Saturday, February 18, 2006

Food, Glorious Food

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Day 6 in Bangkok

Before I left for the Bangkok assignment, I jokingly told my wife that I would try to lose weight. The key word here is "jokingly" because that is a mission that is really - really impossible for me to achieve and my wife knows that too.

Although having fast food for lunch has almost become a routine for us here (there is nothing to beat McDonalds and KFC for a quick & safe lunch in a rush hour), it however has not stopped us from venturing out to try other Thai food (and it is not Tom Yam only, mind you). Given the small kitchen in our rooms, it has not also stopped from (me hands-on on cooking is a disaster just waiting to happen) trying to cook in our hotel apartment – well, not all was disastrous though.

Malaysians, at overseas assignment’s all-time favorite "Instant Noodle" was our savior whenever we returned very late from work and the restaurants are closed. On the first time, it is just a matter of pouring hot water into the noodle cup and eating it like a hungry wolf. On the second attempt though, I had more time to add more "my mum would not agree" ingredients into my sorry looking instant noodles (the result was not so bad though or perhaps I was just too hungry to worry about the taste)
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* Self made instant noodles with extra ingredients – sardines. The result? A thick layer of oil making it a very unhealthy dinner but then again who cares? When we are desperate for something for the stomach, anything goes, even if it meant taking down an extra layer of oil

At times when we really had the time, we tried to get a proper & decent food and our favorite destination were restaurants where they serve authenticate Thai dishes - ranging from noodles to rice, from soups to curries. There is a general consensus among us here to say "Tak Nak" to fast food whenever time and situation permits. The price has been reasonable (although it is not as cheap as our local kedai mamak). Any average dish with drinks will cost about 85 Baht to 120 Baht (about 9 - 12 Ringgit which is on a high side because for the same amount, I can have my breakfast, lunch and dinner at the kedai mamak and change to spare). In Bangkok, dining out for RM12 is ok for foreigners.
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* In case you are thinking that I am in a bar, having a glass of whisky, you are wrong. This is a glass of lemon grass juice with a touch of ginger. The location is a Thai fast food restaurant called Thai - Thai.

In Bangkok, the Thais have their own version of kedai mamaks and it is very popular with the locals during lunchtime. Unlike Anthony Bourdain (of Discovery Travel Channel), we are not so adventurous enough to try out the street foods - one is due to the fear of possible "incompability" between the food and our stomach (trust me, having a bad stomachache is the last you want when you are in a serious discussion with the customer. It is embarrassing and inconvenience) and secondly, most of the description of food is written in Thai and the sellers can only speak Thai (some of us cannot take beef and others cannot take pork, so take chance?)
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* Presentation makes the eating experience to take a whole new dimension. This is something that I usually take at home – chicken curry & rice but in Bangkok, it comes in a heart shaped rice and smaller chunks of chicken – cost about 85 Baht
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(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Food)
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