neighborhoods of the day, dinner was an entirely different tune as dinner plans was with my buddy Gym again but this time joined by her sister Judo in Chinatown.

No one goes to any Chinatown in the world for a quiet time and Bkk's Chinatown is no exception. It's lively, noisy, crowded and the energy level is always seemingly on a peak. Our mission that night was for seafood and seafood is definitely what we got.

The two main seafood institutions of the area is T&K and then Lek & Rut. The former is actually the OG but these days, the latter is (arguably) the more popular one and this was the one we were whisked off too.

Really, the dinner in itself is almost a spectacle as throngs of people are outside and inside the restaurant. Some are seated and feasting away, others are waiting to be seated, and in between the servers in red will weave by with plates of seafood dishes and barking orders and instructions to everyone- patrons included.


But the popularity of the place helps ensure the seafood is fresh- quite important as it's also hot, hot, hot eating in the Bangkok heat.


Prices. Locals will tell you it's not the cheapest in the area by any means but it's cheap enough and, moreover, you're paying for an experience.


After being seated in the little plastic tables and chairs, you'll most likely now be literally rubbing elbows with strangers. Get ordering and within minutes, your food should be being zoomed to your table. Seriously, I think the turnaround time between ordering and receiving our first dish was faster than a McD's.







Can you say seafood feast? That fish with the mango slaw-like accompaniment was particularly thumbs up.


What an experience!


Lek & Rut Seafood
Intersection of Yaowarat Road and Thanon Phadung Dao Street
081 637 5039

Even after that feast, we still made a stop to grab some desserts off the street of Chinatown.




Since undergoing a major remodeling, Central Embassy's food court has changed into a major experience. The enormous food court has transformed into a culinary center for Thai food called Eathai. Divided into regions each section carries a number of representative dishes to its region that are made to order. It's like an amusement park for Thai food as evidenced by the map even.










Whoo that southern style curry was spicccccccccccccccccccccccccy but good.






They also have a dessert section, beverage section, and vegetarian section. There's also some premade snacks one can purchase and carry.



Really a fantastic place to visit to try Thai cuisine's wide range in one place.

Eathai Food Court
Central Embassy 1031 Ploenchit road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand, Thailand

Casa Lapin X was a fantastic cafe that I was introduced to by a friend. Great interior design, atmosphere and some really nice drinks.



Excellent coffee but also some unique drinks too. Using ingredients like passion fruit, grilled lychee, rosemary, etc they really concoct some nifty drinks which they really put a lot of effort into. Well worth a visit for coffee and cafe lovers alike. I heard their food  is quite good as well.



Casa Lapin X 26
Sukhumvit Soi 26, Bangkok, Thailand
https://facebook.com/CasaLapin

Having been to Bangkok several times now I was thinking I'd seen and been to most sites worth visiting but on this visit I hit up the Museum of Contemporary Art Bangkok. Located in the Chatuchak vicinity, on the way to Don Muang Airport, you need to transfer to a bus or take a cab from Mo Chit BTS station. I took the local bus which turned out to be a fun experience but up to you. 



It's only 250 baht for adults and it's quite worth the price. Exhibiting a range of local and international artists and works that are whimsical, bizarre, and intriguing. It's also quite enormous in space and quite empty making it a nice private break. 












MOCA Bangkok
499, Kamphaengpet 6th Road | Lad Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
(66) 2 953 1005-7
http://www.mocabangkok.com/
Note that the museum is closed on Mondays!

The MK chain is a tried and true restaurant that's always worth a visit if you're hungry but unsure of what to eat. The MK Gold ones have a greater selection and are busy just about any day of the week.



Crispy duck and pork from here are also a must :)



Making porridge at the end :)



And still room for dessert haha


I didn't know until my previous visit to Bangkok but a close friend of my father from his childhood resides in Bangkok along with his wife. Both are very nice having lived in Bangkok long for business and living a dream life going golf on weekends in so many nice places around the country. 

On this trip, my dad's buddy took me out to get some real sushi in a joint he frequently goes to. I can't remember the name or where it was but it was near where many of the Japanese expat comunity resides in. Even the restaurant was almost entirely filled with Japanese folks so I knew it was a good sign.

We kicked off our sushi feast together with sake, and a generous amount of it too. Served in the traditional way and with a bit of salt on the side.



Kinda like tequila, you sprinkle a bit of the sea salt on the rim of the wood glass and take in the sake with a bit of salt.



And a feast it was.





Rounding out the meal with some ochaasuke with salmon and real green tea powder on the side.



I've already written about the nifty cocktail bar of Vesper. Made a repeat visit and was not disappointed. Great, strong cocktails



Vesper
10/15 Convent Road, Silom, Bangkok 10500
+66 2 235 2777
http://www.vesperbar.co/

On one of my final days, my good friend Noo's company was part of a huge outdoor market thing. Really fun to look around, eat, and whatnot.


They had a number of famous restaurants around town come and set up a pop-up shop.












The Baan Ice chain specializes in southern Thai cuisine. Seafood, tropical flavors, and the likes features prominently in their cuisine.



Some aren't a fan of the stinky beans but I love them!


You can't visit a southern Thai spot without hitting up some curry and as I've said before, the south really knows how to pack in the heat in their curries. Delicious fire!



Baan Ice
55 Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
+66 2 381 6441
https://www.facebook.com/baanice.restaurants/

Swensen's is a popular dessert cafe chain in Bangkok. Sure, it's American but who doesn't like ice cream fondue to cool down your taste buds after it's been put through fire from the dishes of the south?




Over in K Village, Yum & Tum also specializes in Isan style food. It was also good if not a bit sweet and salty in flavors for me.



I know Thai iced tea is normally sweet but damn, this one was a glass or two away from diabetes.





Yum & Tum
Yum and Tum, 2/F, K.Village, Sukhumvit Soi 26, Bangkok, Thailand
02-665-6546

My final meal in Bangkok turned out to be exceptionally lovely as my buddy Pop's relatives treated us out to a really delicious local meal. This hole-in-the-wall joint off Sukhumvit road is 100% local in taste and clientele and a favorite of many in the vicinity. A mix in Thai and Chinese flavors and cooking style, the food is fresh and flavorful and homely. Their seafood dishes are especially exceptional. Truly worth a visit.








Saengchai Potchana
762/5-6 Sukhumvit Rd, แขวง คลองตัน เขต คลองเตย Bangkok 10110, Thailand
+66 81 376 0150



Till next time, Bangkok :)

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