Food, Photography, Travel, Japan

Archive for March 6, 2011

Bangkok 6: Roast Duck@Prachak

Very popular spot also down near the Robinson Department store, featured in the Fodor guide to the city, thus frequented by well-heeled Farang tourists and locals.

The duck wasn’t bad, but I know what the Japanese evaluation would be: ‘Kusuri no Aji‘, ‘It tastes like medicine’. There is something in there – one person suggested it is turmeric – that is found in Japanese kampoyaku medicine, for sure.


Bangkok 4: The Thai Seasoning Arsenal and Tuna Graprow

From left to right: Siu Kao Soy sauce, Prik Nam Pla Thai Chili in Fish Sauce, Prik Nam Som Thai Vinegar with Chili, and Prik Pon Thai dried ground chili.


Bangkok 3: At the Praya Palazzo

I had lunch at the lovely Praya Palazzo, a former 17th-century Italo-Thai palace right on the Chao Phraya river.

I say ‘lunch’, but it was more a mini-banquet, under the kind tutelage of Poonpat Vadhanasindhu, aka Don.

Mixed Appetisers
– Kao Tang Nah Tang: rice puff (round shape) with minced pork sauce
– Satae Kai: Chicken Satay (Skewered Grilled Chicken with Peanut Sauce)
– Por Pia Tod: Spring rolls
– Toong Tong: Fried wonton
– Kai Hor Bai Toey: Grilled Chicken wrapped in Pandan leaves
These Toong Tong, fried wonton, were especially good.
Main dishes:
-Moo Pad Som Siaw: Pork and Eggplant stir-fried Curry. This was really fantastic, the eggplant had a smoky deep taste that it is really hard to find back in Japan.
Moo Pad Som Siaw
– Tom Kha Kai: Spicy Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk and Galangal.
– Pad Pak Nop Pa Kao: Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables.
-Gang-Ped Ped Yang: Roasted duck in Red Curry with Seasonal Fruits – Baby Tomatoes and Lychee.
Desserts:
– Sang Ka Ya Fak Tong: Pumpkin pudding
Foi Thong: Sweet Vermicelli Egg Yolk
– Ice Cream Ga-ti: Coconut ice cream
All these were great, but I especially liked the Foi Thong. Don told me it was created by a Japanese woman married to a Thai. Another source says “Foy Thong (Gold Egg Yolks Thread) is an ancient Thai dessert, which is served in auspicious ceremonies and was brought by Lady Witchayen in the period of King Narai. It is in popular group of desserts consisting of “Thong” (meaning “Gold”). Its name means treasure and its long thread means long life. Foreigners name it “golden hair”. Therefore, when used in ceremonies, Foy Thong is not cut.”
Another site says, “Khanom Foi Thong” or golden rain is made of egg yolk It looks like golden threads into hot syrub. This sweet is usually made for wedding ceremonies. Foi Thong is compared to the long lasting love of of brides and grooms.
Wikipedia goes with the Portuguese explanation, but does mention the Japanese ‘Keiran Soumen’:
“Like other egg-based Portuguese sweets, fios de ovos is believed to have been created by Portuguese monks and nuns around the 14th or 15th centuries.Laundry was a common service performed by convents and monasteries, and their use of egg whites for “starching” clothes created a large surplus of yolks.[2] The recipe was probably taken to Japan and Thailand by Portuguese explorers between the 16th and 18th centuries”.
Whatever its origin and name, it is scrumptious.
FYI, here is a sneak peak ofs what it looks like inside:

Bangkok 2: Streetfood around Khaosan Road

The ubiquitous Pad Thai, not at all bad this. At the place frequented by lots of Japanese backpackers on the Soi that runs East-West and parallel with Khaosan (the street with the Viengtai Hotel on it). Look for the sign that advertises food in Japanese and publicizes the waiter’s magic tricks.Cooking my dinner. Everything flambéed here!

Cauliflower and Shrimp stir-fry, next-door to the Japanese-favoured place, alas as not as good as it looked. Way too much garlic.

These stir-fried vegetables at the same place were, however, great. Note the ubiquitous Tuk-Tuk, which in Thai means ‘Cheap-Cheap’. They aren’t.