Saturday, September 29, 2012

Or Tor Kor Market (Bangkok)

Huge prawns packed and ready to go with a spicy curry sauce

Condiments for Thai cooking

BBQ chicken wings 

Thai durian cake 

I was delighted to see a toy seller in the midst of this food market

Fresh coconut juice quenches and refreshes

Semi ripe mangoes go very well with the special Thai hot sauce

Fresh food always excites me. Special ingredients that give an "X" factor to a certain dish excites me more than a branded handbag. Or Tor Kor started as an agricultural collective but has since grown into a large and clean fresh produce market. Conveniently situated close to Chatuchak market, it sells all sorts of fruits, local Thai delicacies, grilled seafood plus plenty of Thai chilli paste and condiments. 

When my friends and I got there after some intense shopping at Chatuchak, it was already close to 6pm. The market is at its liveliest in the morning and by now, things were winding down as stalls prepare to call it a day. We were looking at the plump and juicy Thai honey mangoes and how so much cheaper it was here than in Singapore. A lady selling raw mangoes then beckoned me to sample some of her produce. I bought 2 green mangoes which she helped me cut and a packet of her special sauce which contained chillies, tamarind, dry prawns, brown sugar and fish sauce. It was fun just sitting by the benches, dipping the cut mangoes into the delicious but spicy sauce. A nice coconut drink came in handy at this time as I was feeling hot from the sauce ! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Buffet lunch at Sukhothai Bangkok

The beautiful courtyard of the Sukhothai 

Platters of lobsters and Alaskan crabs 

5 different types of oysters - Crassostrea, Tasmanian Pacific, Eld inlet, Barron Point, Fine de Claire

Eld Inlet oysters from Puget Sound, Washington. 

Barron Point oysters are too harvested in Puget Sound, Washington. They are mildly salty and are plump and sweet. My favourite !

Fine De Claire are top range oysters from France 

Tasmanian Pacific oysters from Australia 

Clockwise from top-Crassostrea, Tasmanian Pacific, Eld inlet, Barron Point, Fine de Claire

Grilled crayfish, prawns and fish wrapped in banana leaf 

All the sashimi you can eat 

A gourmet selection of cheeses from around the world 

Honey pure as it gets , straight from the honey comb.

Sushi platter

Bottom left : Hoy Jor (Thai Crab sausage) and Goong Hom Par (shrimp spring roll) plus other Thai delectables

Foie gras 

A selection of chocolate truffles 

Deep Dish Pavlova

Carrot Marzipan Torte 

Summer Pudding

Jamaican cheese cake

Sticky toffee pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding

Kanom Kloay - Thai coconut pudding in banana pyramid shape and Kanom Piak Poon, rice flour custard with pandan

Macaroons in gorgeous colours and flavours
Buffets are never my cup of tea and I was actually more enthusiastic about real Thai food but it took very little persuasion for my friends to get me as soon as I asked "Will there be oysters ?"
"Yes, not just one but 5 types ! "
"Yes, count me in !"

Oysters , Alaskan crab and lobsters, grilled seafood of all sorts, roast wayu beef, lamb chops, sashimi, sushi, foie gras, Thai dishes, hand made pasta with different sauces, salads, the biggest selection of cheeses I've seen and oh so beautiful desserts !  I spent the first 10 minutes or so taking pictures while my friends were devouring seafood, right from the start. For around $120 Singapore dollars each person (advance booking is needed), the selection at Sukhothai Bangkok was indeed impressive. 

Display art at Siam Paragon, Bangkok

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small 

I always keep a look out for display art when I travel and the Thais seem to be particularly good at it. On my recent visit, I was particularly impressed by the colourful animals on display at the entrance of Siam Paragon, Bangkok. Who would have thought of a purple leopard with matching spots of lavender, a green and yellow deer with a textured honey-comb body, a green and white sheep with white spiral body prints and a green and blue zebra with stripes put together by little poms poms. 

My favourites - the leopard and the zebra, both for its bold and beautiful colour combination and the fine workmanship that goes into every spot and stripe.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Talad Rot Fai – the Railway Market (Bangkok)

I love how markets have become such a lifestyle in Thailand, promoting enterprise and creativity among the Thais. Each market has its own unique branding and one that has opened quite recently is Talad Rot Fai, a market famous for its trendy, vintage shopping. 

Known also as the Railway Market, it opens from 2pm to midnight every Saturday and Sunday. Once home to railway warehouses , it has now turned into a antique wonderland where vendors come selling in their retro VW vans and army utility trucks. From antique chandeliers to rotating world globes, from old fashioned phones, tiffin carriers to Coke collectibles and plastic dolls. Even if you are not into these, it is fun to see all these old pieces from a bygone era. I was really having a good time and my friends have found a new way to describe my vintage collecting ways-"There she goes, looking for trash...sures again !" 

We had some supper at a bar filled with trendy young Thais and though the menu was limited - chicken wings, french fries, squid salad, the ambience made up for the lack of it. On stage were 2 young Thai guys performing jazzy Thai tunes and it gave the place a good, chill out vibe.  The atmosphere and the dim lights made me feel and look young again. 

The letters look like they came from Norman Bates' motel 
Chandeliers, an old Japanese style bath tub & world globe-how quaint! 

I love the old display cabinets of some vendors 

I was nuts for attempting to buy Mr Peanut in brown, red and green. 

Crab noodles from a street vendor

Shaved ice desserts are always popular in Asia

Bongo playing at a really cool and funky cafe 

Antique chairs at a cafe to go with the vintage theme of the market

a keropok toasted over a hot charcoal fire