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Archive for April, 2015

[email protected]小田佳園, Penang’s foremost pineapple cake manufacturer, has recently launched their limited edition of Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture, retailed at RM16.80 per bottle. It’s basically chopped up pineapple slices, slowly stewed under pasteurized conditions with minimal added sugar, combined with a mild touch of lemon zest. The differences between confiture and jam is that confiture contains more fruits and is normally prepared using a whole or chopped up piece of fruits while jam is normally mashed up and cooked until a puree like consistency. Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture is almost near the natural flavors of pineapple with just the right amount of sweetness to make it the perfect, convenient and versatile ingredient to complement with many sweet and savory dishes.

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Before I show you how versatile this confiture is with my own creations, let me show you the many ways you can get your hands on the product. Firstly, you can purchase a bottle off the counter. However, please take note that the crystal pineapple species is seasonal, thus the supplies are quite limited. Secondly, you can try to win yourself a bottle by joining in the simple requirements as listed below.

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The Gartien Crossover Partners are:

Name: ZI ZAI RESTAURANT (自在飯店)
Address: 1239-G, Ground Floor, Jalan Paya Terubong, 11600 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-826 5173
Business Hours: 5.30pm – 10.30pm (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.387212, 100.274013
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/zizairestaurant
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE SWEET & SOUR PORK (RM12)
Other recommended dishes: Poon Choi, Salted Fish Steamed Minced Pork, Sambal Lala, Braised Hammock, Belacan Chicken and more.

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Name: KAI CURRY BAR
Address: 15, Jalan Phuah Hin Leong (Off Jalan Burma), 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-226 0322
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-9.00pm (Closed Sunday & Monday)
GPS: 5.423637, 100.322570
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kai-Curry-Bar-15-Jalan-Phuah-Hin-Leong-Off-Jalan-Burma-Penang/1513938712195108 and http://www.facebook.com/UmaiKitchen
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE JAPANESE CURRY RICE (RM18.90)
Other recommended dishes: There will be options for pork, chicken, fish and hamburg on rice/udon with either pork gravy or vegetarian gravy.

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Name: 43 CAFE
Address: 43, Jalan Sungai Dua, 11700 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +6016-430 7009
Business Hours: 5.00pm-10.00pm (Daily)
GPS: 5.353265, 100.303813
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/43Cafe
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE TOPPING ON HOMEMADE ICE CREAM (RM9)
Other recommended dishes: Dry-aged Pork Belly, Dry-aged Pork Steak, Sous-vide Chicken, Pork Satay, Egg Pecah and a wide selection of homemade alcoholic & non-alcoholic ice cream.

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Name: SOUL CAFE
Address: 12, Jalan Kek Chuan, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +6016-430 7009
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm (Closed Sunday)
GPS: 5.415079, 100.324503
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/yourSoulCafe
Seasonal Dish Promotion: ANANAS PUNCH (RM11)
Other recommended dishes: Linguine al Vongole Pesto, Spaghetti al Amatriciana, Chicken Roulade with Aioli Sauce, Salmon Steak with Mustard Tarragon Sauce, Gula Melaka Cheese Cake and more.

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Since I have some of the Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture around, I created some healthy recipes out of the product and the end products were excellent.

The first creation was Prawn & Meat Ball with Crystal Pineapple Salsa. The prawn and meat ball had a little marinate of soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, sugar, corn starch with lots of chopped onions. The inner part was moist and juicy while the crust had that mild crisp from slow pan searing. The Salsa basically consisted of chopped crystal pineapple confiture, onions, cherry tomatoes, parsley with some light touches of extra virgin olive oil and salt. The whole concoction will be great for tapas parties.

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The next creation was the Crystal Pineapple Mint Tuna Yoghurt on Cheese Toast. As for the bread, I had a piece each of round cut and ring cut wholemeal bread with a piece of cheese stuffed in between. These were oven toast for 5 minutes to bind them into a “cup” base. The filling had yoghurt, chopped mint leaves, dry herbs, tuna chunks in olive oil and chopped crystal pineapple all stirred together to get the right balance in flavors. I had some sprinkles of ebiko and sweet paprika to boost up some colors. This would be another great party idea to impress your healthy guests.

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Since most of us have been indulging in rich meals most of the time, I had decided to come out with a healthy beverage to help you all in detoxification. LOL~ 😛 I called this drink – Healthy Detox Juice with Crystal Pineapple and it’s full of digestion-boosting enzymes. You can either juice or blend the ingredients. However, I only have a blender in hand, thus I just sieved the end product and pour it into a glass filled with a scoopful of the Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture. Just top up with some ice cubes and you can start enjoying your refreshing drink. The recipe is rather easy as you need to blend in just a green apple, 10 mint leaves, a cup of fresh coconut water, a teaspoon of honey and a mini pinch of salt. Sieve and serve chill.

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You can also check out Nicole’s Homemade Delicacies. She came out with a nice Crystal Pineapple Cheese Cake to share with some of us. Nicole is not new in the game of making and baking delicious homemade cakes. Some of her orders include Mango Cake, Belgium Chocolate Cake, Party Cupcakes, Tambun Biscuit, Bak Kua, Bak Hu and so on. Do check out her FaceBook for more information. Please also take not that she’ll also be producing the limited edition of Crystal Pineapple Cheese Cake for the month of May 2015. You can call Nicole Ann Ng at +6012-492 1648 to make your order now~ 🙂

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Overall, I personally feel that this is a great add-on product to ease many kitchens. Not only will it save a long period of time in pepping up some confiture for a dish, it also adds some boosting flavors to many dishes. In short, it’s a miraculous creation for just any dish, from meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables to desserts. I have created some recipes here and let’s see what else you can create with this product. So, go grab a bottle or more at Gartien now before the season is over. Lastly, let’s hope Gartien can keep the supplies ongoing by coming out with other pineapple species as well?

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Name: GARTIEN @ 小田佳園
Address: 380, Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 0068
Website: www.gartien.com
Email: [email protected]
FaceBook: www.fb.gartien.com/
Business Hours: 9.00am-6.00pm
GPS: 5.416298, 100.329380

 

While Earth Day will fall on 22 April each year, “Every day is Earth Day in the Shangri-La’s Kitchen,” said Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman, Director of Communications, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and Golden Sands Resort, Penang. With the theme “Rooted in Nature”, Shangri-La Group of Hotels and Resorts worldwide support sustainable food produces from its local agriculture and aquaculture sectors. It’s an initiative to raise awareness on consuming freshly farmed food which had gone through strict international standard requirements without harming the environment. Not only will this campaign support the livelihood of its local farmers and fishermen, it will also enable diners to have fresher and healthier choice of diet without worrying about the presence of pesticide, hormone or antibiotic in their food. Moreover, dishes on offer will include produce and herbs grown on hotel grounds, locally sourced organic vegetables and fruits, line-caught fish, free-range poultry and beef, honey from a hotel’s own beehive, etc. According to Peter Finnegan, Shangri-La’s Group Director of Food and Beverages, “Our goal is to serve 75% more sustainable sourced food on the menus by year 2020.”

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While engaging local partners such as the GST Group (seafood) and Ayamplus Food Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (poultry) in their “Rooted in Nature” campaign, we were fortunate to be given the opportunity to attend a food source trail at GST Group Fish Farm located offshore of Pulau Jerejak, Penang. GST Group is also the only European Union compliant fish farm in Malaysia, with two other fish farms in Pulau Aman and Pulau Pangkor plus a retail shop located in Simpang Ampat, Penang. The initial GST actually came from the founder’s name, Goh Siong Tee, 90 years old, decades ago and not to be confused with the recently implemented GST (Goods & Services Tax). “The name did draw a lot of attentions but in a good way too as it helps us to promote our business better,” jokingly stated by Joey Ong, Senior Business Development Executive. After having some breakfast sponsored by the hotels, we embarked on our journey via 3 fishing boats towards our destination. Anyway, we did not spot any mermaids or mermen on the way~ LOL~ 😛

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We were briefed by En, Mohd Addin Aazif, Senior Aquacultural Technician, as well as by Mr. Goh Chin Twan, GST Group Marketing Manager, on the ecologically and ethically farmed fishes which ranged from species such as red (crimson) snapper (ikan merah pucat/ang sai/紅雞), golden snapper (ikan jenahak/ang cho/紅鰽), giant (goliath) grouper (ikan kertang/long dan/龍膽), pearl grouper (kerapu mutiara/long hu ban/龍虎斑 – a 2006 hybrid species between giant grouper and tiger grouper), cobia (ikan haruan tasik/hai lay/海鱺 – sashimi species), giant trevelly (ikan gerepuh/gu kang cheoh/牛港鰺 – commonly known as GT) and more.

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Of course, the chefs from both Golden Sands Resort (Chinese Chef, Chef Danny Tan) and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa (Executive Chef, Chef Lim Soon Leong & Chef de Cuisine, Chef Matthias Tretbar) could not resist camwhoring with some “edible fishes”, especially with the juvenile 17kg Giant Grouper (Ikan Kertang/Long Dan/龍膽). The Giant Grouper can reach to a maximum size of 2.5m and weigh more than 350kg.

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After a fun-filled and knowledgeable expedition, we continued our journey up Batu Ferringhi towards the two participating Penang hotels – Golden Sands Resort and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. Each hotel has two participating eateries. Diners can identify the Rooted in Nature dishes by spotting a “pea shoot” logo printed alongside the dish description. It’s to ensure that the fresh ingredients used strictly follow at least one of the 5 guidelines, which are local produces, pesticide-free products, free-range livestock & poultry, sustainably sourced food and organic & fair trade products. You can check out the “pea shoot” logo as printed on the hot beverage below.

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At Golden Sands Resort, we were led to Sigi’s Bar & Grill (the other Rooted in Nature participating eatery is their Garden Café). At the venue, we had the opportunity to try out some of the chefs’ skillfully prepared dishes from their “Rooted in Nature” menu from Grilled Sea Bass, Grilled Free Range Chicken & Organic Tofu to SIGI’s signature dessert of Double Scope Yam and Coconut Ice Cream with Fresh Whipped Cream.

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On the other hand, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa’s Spice Market (the other Rooted in Nature participating eatery is their Feringgi Grill) indeed do serve an extensive varieties of fishes, namely the Pearl Groupers and Red Snappers, cooked in a few unique flavors. These dishes will be available amongst the buffet spread from time to time.

We actually started the meal off with a bowl of Double-Broiled Free-Range Chicken Herbal Soup. Wow! I was impressed by the flavorful and nourishing herbal soup. It was indeed a great bowl of soup to replenish all the sweat and energy lost under the scorching sun during our field trip earlier. In fact, it was one of the best soups I’ve tasted with the usage of quality herbs, combined with the rich flavors from the hormone-free and antibiotic-free range chicken.

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Amongst the many fish dishes served on the day, we were presented first with the non-spicy Chinese Style Steamed Pearl Grouper with Superior Sauce. It was just a commonly prepared banquet style dish but you could ascertain that it was at its freshest. How would you judge a fresh and mud-free fish from any restaurant? It’s in the basic ingredients used to pep up the flavors without the presence of julienned ginger.

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We were also served with the Indian Style Red Snapper Curry. It may be another commonly available dish at most Indian and Mamak restaurants but again Spice Market lived up to its name by infusing quality herbs and spices into the dish. Moreover, the added sliced tomatoes and lady’s fingers were great complements. Can I have more steamed rice with this dish?

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We then had the Malay Style Ikan Merah Masak Tiga Rasa (Malay Style 3-Flavors Red Snapper). I guessed each restaurant has its own style of presenting this dish. Most of the time, it was just batter fried fish in sweet and sour sauce with added bird eye chilies (cili padi). However, the chef here presented the dish with their own concocted gravy. It was indeed a dish favorable to my taste bud.

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Somehow, the next dish which was the Nyonya Style Steamed Pearl Grouper had me indulged sinfully with more steamed rice. It was heavenly. Most the distinctive flavors from the usage of fresh ingredients used in Nyonya cooking were present with the additional refreshing flavor from the added mint leaves. However, I found the gravy to be too finely presented as in the herbs and spices being too finely blended. It would be great if the kitchen would coarsely blend them to give that little bit of bites. A little bit more of added ginger flower (bunga kantan) would surely pep up the dish further too.

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The last of the fish dish was the humongous sized Italian Style Baked Pearl Grouper Parmigiana. If my guess were to be right, it could be around 5kg or more. It was like having pizza but with fish instead of dough as base. Though it was real presentable as a whole fish, it would be better to work with fish fillet instead. The whole dish was delicious but somehow the thick slab of flesh did not absorb the flavors from the ingredients used. This could be my personal preference dealing with meaty fish but I can assure you that the fish was extremely fresh without any trace of muddy after taste.

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We ended up with a sweet treat created by their skillful pastry chef. It was the Lemongrass Crème Brulee with Coconut & Pandan Sauce. It had a smooth texture with a mild spiced up flavor from the lemongrass. The dessert went well with the condiment of coconut and pandan sauce.

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Somehow, something got the sweet tooth out of me on that day which was never a norm for me. I could not have enough of desserts! LOL~ In the end, I adjourned to the FIP (Fun, Interactive & Play) Lounge next door and ordered the first thing that caught my attention. It was the Black Forest Chocolate Pizza served with Fresh Vanilla Pods Ice Cream. It was a decision I would never regret as the pizza had just the right ratio of bitterness against sweetness, from the base, shaved chocolate, black forest right up to the ice cream. By then, I was already up Cloud 9, indulging in the heavenly dessert. By the way, you could always check out FIP’s Weekend Coffee & Cakes Buffet at RM47nett/adult and RM24nett/child, serving from 3.00pm until 6.00pm (Saturday & Sunday).

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Overall, from my previous dining experiences at both Golden Sands Resort’s Sigi’s Bar & Grill and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa’s Spice Market, compared to now, the quality of dishes always gets better, with their assurance on the usage of the freshest ingredients plus high quality herbs and spices. Do support them on their mission to accomplish the best out of their Rooted in Nature campaign. It’s not only a WIN-WIN working relationship between the hotels and local suppliers but a WIN-WIN-WIN scenario for us diners as we are served with healthier and sustainable sourced food.

Name: GOLDEN SANDS RESORT
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-886 1911
GPS: 5.476330, 100.251440

Name: RASA SAYANG RESORT & SPA
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-888 8888
GPS: 5.478365, 100.253709

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

MY FAVORITE MOO PING STALL IN BANGKOK THAILAND

Posted by crizlai On April - 14 - 2015

Other than hunting for unique and fashionable items or visiting the many temples in Bangkok, the next attraction would be the street food. Along the many thanon (main streets/ถนน), soi (side streets from main streets/ซอย) and trok (alley/ตรอก) in Bangkok, you would surely find some quick bites that would suit your preferences. Other than the easily available meaty Sai Au (Nothern Thai Fermented Sausages/ไส้อั่ว) and Sai Krok Isan (Northeastern Thai Fermented Sausages/ไส้กรอกอีสาน), the Moo Ping (BBQ Pork on Skewers/หมูปิ้ง) somehow remains my favorite. Well, the scents of well marinated food would surely command my nose to their whereabouts~ LOL! I would say I was lucky though it was my first time in Bangkok as I found the perfect Moo Ping right in front of my hotel – The Key Bangkok Hotel.

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Compared to the many Moo Ping stalls I have tasted in Bangkok or even Hatyai in Thailand, this stall managed to suit my taste bud real well as each skew had just the right balance of texture and bites (85% meat & 15% fat). Moreover, the sweetness was just right for me without the overpowering of the overall flavors. The amazing thing is that it was only priced cheaply at THB10/skew. The Thais love to have their Moo Ping with warm sticky rice (Khao Niao/ข้าวเหนียว) and each small pack would cost only THB5. Two skews of Moo Ping and a pack of Khao Niao would be the perfect breakfast or supper for anyone. For those whom had tried out the delicious and succulent Moo Ping as well as the sticky rice, that’s why I can be so crazy to freeze packed them and flew them home to share with you. That’s 6kg extra baggage~ LOL~ 😛

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Anyway, I had tried to recreate that flavor but could not get it to be 100% exact to the taste of the ones I had tried in Bangkok. There must be a secret ingredient in it. Perhaps, they might be using some sort of MSG which is the common practice in most street stalls. I’m not a fan of MSG so here’s the 95% result of my Moo Ping. Do try out my recipe~ 🙂

RECIPE: MOO PING (BBQ PORK ON SKEWERS

Makes: 20-25 skews (7” bamboo skewers – soak overnight before using)

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Ingredients A:
4 cilantro roots (about 2 Tbsp) or chopped cilantro stems (if roots are not available)
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp white pepper corns
1 tsp black pepper corns

Ingredients B:
2 Tbsp palm sugar (pound until powdery) or brown sugar or honey
2 Tbsp mushroom/oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp black soy sauce
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 Tbsp corn starch
100ml coconut milk (mix in a tiny pinch of salt – keep 1/4 for brushing)

Ingredients C:
700gm pork shoulder (about 1.5lbs – wash clean, drain well, semi freeze and slice about 3mm thickness. Lightly hammer each piece to break the veins)
200gm pork fat (optional – slice 3-5mm, to be skewed in between 2 pieces of meat. Lightly hammer each piece.)

PREPARATIONS:

1. Use a mortar, pound everything in Ingredient A. You may add a bit of water if it’s too dry to scoop out.
2. In a big stainless steel basin, mix the pounded Ingredient A with Ingredient B. Mix thoroughly.
3. Add in the sliced pork from Ingredient C and mix well.
4. Slowly skew the marinated meat onto the bamboo skewers. Maximum until half the length of the skewer. Make sure the meat pieces are pressed compactly without showing the bamboo skewers. You can opt to skew a piece of fat in between the meat for that sinful flavor.
5. Place all the skewers into a Ziploc bag or a big plastic container. Pour the remaining marinates into it. Make sure you lay the skewers flat.
6. Leave them in the chiller for a minimum of 6-8 hours. The best result is to leave them overnight for maximum flavors.
7. Prior to barbeque, pour out the remaining marinate and mix with the remaining coconut milk. It’s for brushing purposes.
8. Barbeque over medium charcoal heat. Make sure the exposed bamboo skewers won’t get direct heat or they may be charred. Turn the skewers every 2 minutes until cook. Do brush some of the remaining marinate on the meat (as stated in #7) prior to turning them.
9. The Thais may love their Moo Ping with sticky rice. For me, I would love them with some lightly dressed salads.

Note: You can opt not to add fat to your Moo Ping but that’s where the natural flavor comes in.

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

Name: MOO PING @ SUKHUMVIT SOI 19
Address: Sukhumvit Soi 19, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.
Contact: Not available
Business Hours: 5.00am-9.30am
GPS: 13.739075, 100.559977

DIRECTIONS:

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Take the BTS Sukhumvit Line and stop at BTS Asoke Station. to Mo Chit Station (BTS Sukhumvit Line). Take the Skytrain to BTS Asoke Station. Use the Skywalk towards Exit 1 and walk downstairs towards Terminal 21. Walk straight towards “The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel”. At the road before the hotel, turn right into Sukhumvit Soi 19 and walk about 70m and you will see the “The Key” after a row of shop houses on your left. The stall is located just at entrance of The Key Bangkok Hotel at the junction of Sukhumvit Soi 19 and Sukhumvit Soi 17 next to the Family Mart convenient shop.

RATING:
Ambience: 5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 9/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 4/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

CHICO INTERIOR PRODUCTS & CAFE IN BANGKOK THAILAND

Posted by crizlai On April - 11 - 2015

By staying at The Key Bangkok Hotel where travelling via the two major mass transit systems has been real fun and convenient, I managed to explore quite a few interesting cafes within the Watthana district. Located nearby the BTS Thong Lo Station is a charming little hideaway establishment named Chico Interior Products & Café. If you are a cat lover, you would surely go goo-goo gaga over some of the free roaming cats within the premises. The bungalow-style shop may be hidden away from the main road but it was never short of visitors, especially those Japanese staying within the vicinity. Even their main website is all written in Japanese other than Thai or English. Isn’t that obvious? LOL~ 😛 If you love the serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, this will be quite a nice place to spend some time sipping some beverages and gobbling down some of their nice homemade snacks and light meals.

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On top of some tranquil moments with the furry felines, you can also spend some time mingling through some of their interior home products as well as personal gifts, not forgetting cat related items too. Some of their products may include Thai handicrafts, unique kitchen utensils, pillows, cushions, aromatherapy lamps, bamboo by-products, natural soaps, beewax candles, trinkets, wind chimes, stuffed toys, printed clothes and more.

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Here are some photos of their cute cats, a mix of pedigrees and local shot hair felines. Even my cats had some edible gifts from the shop~ LOL~ 😛

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Since it was already almost tea time, we had some light food and dessert over some hot beverages. I started off with a hot pot of Lavender Tea (THB100nett). With so much of eating spree for the last few days, it indeed relieved my eating tension and stress~ LOL~ 😛 Luckily they did not burn any lavender oil or I would be fast asleep under such a relaxing environment.

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I also did try out their Hot Chocolate (THB80nett). It was filled with chocolate richness and the milk they used was also awesomely creamy. Wait! Why is there a fat cat having its sauna in my cup? Haha~ The latte art may look simple but based on the comment by an established 3D latte art master, it required lots of patience and steady hand to come out with this design. The hot beverage came with a cute cat shaped cookie as well.

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As for a light meal, I ordered the Japanese Style Spaghetti (THB160nett). Wow~ I was impressed. The color may not look pleasant to the eyes but the taste was heavenly. It was just a simple spaghetti dish, stir fried with some pork slices, shitake and enoki mushrooms, zucchini and garnished with some bonito flakes but the gravy itself was pepped with rich earthly flavors. I could not stop myself from pussy licking the whole plate dry~ Meow~ 😛 For those who would want to get the best of the meal deal, I would advise you to drop by between 11.30am and 2.00pm as they have daily set lunch available, which would include a salad, a main dish (4 options such as Japanese Omu Rice, Japanese Style Spaghetti, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Japanese Beef Curry with Rice) and a cup of hot beverage (+THB10 for iced beverages) at only THB185nett.

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We were lucky on that day as they have Dessert of The Day which was the Hot Banana Pie served with Vanilla Ice Cream (THB55nett). The hot oozing banana combined with the fresh vanilla pod ice cream was so seductive. The sensation was beyond any earthly word.

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Overall, I quite like this place due to the peaceful settings within a hidden greenery filled premises. I also like the fore-sight of the shop owner by allowing patrons to have a place to relax before continuing with their hectic lifestyle. Time will stand still here while you are immensely occupied with the many interesting and unique items you can bring home as souvenirs. At least you do not have to suffer the scorching heat from the scattered markets to have your shopping done. Everything will be inclusive of the necessary taxes.

Just a note to those shutterbugs: You may take some general shots of the shop but not on individual product as they would want their products to be exclusive to their patrons.

Name: CHICO INTERIOR PRODUCTS & CAFE
Address: 109 Sukhumvit Soi 53 (Paidee-Maidee), Khlong Tan-Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.
Contact: +662 258 6557
Business Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 13.732805, 100.579067

DIRECTIONS:

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Take the BTS Sukhumvit Line and stop at BTS Thong Lo Station. Use the Skywalk towards Exit 1 and walk downstairs all the way until you reach a junction. Turn right into Sukhumvit Soi 53. Walk on for about 15 minutes, pass the newly opened Nippon Kai Market, until the second junction with a “Soi Renoo” road sign. Turn right into the small alley and you can see the Chico signboard right at the end. If you are tired of walking, you can always get a tuk-tuk or a motorbike taxi by telling them that you are going to Soi Renoo or Chico.

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 6/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

CABBAGES & CONDOMS RESTAURANT IN BANGKOK THAILAND

Posted by crizlai On April - 10 - 2015

Many people would have heard of the infamous Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant (C&C) in Bangkok, Thailand, with 5 other local branches in Nakhon Ratchasima, Vieng Pa Pao, Chiangrai, Nangnong plus a resort cum restaurant in Saptai. This themed restaurant is tucked away in an alley in the Khlong Toei district but is quite easily accessible via the BTS Asoke Station. You may ask why the bizarre name as cabbages had nothing to do with condoms at all. The brainchild of this over a decade old establishment, Senator Mechai Viravaidya, had conceptualized this project to spread the knowledge and understanding of contraception throughout Thailand, namely to overcome the reluctance to discuss issues on family planning, sex and HIV/AIDS. Thus, he caught the attentions of the public and eventually condoms became commonly available and as cheap as cabbages. Moreover, part of the profits from these restaurants would go towards supporting the work of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA).

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It happened that I was staying at The Key Bangkok Hotel nearby and decided to check out the restaurant. Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant indeed has a catchy tagline on the menu to create the curiosity amongst diners – “Our food is guaranteed not to create pregnancy”. There are also many sex awareness posters scattered around the pathway towards the sanctuary-like restaurant ambiance plus quite a few condoms and birth control pills created fashionable outfits on the mannequins along the way. What caught my attention was the after dinner souvenirs – FREE CONDOMS. On top of that, you can also get more condom supplies at their free-flow corner, inclusive some water-based lubricant sachets. Cool~ Such convenience~ Well, they indeed won’t give you after dinner mints but you can take a condom instead~ LOL~ 😛

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Anyway, Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant may have a great concept in introducing safe sex and family planning but failed in pepping up great dishes. It may be a great hangout place for Westerners over some barely authentic dishes but not for any Asians whom had years of growing up with herbs and spices. Somehow, I felt that the dishes served were mainly catered for those diners with low spicy tolerance. If you are looking for the Yin Yang balance of the Thai cuisine, this is definitely not the place for you as the basic 5 flavors (wan, kem, brieow, ped & kom/ หวาน, เค็ม, เปรี้ยว, เผ็ด & ขม/sweetness, saltiness, sourness, spiciness and bitterness) were not significantly present. You should have at least 3 of the 5 flavors significantly presence in a Thai dish.

To prove my points, I started out with the appetizer of Kratong Thong (Minced Chicken & Corn in Waffle Cups – THB120++). Basically, it was just some blandly prepared minced chicken mixed with some corn kernels (mixed vegetables version) and served in “Singapore Top Hats” aka “Nyonya Pie Tee” crispy pastries. To give them more flavors, you have to dress them with some Thai chili sauce. So, in my opinion, what is so Thai about this dish?

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Just as an ideal example to judge on the 5 flavors, I tried out their salad, Yum Ma Khue Yaw (Roasted Eggplant with Prawns and Minced Chicken Salad – THB170++). Basically, only 2 flavors popped up significantly… saltiness from a high hint of nam pla (fish sauce) and sourness from the added lime juice. There were no sweetness from added palm sugar, spiciness from some added bird’s eye chilies and even some bitterness from the supposedly roasted eggplant. Even the minced chicken tasted bland. The whole dish tasted rather flat.

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On top of that, they served the worst Gaeng Massaman Gai (Chicken Masamman Curry – THB200++) I have ever tasted with overcooked chicken pieces in super sweet curry. From my experience in cooking and creating many Asian dishes, the texture of the meat was the end result you would get if you have frozen the dish for many days and heat up when needed with a microwave oven. It was so bad until the meat was with powdery texture. It would surely put a shame to the Thai culinary world since it was voted as the #1 dish in CNNGo’s Top 50 Best Food in the World 2011.

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Other than the main dish as above, I have decided to try out their noodle dish which was the Phad Se-Ew Moo (Stir Fry Flat Noodles with Kale & Pork – THB120++). I’m quite a regular for this “hor fun” type of stir fry noodles but the dish served here was horrendous. There were no hints of “wok hei” aka high heat stir frying, balanced flavors and the whole dish had that bitter-like chemical flavors. It was like consuming pesticide without getting murdered.

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Overall, the ambience was quite cool for that themed experience or even bumming out with friends over some drinks. However, the restaurant should at least check on their food quality to ensure returned customers rather than concentrating on the one-time Western tourists. The only thing that I had supported was their many scattered donation boxes towards the welfare of some charitable organizations. There will be a surcharge of 10% service tax (ST) and 7% value added tax (VAT) in your bill.

Name: CABBAGES & CONDOMS RESTAURANT
Address: 6 Sukhumvit Soi 12, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.
Contact: +662 229 4610
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm
GPS: 13.737885, 100.557966

DIRECTIONS:

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Take the BTS Sukhumvit Line and stop at BTS Asoke Station. Use the Skywalk towards Exit 2 and walk downstairs towards Times Square Shopping Center Asoke. Immediately, after the building, turn left into Sukhumvit Soi 12. You can see a signboard directing you to the venue. Walk around 10 minutes and you can see the entrance within a compound on your right.

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 5.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

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Howdy from the Isle of delicious Asian food and the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Just call me Criz Lai and I am here to share with you on what’s the best food you can get in town as well as from many other parts of Malaysia.

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