Restaurant recommendation: BKK

Jun 23rd, 2004, 05:52 PM
  #1  
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Restaurant recommendation: BKK

Greetings from BKK. I (we) arrived late on Tuesday night. Just wanted to tell everyone about a great restaurant that we visited last night. It is called Vientien. I think I spelled that right. It is like an outdoor "hut" with wonderful Thai and Lao food and entertainment. I recommend it highly. It is rather far off the beaten path here in BKK. But I am sure taxi drivers would locate it, as it is rated very highly by the Thais and visitors to Thailand as well. Well worth the visit. We had chicken, fish, crab, and steamed veggies. All of it was very tasty. We also had a rather nice bottle of Italian red wine that was only 1100 baht.

Exchange rate yesterday was $1=40.75 baht, which we thought was pretty good, as it has been lower in recent past.

Our serviced apartment here at Grand President (on Soi 11, Nana skytrain stop) is in a fairly good location for the sky train and shopping destinations. The apartment is small but nice, modern, and also very quiet. We have stocked the fridge with all sorts of fresh fruits and breakfast foods. We have a big hot water pot that gives you a very hot cup of instant coffee quickly! It is nice to get up in the morning and eat a relaxed b'fast!

Our weather is rather muggy, but not too bad. We had a little bit of a shower last night, but not enough to keep us from venturing out. BKK is such a wonderful travel destination. This is my 6th trip here. I put it at the top of my list of favorite places to see.

If anyone has questions, particularly about shopping or restaurants, I will try to get out there and get answers. I'm not an expert, by any stretch of the imagination, but I'll try.

I revisited my tailor friend, Mr Mac, and he is doing very well. His business is now expanding into European markets. I have recommended him in the past and will continue to do so. His shop is located right at the bottom of the skytrain stairway at National Stadium, farthest stairway to the right as you exit. It is called Boss Tailor. It is connected to a Mini-Mart. Check it out for yourself if you are looking for nice tailored clothes.

We have our computer hooked up and online in our apartment so should be able to post messages rather easily, if anyone wants to reply or ask questions. I'll try to give you an overview of my time here.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Carol-glad read your restaurant suggestion. Keep us updated on your wanderings and activities.
Gpanda is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Carol- if you want some silver items- cheap- go to Pimkin behind the Oriental Hotel- go down that street from the hotel and turn left on the main drag and go about a block or two it will be on your left hand side. Lots of rings/bracelets/necklaces/earrings- items you can buy for gifts to give to people at home. They have stacks of plactic containers with these items- they sell by weight but you can haggle a bit off of what they quote you.
BillT is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 05:11 PM
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Hello from BKK again,

I appreciate the advice Bill. I don't know that I'll be buying any silver on this trip though. I'm into purses and scarves mostly. The night bazaar has some items of interest.

Last night we ate at another Bangkok restaurant that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. It's a really nice Italian restaurant, called LIMONCELLO, it is directly across the street from our serviced apartment building, in an alley off Soi 11 (Nana). We had a delicious caprese salad and I mixed it with a pizza margherita that was quite nice, served on a dinner plate European style, although they had cut the slices already.

The night bazaar at Suanlum has grown considerably since I was there a year ago. Many more vendors have opened stands, and there is a large stage and beer garden, with live entertainment under the stars as well as a lot of different kinds of beers. I don't know what to say about prices at the night market as I've seen some items for a little better price at MBK. But the selection at Suanlum is wonderful. It sure beats the weekend market, as far as being a pleasant way to shop, since the weekend market is always crowded and HOT during the daytime. Suanlum is open very late in the evenings when it is a little bit cooler in BKK.

I visited a couple of pool halls since my DH and son are both serious players. The Brunswick is probably the most fun of all. The girls there are good players. They like to get the falongs (foreigners) to play a game called "killer"... it DOES look like fun. They keep trying to get me to play as well, but I think I might lose some of my shopping money if I played very much. LOL Anyway, the Brunswick is a fun place. There is also a newer place that used to be called the MegaBreak. They have not renamed the place just yet. My son was part owner of this place, and it is very nice. It is for the serious pool players and does not have the fun atmosphere of the Brunswick. Oh, and the Brunswick has some really excellent tasting chilli too, by the way!

DH and I went to the Emporium. It is a very nice mall along the skytrain route. The Emporium dept store has a FABULOUS food market on the top floor. We bought all kinds of goodies to put in our fridge, as well as a bottle of Mazzi red wine (Italian) that we will enjoy some evening. The food market had many items that I could not even begin to identify! Some looked tasty, others... well, I'm not so sure!

I had lunch at the Central (Chit Lom) department store. I like to eat a "sandwich in a bowl" at the Grey Hound restaurant on the 3rd floor. The sandwich in a bowl is a simple salad of iceberg lettuce, tuna, mushrooms, croutons and a lovely Italian dressing. Yum! It really does hit the spot.

We plan to do an Oriental dinner boat ride but don't have that scheduled yet. We also plan to go to Chiang Mai for a few days, but don't have the tickets for that yet. We will most likely go on or around the 1st/2nd of July. Getting tickets a day or two before the trip is no problem here.

I'll be going out the door pretty soon, as it is after 8 in the morning here in BKK. Will report once again later in the day!

Sawadekah (wp) to all!
Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 05:13 PM
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That should have been:
sawadee kah (SP)

Carol!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 07:01 PM
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Do go to the JimT outlet at Soi 93 for great deals on silk purses and scarves. Scarves which are for 1500 baht+ in the normal store are marked down to 500 baht. easiest way to reach is take a train to On Nut and then take a taxi - address is Sukhumvit Soi 93. U can combine your trip with a cup of tea in Agalicos Tea Room a charming small cafe type tea place on Sukhumvit Soi 51. next time u go to the Night Bazaar try Thang Long for good, reasonable Vietnamese food on Soi Lung Suan.
Sameera_Anand is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 08:18 PM
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Simpson..

where is that laotion (sp) resteraunt vientian. it sounds nice..

ya that market in Emporium sure is nice it is one of the highest end markets in town but they sure do have a good selection of pre made food from all over the world.

orgy7 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 03:19 AM
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orgy7
I'll have to see if I can get an address for the Vientian Thai/Lao place. It wasn't along the main drag. It really was a great restaurant!

We had lunch at the Oriental today, eating outside. There was a lovely breeze which made it very pleasant, even though the day was hot and humid.

Tonight we will eat at Senor Pico's at the Rembrandt Hotel (soi 18, I think). It is supposed to be a pretty good Mexican restaurant in BKK.

Sawadee kah...
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 04:43 AM
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Carol- don't know if you are into the designer fakes but when we were there in April my wife saw a lot of Christian Dior and other designer bags that looked odd to her and she did not buy them only to fiond out when she returned to Houston that these were in fact the latest styles! Now she is kicking herself that she did not pick them up. I told her well I guess we have to go back to BKK and get them!
BillT is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 12:07 PM
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Bill
I have picked up a few fakes, but I also own originals too. The purses that I'm going to be buying will be the nicer silk (but not Jim Thompson) in a variety of colors that I don't see anywhere at home. I also like the raw silk and woven patterned scarves.

For dinner tonight we went to Senor Picos. I have to say, we were pleasantly surprised. It was really not too bad. The chips were not nearly so good as the ones we get in the US and the guacamole had a little unusual taste, but everything else had great flavor. There was a Cuban band playing. They were very lively. All four were very good singers/dancers. Two guys, two girls, all from Cuba. We talked to them a little bit. They are there for 7 months.

Senor Picos is located on Soi 18 at the Rembrandt Hotel, a very NICE hotel by the way. I don't know what the rates are, but it was very modern and new looking.

We played pool until the Brunswick closed at 2! It was really a lot of fun. I didn't win at all, but it is a lot of fun playing anyway. My DH and son did win... but they also buy nice dinners, so it all comes out even!

orgy7... I'll see the friend that drove us to the Thai/Lao restaurant on Tuesday. Then I can ask her where it is located, so I'll try to get back to you with that information.

Good night all...

simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 11:22 PM
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Hi Carol
I'll be there in August and made reservations @ the Indra Hotel. Someone else suggested staying near the river. What do you suggest? I need to stay near Phalholyotin Rd in Phayathai. I want to stay where there is room service w/ delicious food and of course some place where I don't have to worry about my belongings in my room.
skapadz is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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Sawadee kah everyone.
First, to orgy7. The Vientienne Thai/Lao restaurant is on soi 36 (or very close to that) off of Sukhumvit. When we were on the way there, we were in a car taking the back roads to avoid some of the heavy BKK traffic and I sort of lost where we were going. Anyway, it is on or near soi 36, and not far from the skytrain stop near there, maybe Phrom Pong on Thong Lo. If you can find it, I'm very certain you would enjoy the food and atmosphere very much.

Lunch today was a bowl of the wonderful chili at the Brunswick pool hall, which I've mentioned before, and a few games of pool.

Tonight we ate at Matteo Italian restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel (Chit Lom skytrain station), which was the La Meridien Hotel until about a year ago. Very lovely dinner. Christine, the mgr, is from Sardinia so she knows the kinds of foods Italians really eat. We had a limoncello after dinner and she told us how it is made, in case anyone is interested.

The bulk of the day today was spent looking at shops along the street around soi 11, and a nice LONG nap! (jet lag finally made me crash)

Skapadz:
I don't get to the Phayathai area, as a rule. It is along the skytrain route to the weekend market, where I do hope to shop tomorrow! I looked on my detailed BKK map and do not see the street you named. Did someone recommend the Indra Hotel? Do they have a web site that you have checked out? There are soooooooo many lovely hotels in BKK that no one has ever heard of. It is very possible that it is a good value for the money. Phayathai is just far enough away from the city center that my map doesn't show that many streets or hotel listings in that area. Wish I could be more helpful.

The recommendation to stay on the river is always made here. The pulse of the city can be seen along the river. We went down to the Oriental for lunch along the river yesterday, as I posted previously. I love staying on the river and have done so several times in the past. But, that being said, it depends upon your reason for coming to Bangkok. I'm here for other things this time and wish to be closer to the shopping areas and businesses where I'll make large purchases and also the skytrain route. Think of the reason you are coming to the city, and then find something that is convenient for you. It is always nice to be close to the skytrain route. The new subway is supposed to open in a few days. I'm not sure we will venture out in it, but you never know! I'll let everyone know IF we try the subway and just what we think of it...

To Sameera,
I love Jim Thompson silk products. I've been to the fabric outlet but not the big one you say is way out on soi 93. I doubt that I get out that far. I think prices on J. T. items are standard and are the same throughout the city shops. I did buy a couple of pieces of my favorite silk elephant print! To all the newbies coming to BKK, be SURE to check out the J.T. shops. They are wonderful quality silk. They sell ties, purses, scarves, wallets and accessory bags, as well as fabrics, pillows and household items.

BillT,
What was odd about the Dior bags your wife saw? Is there some new designer for that company or something? I recall seeing the LV bags last summer with the Japanese designs and thinking they looked strange. I did buy one though! No one at home knew what I had. (small Midwest town... no one gets out of town... if you get my drift.. they haven't a clue about the world out there) Personally, I love coming up with reasons to come back to Bangkok!!! LOL

Time to sleep now! Good night all. I'll post again.

Carol

simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for the report and rec. for the Vientienne restaurant. I arrived in Tokyo yesterday (on vacation) and am heading to BKK July 9 for the World AIDS Conf. I am paying my way so any reasonably priced recommendations are helpful. I am staying at the Wild Orchid Villa which my sister-in-law swears by. Keep the restaurant reveiws coming. Also please give a rough estimate of dinner for two at Vientienne. Has anyone heard of a place called Lemongrass. My brother who is a chef in NYC said it was nice. It was somewhere off Sukhumvit by his memory. Thanks
TimNYC is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 05:17 PM
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Sawadee kah, Tim and others who are reading my trip reports:

The Lemongrass restaurant is listed in the tourist magazine called Thailand Timeout, which is here in our suite. It is located at Sukhumvit soi 24. We have never eaten there, but the fact that only about 30 restaurants are listed in this magazine, I'd say it must be good. Menu items are suggested, and prices range from 150 to 220 baht and above. "Expect to pay 900 baht for two persons, without drinks" says the magazine ad.

I would say we ate for less than that at Vientienne. My hubby always picks up the tab and I don't always see it. But it seems as though four of us ate a Thai style meal, plus a bottle of wine, for around 3000 baht there, including tip.

I am not sure of today's agenda. This IS vacation (I keep getting reminded of this by my family members). I am hoping for the weekend market and maybe a movie at the Gold Class Theater. My guys are going to watch a pool tournament for the afternoon so I'll be on my own for a while.

We maybe will have dinner at The Bed restaurant. It is just a short walk from our suite on soi 11. It has been a very busy place everytime we've gone by there in a taxi. Tonight (Sunday) is jazz night and maybe not quite so busy, although reservations are a must.

More later...
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 06:33 PM
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There really is a Jim Thompson Outlet store at soi 93, with prices about half of that in the regualr stores. These are disontinued patterns or items.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 27th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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Sawadee kah everyone,

Those of you who have been reading my posts probably assume that we love to eat Italian food... and you'd be right. We enjoyed Limoncello, thought Matteo was a little bit better than that, and then tonight we found what we really think is the BEST Italian food in BKK. It's called Guisco, on Sukhumvit soi 23. Everything we ordered was fabulous! The foie gras appetizer was sooooooo yummy, as was lobster bisque, grilled veggies with aged balsamic poured over, and then there were the fish dishes and pizza. The bottle of wine tonight was about $80 so of course it was a very special chianti! The was our most expensive meal so far, but very much worth the money. The restaurant is a very modern building with a nice modern interior, and a nice selection of wines in two places where you could have a look at the bottles before choosing one.

I had good luck at the weekend market today with buying some very unique items! I was very happy with what I bought, and the prices were good too.

My DH and son suggested I look at some nice ostrich skin items. I couldn't resist a gorgeous ostrich skin purse for about $300. In the USA you could not touch it for under $800 and up.

I played more "killer" at the Brunswick with the guys and girls tonight and still lost, but had a lot of fun. I made a couple of tough shots so my game might be improving.LOL

We could not get into The Bed Restaurant tonight as it was closed for a private party. I'm anxious to return to this very unusual BKK eating establishment. If you've not tried The Bed, you might want to add it to your list of unique places to visit. We still hope to go there.

I did not go to a movie at the Gold Class Theater this afternoon either, but opted for the pool and a little nap instead. We didn't have too much sun so that was OK with me. It felt good to cool off in the water and then sit in the shade to dry.

BKK has a new idea at some of the main stoplights now. Those of you who have just been here might have seen the little LED readouts that tell you how many seconds until the light changes from red to green and green to red. I thought that was a rather novel idea.

The cockroaches seemed to be out in great numbers tonight along the sidewalks! EEEEEKKK! (My son's girlfriend said, "I don't eat those." But she loves scorpions and beetles. I don't think you could pay me enough to try eating bugs. Sorry...

We noticed lines of people coming out of the subway near the weekend market today, so perhaps they were doing some test runs today.

Time to hit the sack. I'll report back in tomorrow.

Carol

simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2004, 12:04 PM
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carol---how do you like the grand president??...our best man, who we met up with a couple of weeks ago in bkk, always stays there.. he likes it and says the price is fantastic....

is there a hotel part and a serviced apartment part or is it all the same??

have you tried biscotti in the four seasons hotel or l'opera at the corner of soi 39 and some street to the left whose name i do not know?? both are good italian places...

we tried gianni two years ago and did not like it..

we find the wine prices outrageous in thailand...a few years ago no one would have bought wine there because the handling was poor...that has improved..

we occasionally order a glass or two but rarely a bottle because of the price...what we pay $8-20 for in the states (imports) is $50-100 in thailand...
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Jun 27th, 2004, 06:03 PM
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To rmk (it's Bob, right?} and others Sawadee kah!

Yes, we like the Grand President on Sukhumvit soi 11. Our son had stayed here once before and suggested we try it. I do believe it is all serviced apartments. They are quite nice, and very modern. I had to awaken my husband early my first morning here to ask how to use the big hot water pot for instant coffee. My DH (also a Bob) arrived a week before son and I did, so he had all the gadgets figured out by the time I got here. LOL

We find the prices on some imported wines to be quite reasonable here. Maybe their taxes are lower??? Restaurant prices on bottles of wine are almost always higher, as they add their fees and services onto the price. At home, we usually buy bottles of nice chianti and other reds for about $18-35 at Sam's Club. In a restaurant, that same bottle might be $40-60 or more.

I think my son has tried Gianni. I don't recall the name Biscotti so I doubt he knows of that one. We may have to check it out. Son comes here to BKK about 4 or 5 times a year and often for a month at a time, so he does get around to some of the really great restaurants in the city. We (DH and I) usually just tag along and always seem to have a lovely time.

Bob...You and your wife are just about the same age as my DH and I, although I've not yet reached my 60th... still a couple of years away. You're as young as you feel!! Right? When I'm playing a game of "killer" (pool) with the girls, I feel like 25! I'm not nearly as good a player as they all are... But it's good to laugh and cheer and have fun.

Today I am off to MBK and World Trade Center. I will probably return to Thai Craft Village as well. I didn't see the whole place yesterday as it was only a short visit.

I'll post again later!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2004, 06:11 PM
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I got a great crocodile purse and wallet along with a stingray purse at the World Trade Center last year. I don't remember the name of the shop, but it was on the second floor and he had mostly luggage. A younger guy ran it and I thought his prices were reasonable. I envy you being in BKK, I just had a baby in February so I don't know when we'll get back.
anna_k is offline  
Jun 27th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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I just checked my trip report and the shop was on the third floor

"We also shopped at the World Trade Centre, and found a shop on the third level selling backpacks and crocodile purses. I bought a crocodile purse and a stingray purse, and Neil got a crocodile wallet, all for $200. We saw ladies crocodile wallets at the Oriental shops for $120, but ended up going back the same guy we got the purses from later and got a ladies wallet for $50."
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