Friday, August 6, 2010

Wednesday night - Bangkok (I know out of date order)

Well just realised I didn't post Wednesday night's food excursion, an old friend from NZ - David Wickens, is living and working here in Bangkok and trekked across town in torrential rain to meet Zoe and I for dinner.

I know a local place he says, nothing much but great food, turns out to be an open air site, market during the day and several food stalls in the evening, plastic seats, metal tables and a picture menu. The staff are young and friendly and very eager to assist and make sure we are well looked after.

We order a range of options, green papaya salad, tom yum goong soup, a whole fish deep fried and garnished with fried shallots, ginger and garlic, rice noodles and squid, deep fried on a bed of bean sprouts and onions.

All beautiful and along with some soft drinks all comes to 540 Baht = NZ$21

When we leave the lady who owns the restaurant thanks us for eating and wishes us good luck. Zoe and I walk back with David while he works out if he can get his wife to come to Bangkok over the weekend to take me around.

Thursday Bangkok - 5th August

With Zoe working here we get away to a fairly slow start to the day and really only get away into a taxi for the Platinum Mall at about 8.30. This is a wholesale mall with most stalls about 2-3m wide and maybe 6m deep, crammed into 5 floors of about 200 stalls per floor.

about 1/3 of the far wall of the floor
Each shows the price for one item, discounted for two, more for three etc.  

So first things first, top floor for breakfast, 1500 seats, they say over 100 food choices though I'd say more like 500 based on the menus above each stall - from here I got 6 Gyoza and Yakitori Chickren rice - all for 95Baht, about NZ$4.

Zoe tried the maple waffles and had Gyoza as well, then we plunged into the mall proper, within 10 minutes Zoe's 5 got new pashminas under her arm and we've sorted some bits and pieces for the 5 and 3 year olds.

Funky outsized watches for NZ$2 each, t-shirts, polos all join the booty, but we restrain ourselves as on each floor there are just so many options, I'll return on the weekend to check out more.

Lunch - back upstairs and the place (mostly empty earlier is heaving) so we take turns to grab food, Zoe's much excited by a banana crepe and goes for that, memories of banana pancakes in Koh Samui 22 years ago)

I go for two options, Hoy Tod, an oyster, bean sprout stir fry in a crispy omelet, and a Pad Thai full of fresh seafood, inc tiny mussels, squid, shrimp etc etc both together cost me 150 Baht = NZ$6, just so good and whipped up in seconds right in front of you.

I get brave and load on the chili sauce, nam prik and onion shoots and chili flasks and experiment with variations through the meal.

Zoe's away setting up the team over at the Landmark offices so dinner will be late and close by tonight, will report in once that's sorted, eaten and digesting, cheers

Thursday, August 5, 2010


OK, so some of you know that Zoe is a Course Leader for Landmark Education and sometimes I get to travel with her when she heads away - this time the trip is as in the title.

Wgtn to Melbourne to see friends and catch up with her boss, then off to Bangkok where Zoe will lead a Communication:Power to Create course this weekend to about 115 people - I get to hang out around Bangkok, maybe see an old friend (teaching golf at a University here) and eat. And you know that's a favourite topic of mine so here we go.

But first - I need to deal with Melbourne.

Healesville - a small town about 45 mins drive from the CBD (Yarra Valley area) and Giant Steps; deli, bakery, winery, restaurant, wine tasting etc etc

This place is seriously cool, great food, the wine is brilliant (the Innocent Bystander Frisky Reisling 9% alc and very young - 10 weeks in the bottle) and the building and surroundings laid back.

I chose the smoked trout salad, a mix of pickled cucumber strings, radish, red onion and witloof, Zoe a baguette stuffed with ham and a mix of cheeses.

I grabbed a couple of bottles of the Innocent Bystander Pinot Rose to carry away, and a box of the Murray River salt.

And then later back to town and a dinner with a wider bunch of friends, Anne-Marie and Anthony, Paul and Kerry, Cathey and Matt at the Limerick, good food and conversation.

Then Tuesday morning we got picked up by Mark and Julie and went for breakfast at The Duchess Cafe, very different menu, things like scrambled eggs with Gentleman's Relish, Pork Belly with fried egg and a reduction/glaze (my choice).

Then off to the airport and to check onto our Qantas flight - except no, it's a Jetstar flight so oops - slight shock there as Zoe is such a frequent flyer she gets some on-board privileges and Jetstar just manage a complimentary pack to Qantas for her, but she got feed, a blanket, headphones etc

I was ever so slightly worried about what might be available GF on-board but in fact they're very good. Came on-board to be welcomed with an offer of GF cookie bars (Byron Bay brand) and out of nowhere one of the crew arrived with a salad from 'upfront' as a complimentary option.

So all in all not a bad flight and I'm heading back to Melbourne with them in a week (Zoe gets a QF flight back to Sydney) so will load the wallet so I can afford the options on-board.

I'll start the next post from day one in Bangkok, see ya soon