Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ChokChai Steak House, Suk 21/23, Bangkok

Introduced by TC a month ago about this local steakhouse on Sukhumvit 21/23. The name is certainly very Thai with "Chai". Why I posted these photos is because I lost a photo about their in-house fresh milk. That fresh milk is the high light of this restaurant. TC told that ChokChai has their own farm. Their fresh milk ice cream is awesome! Sorry couldn't find that photo.

1. Something from the West. 2. as well as for this plate.

3. the bread is nice too. 4. we ordered a 30 day dried age beef fillet. Texture wise, it is very nice and the taste of beef is quite strong - highly recommended. However, my personal preference is to have fresh meat and I don't mind chewing it a bit. I was once asked for why I didn't go get the Australian/US steak but insist on buying fresh cuts from the butcher's table. I know the dried age or prepared meat is much of a difference but it's probably my grand mother's influence for getting everything fresh from the market. She often told me to go to the market twice for the lunch and dinner. Don't save time for a one time shopping for both lunch and dinner time if time permits.

5/6. Another look at this nice beef filet!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

from Sattahip to Hong Kong

At an altitude of 35,000 feet high, taking photos isn't easy. So here are some photos for you to see all these geographical locations.
1. Sattahip is at the southern tip of the photo. Further up is the famous Pattaya area.

2. Rayong another busy city in the Eastern Thailand.

3. Rayong East and it's the closet point to Koh Samed (a favourite vacation place for local Thais).
4. coastline of Vietnam. I guess it's around Dong Hoi. Vietnam should develop more in the tourism industry.
5. The white part in the photo looks like a salt field.
6. Approaching Hong Kong. On the top is Lamma Island. Then right in the middle is Stanley. You can see the satellite dishes at the tip of the peninsula.
7. Shek O - my favourite beach in my childhood.
8. Big Wave Bay and you can see it's very close to Chai Wan.
9. Chai Wan.
10. Shaukiwan and Lei Yue Mun - means so much to me as I have spent all of my life in this area.
11. Yau Tong. You can still see our good old friend - Kai Tak Airport on the top right.
12. Sai Kung - a very unique country side town. Hope it can still be preserved as it is.
13. Shain.
14. Tsuen Wan. You can see part of the HK island west on the top.
15. Tsing Yi
16. Tsing Yi and on the top is the HK island west.
17. Tsing Yi west and leading to Tsing Ma Bridge.
18. Tsing Ma bridge.
19. Ma Wan and Park island on the left.
20. HK Disneyland.
21. a container ship cruising at the Ma Wan/Ting Kau channel. Thanks to all these container ships, they have made HK such a prosperous city.
22. Kowloon West. The shortest building is already 40-50 storey high.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

薑汁撞奶 Ginger sauce into Hot Milk by Heng Fa Lau 杏花樓, Jordan, Kowloon 

I guess the first time I tried this ginger juice "crashing" into hot milk was in the winter time of 1989 and it was Madam Fa introducing me to this dessert when we stepped into the first shop of Heng Fa Lau in Jordan. So right after visiting Madam Fa last night, I walked to Jordan and found out this shop. That reminded me of her and the first time I tried this wonderful dessert. Madam Fa also told me it's a dessert from Pun Yue (a town famous for rice and fish and in Chinese we call it as 魚米之鄉) and supposed this dessert is only made for those kids in rich families in the old time. This dessert seems to me it's a chemical study from an ancient Chinese Lab. Two liguid crashing into each other and there comes a beancurd texture. A brilliant invention and also good for health. This is also the only dessert I think Heng Fa Lau is very good at.
After 21 years, it is sold at HK$22 and was around $14-15; so it isn't that much. Heng Fa Lau still keeps the good quality.

3/4. the shop in Jordan, opposite to the Majestic Hotel (now Novotel).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Roast Duck, Crystal Jade, Bangkok

Again, Crystal Jade in Siam Paragon seems to be the best Crystal Jade I have ever tried for KL, Singapore and Hong Kong.

1. Roast Duck - it's amazing good and I can say it's even better than Yung Kee. It's crispy outside and very juicy and warm with the meat inside. It's the best roast duck I have tried too. 2. Stir Fried Honey Bean with various mushroom - a very good quick frying technique and it's not gravy at all. Cantonese style quick stir frying technique is high heat with super quick stir with a light gravy to seal the ingredients. This is the essence of stir frying. This dish simply tells. Perfect!

3. Deep fried squid with spicy salt - also very lovely. The oil for this deep frying is quite good and the chef finalise the last step of deep frying by turning to ultra heat to squeeze the oil out. This is the important part as it will make the fried stuff less greasy and more crispy. 4. Spare Rib in "king tao" sauce - though it's a bit heavier in taste, it is still very nice. Not hard to chew and the sauce can cover the ribs without leaving too much sauce on the plate.

5. double boiled chicken with sea shell soup - this soup saved me from my heavy flu last time when I got in Bangkok; so it will be my regular soup every time I visit this shop. 6. Sticky rice dumpling - unexpectedly good and the lotus leaf is clean enough that it will not stick the dumpling. Besides, the Chef used quite a lot of peeled green bean and most important at all - the tie-up of the dumpling is really tight. It's a very important step for rice dumpling. The Chef used 2 dried scallop and the price is just B198 (HK$45). If we get this similar size with the same ingredients, it will cost more than HK$100.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Breakfast at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Lately highly recommended someone to try Oriental Bangkok and the breakfast is the best I have ever had. So I recalled I only took one photo of the breakfast back to the summer of 2006 and actually it's not on the breakfast but rather on Jason, carrying a plate of food with much care. However, you would notice how the juice variety is. The photo only showed part of the juice jars and there are more than 10 varieties of fresh juices. We spent almost 3 hours for breakfast!

Jomtien to Pattaya

From Eravana (southern Jomtien) to Central Pattaya it takes about 20 min. taxi (actually it's a truck) ride. The weather in Thailand can change so drastically. When I was on that truck, there was some sand hitting on my face and back and we were at least 30-40 feet away from the beach.

1. see how rough the sea was. 2. and how the trees got blown wildly.

3. This can be the landmark for you to know you are about to enter Jomtien beach area. 4. I have been to Pattaya 4 times but every time the road is under construction. It's like a muddy place to me.

5. Mata Hari - a restaurant TC recommended but I didn't go there because it's quite isolated in between Jomtien and Pattaya, and that I wanna have Buddhi Belly (that I found there is one in Central Festival) after the dinner.

Sounds like Sizzler, sounds like fun

Back in the mid 90's, I used to watch a very lively and tempting commercial with scampi [a new American term for shrimp (usually meaning unshelled shrimp) I ever learned] bouncing on a sizzling hot plate and there went the slogan "sounds like Sizzler, sounds like fun". Whenever I passed by this Sizzler in Thailand, this slogan rang up again in my brain. Lots of American restaurants I often think of - IHOP(International House of Pancake), Denny's, Carl's Jr., Panda Express....etc.

1. The Thai version Iced Tea is of course sweeter than any other iced tea I have tried. 2. Beef fillet and pork loin with wild rice. I remember my friend used to have a very wild face for ordering wild rice. The meal is just average but I don't mind going to Sizzler as it offers a nice salad bar.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Eravana, Jomtien beach, Thailand

I have been told quite several times by my local Thai friends that there have been more and more nice resorts and hotels in the southern part of Jomtien beach (south next to Pattaya main beach). Actually Pattaya was the first place I touched down on my first trip to Thailand in May 1997, on my way back from Rome and Milan. My friend chose a very interesting hotel (and actually he is much into Wong Kai Wai) and that hotel is filled with everything in rusty red (literally calling) but I can't complain about it because the room rate is just THB400. At that time, I was thinking if I would run into Jack Nicholson in the lobby with a typewriter typing "life is boring" repeatedly for a million times on thousands of papers on the ground (part of the renowned horror movie "Shining" if no one knows what I refer to). So Pattaya was such a contrast to me right after a 10 hour flight from a historical and nice city as Rome. Then I went to Pattaya for the second time in 2000 and stayed at a resort called Woodland, and in fact that was the first time TC brought me for checking on hotels and resorts in Pattaya. My impression about Pattaya was much changed. At least it had something nice though it's still a place with many "red" things and I can see most of the professional ladies wearing t-shirts "welcome US navy". Then on the 3rd time, my friends and I stayed in another nice mid-class resort in north Pattaya called Naklua. This time we chose to stay in the southern end of Jomtien and found this interesting resort called Eravana and the website showed the sensual healing as Six"th" sense. Some of my friends thought it's another outlet of the famous Six Senses group. :) In general, paying THB6,xxx for a big suite with a private pool inside is quite ok. We checked even with those 1+1 free room rate, this one is still the lowest one considering a private pool villa. The resort is called as eco-friendly. Their air-conditioner is with the water heater together. That means if you turn on the air-conditioner, the heat part of the air-con. would heat the water in the water tank; so that you would have hot water from the shower and bath tub. The only thing I would complain about this resort is that they closed the restaurant in the lunch time because of the low occupancy; so we needed to go to downtown for dinners.

1/2 a very spacious room inside and the good thing about it is that you can go in and out of the rooms in many of the window doors. Great for the kids to play hide and seek.

3. the pool and sun deck area. 4. the entrance is with lots of green.

5/6. the pool is with jacuzzi.

7/8. the bath tub - so big that I can stretch myself flat.

9/10. open bathroom and shower.

11/12. view to the pool from the patio table.

13/14. the other rooms.

15. the resort has around 10-15 private pool villas. 16. entrance to our villa.

17/18. the common swimming pool area.

19/20. another view to the pool and resting area.

19/20. the garden outside the restaurant.

21. the shower in common area. 22. the restaurant.

23/24. Coffee and toast served at breakfast.

25. orange juice. 26. egg and ham with salad - a bit too over-cooked.