Friday, August 29, 2014

Bangkok 2013 - Nara Thai Cuisine at CentralWorld

Nestled in the top dining floor of CentralWorld, Nara at CentralWorld is the 2nd branch of a popular up-market Thai restaurant that has received consistently good reviews in the media. The decor is quite posh with dark wood paneling and period furniture, giving out a retro-chic vibe. The menu is mostly traditional Thai dishes. They are famous for their boat noodles and coconut ice cream.

Their Appetizer Platter is beautifully presented and comes with 5 popular small bites - mini crispy spring rolls, fish cakes, deepfried wantons, chicken satays and pomelo salad.

We ordered extra fish cakes as they were very good. 

The Pomelo Salad was also very tasty. 

Chicken with cononut milk - a lighter version of the usual Thai curry.

One of my favourite Thai dishes - Kuey Teaw Ratna. Here they serve the rice noodles separately from the sauce. I love the eat the crispy rice noodles on its own.

On the whole the food at Nara is very tasty and well executed. The spiciness may have been toned down a couple of notches, but that is welcome rather then have your taste buds battered and numbed. This is a restaurant I do not mind to make repeat visits.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bangkok 2013 - Terminal 21 Shopping Mall

Bangkok is one of the shopping meccas of Asia, and every few months there is some new opening somewhere. One of the relatively new additions is Terminal 21 - an travel themed shopping mall with a different destination theme on each floor. It is supposed to feel like an airport terminal and was opened in 2011.

The various destinations themes used are London, Tokyo, Paris, Rome, San Fransisco, Istanbul, etc. Some themes are more obvious then others.

On the whole it is not that different from other shopping malls. The same International and regional brands are represented - plus some less local brands. But if you are looking to do some shopping it is not a bad place, and there is a nice food court at the top floor - Pier 21, which is clean and cheerful.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bangkok 2013 - Or Tor Kor Market

When it comes to markets in Bangkok, the first one that comes to mind would most likely be Chatuchat. But there is another market nearby that would be more interesting for foodies - Or Tor Kor Market. This is supposedly the 4th best fresh market in the World according to some travel guide, and it is definitely a feast for the senses.

Though it is a fresh food market with wet sections, Or Tor Kor is surprising clean and well organized. It is definitely a nice break from the chaotic madhouse of Chatuchat. If you are looking for durians, this is the place to go - they have all the top varieties. Of course all the other tropical fruits and vegetables are amply represented.

For me the main attraction is the food court. There are lots of stalls serving great local food - and this is probably the cleanest and least chaotic hawker centre you will ever come across in Bangkok.

Whats good here - crispy Oyster Omelette.

Pork Leg Rice - served with a tasty sausage.

 Crab Meat Noodles. Look at the chunks of fresh crab meat !

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bangkok 2013 - Tenface Boutique Hotel

We stayed at Tenface Boutique Hotel for a few days. It is a small hotel on Soi Ruamrudee 2, off Wireless Road - which is not far from Sukhumvit Road. From outside it doesn't look like much. But once you go inside its a different world.

The interiors of the hotel is really unique and stylish. Everywhere you look - from the reception to the coffee house and the bar, there are some really nice designer touches.

The room is the big surprise. It is actually a suite - with a large lounge and a separate bedroom. There was plenty of room for the kids to stake out their turfs.

Though the hotel is a bit far from the main road, they do provide a tuk-tuk service to bring you out to the main road on demand. They will even pick you up when pre-arranged or on call.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Tenface and would definitely go back during our future visits to Bangkok. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bangkok 2013 - Safari World

Since this was a holiday with the kids, we had to arrange some kids activities. The Safari World seemed like a good idea, so we bought the tickets at the airport, which included transport as well as a buffet lunch. The cost is around USD 40 per person - not exactly cheap but not too expensive either. Don't go if you have agoraphobia - because it will be chock-a-block full of people. 

The Safari World is a huge wildlife centre with a large "Safari" area where the animals roam freely instead of being locked in cages. Besides the Safari, there are also several other attractions including a Marine Park, Dolphin Show, Bird Show, Oran Utan Boxing Show, Hollywood Cowboy Stunt Show, etc. It was essentially a jam-packed day with the kids - rushing from one show to the next.

The best experience at the Safari World for both young and old is probably the Giraffe Terrace - where you can feed the giraffes up close. There are so many of them, and they are very friendly.

The Dolphin and Sea Lion Show was very entertaining, and the Bird Show was excellent - don't miss that.  

Lunch is served in a huge hall - don't expect fantastic food but it is enough to sate your hunger and get you ready for more rushing around in the afternoon.

The Hollywood Cowboy Stunt Show is performed by live actors. It is hilarious mainly due to the incomprehensible dialogue, and to see the actors running around without a clue as to what they were doing. It was like watching a movie in Russian without subtitles.

All-in-all it was a fun day for everyone, and highly recommended if you are holidaying with the kids in Bangkok.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bangkok 2013 - Kalpapruek at CentralWorld

Bangkok is a real culinary powerhouse - with so many choices in so many culinary styles. It can be hard to make up your mind where to eat sometimes. One of our favourite food places is the top floor of CentralWorld shopping mall, where you find lots of nice restaurants gathered in one place and all in air-conditioned comfort - a god-sent if it is too hot outside.

We went to Kalpapruek - a trendy modern Thai cafe with a quirky name. They are very popular and there are several branches dotted around the City. The decor is modern and clean-lined, and the menu is a mix of traditional Thai staples as well as some fusion dishes. But since we were in Bangkok - we decided to go Thai.

I saw Khao Soi on the menu and couldn't resist ordering that. This is one of the best dishes from Northern Thailand, and this version was not bad.

The stir-fried ginger pork with deep fried bread was very good. 

The stir-fried turnip cake was not bad - the chili sauce made it Thai.

This dish is more Chinese then Thai - but we ordered it for the kids. The char siew was so-so, the roast pork was nice and crispy.

We quite enjoyed eating at Kalpapruek. The setting was very nice, the food was good, and the price reasonable. Definitely worth checking out.