Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Four Seasons Restaurant - Bangkok

Day 2 in Bangkok started with us visiting Chinatown in Bangkok, the area known as Yaowarat. This is really totally different in look, feel, smells and atmosphere from the highly westernised shopping driven frenzy that is in Central Bangkok. Chinatown is a delight. Shops selling gold jewellery, clocks and Chinese medicines line the main road. The alleys are a maze of shops selling Chinese goods that are so unique that they belie description. You can see several types of dried mushrooms, bags upon bags of dried shrimp in all sizes, racks of dried squid and other fish, wooden barrels of preserved greens, and, other pickled vegetables I have no idea of. The wet market has fishmongers, butchers and vegetable vendors. All this in narrow alleys with delivery guys hustling to get thru. With my nonexistent Thai and their nonexistent English all questions lead to poor comprehension.

Chinatown is a must visit if you are in Bangkok. We had to buy our Chinese food, so it was Chinese Sausage, Shaoshing Wine, Shitake Mushrooms and Sister Stonethrower wanted some Chinese Tea. All this wandering took a few well spent pleasant hours.

After the disaster at Baan Kanitha we were determined to make amends.

We have had many meals at Four Seasons, the Cantonese restaurant from London with branches at Queensway and Soho. Their roast duck, roast pork are really good. It did seem strange that a Cantonese restaurant from London would open in Bangkok, but strange are the ways of the world. So here we were eating at Four Seasons in Bangkok. This was in keeping with our Chinese theme for the day.

One menu. The last page contained the drinks. A good omen. The restaurant had a happy buzz and staff seemed friendly. The beer test revealed that a Singha cost a mere 70 Thai Baht, a far cry from the outrageous 250 at Baan Kanitha.

To start, we ordered, at Sister Stonethrowers request, what was described on the menu as 3 inch Spare Ribs. Outstanding. Rich meaty ribs in a gooey sticky deeply flavoured sauce. The texture of those ribs shines thru in the photograph as well. Truly delicious.

3 inch Spare Ribs

As our main course HRH the Queen of Kutch ordered a Mapo Tofu which, to be fair, is not a Cantonese dish, but all the same it was decently prepared. Rather mild in its spicing and low on the oil but not bad all the same. To keep the meal healthy we ordered Kailan with Garlic. This was delicious. Every bite of the Kailan had me thinking of how nourishing the vegetable must be!! All that vivid green chlorophyll entering my ravaged system!

Mapo Tofu
Kailan & Garlic

As a staple we had ordered a Ho Fun Beef. This is a flat noodle stir fried with beef. Once again very good.

Ho Fun Beef Noodles
All the food that was served came to the table piping hot. It seemed alive and vibrant and tasted really good. We were hungry with all the walking we had done. So once we were thru with the food we all felt we could do with some more. So, Sister Stonethrower ordered deep fried prawns with Wasabi sauce. This was the dish of the day. Steaming hot tempura fried prawns topped with a sweet sharp wasabi flavoured sauce. Bliss!

Wasabi Prawns
All in all a really good meal at prices that would compare very favourably with a meal at say a Lings Pavilion in Mumbai. Its no great secret, the meal with 2 beers cost an equivalent of Rs. 2800/- And quality, that sorry to say, beats most Chinese restaurants in India. That is why Bangkok!

After we left the restaurant and were walking back to the hotel we saw a shop selling Moon Cake, a Chinese delicacy, so we bought two. One was Custard and the other was Green Tea. The Chestnut one was quite nice, not too sweet, very rich and similar in taste and texture to a `Kalakand’ – Milk Cake we get in India. The Green Tea one was too mild for me but Sister Stonethrower preferred it to the Custard one.

Custard Moon Cake

Green Tea Moon Cake

Do visit Four Seasons Restaurant when in Bangkok. Do visit Bangkok!

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