Tham Jiak means in some way "love to eat" in Hokkien. I am a Malaysian Hokkien and truly love to eat.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bangkok Food Post: A-Roi

How long since I have abandon this blog? I guess we better skip the I’m-so-sorry part and get right down to business. Yes I’ve been to Bangkok once again, if any of you have guess with me missing in action, and work life has just been busy. So I have to be short here. No matter how much I love to write, sometimes I do agree to some degree that picture speaks louder than words.

I have been contemplating for a long time on how to present all the wondrous food of Bangkok that I had in my long-stay two times trip here. There is just so much to talk about from fresh fruits to som-tum to porks (which seems like the main meat here in contrast to Malaysia, where it is the universal white meat – chicken). Nonetheless, chicken will be featured here too of course, albeit in dimmer limelight, but still not forgotten.

Here I go again, launching into ranting when I have just said I want to let pictures do the talking. I can’t resist it. I am a writer at heart squeezing in beside my tham-jiaknes. Anyway, for the Bangkok foods, I have tried searching around for proper info in the food I ate, its name and how it was made, but nonetheless, it was too many and much cannot be found on the web. Appreciate if any of you out there knows about it, would drop some comments for all of us to share.

Now I would kick-off my Bangkok food posts with street-snacks:

As I found out soon, all snacks in Thailand are of 10 baht, equivalent to RM1 in Malaysia. Everything is 10 baht, from fried stuff to ice cream to peanuts and to fruits and to even my favourite coconut. We find it cheap as the portion are usually very generous.

First up is my favourite snack from the street side vendor. It is called Kanom Kai Noak Garta, which are actually fried sweet potato balls. Crunchy and sweet at the same time, very moreish.

Then we have the Kanom Krok, which is actually coconut pancake, cooked in special pan. It is sweet, for the plain ones, and slightly savoury with the addition of the green onions. I welcome the taste of the spring onions as it brings this tiny little morsels into another level, weighing between sweet and savoury.

As I walk along the street after my lunch, I came across a stall grilling bananas. I just had to give it a try as all this while, this lovely fruit appear only as eaten plain, along with my ice creams, or mashed up into my muffins or banana cakes and also hidden in my pancakes sometimes plus sliced finely into my bowl of cereals. But never was it ever grilled and eaten before. We ordered a pack (10 baht of course) to go, and the lady gave a generous douse of palm sugar syrup onto it before handing it to us.

The Gluay Ping turn out to be chewier and stickier than I liked. It could get stuck in your teeth and also a bit rough edged (I don’t know how else to explain it). Maybe this stall did not give justice to these Gluay Pings as later, in my next trip, I had a tried on grilled sliced bananas on a stick which was much better, crispy on the outside with sweet and soft interior..

So many sweets, now its time for savoury snacks. This fried puffed fishballs are certainly one of the best fishballs I’ve ever tasted. I called it puffed, as it is really fluffy with fishy taste. Hard to describe but just one word, good!

Then its back to sweet again. This stall is right outside the street near my hotel, where this lady sells fried sweet bread. It is something of a sight to behold, which is how it attracted me and my colleague one day while we were strolling by. So we went there one fine Sunday morning, just to get it. We bought a stick each, haul it back to our hotel restaurants, like two little girls with a good find of sweets.

It was really good, soft and sweet cake-like bread, with a surprise in the middle, of all things a sausage ball. Surprisingly, this salty addition was really complementing, and it helped us gobbled up the rest of this gigantic ball. It was that good, my colleague and I bought it again on our second trip, like little girls going back for their treats.

Next up is mini donuts on stick that I stumble upon in one of the many myriad of stalls in Jatujak (certainly a shopping paradise but not one to speak about in a foodblog) and of course with wondrous foods (more to come). These mini donuts are really good, soft and ‘juicy’. The brownie ones are just-enough-chocolatey with chocolate candy bits while the strawberries ones are sweetly-fragrant with bits of strawberry-jam candy here and there. Ah, lovely!

With all that heaty yet addictive snacks, I have to wash it all down with my all time favourite Ma Praao. The mini coconuts here area extremely sweet (then again, everything is sweet here, more on that later) and really refreshing. Now I’m missing it already. Here is the guy who’s stall is right outside my office. He’s my source of Ma Praao and various fruits daily!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The End and The Beginning

A great food-year of 2006 has pass with my humble blog seeing two New Years. I once again wish all my readers out there a really Happy New Year. Thank you for your continuous support on this little site from a tham-jiak girl.

Looking back at all my food posts, I seem to miss out a lot in my culinary adventures recently. I told J I want to cook again every Sunday (with him rolling his eyes) and I hope I would stick to it. Cook something or bake something. Anything! Relaxing should no longer be a valid excuse for me. I hope this count as a New Year resolution. Truly tham-jiak of me to have a resolution which is food related. I would throw in extra bonus on this resolution that is to live and eat healthier this year, which can be done with more home-cooking, right?

While waiting for my so-call more cookings to come (and a belated-nowhere-to-be-seen Bangkok posts), here’s the food we had at the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007.

I was craving for ice creams on the last day of 2006, and J recommended on Baskin Robbins as they have 31% discount promotion for every 31st of any months. So we went to Uptown, which had an outlet there, and first had our dinner in a restaurant few lots away. We pick it cause its nearby, and went in curiously. The place was not crowded, only with a long table of a rowdy huge family. It did spoil the mood a little and we had to wait for quite sometimes for our food to come. This restaurants serves Korean and Japanese food, with quite a number of choices and the price was reasonable.

J ordered a Japanese salmon set, which came with soup, vegetable and prawn fritters. The fritters was great but the portion was small, with only two mini prawns. Then the salmon was actually pretty good, tender with a salty cheesy sauce at the top.

Next I ordered Korean Kim Chi noodle, but it came not like what I expected. This Kim Chi soup was really thick, remind me of our local Mee Rebus (with grounded peanuts). It was still tasty but I would have prefer my Kim Chi the way I had in Haeun Khon Korean restaurant at Amcorp Mall, featured by many bloggers before. Anyway, it satisfy my search for something spicy.

After dinner, we head on down to Baskin for our desserts. We then found the shop jam-packed with crazy people like me, thus we decided not to join in the pack. J and I then diverted to Swensen’s instead, for my ice cream craving fix. It has been a long time since I have my chocolate fix, so now I’m craving for some icy chocolate treats.

They ran out of their famous chocolate ice cream so I went for the Chocolate Crunch. The ice cream was slightly melted, but nonetheless its creamy, chocolatey with crunches of puffed rice cereals. In short, it satisfies my craving till I make my next batch of chocolate heaven.

Then J had chocolate brownie topped with ice cream. The brownie was slightly dry to my liking. While eating I was dreaming of baking one extra soft gooey chocolate brownie topped with my own homemade vanilla ice cream. Let’s see when this happens, I’m good for wishful thinking.

Anyway, that gives a sweet ending to year 2006 and for ushering in the year 2007, we had a nice late lunch at Esquire Kitchen. This Chinese restaurant had been in Malaysia for quite a long time,with lots of branches and the food is always up to par. It was also featured by Boo before from masak-masak. It is also really famous for its steam chicken, but we opt for something else that day.

This stir-fry pork strip Szechuan style was really good, with apparent taste of rice wine which I liked.

Then this stir fry chicken with paprika was really good too, and I absolutely love the addition of the cashew nuts. Certainly one of their signature dish.

We also ordered Siu Long Pao, but it was certainly not recommended by me as it was nothing close to the ones I had in Hong Kong. In fact these reminds me of Siu Mai instead, with the absence of the soup. So next time I will stick to the dishes and not their Dim Sums, but their Siew Pao was good too, we had that at other occasions before.

Esquire Kitchen
Lot 10 &11,
Ground Floor Atria Shopping,
Jalan SS 22 / 23,
Damansara Jaya,
47400 Selangor

Thus with tummy filled and lips smiling, J and I awaits a wonderful year ahead. Hope you all will keep coming back to this site, occasionally, to check whether I did really buck up and cook every week. You readers have always been a source of inspiration and also motivation for me to continue my culinary endeavours. So do help me to stop J’s eyes from rolling. ;)

* Malaysia * Good Food * Recipes * Travel *Reviews * Asia *