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A Mallika Restaurant in Bangkok

Michael Babcock, Saturday, December 1st, 2012

A. Mallika is one of our favorite Bangkok restaurants. The food in Thailand is, of course, one of the main attractions of the country. Kasma takes most of her small-group tours to Thailand to A. Mallika for one of their first in-country meals and the food is always spectacularly good.

Restaurant Garden

Outdoor seating at A. Mallika

Restaurant Interior

Inside A. Mallika

(Click images to see larger version.)

There are two options for seating at A. Mallika. There’s an outdoor seating area with a pond under a large tree with potted plants decorating the area. It’s an attractive area but we usually opt to sit inside because we typically are at A. Mallika for lunch and in the middle of the day it can be quite warm outside. There are a number of different rooms indoors, including the room above, which has many tables, as well as private (air-conditioned) rooms, which is where we often eat with Kasma’s tour groups. The restaurant can get very crowded, particularly on weekend nights, so reservations are a good idea.

The Food

The food at A. Mallika is really quite good, both in presentation and in taste. Here are some of the different dishes frequently ordered by Kasma.

Thai Salad

Miang Pla Too

One of the dishes Kasma always starts a group with is เมี่ยงปลาทู (Miang Pla Too): Tasty tidbits and a hot-and-sour mackerel salad are wrapped with lettuce leaves and eaten like เมี่ยงคำ (Miang Kum). It’s a fun appetizier, one that you assemble yourself by placing each of the individual ingredients into a leaf, wrapping them all up into a ball and then popping the whole thing into your mouth; the pleasure comes from the delightful explosion of flavors from all the various ingredients.

Kanom Krok

Kanom Krok

The second appetizer that Kasma orders is ขนมครก (Kanom Krok)Grilled Coconut-Rice Hot Cakes. Although these are usually made as a street food, many restaurants also have them on the menu. On Kasma’s trips to Thailand, we seldom miss an opportunity to sample some of these delightfully delicious snacks. Here they are made with green onions (scallions) giving a savory edge to the snack. Kanom Krok are typically made with two batters: the lower batter is mostly sweet and the top batter, less of which is added, is salty giving two contrasting flavors to tickle the palate.

Ostrich Dish

Basil Ostrich Dish

Pork Leg

Fried Pork Leg

Kasma always orders the dish in the upper left-hand picture – it’s Ostrich Stir-Fried with Holy Basil. Although it looks like beef, and tastes a bit like beef, it is definitely ostrich prepared ผัดกะเพรา (pad kaprao) – stir-fried with holy basil. It’s a spicy, flavorful dish. Wonderful.

It’s very hard to pass up ordering the dish on the right – Crispy-Fried Stewed Pork Leg. First a pork-leg, complete with skin on, is stewed to tenderness. It’s then deep-fried so that the outside is crispy and the fat just next to the skin is somewhat caramelized. It is very delicious.

Hot-and-Sour Soup

Hot-and-Sour Soup

Hot-and-Sour Soup 2

Individual serving of soup

Above we see a delicious a ต้มยำ (Tom Yum) – Hot-and-Sour Soup. Very spicy and full of delicious Thai herbs.

Seafood Salad

Cha-om & Seafood Salad

Oyster Sauce Vegetable

Oyster Sauce Vegetable

To the left above we see A delicious salad of deep-fried cha-om (a kind of edible tropical acacia), topped with a seafood and chopped pork sauce. It’s spicy, sour and somewhat sweet with the deep-fried green providing an interesting texture. Very delicious.

To the right we see one of our favorite vegetable dishes Stir-fried Vegetables with Oyster Sauce – ผักผัดน้ำมันหอย (Pad Pak Nam Mon Hoi), what I think of as The Universal Vegetable Recipe.

Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut Ice Cream

We definitely recommend that you leave space for the Coconut Ice Cream – ไอศครีมมะพร้าว (Ai Kreme Maprao) at the end of the meal. It’s more like a sorbet and is tasty and refreshing, a great way to end a meal. If you’re particularly hungry (hard to imagine after all that delicious food!), you can get a larger portion that comes served in a young coconut shell.

Getting to A. Mallika

Restaurant Sign

A Mallika Sign

Map to A. Mallika

Map to A. Mallika

It’s not the easiest restaurant to get to. It’s a bit on the outskirts of town and it is easiest to get to if you are able to drive or be driven. You may want to print out the map to the above right from the map on the A. Mallika website. You can also check out the Google Map for A. Mallika.

ร้าน อ.มัลลิการ์
13/10 หมู่ 9 ถ.เกษตร-นวมินทร์
แขวงคลองกุ่ม เขตบึงกุ่ม กทม. 10230

A. Mallika
13/10 Moo 9, KasetNawamin Road,
Bueng Khlong Kum, Ked Beung Kum Bangkok, 10230

Ruen Mallika Royal Thai Cuisine

There is a sister restaurant run by the same people: Ruen Mallika Royal Thai Cuisine at 189 Soi Sukhumvit 20, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110. It’s a fancier place with excellent food and is a bit more accessible to central Bangkok. If you go there, we recommend you print out the map from their website – it can be a bit hard to find.


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Written by Michael Babcock, December 2012

Thailand Trip – Favorite Moments, Part 2

Michael Babcock, Friday, July 6th, 2012

Kasma Loha-unchit’s small-group trips to Thailand offer many special and unique experiences. Here are some more of my favorite moments from her 19-day trip of Bangkok, central and northern Thailand. It is a continuation of my recent blog, Thailand Trip – Favorite Moments, Part 1

(Click images to see larger version.)

Resort Staff

The resort staff

Mae Hong Son Resort: Kasma’s trips to the north (including her 28-day Trip A and 19-day Trip B) spend several days in Mae Hong Son, both in the city and around the province. It’s a somewhat isolated city, up in the northwest corner of Thailand near Burma, and the Burmese influence is obvious (particularly in many of the temples). Mae Hong Son is notable, in part, for its large hill tribe population, mainly Lisu and Karen (pronounced “Gu-rian”). I love the resort where we stay. It’s nestled in amongst rice fields and is a peaceful, lovely place to spend 4 nights. Most of the staff there are Karen hill tribe women and their friendliness is much of the fun of staying here; we get to benefit from the many years Kasma has been on her tours and formed lasting relationships with people all over Thailand. We use this lovely resort for our command center as we spend the days exploring Mae Hong Son.
Mae Hong Son Resort

View from our room

Resort Sunset

Sunset at the resort

Many of the rooms have lovely views of the rice fields, such as the one above from our room last year. There’s a lovely area called the “Rice Terrace” where you can order a drink and sit and watch lovely sunsets, such as this one above.


Rice Field Walk

‘Rice field’ walk

Rice Field Walk, Mae Hong Son Province: On Kasma’s trips we’re often lucky enough to end up on excursions not planned in the itinerary. While staying in Mae Hong Son, we always take one day to go up the (extremely) windy roads to the little town of Ban Rak Thai (see below). This past year some activity in the fields directly off the road caught our eye. Kasma stopped the vans and off we went on a ‘rice field’ walk – though at that time of the year I believe it was soy beans. It was great fun, wandering through the fields on raised mounds in-between the crops, crossing over a rickety bridge, really just a few sticks of bamboo, over a stream, and meeting farmers and a woman resting in her home, right amongst the fields.
Crossing a Bridge

Crossing a bridge

Thai Farmer

Spreading straw


To the left we see the bridge we needed to cross on our impromptu excursion. The farmer on the right is spreading straw in-between the rows of crops.


Tea Tasting

Tea tasting

Ban Rak Thai – บ้านรักไทย: Ban Rak Thai literally means “Village Love Thailand.” It’s a little village nestled up at the top of Mae Hong Son Province about a kilometer from the Myanmar border. (Show in Google Maps.) The village was founded by ex-Kuomintang soldiers from Yunnan province who had to leave China when the Communists took over. The Thai government allowed them to settle here where they began growing tea and eventually became Thai citizens: the name “Love Thailand Village” reflects their gratefulness to Thailand for taking them in.

One nice thing about the village is that it will never be heavily-touristed: the road is too steep and winding for the big tour buses. Even in our mini-vans, we stop at one point on the way back down to allow the brakes to cool off.

Chinese Feast

Chinese feast

After reaching the town, we go to Gee Lee, the original and best of the tea-houses and restaurants. We start out by sampling (and buying) several kinds of tea: Oolong teas, green teas and a ginseng-infused tea.

We then have a Yunnan-style feast; and I do mean feast! There are delicious pork dishes, including skin-on, stewed pork leg (succulent and rich) and a tasty pork-belly dish. There’s a whole, fried fish, soup and a fresh tea leaf salad. The dishes in the picture are (clockwise from left), buns (to be eaten with pork leg), stewed pork leg, pork belly and an appetizer platter with sour pork sausage, thousand-year old eggs, egg rolls, pork ribs and cashews. After eight delicious dishes, we were well-gruntled indeed!


Thai View

Thai view

Drive from Mae Hong Son to Pai: Another strength of Kasma’s trips is that we drive pretty much everywhere. Not only do you get to see some beautiful scenery, you get a better sense of the country. Mae Hong Son province, in particular, is quite lovely and people who fly into Mae Hong Son city miss the scenic beauty. On one of the routes from Chiang Mai (via Mae Sariang) there are 1864 curves: a fact trumpeted on t-shirts you can buy in the markets. On our return from Mae Hong Son we travel via Pai and see some of the prettiest scenery in Thailand. We stop at a vista point where we saw the lovely view to our left. Along the way we stop at another place selling green tea and, if we’re lucky, also find delicious, fresh-grilled sour-sausage at the same stop.

Lisu Girls

Lisu girls

At one stop with fabulous views, we came across these Lisu girls, dressed in traditional garb, available to be photographed, for a fee. On this last trip, they approached Kasma and asked for a few baht and she told them: “I’ve already been to a village where I’ve taken plenty of pictures.” When they didn’t believe her, she showed them the images on the back of her digital camera. She asked if they’d like to have her bring them their photographs next year. The next thing we knew, they were enthusiastically throwing themselves in the air for us to photograph. And they will get their pictures this coming year when we pass that way again.


Wat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai: Thailand is a Buddhist country and we visit many temples on our trip. One of my favorites is Wat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai. It is said that if you don’t visit Doi Suthep, you haven’t really been to Chiang Mai. We spend a morning at the temple, seeing all the Buddha statues, the bustling activity and the Thai people offering incense and walking clockwise around the main chedi (the Thai word for stupa).
Doi Suthep

Buddha statues

Drink Vendor

Passionfruit juice vendor

To the left we see some of the Buddha statues that circle the main chedi. The vendor to the right is actually found at the very base of the temple before you enter the compound. She’s selling unsweetened passion fruit juice with the seed included. It’s a sour drink, quite refreshing.


Thai Dips

Two Thai dips

Kaeng Ron Baan Suan Restaurant in Chiang Mai: It’s not really possible to have a list of favorite moments from Kasma’s trip without including one of the many Thai feasts we enjoy. There are so many memorable ones; which one to choose? My favorite Restaurant in Chiang Mai is Kaeng Ron Baan Suan Restaurant – ร้านอาหารแกงร้อนบ้านสวน – literally “Hot Curry Garden.” It’s in a lovely garden setting; we usually go for lunch when it’s a bit less crowded. It has a number of northern specialties that we don’t find anywhere else.

The picture to the left shows a platter with various vegetables, sausages and fried pork skin with two dipping sauces. The green one to the left is Naam Prik Num – Northern Thai Roasted Young Green Chilli Dip; it is made with roasted green chillies and is very, very hot indeed. The reddish one to the right is Naam Prik Ong, a pork-based sauce.

Catfish Dish

Catfish dish

Another dish that is done very well here is Charcoal-Grilled Catfish, “Sweet Fish Sauce” and Neem Leaves (Sadao Nam Plah Wan Pla Duk Yang). It’s a dish you will also find as street food. It starts out with succulent grilled catfish, still tender and moist in the middle. It’s eaten with lightly boiled neem leaves, which, eaten by themselves, are very, very bitter. The sauce is a sweet and also sour and spicy mixture of shallots fried crispy in oil, tamarind, dried chillies and palm sugar. Eaten individually, each of these three components are fairly mundane. Put them together and you’ve got a wonderful explosion of flavors in your mouth – spicy-hot, savory, sweet, sour and bitter all at once, with varying textures from the neem, fish and sauce. It is Thai food at its very, very best. (There’s a good Bangkok Past article that includes information on this dish: On your marks get set go slow, by Suthon Sukphisit.)


Carved Dragon

Craved dragon

Lanna Wood Carving Museum in Chiang Mai: I’ll conclude with a bonus picture from a wood carving museum – Ban Roi An Phan Yang Museum – located at Chiang Mai-Sanpatong Road between kilometers 19 and 20. This museum is the labor of love of a Thai man, Charoui Na Soonton, who has collected numerous wood carvings to be displayed in his Lanna-style house. Walking through the museum, you walk through a warren of rooms filled with intricate carvings that leave you gasping in amazement. There are many bas-relief carvings from the Ramakien (the Thai version of the Ramayana), Buddha statues, elephants, goddesses, demons and more. It’s another one of those sites where Kasma goes that would be difficult to discover on your own; luckily, she’s found them all for us.

See How to Get There.


See also:


Follow these links for more about the 19-day Trip B:


Written by Michael Babcock, July 2012

Wang Derm Restaurant (formerly Krua Nakhon)

Michael Babcock, Friday, June 1st, 2012

Krua Nakhon, a popular restaurant in Nakhon Si Thammarat recently metamorphosed into วังเดิม – Wang Derm Restaurant – at a new location. It still has the same signature dishes as before while offering an expanded menu. The food remains fresh, appetizing, absolutely delicious and highly recommended. Thankfully, most of the friendly staff are still there.

Restaurant Sign

Sign for Wang Derm Restaurant

Krua Nakhon was situated in the heart of town; Wang Derm (which could also be transliterated as Wang Deum or Wang Doem) is located next to the Provincial Court. As the sign (to the left) says, under the name, it serves อาหารไทย อาหารปักษ์ใฅ้ – Thai Food and Southern Food (ahaan Thai and ahaan pak tai).

(Click images to see larger version.)

Two of my favorite dishes from Krua Nakhon, the southern specialties of kanom jeen noodles and khao yam salad are still available in addition to a wider variety of other dishes.

Noodle Dish

Kanom Jeen Noodles

The photograph to the right shows Kanom Jeen Nam Ya – ขนมจีนน้ำยา – a popular southern Thai dish. Kasma translates it into English as “Southern-Style Rice Vermicelli Topped with Spicy Fish Nam Ya Curry Sauce.” Kanom jeen are a fermented rice noodle and are found all over Thailand; they are possibly the one noodle in Thailand that is not Chinese in origin. (They probably originated with the Mon ethnic group.) This particular dish is a southern variation. The nam ya curry sauce is made with flaked fish and is often very, very spicy. The only place I’ve ever come across this in the United states is at Kasma’s Advanced Set E cooking class.

Rice Salad

Rice Salad - ข้าวยำ

The left photograph shows “Southern Thai Rice Salad” – (ข้าวยำ) (Khao Yam) – a composed rice salad. The ingredients can vary depending on what is in season and what is fresh and available. To eat, you mix everything up together and enjoy. It is a particularly southern Thai dish, though there are apparently variations in Malaysia. Kasma also teaches this in her Advanced Set E cooking class as Southern-style Rice Salad.

Restaurant Counter

One of the friendly employees

Restaurant Interior

Inside Wang Derm

I recognize most of the staff from Krua Nakhon, including this smiling woman. Also brought over were the decorative antique coconut graters seen here in the background. The interior remains open and bright, although open on 2 sides rather than 3 as at Krua Nakhon.

Counter

Counter & menu

Menu

A second counter

Here are two of the counter areas where food is served.

Fish Dish

Fish dish

Bitter Melon with Egg

Bitter Melon with Egg

The food in the restaurant is all pre-cooked. You can either order from the menu (if you read Thai) or you can just go up to the counter where the food is displayed and point out what you’d like. The dish to the left is a fried fish topped with fish sauce, shallots, and chillies; you can eat virtually the entire fish except for the spine – most of the bones are fried up and edible. To the right is one of my personal favorites – Bitter Melon Stir-fried with Egg – มะระผัดไข่ (Mara Pad Kai). (Check out Kasma’s Recipe for Bitter Melon with Egg.)

Vegetable Platter

Vegetable platter

Fish Curry

Fish Curry

In southern Thailand, expect to get a plate of fresh vegetables, such as the one to the left, with your meal. In addition to the more usual long beans, cucumbers and Thai eggplants, you’ll often find various leaves: I believe the leaves to the left of the picture are cashew leaves. The dish to the right is Sour Curry – แกงส้ม (Kaeng Som). In other parts of the country, the southern version of Sour Curry is often called Yellow Curry – แกงเหลือง (Kaeng Leuang) – to distinguish it from the northern version of Sour Curry – they are quite different. There’s a good Bangkok Post Article: “Kaeng Som” A Thai Culinary Classic by Suthon Sukphisit.

Fried Fish

Crispy fried fish

Thai Dessert

Thai dessert

The dish on the left is a red-curry based crispy fried fish. To the right is one of the many desserts available at Wang Derm; this one is served in sweet coconut sauce. Be warned though, they do run out of the desserts so you might want to select one early on. The yellow bits on the dumpling in the center are fried mung beans.

Outside View

Wang Derm parking lot

Another Outside View

Another outside view

Here are two views from the outside of Wang Derm to help you find the restaurant. If you’re in Nakhon Si Thammarat, give it a try for breakfast or lunch for delicious, fresh southern-style Thai food.


You may enjoy my previous blog on Krua Nakhon Restaurant


Written by Michael Babcock, June 2012.

Gum Kuo Restaurant, Oakland Congee

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Gum Kuo restaurant, in Oakland, California’s Chinatown, is a great place to go for congee (rice porridge) – johk (or jook or, sometimes, juk). It’s the restaurant where we go for breakfast whenever we make a visit to the Old Oakland Farmer’s Market. We’ll visit there on other occasions as well.

Gum Kuo Restaurant

Gum Kuo Restaurant

Gum Kuo is found at 388 9th St. (between Webster St. & Franklin St.) in Oakland, California. Their phone number is (510) 268-1288. It’s located in the Asian Cultural center and is found in the entryway to the center’s courtyard right off of Franklin Street. There’s a parking garage directly adjacent to the center, which is good, given how difficult it can be to find street parking in Chinatown.

(Click images to see larger version.)

Gum Kuo Window

Gum Kuo front window

Front Counter

Gum Kuo counter

When you walk pas the restaurant, you’ll see familiar Chinatown sight – browned, succulent-looking roast ducks and a half-torso of crispy, roasted pork hanging in the window; there’s also Chinese barbecue pork (cha siu), stewed chickens and stewed ducks. The trays below the hanging food contain various other dishes such as grilled octopus and various innards, for instance intestines and stomach.

Bowl of Congee

Bowl of Congee

More Congee

More Congee

Although there is a quite extensive menu of Chinese food, we tend to come mainly for the congee (and the roast duck – see below). Congee is simply rice porridge to which a food of your choice has been added. It typically includes fresh ginger slivers and green onions. You can add soy sauce and chilli oil as desired. Gum Kuo offers a wide variety of options, listed under the menu category “Porridge.” Kasma nearly always gets the same thing: congee with pork liver, preserved egg and fish. She’ll occasionally get the pork kidney instead of the liver. The congee is served in a rather large bowl; for the two of us, we ask for two smaller bowls into which we serve the congee. Rest easy, you don’t need to have innards in your congee: you can get plain chicken, or pork, or beef or fish, if you prefer.

Roast Duck

Roast Duck

The other item that we almost always order is the roast duck. It’s on the menu under “Barbecue.”The roast duck here is excellent: crispy, tasty skin over moist and delicious meat. You can order just a plate of duck, but for a little extra you get an entire half-duck; if there’s any left, take it home for a snack or meal later.

I’ll sometimes substitute a plate of roast pork for the duck. Chinese roast pork as served here has a crispy outer skin. There’s usually three layers to a piece: the crispy outer skin, a layer of fat and a layer of muscle meat. It is very tasty.

Gum Kuo Menu

Gum Kuo (partial) menu

In addition to the restaurant, Gum Kuo offers many items which can be taken home. Click on the picture to the right to read the sign more easily. Roasted and steamed duck, steamed and salted chicken (they even offer a free-range option), and various spiced pig parts such as Spiced Pig Ears, Spiced Pig Tongue, Spiced Pic Stomach and Spiced Pig Intestines. Of course, these items can be ordered as a restaurant dish as well.

They also offer a more standard American breakfast – omelet or eggs with toast, that sort of thing. I’ve never been tempted though: the congee and the roast duck or pork are the reason why I come here.

Next time you are in Oakland’s Chinatown, give Gum Kuo a try.


See Also:

Toh-Plue Restaurant in Bangkok

Michael Babcock, Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Toh-Plue restaurant, found at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, serves delicious, flavorful Thai food. Whenever Kasma takes one of her small group tours to Chatuchak, we always take them to eat at Toh-Plue. This blog gives my impressions and explores some of our favorite dishes there.

Toh-Plue Sign

Sign for Toh-Plue Restaurant

Chatuchak Market (in Thai จตุจักร), also called “JJ market” is a weekend market that is spread out over 27 acres, has over 8,000 stalls and is said to attract over 200,000 visitors each day. It’s a “must-see” destination in Bangkok, if you’re there or a weekend. It sells virtually any and everything, including Thai handicrafts, clothes, ceramics, plants, pets, and on and on. Its published hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays; the plants section is open on Wednesday and Friday the market is open for wholesalers. (See the Info-Asia site for a good summary of the market; the official market site is Chatuchak Weekend Market.)

Click on photos to see a larger image.

Toh-Plue restaurant is found in section 27 of Chatuchak Market and the sign can be seen from the center courtyard. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays.

As much as I love going to Chatuchak – I visit every year on my annual trip to Thailand – it can be an exhausting experience. One reason is the heat: it can get very warm indeed. The second is the number of people crowding the narrow aisles. After a couple hours of shopping I’m ready for a sit-down. One distinct advantage to Toh-Plue is that it is air-conditioned so you can relax in luxurious coolness. They do get quite a few tables in a small space and there are times when every table is filled.

Restaurant Interior

Inside Toh-Plue

Restaurant Interior 2

Another view insde Toh-Plue

One nice thing about Toh-Plue is an extensive menu that includes pictures of many dishes. They clientele is a combination of Thai and fahrang (the Thai word for Caucasian).

Menu Cover

Front of Toh-Plue menu

Toh-Plue Menu

One menu page

They serve good, solid Thai food. I’ve always gotten the authentic, Thai variety – but that may be because I’m usually there with Kasma doing the ordering and making sure they know we want it Thai-style.

One picture is said to be worth a thousand words. I’m going to just show some pictures of some of the dishes we often order.

Be sure to click on each picture to see a larger version.

Pork Neck Salad

Pork Neck Salad

Fish with Mango

Fried Fish with Mango

When Kasma and I came to the restaurant on our own in January of 2011, the two dishes pictured above are what we ordered. On the left is a spicy Larb (pronounced lahb) salad made from succulent pork neck with a very spicy dressing that includes (lots of!) chillies and ground rice. This is one dish I always order here. The menu lists the dish on the right as “Deep Fried Fish and Spicy Mango Salad” (Pla Samlee yum Mamuang). One (of many) things that the Thais do extremely well is fry things; fried food very seldom has a greasy feel or taste – it is simply flavorful. Here, a cottonfish is split open, boned, coated with tapioca flour and fried crispy: so you get the crispy, tasty outer side enclosing succulent, tender fish meat. The fried fish is topped with a spicy mango salad for serving and eating.

Steamed Fish

Fish Steamed with Lime

Haw Mok

Fish Curry in Young Coconut

Here are a couple more fish dishes. On the left is a fish steamed with chilli-lime sauce (Pla Kapong Neung Manao); this dish is typically very spicy. To the right is a fancy presentation of Haw Mok, this version served in a young coconut and hence called Haw Mok Maprao Awn; this dish can be thought of as a (red) curried mousse and is typically served in banana leaves. (Here’s a picture of the more usual presentation of haw mok.)

Crab Dish

Crab dish

Fish Cakes

Fish or shrimp cakes

Here are two more seafood dishes. To the left is a Stir-fried Crab with Basil – the green herb in the picture is basil that has been deep fried. To the right is (in Thai) Tod Mun (pronounced Tawd Mun), a deep-fried fish (or shrimp) cake; it is served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. They do both dishes very well here.

Crab & Bean Thread Noodles

Crab with Bean Thread Noodles

Vegetable Dish

Stir-fried Chinese Broccoli

I’ll finish with these two dishes. To the left is Boo Ohb Woon Sen – Crab served with Bean Thread Noodles. It’s a tasty, savory dish. To the right is Kana Nam Mon Hoi – Chinese Broccoli Stir-fried with Oyster Sauce. This is the Toh-Plue version of what I’ve blogged on as Universal Vegetable Recipe


All in all, Toh-Plue is a reasonably delicious restaurant. I wouldn’t say it is worth making a special trip to Chatuchak Market, just to eat there; but Chatuchak Market is worth a special trip, so check out Toh-Plue for lunch when you go.


If you’re looking for places to eat in Bangkok, check out our blogs:


Written by Michael Babcock, January 2012.

Sudaporn Restaurant in Trang

Michael Babcock, Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Whenever we visit Trang, in the South of Thailand, I look forward to a meal at Sudaporn restaurant. The full name in Thai is Ban Suan Supdaporn. Not only is the food terrific, it has a beautiful garden setting where it is a pleasure to eat. The words ban suan literally mean “garden house”. On Kasma’s trips to Southern Thailand we always have a most enjoyable meal there. (The restaurant name is pronounced “Sudapawn”.)

Entry Sign

Sign for Ban Suan Sudaporn

Like another of our favorite restaurants, Ruen Mai, in Krabi, many of the seats are nestled in amongst greenery. At Sudaporn there’s also a pond and a fountain giving that lovely water sound as you eat.

(Click images to see larger version.)

Entry Way

Walking into Sudaporn Restaurant

They do a number of dishes really well. My absolute favorite is the Fried Pork Leg. The pork leg is stewed ahead of time until it is succulent and tender; then it’s deep-fried so that the skin is caramelized and crispy. My oh my, it melts in your mouth. It’s worth a visit here just for this one dish!

One caveat: you must order from the Thai menu. The English version is considerably smaller and lacks many of these favorite dishes.

Fried Pork Leg

Fried Pork Leg

Lemongrass Miang

Lemongrass Miang

Another dish that Kasma invariable orders is Miang Takrai, or “Lemongrass Miang.” Many people are familiar with the more common Miang Kam (or Miang Kham), which Kasma calls (in her recipe) Tasty Leaf-wrapped Tidbits. The idea behind a miang is that the ingredients of the dish are wrapped up in the wild pepper leaf called bai cha plu, which is almost universally misidentified as betal leaf. (See Kasma’s blog Miang Kam uses Bai Cha Plu NOT Betal Leaf (Bai Plu)). This dish is a lemongrass salad that is wrapped up in the leaf for eating.

Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad

Fish Dish

Fried Fish Dish

There are two other dishes I’ll mention. One is a fruit salad; in Thai – Som Tam Ponlamai. You may recognize the first two Thai words – Som Tam, which is the name for one of the most popular of all Thai dishes – Green Papaya Salad. Som means sour and tam means to hit; the name comes from the way the salads are made, which is by being (lightly) pounded in a mortar and pestle.

We also like the Blah Boran, a friend fish dish with a tasty sauce. Blah is the Thai word for fish and boran in this case means “traditional” so it is a fish prepared in a traditional manner. Typically it is for a fried fish that’s also served with fried herbs (they it may not be)


So next time you’re down in Southern Thailand, head over to Trang and eat at Ban Suan Sudaporn: (Sudaporn Restaurant). Here’s the address:

Thap Thiang, Mueang Trang Trang 92000 Thailand.

Use the Google Map to Sudaporn to help you get there.

Mural

Mural at Sudaporn


Written by Michael Babcock October, 2011