Have you any idea of how bad a food (or travel) blogger I would have been? People would have called my posts ‘flogging‘, akin to vlogging that people do to realise the cost of the webcam they bought (originally to do the dirty things the internet supposedly encouraged but they never found courage for). Do taste the flavor of my flogging, once you repeat after me, “Long Post Alert!”
I have been known to enjoy my holidays, and have blogged about them before, and a not-too-past trip to South Africa was outstanding in every way.
So, you could say I was spoiled there with good food like braised lamb shanks.
I even loved the exotic steak meats like the crocodile and the ostrich.
The fearless gourmet in me even dared to sample the kind of foods even those bred on eating meats would baulk at—sample the typical jerky-style dried beef, ostrich, deer, antelope, and bigger game.
(These jerkies would go well with beer and a game of football, the Africans would have you believe.)
At Cape Town’s famous restaurant Mama Africa, I chickened out of
the invertebrates in the menu!
And all the exotic food and drink were enjoyed in backdrops that are the stuff of dreams and hallucinations.
Don’t miss the author’s celebrated feet as he savors his cheap and excellent South African wine in the midst of the Kruger while watching elephants mate (or whatever it is that they do when not taking gigantic craps).
So (hello, readers, are you still there?) with this African experience not having entirely receded from my mind, I ventured off recently to Thailand with minimal expectations.
I had been to that country several times before, and what would be different this time? Leela was very kind when giving me a list of places to eat, and I thought I would somehow endure the few days of holidaying in Bangkok and Phuket.
As my cynical mind suspected, I was spot on.
In Phuket, the weather was gloomy, as we saw from the hotel.
The room had only two verandahs with ocean views, and only one of them was air-conditioned! Gasp, I thought, what has this world come to!
In addition, there were little animals in the room, which kind of competed for space in the tiny suite provided.
The nearby events in Samao and Indonesia were reminders of how perilously perched our world often is.
The Thai Engrees made things more fun.
(helloo! Can you hear me?)
(come in side, but chill out side, geddit? Hopefully, the verb meant a form of leg movement!)
In Phuket’s Jung Ceylon mall, there is an excellent food court, with Wine Connection (a restaurant that serves the most incredible chocolate moose mousse and caramel custard, unfortunately un-captured in photographs as they had incredibly short table lives) standing out for class. The KFC in there (and in other places) has a Thai curry-style fried chicken that is an experience! Such a spicy and delectable chicken dish is really unusual! My son had it every day (I kid you not), not heeding my stern warnings about trans fats and atherosclerosis.
In Bangkok, as Leela had recommended, I decided to have dinner at Cabbages and Condoms. However, I had not reckoned with the awesome traffic.
In fact, bikes and scooters were riding gaily on the pavements, a la India.
At the restaurant, the starters were exceptional, specially the prawn with peppers, the tom yum goong, and the catfish salad (it has spiced raw mangoes in it).
The restaurant, in spite of its name and its social purpose (they serve condoms in place of mints), is tastefully designed.
I was wondering what the heck the fried thing in the salad was, though the name said it was catfish. It was as if egg fritters were fried in hot oil. Delicious and unique. The chicken tom kha soup I had was good, but slightly sweet. Not bad at all, but I love a more creamy tom kha.
The entreé of deep fried pork in garlic pepper was disappointing (they burned the garlic, I think), but the chicken in lemongrass was excellent. In the pic, you can see the pork and the jasmine rice (including a unique red variety) in the background, and the chicken in front.
I must say I had planned to eat Tab Tim Krob, the delicious water chestnut sweet, after Leela’s post on it. I was not disappointed. This was in one of the Be Siam (or some such) restaurants.
Another evening, it was time to try Bei Otto, a German restaurant (possibly the only good one in Bangkok) located in Sukhumvit.
A simple grill platter of German bratwurst, pork chops and veal cutlets, served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, was enough to sate three of us, though I had, gastronomically speaking, a relative off day. Dessert was mangoes served with cream and ice cream and a light filo pastry. Amazing. Definitely worth a visit every time!
Restaurants apart, even the food courts in the many malls of Bangkok offer uncountable treats for the foodie. I had sushi like I have never had before. Cream pastries. Cakes. Miso soups. Pad thai. Oh, I am already tired, with so many foods I have yet to list!
The street food is eclectic. You can find incredible junk, and you can find delicious local specialties like grilled bananas. I believe they sell frog legs but I never got to eat or see that!
So, in summary, I hope I have convinced you that Thailand is one country I am definitely not planning to visit in a long time, till next year, anyways. Especially considering that I gained ten pounds in eight days.
The only reason that I can think of is it might, just might, get me a guest post in some celeb blog like http://www.shesimmers.com. Or maybe not. Once bitten, twice Thai, I mean, shy!