Sunday, August 9, 2009

One last fit of gluttony

Sunday brunch here in Bangkok has become quite an institution in terms of the lavish hotel buffets. There is truly no comparison with anything in the U.S. - even the $75 Ritz Carlton Mother's Day buffet is paltry by Thai standards.

We do like to indulge while we're here. Last Sunday, we went to the buffet at the Shangri-la Hotel by the river. That's a very family-oriented buffet with entertainment for the kids, but also with foie gras for the parents.

Today we went to the distinctly more adult buffet at the Four Seasons, supposedly the most expensive brunch in Bangkok. This is due to the fact that there's an unlimited flow of alcohol throughout the brunch - from mimosas and bellinis, to beer and bloody marys.

It was a lovely way to spend 3 hours - and the foie gras here was better than last week. There was a full grill with steaks, lamb chops, lobster, large prawns & lots of other foods cooked to order. Sushi and sashimi were cut to order and I had some amazing unagi. The custom California Roll I ordered for older daughter was wonderful. Plus other stations for Thai grilled meats, pasta, omelets, waffles, schwarma carved to order.... the list goes on and on.

A beautiful Thai station.

A unique caviar and roe station located in their carp pond, with the server standing knee-deep in water during the whole buffet. The kids loved this one!

Great Indian food - where a nice man demonstrated making naan in the tandoor.

Thai desserts - alas, they look better than they taste in my book.

Three kinds of honey, with a dripping honeycomb display.

And a fully laded dessert table with lots of other desserts. My favorite was some crepes suzette served with fresh mango. But I had tastes of god-knows how many other things. My last order of a banana souffle did not arrive, which was probably a good thing considering how full I was!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mother's Day in Thailand

I've always been lucky enough to have two mother's days each year - one in May in the U.S. and one in Thailand during our annual trip. Mother's Day in Thailand is the day of the Queen's Birthday - August 12. Alas, this year, we are heading home on August 11, so poor me - only one Mother's Day celebration this year!

It's fun to be here in the week leading up to Mother's Day though - all the major shopping centers have special decorations and exhibits, and most buildings are decorated with pale blue, the Queen's color.

Emporium, the shopping center in our building, has a beautiful floral display this year - of Siam Tulips. When I first saw the promotional posters, I was surprised, thinking they had imported tulips for the floral displays. Instead, they've actually just renamed a local Thai flower to be called the Siam Tulip! It's a pretty flower that often grows wild in rural Thailand and is now exported thoughout Asia.

It's a little strange to see the main concourse of the shopping center transformed into a lush garden, but pleasant nonetheless!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Love the beach!

We're spending a few days in Hua Hin, a sleepy beach town about 2.5 hours away from Bangkok. It's our usual routine - we eat at the same places and stay in the same hotel, the Hyatt. I actually usually try to get the same rooms every time but with mixed success. This time we were generously upgraded to a rather large suite. Well, since I've stayed here every year since it opened, maybe I'm just due ;)

It's been a good trip - the weather has been mostly overcast, which means it's not as stiflingly hot as usual. We've had lots of beach and pool time and the kids are not too sunburned for the most part - I consider that a success!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nokia Ultra Screen Theatre

Two years ago, we discovered these ultra luxury theatres here in Bangkok. This year, we decided to revisit them to watch Harry Potter #6. This time, I remembered to bring my own camera to document the experience!

Here's a shot of the display seats in the lobby to entice theatre-goers in. As a reminder, these tickets are about $18 compared to $4 for a seat in the regular movie theatre (which is already nicer than the Century theaters we go to in California).
We went into the fancy lounge area to wait for the start of the movie. It's very plush with lots of chandeliers. We had drinks and snacks while we waited. Here are the girls using the ubiquitous hand-sanitizing gel (yes, there's a bit of a swine flu paranoia here in Thailand).
And finally, here's Mei relaxing in her leather recliner, just waiting for the movie to start.I was surprised that the theatre was almost full (capacity was 32 seats, 29 were occupied) given the relatively high price.

More food innovations

Last year, we found pizza in a cone here in Bangkok. This year, I found potato chips on a stick.

A small potato was sliced so it all came out in one long spiral. It was placed on a stick and then fried in a special machine. You could get them in all sorts of flavors. The most popular were cheese and BBQ. I opted for the plain and boring original flavor. Which was really just salt. There were also chocolate and tom yam flavors. We'll have to save those for next time! The original flavor was quite good.

And we found a great little local frozen yogurt place like Red Mango and Pinkberry, called Buddhi Belly. The logo was so cute, I wanted to get a t-shirt that said "I have a buddhi belly" - but alas, although the product was excellent, they hadn't quite figured out how to exploit all the merchandising as yet. Maybe I can talk them into selling me an employee t-shirt...