Sunday, September 29, 2013

Baan Khanitha Bangkok : By The River

Asiatique The Riverfront is a very popular tourist attraction in Bangkok. Without fail everyday, thousands will flock there to eat and shop. Baan Khanitha is one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Bangkok reason being they serve up very authentic Thai dishes. Having tried Baan Khanitha at Fifty-Three, i knew i had to try the one at Asiatique (know as Baan Khanitha By The River) out as well.

The interior of Baan Khanitha By The River boasts a more modern and classy feel compared to the other outlet, which gave off a more traditional vibe. The chairs (which looked like Philippe Starck) matched the clean white walls. Of course, despite the slightly more expensive looking vibe it gave off, the prices are similar across all their restaurants and their food quality remains the same. 

We started off with the Mixed Appetizer which features deep fried spring rolls, shrimp cakes, fish cakes and pandan chicken. The portion was enough for three to share so i suggest only ordering this if you are dining in a group. The prawn cake was not as tasty as i wished it was, but the fish cake was very flavorful. 

We tried two different kinds of curry. The Roast Duck in Red Curry had green grapes, peas and eggplants in it. The roast duck was tender but the curry was a little too spicy to be eaten alone. The Green Curry Chicken on the other hand, was more sweet than spicy. 

Baan Khanitha also has their own farm which produces organic vegetables. The (organic) Stir-fried Bok Choy with Mushrooms was something we enjoyed as well. The vegetables were not overcooked (and still crunchy) and the sauce wasn't too salty. 

The best dish of the night was probably the Deep Fried Sea Bass with Sweet and Sour Sauce. The crispy fried fish was very fresh and deboned for easier consumption as well, accompanied by a sauce that was a bit tangy yet sweet at the same time. 

For dessert, we had the Water Chestnut in Syrup and Coconut Milk (also know as the "Red Ruby" dessert). The chestnuts were crunchy and didn't have a overly thick coating of tapioca flour. I also liked that it was accompanied with strips of crunchy jackfruit slices in it.

A few of their other dishes you should try out (which we ate again and you can find in my previous review) are the Tom Yum Goong, Pomelo Salad and the Mango Sticky Rice. Baan Khanitha By The River opens only at 5pm daily, but the rest of their restaurants (which you can check on their website) should open for lunch. As usual, service was excellent and the view by the river makes Baan Khanitha By The River my favorite Baan Khanitha restaurant for now. 

Baan Khanitha
2194 Room No 8, Charon Krung Road 
Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem
Bangkok 10120
+662 108 4910-11

This was an invited media tasting.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Red Oven Bangkok

One of the most impressive buffets in Bangkok has to be Red Oven at Sofitel So Bangkok. This restaurant is aptly named 'Red Oven' for the same reason - the restaurant features a red-coloured oven, but the fun fact about it is that it is the biggest one in South-East Asia.

Most of the food are prepared with the huge oven. While the concept is paramount, the buffet spread is gargantuan. You will be so spoilt for choices like us, having tried various seafood, meat, dairy products, salads and desserts. The cuisines satisfy a wide audience but also has a tinge of local flavor.

Starting off the buffet we had the Asian cuisine. The variety will shock you - from fried noodles to rice, from dim sum to gyoza. If you are feeling soupy, there are several delicious stews to your likings.

On the other spectrum of the red oven we have the local cuisines with a twist of French - duck with orange sauce to chicken with apple sauce, these bland meats taste flavorful and fresh without being overly dramatic.

If you are a seafood lover like me, you'll be down on your knees for these. Alaskan king crabs, chilled prawns, freshly shucked oysters, along with fresh greens and various salad dressings for your tastebuds. They are so fresh you'll be going back for more!

They also feature an array of cold cuts from Europe from smoked ham to chorizo, as well as salami. Also, there is a wide selection of cheese to choose from, which i found quite impressive since i am a big fan of cheese.

For those who need your sashimi fix, fret not because Red Oven has a fresh sashimi station stocked up with the freshest cuts from the common salmon belly to the uncommon mackerel. They also have a Japanese barbecue station which does meat very well. I really enjoyed the beef, which was done medium and served with a teriyaki soy glaze.

Their specialty however, is their dumpling noodles, which they claim to be the "best in town". Quite honestly, the noodles were not much to shout about but the dumplings were generously filled with prawns and pork and the soup broth was pretty flavorful.

My favorite part of Red Oven will have to be the unlimited flow of foie gras, which i downed three plates all by myself. A perfectly seared foie gras really needs no explanation.

I was also taken aback by their selection of desserts, which features patisserie like lemon tart, cheesecake, bread pudding, molten lava cake, as well as different ice-creams with a cold stone for you to choose your mix-in. And yes, like how i always tell my friends - always save space for dessert.

I haven't been to much buffets in Bangkok, but for now this one tops my list as one of the best (if not the best) buffets in the city. It is almost perfect, and there is bound to be something for everyone. And if i may add once more - unlimited plates of foie gras, which is pretty much self-explanatory. 

Red Oven
Sofitel So Bangkok
2 North Sathorn Road
Bangrak, Bangkok
10500 Bangkok
+66 02 624 0000

This was an invited media tasting.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blue Elephant Restaurant Bangkok : Go Pink!

Blue Elephant is a place i always swing by when i am in Bangkok. The reason is simple - they serve one of the best Thai fusion food in the city and service is always excellent each time i am there. Go Pink! is their way of giving back to the society and the exclusive menu will contribute to the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer.

The menu, created by Chef Nooror herself (owner of Blue Elephant) was created using delicious Thai herbs known to boost the immune system against cancer. The "Pink Ribbon" five-course menu will be available for lunch and dinner throughout the month of October.

Wine is not included in the menu but we tried the Blue Elephant Cuvee Royale Thaie 2011. It was smooth, fruity and easy to drink. It also complimented most of the dishes of the Pink Ribbon Menu very well.

The first of the five course menu was a plate of Golden Mung Bean Cake and Tom Yum Consomme. The consomme was spicy and had tender beef cubes in it. The bean cake, accompanied by the tamarind sauce, had a nice texture and was very flavorful from the spices mixed in.

Three different dishes were assembled together for the starters. First was the Scallops Mimosa Salad with Gotu Kola Leaves which features fresh scallops that thankfully were not overcooked. Also, the Free Range Chicken Miang with Herbs which we were recommended to down in one mouth. There was a lot of flavors going on from the betel leaves and homemade caramelized ginger together with the minced chicken. Last and also my favorite of the lot was the Lesser Ginger Crispy Crab Souffle which resembles Thai fish cake, but better.

Probably a dish which you will never get elsewhere, the Rambutan Ivy Gourd Leaves Soup with Soursop Leaves was one of a kind. I was a bit apprehensive because we normally get rambutan in desserts. However, this one got a thumbs up from both me and the partner. The rambutan stuffed with minced free-range chicken and organic prawns were absolutely delicious. And the clear soup of course, was so good i wanted to shamelessly ask for a second serving.

For mains, another three dishes were served. My favorite of the lot was the Snake Head Fish and Caramelized Ginger. The fish was very fresh and crispy on the outside. Also, the tamarind sauce had the right amount of sweetness to it. The other two dishes weren't too bad either, the Stir-Fried Minced Tiger Prawns had a very unique taste to it and the Indian Mulberry Rib Eye Curry accompanied the rice very well.

Accompanying the mains was the Phad Pak Mieng which is a vegetable proven to be high in Vitamin A. Sauteed with Thai garlic and crispy dried shrimps, this dish grew on me as i ate it. The crispy shrimps were extremely addictive.

Put together beautifully was dessert - Mango Pudding Macadamia Nuts and Mango Lime Yawn Ovation Compote. The mango pudding was served with fresh mango sticky rice and vanilla ice cream. I found the compote a little too sour for my liking but the partner downed my share and liked it very much.

I like the fact that restaurants like Blue Elephant are doing their part for charity. And it just gets a lot better because Blue Elephants serves nothing but one of the best Thai fusion food (yes, i think i am repeating this statement for the second time in a post). The menu is only available in the month of October so i suggest making a reservation to ensure you get a table. And in case you were wondering, 70% goes to charity, the rest of which probably makes up the food cost.

Blue Elephant Restaurant Bangkok
233 Sathorn Road
Yannawa, Sathorn
Bangkok 10120
+66 2 673 9353 8

This was an invited media tasting.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sofitel Sukhumvit Bangkok

Everyone loves Bangkok - shopping, good food and friendly locals. Located at Sukhumvit, a 5 minutes walk from the newly established shopping haven Terminal 21, and a train ride from other shopping attractions, Sofitel Sukhumvit is located on a convenient site for tourists. It is a stone throw away from Asok BTS, which is just a few stops away from Siam.

This French conceptual hotel brings about a french influence with a touch of local culture. From the moment we stepped into Sofitel Sukhumvit Bangkok, we were greeted with the alluring and impressive contemporary designs of the interiors - chic yet classy in appearance.

The hotel has a large holding capacity, with over 345 rooms including suites. The view is spectacular, overseeing the urbanscapes of the bustling city.

The Prestige Suite which we stayed in was very spacious and several thoughtful amenities were available - Bose sound system, a pillow menu to make sure you experience maximum comfort level while snoozing, as well as a coffee machine. Apart from these, the club benefits that came with the room included breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails.

A notable mention is the bathroom amenities. The Luxury Club Millesime rooms and suites get Hermes bathroom amenities. This also means you are literally bathing in luxury - living up to Sofitel's luxury standard worldwide.

Club floor access (where you enjoy afternoon tea and evening cocktails) also comes with internet usage, apart from personalized butler services catered to your needs. The exclusive floor also allows you to have breakfast without having to squeeze with the masses.

On the 9th floor you have So Fit, a fully equipped gym with a personal trainer, as well as the pool. If working out or going in the sun isn't your thing, there is also Le Spa that uses only L'Occitane products that offers you quite a wide range of spa treatments from facial to body massage.

Besides all that, Sofitel Sukhumvit also boasts a range of food and beverage outlets within the hotel such as Le Bar at the lobby that features an extensive list of signature cocktails, as well as Le Macaron that serves up delectable pastries and patisserie. And of course not forgetting L'Appart, a rooftop champagne bar and restaurant.

Another plus point about the hotel would be the hospitable staffs which never fail to greet you. In all, Sofitel Sukhumvit is an all-rounder. Ideally, it also makes a perfect hospitality for anyone visiting Bangkok. Think about it - luxury, comfort and accessibility all in one. And honestly if you were to ask me, nothing is really missing.

Sofitel Sukhumvit Bangkok
189 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 13 - 15
Klongtoey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
+66 2126 9999

This was an invited media session.