Monday, May 30, 2016

Bangkok 2015 - Nuer Koo Beef Noodles

On the 4th floor of Siam Paragon Shopping Mall is one of the best beef noodle shops in Bangkok. Who would have thought - the Thais are not known to be big beef eaters as most of them are Buddhists. How times have changed !

Nuer Koo is a stall with limited seatings but being in Siam Paragon it is quite a posh outlet and you can expect prices to match. You can order the normal beef noodles, or you can go premium with Wagyu and even Kobe Beef which cost quite a bit. The normal beef noodle come with generous slices of beef and beef balls. The soup is really rich and beefy - one of the best I've had and second only to Yong Kang Beef Noodles of Taipei.

The Wagyu Beef version comes in separate bowls, the noodles kept separate so as not to contaminate the premium beef. The beef was of course excellent - but was it worth the premium price - you have to judge for yourself.

They also have great side dishes to order. The pan cakes filled with pork and chives were really good especially with the spicy dipping sauce.

The pork parcels in crispy tofu skin were not bad. 

Most addictive were the crispy pork scratchings. We had to order seconds.

Nuer Koo is another one of those places that seem to be effortlessly good and in other cities would easily fall flat after a few months due to inconsistencies. The Thais do have some magic when it comes to F&B.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Bangkok 2015 - Groove at CentralWorld

Another new addition to the Bangkok lifestyle scene is Groove at CentralWorld. This food-centric mall is an extension to the already huge CentralWorld Shopping Mall with its own huge food gallery at the 7th floor. The design is cutting edge - with a very distinctive landscaped garden at the street level.

Inside is just as stylish. You will find some of the top F&B brands of Bangkok represented here - including Water Library, Grey Hound Cafe, Nara Thai, and some new ones such as Cicchetti - a Venetian-inspired restaurant, Mejico - a Sydney-born Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, and S'mores Hunting Lodge - the name says it all.

It seems like the Bangkokians have an endless appetite for food, and it is now one of the most exciting food destinations in Asia - if not the World. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bangkok 2015 - After You Dessert Cafe

There is a Japanese dessert cafe fever sweeping through Bangkok right now and one of the most popular is After You Dessert Cafe. There are more then 10 branches of this popular chain in Bangkok. We went to the one in Siam Paragon and it was a long queue to wait for a table. It looks very Japanese in terms of design but is actually a home-grown franchise.

Basically this is a cafe that serves coffee, sweet drinks and Japanese style dessert - which are mainly toasts with ice cream. It may be difficult to understand the appeal, but once you have tried you may be addicted.

We ordered the signature Shibuya Toast with Vanilla Ice Cream and a Chocolate Cake. The bread come in a square block and is covered in honey and butter then toasted. The combination of vanilla, honey and butter is really great and it is easy to see well this simple dessert is so popular.

The Chocolate Cake is rich and moist - with a great chocolate hit.

After You's popularity is well deserved as their desserts are really great. Time for a long walk to burn off those calories !

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Bangkok 2015 - Eathai Food Hall at Central Embassy

At the basement of Central Embassy is a food hall - Eathai, featuring food from all corners of Thailand. The huge area is divided into 4 main sections - Krua 4 Pak where you can sample food from Northern, Central, Southern and vegetarian food. The Street Food section brings together a collection of the most popular street food in Bangkok. Talad Eathai is a section featuring souvenirs, snacks, spa products and cooking ingredients, and the Issaya Cooking Studio where cooking classes are conducted every day.

No expenses have been spared in renovating the space, and it feels like a 5 star hotel restaurant where you can dine in luxury and get your Thai food fix without braving the chaotic streets of Bangkok. The food is beautifully cooked and presented - but you pay a much higher price for this luxury. 

Eathai is for now the most exciting and beautifully designed food hall in Bangkok. The food is also great no matter what you order. It is a must visit in Bangkok.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bangkok 2015 - Central Embassy Shopping Mall

Central Embassy is aother brand new shopping on Soi Sukhumvit where a new mall seems to sprout up every month. The design looks very much like a copy of Zaha Hadid's oeuvre - but is in fact by UK firm Amanda Levette Architects. The facade of the building is entirely clad in glass and aluminium shingles laid out to depict traditional Thai patterns. It is quite an amazing design feature.

The curvy external form is taken into the interior as weel - which is even more reminiscent if Zaha. It is all done very well and has an overall premium feel throughout.

Central Embassy is a premium shopping centre so naturally most of the brands lean towards high end. There is not much for the average shopper like me whose pockets are not as deep as required to shop here. There are however lots of new F&B outlets for a bit of culinary indulgence - including Issaya Cooking Studio where cooking classes are conducted by celebrity chef Ian Kitticha.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bangkok 2015 - Siam Square One Shopping Mall

According to Travel & Leisure Magazine Bangkok is the best city in the world for travel. It is not surprising - as Bangkok has shed it seedy reputation in the past and is easily one of the most exciting, interesting and affordable cities for travelers. Rarely do you visit Bangkok and not find a few new things here and there - a new cafe, restaurant or hotel.
It may be a distant memory now - but it was only 6 years back that there was a huge conflict between the red shirts and the yellow shirts in Bangkok over politics. At the time, the crowds rampaged through several parts of the city and set fire to a few of Bangkok's icons. The popular Siam Square was one of those areas that was heavily damaged. Today standing in its place is a brand new shopping mall - Siam Square One.

Siam Square One is one of the new generation of shopping malls that tries to break away from the traditional mall-in-a-box concept. Here the circulation areas are designed like streets, and the corridors are open and naturally ventilated. It seems to work well, as when I was there it never felt too warm.

The open street concept is carried through to the retail levels, and overall the shopping centre has an edgy urban vibe to it. 

I like Siam Square One but overall the tenant mix seems to be geared towards the young and trendy crowd. Put in a good bookshop or some nice cafes and restaurants and I may have more good reasons to go back other then just the architecture.