December Bangkok Trip: Thonglo & Ekkamai

As of all my trips, my December Bangkok trip was centred around food.

It turned out that my hotel, IR-ON Hotel, was just a short walk away from my planned dinner place so we could drop our things off before heading for our early dinner. The hotel is pretty cool – industrial design, basic amenities and convenient location. It can’t beat Cabochon in experience but was available at a good price. 3 nights here was less than a night at Cabochon and we thoroughly enjoyed. Even though I whined about walking in the narrow, dark road with many passing cars and bikes, it was only a few minutes and very bearable.

We admired our well-designed hotel for a bit then went off for dinner.

Gyuma BBQ got me when I did my research on good places to have bbq meats in Bangkok.

Charcoal grill and all.

Lovely meats 🙂

As it was our first meal after touching down, we weren’t quite prepared to think too much, so I just ordered a portion of all the beef and pork varieties. The marbled beef was good, pork loin and vegetables were good and entire meal was pleasant though not mindblowing. If ever we craved freeflow bbq meats again, we’d come back.

Wattana Panich, on the other hand, was pretty mindblowing. I chanced upon a beef-lover friend’s feed and saw her photos there. We came on the first morning and loved it! We mistakenly ordered 2 portions of herbal soup – one beef and one mutton.

We actually wanted the beef noodle soup so we added a third order after our herbal soups arrived. After having a taste of the rich herbal soup, the beef soup paled in comparison. It was good but the herbal soup was better.

We got 1, 2 (by mistake but best mistake ever this trip, 200B each) and 6 (80B?). Best food on the trip!

Asia Herb Association

Before we came over, I got a recommendation from a friend to try Asia Herb for massage.

For someone who was contented with Healthland as it was the most value-for-money, I loved the experience here. The quality was superb. I loved the interior for what we paid and their technique was pretty good too. We opted for the foot+head+shoulder oil massage (500B) for the first day, and the aroma oil + herbal ball body massage (1700B) for the second day.

After our massage, we had a tomyam goong and oyster egg at the nearby Sukhumvit Soi 38. Both were delicious; the oyster egg was so much better than the one at Platinum that we tried at the previous trip.

There was a Mango Sticky Rice recommended by Misstamchiak in the same row but I’m not a fan of sticky rice.

The Commons

2 friends recommended this place for brunch but I fell in love with the philosophy before I even consumed anything here.

It’s all about community and the mineral water initiative raises money to help someone they know. I love how the concept is so simple but so needful. No need for permits, for licenses, for complicated accountability processes. But just help for those who need it within their community.

Husband and I were so inspired by this concept that we just soaked in the awesomeness of the place. I always believed that profit making is essential – but of the brand could be successful enough, it could lend its name to raise awareness to many things and alleviate some issues that its community faces. Such a wonderful thing – naysayers can say what they want, slackivists can ride on it, but the tangible help rendered speaks for itself.

I don’t know why the lights are dotting our faces.

Dream doors and kitchen.

We went back on our last day to have brunch at Roast.

Such good design for a menu.

“how you grow.”

“What inspires and drives me to get up every morning?” – a recurrent question in the books I’m reading and even the menu I’m flipping.

Husband’s espresso and my earl grey lychee tea.

Lamb ragout gnocchi

Truffle alfredo tagliatelle

Grapefruit sorbet and nutella tart

We went down for coffee after Roast.

On our last day we went for another foot, head and shoulder massage at Asia Herb. Dinner was at Sit and Wonder, and eatery I mapped the previous trip but didn’t get to go to.

It turned out to be a stylish cafe offering traditional Thai food.

Taken in a rush, I didn’t even check.

Bangkok’s such a relaxing place for us that we hope to go back at least once a year. Wishing it could be more than just recreation, but that would a whole load of guts and divine appointment.

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Bangkok 2017: Day Four

Today’s breakfast at Cabochon was the tops!

I’ve never seen a more delightful looking breakfast that’s the perfect blend of east and west. I love bacon and I love fish sauce. The ‘mueh’ or rice in soup fish was perfect. Just like the fish soup we have back home, with the freshest tiny little oysters I’ve ever had.

The pork soup was fantastic, with small intestines and fresh lean pork. The vegetables in it was fresh too – looked like kangkong and some exotic looking textured leaves which had a crunch to it.

The sweets were exceptionally pleasing to my tastebuds too. The butter must’ve been some high quality brand or simply used generously – the cakes were so dense and buttery. Even the sliced bread with butter tasted flavourful.

After packing our bags and taking a look at the pool,

(nothing to shout about but its Cabochon’s pool so I’m biased) we went off for a long walk to Ekkamai. Underestimated the walk there – especially since we were in the hot sun for a long while. Gave up 4/5 of the way after we passed by Suppanigga Eating Room and took a cab down for the remaining 1/5 as we got a bit dehydrated.

We found this place, Unfashioned Cafe, which was a tiny little establishment next to its vintage/international shop.

Refuelled by the cakes and drinks, we walked on to Ekkamai Macchiato, and then to One Ounce for Onion.

We skipped Macchiato as it smelled of cooking kitchen oil, and skipped the pricey products at Onion.

The exterior of Macchiato looked like a house. We had to squeeze through many cars to get in – strange.

The coffee, according to Immanuel, had a smoky flavour to it. I can’t drink coffee so all I could do was admire the store layout and takeaway cup design as usual.

We promptly made our way to Suppanigga Eating Room for lunch after this. It was wonderful. The prawn wanton I wanted had run out so we had these crabmeat and pork cakes stuffed in crab shells.

The rice with crispy fish was yummy but the pad thai with crab meat was dry and too tomato-ish. The Tom Yun Kung was the winner and the beef shank salad was delicious as well. We paid around 1400B+ for this meal – expensive by Bangkok standards but worth it in my opinion. I would have traded the Pad Thai for more crabmeat pork cakes though.

We ended our day with a foot massage at Health Land Ekkamai as it was near the cafes we visited. We wanted the therapeutic massage but the only slot was at the time we had to leave for the airport. So we settled for the foot massage at 350B each for an hour.

Immanuel said that the technique for Health Land and Watergate spa was on par, but Health Land won for ambience. I still preferred the Watergate spa as the aunty was so loving – She put my head on her lap as she did the head massage for me. That said, its an unfair comparison as it was two different massages.

So our preferences:

1. Health Land – for ambience, price and comfort with technique

2. Watergate Spa – for technique, price and convenient location just opposite Platinum Mall

3. At Ease – would not go back again, perhaps it was the timing and just our masseuse. Very popular amongst Japanese tourists though.

Bangkok 2017: Day One

We are currently stuck in a cab on the way to our much-craved dinner destination: Yoktalay & BBQ

I did some research about two weeks before our trip and have been thinking about buffet mookatas since. On our plane ride over, I gave Immanuel a choice: between the approximately 6SGD normal mookata buffet at Pla Tong Mookata, and this one that costs about 20SGD. He went for the latter that has A LOT of seafood, and even a charcoal grill.

We’ve been on the taxi for more than an hour and we’re really hoping that our first meal since the cup noodles on Jetstar would be worth the wait!

Feeling so sorry for our grab guy.

— 2 hours later —

And feeling sorry for ourselves…

We took another cab from where we were because the Google pin was wrong/outdated. After asking the sweet ladies at 7-11, we were pointed towards another direction with the number 7 – we assumed they were directing us to Yok Talay. But we walked a few more steps and found this.

Having spent a total of 200B (pricey in Bkk standards) getting here after 2 hours, disappointed would be an understatement

We settled for a pizza joint nearby and shared a small Tom Yum Kung pizza with 7-up.

Even though the pizza was really tasty and warmed our stomachs, I was still greatly disappointment… I was so looking forward! So many cab rides so far out and back just for that.

I’m going to decide to think that this was for our good and I absolutely can’t wait for tomorrow!

Lesson learnt: don’t venture too far out by taxi especially for lesser known establishments. They could have moved or closed down – I really don’t know after all that! Having been to Bangkok a number of times – I got overexcited on web recommendations. I must remember that food joints here don’t last as long as back home. And that I can’t read Thai.

Ps. We had Burger King for dinner. Seems more expensive than in Singapore – but there was REAL bacon in the burger! That salvaged everything…

Pps. Here’s our beautiful hotel! Pathumwan Princess Hotel turned out more classy than I expected. While it’s a 1-for-1 night deal including breakfast, we were charged a much higher rate than if we were to book through Expedia or Booking.

We’ve yet to take advantage of the excellent location (because we cabbed all the way out to huay kwang) so I’m pretty excited to utilise the BTS tomorrow.

Our second mini-moon