Vientiane Kitchen, 8 Sukhumvit Soi 36 (BTS: Thong Lo, exit 2): I've been fortunate enough to eat here a couple of times now and I absolutely love it. The building is quite magical in that you wander down a nondescript Bangkok Soi and stumble upon a small opening in a large warehouse like building. Upon entering, you are immediately transported to an open air Laotian restaurant, calm and serene. The huge space features a stage where live music featuring flutes and drums is played nightly. Giant teak tables fill the space-- which is really great when you inevitably order too much food from the fantastic menu. My husband is partial to the fried catfish. I've loved the soups served in clay pots and full of prawns and lemongrass.
Weather: WEIRD lately. It's now April and we should be in the full swing of Thai summer with heat, humidity, and more heat. Instead in the last two weeks, we've been bundling up with 70 degrees Fahrenheit weather outside.
|Flooded streets, March 2011|
|Rainstorm, March 2011|
|Gorgeous Jack Fruit|
Thai-glish: I have become fluent. I absolutely love the Thai language-- the inflection, the way one word can mean several different things depending on the tone used, the warmness that is injected with the ever present smiles. However, I can't stand how difficult it is to learn! Luckily, English is spoken in bursts throughout the city. The only trick to remember is to use English with a Thai accent-- take the inflection up at the end of most words and you'll be more easily understood than with your usual accent of using a flat tone. Want a mineral water while dining at a restaurant? They are called a 'soda' here. But don't order a flat so-da (you'll get a quizzical look). Instead, order a so-daaaahhhh (elongating the last syllable and taking it up in tone). Nice job-- bright bubbly mineral water to be served in an instant! In all seriousness though, I love how welcoming the culture is to non-native speakers. I've found patience and help when I test out a word here or there.
After You: Found at a couple places throughout the city, I'm partial to the restaurant on Phaholyothin's Villa Market complex, located across from Soi Ari and next to Phaholyothin Soi 6. Known as a dessert shop, the lines are out the door and the wait can be hours. A little known secret, though, is that you can enjoy a completely indulgent breakfast starting at 10 a.m. Get there on time though, otherwise tables will fill in the first hour fairly quickly. And, when I say 'breakfast' I say that slightly tongue in cheek as you will be served a similar menu to what they serve for dessert.
|Strawberry Pancakes with ice cream!|
|Shibuya Honey Toast|