All posts tagged features


Published เมษายน 14, 2013 by SoClaimon



Published: 12 Apr 2013 at 00.00

A cloying French sobriquet for the internationally famous porcini mushroom, cepe, aka king bolete mushroom and steinpilz mushroom, is cherished for its characteristic nutty flavour and smooth, meaty texture. Cepes can be used fresh and dried, raw and cooked, to add flavour to almost any kind of dish.

Free Feast

Published เมษายน 14, 2013 by SoClaimon


Published: 12 Apr 2013 at 00.00

Get ready for a free feast because we’re giving away two vouchers to dine at VIE Hotel Bangkok. Each voucher is valued at B2,600 and entitles two people to enjoy the dinner buffet at MGallery.

Giveaway prizes courtesy of VIE Hotel Bangkok (117/39-40 Phaya Thai Road, 02-309-3939, viehotelbangkok.com, facebook.com/viebangkok). The hotel features various dining outlets including YTSB (Yellow Tail Sushi Bar), VIE Wine & Grill, VIE Lounge and VIE Pool. Our soon-to-be-well-fed winners will get to gorge on the “MGallery International Dinner Buffet” at VIE Wine & Grill. The famous buffet dinner features Asian and international favourites and a generous variety of appetisers, soups, salads, imported cheeses and cold cuts.

The buffet includes attractions from the sea such as Pacific oysters, Chilean king crab, New Zealand mussel and scallops. Australian wagyu beef, veal tenderloin and lamb are served with your choice of either Cafe de Paris, red wine, bearnaise, horseradish or cream sauce. Dessert lovers can enjoy home-made ice cream and French pastries. The dinner is available from Monday to Saturday from 6:30-10:30pm. VIE Wine & Grill also hosts Sunday family brunch from 11:30am-3pm.

Send us your answer to the question below if you want a chance to win a fabulous feast for yourself and your plus one.

ANSWER THIS: What dish could you eat every day for the rest of your life?

Buffet blowout

Published เมษายน 14, 2013 by SoClaimon



Cafe 9 reaches for cloud 9 at Pratunam

Published: 12 Apr 2013 at 00.00

Is it just us, or have buffets become a guilty pleasure for you too? With all the stress and pressure of putting out the weekly magazine you’re holding, it’s so much easier to run to a buffet place every weekend for some gastronomic relief.

Plenty of Chinese restaurants offer a dim sum buffet. Hotel restaurants tend to provide international dishes in their buffet spreads. Japanese restaurants allow you to eat all-you-can a la carte items within a given time limit. There are so many yakiniku places where you can grill meat and eat as much as you want. We feel like renaming Bangkok the buffet hub sometimes.

However Bangkok’s buffet scene is so fat with quantity and to spot a quality one among the crowd is like trying to locate your friend’s head among the Silom crowd from the BTS platform during Songkran.

The new hotel entry to the Pratunam area is Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok. It “soft-opened” on Apr 1 above Watergate Pavillion Fashion Mall on the ninth to the 21st floors and it also offers a new buffet place called Cafe 9. The lunch buffet there is priced at B850 per person with free-flow soft drinks (prices subject to tax and service charge) while the dinner buffet is B1,250.

Despite being on the ninth floor, the panorama from the outdoor section of Cafe 9 propels you closer to cloud nine with the night view of the city and its sea of lights. The overall vibe of Cafe 9 is smart and modern, keeping with the hotel’s appearance.

At Cafe 9, you get the usual suspects in a respectable buffet spread such as salads, Thai favourites, seafood with dippings, live pasta station, fruits and desserts for you to pile up on your plate.

On the Thai side, try Pomelo salad for a flavourful but not too spicy sensation. The ingredient list of the dish is staggering but works in delicious sync. Bits of the fruit give sweet and sour bursts while chicken shreds, shallot, kaffir leaves and roasted coconut add extra texture and flavour.

Delightful Marinated brie on a small skewer offers mild and slightly sweet cheese complemented by grapes.

Go Italian at the pasta station where you can choose from three types of pasta cooked four ways – tomato, meat, carbonara or aglio e olio. I find the tomato sauce very so-so and the aglio e olio to be most pleasing with its appetising aroma and mild heat.

Seared salmon with kale is cooked on the outer layer while the inside is still sashimi-fresh. It goes great with the tasty sauce made of jalapeno, mirin and wine. Kale atop the fish is cooked and seasoned Asian style.

Presumably to keep things interesting, Cafe 9 offer three different items under the “surf & turf” concept each day. This doesn’t mean a big plate of lobster and steak in the traditional sense of the dish, mind you. The restaurant uses the term for dishes that combine seafood and meat. Lamb rump stew with anchovies offers tender meat with a slight hint of the sea. Deep-fried pork and shrimp roll gives you juicy meat in a crispy sheet. The most impressive of the three is Crab and beef in red curry sauce. The dish is like a pillow with a cover of aromatic meat and a cushion of delicate crab inside.

Custard and raspberry creme brulee are among the dessert selections. I find the custard to be a good choice for people who don’t want a sugary end to their meal. Raspberry creme brulee offers a lighter and refreshing taste but unfortunately doesn’t have the hard and sweet caramel layer on top that it should.

While there are some solid dishes I enjoy at Cafe 9, I must say that I expected more of a wow-factor given there are many hotel-buffet competitors out there. However, this newcomer is still in its soft-opening phase and may become more interesting as it develops its culinary repertoire.

If you’re a buffet beast, why not drop by to try this brand spanking new place anyway. Because after shopping under budget at Pratunam all day, you may need to re-energise and splurge a little at Cafe 9.G

Cafe 9

Japanese International Noon-2pm, 6-10:30pm 9/F, Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok, 567 Ratchaprarop Road 02-625-1234

The spice is right

Published เมษายน 14, 2013 by SoClaimon



Hotel’s three-decade-old Thai eatery relies on uncompromising standards rather than sensational frills

Published: 12 Apr 2013 at 00.00

As Bangkok’s restaurant scene continues its rapid evolution especially during the heyday of social media, it’s not easy for a dining establishment in this curiosity-led metropolis to retain its popularity for more than 10 years. The fast-paced circle makes it even harder for traditional, sober Thai eateries not only to stand strong but also to survive amid a fanfare of new culinary genres.

Ever since it opened in 1983, this beautiful restaurant with a local market-inspired setting has constantly delighted regulars and first-timers with its uncompromising standards.

After three decades in operation Spice Market, however, seems to have beaten the odds.

The Thai cuisine outlet of Four Seasons Hotel is a great example of the meticulous five-star quality upkeep. Apparently, ever since it opened in 1983 with a beautiful, local market-inspired interior setting, the 120-seater has never gone through any major renewal _ visually or culinarily. Over the past 30 years, the place has constantly delighted regulars and first-timers with its uncompromising standards rather than sensational frills.

Spice Market’s menu today has only been slightly adjusted from that of day one. The 100-item selection features authentically prepared Thai dishes (each with the chilli icon to indicate the level of fieriness) in categories including starters, salads, soups, Thai dips, curries, stir-fries, vegetarian dishes and desserts.

For first-time visitors, I recommend that you go by the Spice Market’s Favourites. From it, I guarantee that discerning beef connoisseurs will never regret having green curry of braised Australian beef cheek (650 baht).

The green curry of braised Australian beef cheek.

Simply served in traditional style to be enjoyed with rice, the delicious curry, made with freshly squeezed coconut milk and homemade green curry paste, revealed generous chunks of extraordinarily tender beef cheek that were complemented nicely by the crisp and popping makhuea poh (lesser eggplant). Though it was signified with three chillies which suggests the highest level of spiciness, this creamy curry turned out to be very friendly even for farang tongues.

Also from the favourites list was crispy soft shell crab with peppercorn sauce (490 baht). Continuing to be a best-seller ever since it was first launched many years ago, this pungent dish of various textures and tangs presented deep-fried, lightly-battered soft shell crab tossed with salty sweet and spicy garlic, chilli, basil and peppercorn sauce.

A member of service staff recommended that we also try ma hor (220 baht). And this old-fashioned, ceremonial treat featuring chewy balls of caramelised minced chicken, shrimp, peanut and palm sugar on pineapple and pomelo wedges was very addictive.

For fans of yum, or Thai-style sour and spicy salad, there are two tasty options to highlight. The all-time popular grilled prawn and chicken salad with white turmeric and sweet chilli paste (420 baht) presented the grilled prawn and shredded meat of the grilled poultry laced with tropical herbs and spices in a pungent sweet chilli-tamarind paste dressing was truly delightful.

Crabmeat salad on grilled river prawn.

The same went for the crabmeat salad on grilled river prawn (430 baht), which offered a refreshing tangy first note followed by flavourful munch of river harvest and seafood and pleasant char-grilled aroma.

Should you wish to sample a rice dish, then go for khao phad mun goong, or fried rice with prawn tomalley (380 baht). Served with deep-fried battered prawn, the rice was impressively cooked to retain its beautiful grain shape while taking in the characteristic cheesy flavour of the prawn tomalley (the orange-yellow paste in the prawn head commonly believed to be its “fat”) to yield a subtle khao phad that’s worth praising.

Now is also a good time to sample the restaurant’s well-loved khao chae (700 baht per person), which is available only in summer.

On offer until April 19, Spice Market’s version features meticulously prepared soaked rice (gently polished to remove excess starch) in ice-cold water scented with jasmine, chommanad (bread flower) and rose. The rice was served as the centre piece with an assortment of palace-style side dishes including deep-fried shrimp paste balls, deep-fried stuffed shallots, sweet and crispy shredded pork, chilli pepper stuffed with seasoned minced pork and shrimp, sweet radish and caramelised fish balls, accompanied by neatly carved fresh fruit and vegetables. Yet the right way to eat khao chae is never to put any side items into the rice. A spoonful of rice and the side items should be enjoyed separately, one at a time.

For desserts, we had khao hom kayakoo (220 baht), or young rice pudding, which is rarely found nowadays. The bright green pudding, made with the milky essence of a young rice sheaf scented with pandan and laced with coconut cream, offered a silky smooth texture with a delicate mouthfeel.

Perfectly and lusciously representing the Thai dessert for the steamy season was durian sundae (250 baht).

It’s a creative confection of homemade durian ice cream (for first-time durian eater, I strongly recommend that you start your introduction to the pungent tropical fruit with the mild and frosty durian ice cream), soft black sticky rice, fresh jackfruit, caramelised rice crackers and glazed roasted peanuts with a tiny cup of coconut cream on the side.

On the day that we visited, the clientele was a mix of Thai families, expats and international tourists. Business usually peaks at noon. Reservations are recommended.

A platter of the palace-style khao chae.

Casual connoisseurs

Published เมษายน 14, 2013 by SoClaimon



After their generous charity donation, the Yoovidhyas made their extravagant gourmet dinner a family affair

Published: 12 Apr 2013 at 00.00

Over the past few years, exclusive meals prepared by five-star chefs at the privacy of the diners’ own home have become more and more in favour among well-off gourmands in Thailand.

Chalerm and Daranee Yoovidhya with the chef team, from left, Erwin Eberharter of Dusit Thani Bangkok, Aurelien Poirot of Sofitel Sukhumvit, Michael Hogan of JW Marriott Bangkok, Jose Borja of Renaissance Ratchaprasong, Thibault Chiumenti of Plaza Athenee Bangkok, Freddy Schmidt of Conrad Bangkok, Norbert Kostner of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Nicolas Schneller of Fours Seasons Hotel Bangkok, Frank Bohdan of Shangri-la Hotel Bangkok, Leslie Stronach of InterContinental Bangkok, and Philippe Gaudal of Landmark Hotel Bangkok.

This is thanks to the Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner, which was first launched in 2009 and has been a great gastronomic and philanthropic success since.

It’s a tradition at this grand-scaled annual affair, presided over by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and attended by 250 altruists, that at the end of the evening some big-hearted guests will be announced the winners of the grand auction. With their proffers (as well as all the proceeds from the event) going to the improvement of lives and education of children at remote schools around the country, the highest bidders are awarded with the opportunity to choose their favourite chefs from the participating five-star hotels to come cook a gourmet meal at their residences.

For three years, the Yoovidhyas have been among the top benefactors.

In 2009, Chalerm and Daranee Yoovidhya stopped the auction at the inaugural Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner event with a 1 million baht proffer. Four executive chefs, led by Norbert Kostner of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok, were then chosen to be at the couple’s mansion a few months later to prepare a birthday dinner for Chalerm, the master of the house and also of the Red Bull empire and Siam Winery.

In 2011, the couple got to welcome a group of culinary virtuosos again to their place. Following their 4.2-million-baht bid at the third edition of the Bangkok Chefs Charity, 11 chefs and 20 crew members from Bangkok’s top hotels travelled to the family’s resort home in Bang Saen, Chon Buri, to serve up a 14-course meal for a party of 32 guests.

The Yoovidhyas’ latest prize is a consequence of their 4.5 million baht donation at last year’s event.

Received two weekends ago amidst the sound of waves and breezy coastal weather at their holiday villa in Hua Hin, the dinner made specially for the Red Bull family may be regarded as one of the most lavish yet most homely auctioned chef’s meals ever to have taken place.

The banquet was put up by a team of 12 celebrated five-star hotel chefs, namely Norbert Kostner of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Michael Hogan of JW Marriott Bangkok, Leslie Stronach of InterContinental Bangkok, Erwin Eberharter of Dusit Thani Bangkok, Mark Hagenbach of Grand Hyatt Erawan, Jose Borja of Renaissance Ratchaprasong, Nicolas Schneller of Fours Seasons Bangkok, Philippe Gaudal of Landmark Hotel Bangkok, Thibault Chiumenti of Plaza Athenee Bangkok, Frank Bohdan of Shangri-la Hotel Bangkok, Freddy Schmidt of Conrad Hotel Bangkok, and Aurelien Poirot of Sofitel Sukhumvit.

It featured an extravagant line-up of savoury and sweet delicacies prepared by the executive chefs themselves at the villa’s newly set professional kitchen. Among an extensive variety of dishes, diners were seen revelling in pan-roasted prawns with white asparagus fondant; porcini (from the south of Spain) veloute with truffle cappuccino and hazelnut duck cromesquis; paper-thin porcini mushroom agnolotti with rosemary pan jus; Spanish paella with seafood and pork belly; roasted chicken (from Bresse) with tarragon butter; clams and bouchot mussels (from France) in white wine sauce; roasted Easter lamb (from Mont Saint Michelle) with needle beans; and fried zucchini flowers (from Hua Hin Hills Vineyard) filled with burrata (from Italy), to name just a few.

To match the culinary excellence, service for that special Saturday evening was also delivered with five-star perfection. The dinner was efficiently attended by a team of 16 service staff in neat uniforms from the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, who always made sure all 20 guests were well taken care of.

However, despite all the exquisiteness, the Yoovidhyas wanted this year’s gastronomic gathering to be very casual. So instead of being set in a neatly-clad air conditioned dining room with a long dinner table, the meal was served at the villa’s open-air, beach-front pavilion and enjoyed in an intimate communal manner among only family members.

Chef Norbert, who has been chosen by the Yoovidhyas whenever they’ve won the auction, said: “It’s always a great joy cooking for Khun Chalerm and his family at his house. Although Khun Chalerm was the one who chose most of the main ingredients, he often left the menu selection for us chefs to create.

“Because this year’s dinner was focused on relatives gathering and with many dishes, like the clams and mussels, the paella and the porcini mushroom agnolotti, perfect for sharing, I suggested to him that he might want to make it more intimate and fun by having the meal in family-sharing style. We would serve big platters of food in the middle of the table and everyone is welcome to casually dig in,” Norbert said.

This style of serving is also perfect for al fresco dining, he said, given that it’s hard to control the temperature of the food, especially when you have to plate it one by one for individual diners, in the open-air setting.

The warm kinship apparently extended to the cooking quarter. Similar to the dining room ambiance, the spacious kitchen occupied by multi-national chefs was filled with camaraderie and laughter.

“It’s hard to find anywhere else in the world where a group of executive chefs from top hotels are working and helping together without their alter egos.

“At the end of the day, it’s for charity and it’s only the pleasure of our guests that counts,” said Norbert with a big smile.

Chefs Erwin Eberharter, Leslie Stronach and Philippe Gaudal pan-roasting the prawns.


Published เมษายน 11, 2013 by SoClaimon



Published: 5 Apr 2013 at 00.00

Derived from a French Provencal word mescla, which means “to mix”, mesclun is basically referred to as an assortment _ like “spring mix” _ of young salad greens sown, harvested and eaten together. The composition of the mixtures may vary to focus on different characteristic including tastes, textures and colours. Common choices of greens in mesclun may include lettuces, mizuna, rocket, sorrel, Swiss chard, endive, frisee and radicchio.

French star shines bright

Published เมษายน 11, 2013 by SoClaimon



Helmed by a Michelin-star chef, city’s latest culinary hot spot serves up traditional Gallic cuisine in a gregarious gastro-bar setting

Published: 5 Apr 2013 at 00.00

In an era when award-winning, world-class chefs from across the globe take turns visiting Bangkok almost on a weekly basis, it may not be difficult for local gastronomes to indulge frequently in Michelin-star cuisine at one of the “haughty” food promotions offered by five-star hotels.

Occupying a see-through, top-floor space, the wine bar-cum-restaurant blends French dexterity with the conviviality of a gastro bar.

Yet, amid a parade of out-of-town culinary wizards, finding star-studded quality, particularly of the French ilk, at an independent restaurant in this tropical metropolis may still seem a wish.

So it was incredulous when we ran into Manuel Martinez, chef-owner of the two-Michelin-star Relais Louis XIII restaurant in Paris (it can take several weeks to get a table there), during our dinner at Scarlett. The ever-busy Martinez helped co-found and is a consulting chef of the three-month-old eatery.

With its first outlet opened in Beijing in 2009, which has been a popular destination among socialites since, Scarlett Wine Bar and Restaurant is a owned and run by a Hong Kong-based hospitality company. The Bangkok edition, which opened in January this year, occupies a “see-through” space on the 37th floor of Pullman Bangkok Hotel G (previously the Sofitel Silom) and, just like its original venue, serves up traditional French fare prepared with seasonal local touches in a gregarious gastro-bar setting.

Beef tongue with foie gras Lucullus style.

The front of the house is attended by French operation manager-cum-maitre d’hotel and wine connoisseur Alexandre Bouvier who makes sure his restaurant offers a perfect balance of Gallic dexterity and conviviality. On the Wednesday evening we visited, the 160-seater was bustling with a corporate crowd (guys with rolled up shirt sleeves and women in casual office attire) enjoying their social gathering over a very relaxing meal, regaled by deep house and lounge music.

To go with the communal wine bar ambiance, the menu, designed by the restaurant’s French executive chef Sylvian Royer, presents an impressive list of tapas (120 baht for one choice, 560 baht for six and 790 baht for nine options) alongside some 40 items of French bistro classics plus a special selection of dishes by chef Martinez, who updates his menu at Scarlett regularly according to the season.

Celebrated for his ability to combine classical perfection with five-star modernity, Martinez who was named a French Master Chef in 1986 and, prior to his stint at the Relais Louis XIII, head chef of Paris’s legendary La Tour D’Argent, believes in using the best seasonal ingredients available in the local market. He said he treasured His Majesty the King’s Royal Project, adding that his dream was to cook French cuisine for the Thai royal family using only produce from Thailand.

Of his latest creations (six savoury dishes and three desserts), which were launched last week and will be available over the next three months, we were first impressed by a terrine-like starter: beef tongue with foie gras Lucullus style (690 baht).

Demonstrating the Michelin-star quality, it featured a nice block of goose liver terrine in neat layers with very thin slices of beef tongue, accompanied by crispy French toast (diners can substitute the thin French toast with buttery and chewy multi-grain toast which I happened to fall in love with).

The chilled terrine proved a scrumptious alliance between the silky foie gras texture and the red meat chewability, as well as the sumptuous sweetness and the pleasantly bitter tang. The dish went wonderfully with a sweet and refreshing white wine from Valckenburg Gewurztraminer (220 baht per glass).

Mango tart with basil lemon sherbet.

Continuing to play up summer deliciously was spider crab salad with jelly of water grass (460 baht). The chilled creamy salad prepared with the naturally sweet meat of hairy crab from Brittany, baby green peas and tiny cubes of celery and potatoes, came underneath a delicate transparent jelly blanket garnished with edible blooms, microgreens and droplets of Sri Racha sauce.

Next up, squid stuffed with chorizo and pequillo sauce (480 baht) presented two grilled cuttlefish with tasty Spanish spicy sausage filling in thick pungent sauce made with sweet bell peppers from Southwest France. The squid tentacles were battered and deep fried to lend a brittle crunch to the supple fare.

Chef Martinez’s blanquette de veau, or old-fashioned veal stew in cream sauce with seasonal veggies (1,150 baht) marvellously represented his aspiration to combine fresh local produce with traditional French comfort food that’s been cherished for centuries.

In a pool of white cream sauce, which was subtly rich in consistency and first-class in taste, two rectangular fillets of veal _ pleasantly chewy and not at all mushy _ were accompanied by a colourful variety of baby root vegetables perfectly cooked to offer a fresh crisp taste and texture. Since the stew didn’t come with a spoon, I guess wiping the delicious cream sauce off the plate with bread wouldn’t be a bad idea. Actually I did, and you should too.

We also sampled a best-selling dish from the regular menu (slightly renewed every four months) and were very pleased. Coming with a tableside cooking demonstration, the beef tartare ‘a la Montmarte’ (780 baht) featured raw Australian beef tenderloin in gourmet hand-cut style seasoned before our eyes with raw egg yolk, mayonnaise, capers, brandy, tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and spices. The fresh seasoning helped perfectly tame the raw mouthfeel yet it didn’t overpower the beef’s naturally flavourful taste.

Ideal for sharing among three or more diners, the raw steak was served on a wooden cutting board with rosemary french fries and intermingled wonderfully with a tiny portion of mesclun salad with truffle-oil infused balsamic dressing.

The sweet endings of the evening were also of Michelin-star standard. Chef Martinez’s rum baba cake with pineapple, passion fruit and champagne sherbet (250 baht) was nice.

But if you’d rather skip an alcohol-based dessert, go for the tete blanche meringue (250 baht), my favourite, which displayed a scrumptious snowball made with white chocolate, whipped cream and cinnamon biscuit on coffee sauce. Or order mango tart with basil lemon sherbet (280 baht), for a crumbly, not-too-sugary French pastry that comes brilliantly with exotic Thai zest.

As a wine bar, Scarlett carries over 150 wine labels plus 10 options of wine by the glass. There is also a complete list of spirits, as well as a nice repertoire of signature and classic cocktails.

Executive chef Sylvian Royer of Scarlett and Manuel Martinez of two-Michelin-star Relais Louis XIII in Paris, who is Scarlett’s consulting chef.

Making dining an art

Published เมษายน 11, 2013 by SoClaimon



Published: 5 Apr 2013 at 00.00

Bangkok will soon be welcoming back three-Michelin-star chef Alain Passard, who will be setting up temporary headquarters at the Sukhothai Hotel to present more of his impressive French home-style cuisine as part of an event called “The Art of Dining”, which is scheduled to run from April 23 to 28.

Three Michelin-star chef Alain Passard.

Born in France into a family of musicians, Passard’s interest in cooking started at an early age while assisting his grandmother in the kitchen. He began his professional career at the age of 14 working at Hostellerie du Lion d’Or in Liffre, Brittany under Michel Kerever and he hasn’t looked back since. He holds the distinction of being the youngest chef ever to obtain two Michelin stars; he was only 26. He earned this honour while working at Le Duc d’Enghien at the casino in Enghien-les-Bains just outside Paris and went on to receive another two Michelin stars while he was doing a stint at the Carlton in Brussels.

In 1986, Passard purchased the three-Michelin-star restaurant L’Archestrate from his former mentor, Alain Senderens, and renamed it L’Arpege. It took only one year for this fine-dining establishment in Paris to earn its first star, then another year to earn its second. In 1996, L’Arpege was awarded a third star by the Guide Michelin and has managed to retain all three ever since.

Apple tart bouquet de roses.

At L’Arpege, Passard works with vegetables, fish, poultry, herbs and spices, capturing the essence of each ingredient by eliminating unnecessary processing steps, highlighting the character of his raw materials and harmonising their individual qualities into a single dish. He ensures the purity of the products he uses by taking care to preserve their original colour, essence and aroma. This delicacy of interpretation is, above all, due to his precise touch. His dedication and success in opening new doors, as expressed in each of his creations, provides a memorable experience for anyone fortunate enough to sample the results of his labours.

At the Sukhothai Hotel’s La Scala, Passard will prepare an exclusive gourmet menu for a wine dinner on April 23, priced at 12,000 baht. From April 24 to 27, he will be offering a special set lunch (4,300 baht; or 6,300 baht with paired wines) and set dinner (8,500 baht; or 11,500 baht with paired wines).

On April 28, he will prepare a Sunday brunch at The Colonnade, priced at 4,000 baht (or 4,500 baht with a glass of Lombard champagne).

Signature Passard delights to be featured in this six-day promotion include: fine beetroot sushi; sweet onion gratin with Parmigiano Reggiano; celerisotto with Savagin wine and sorel; Arlequin of vegetables with Argan oil-flavoured couscous; monkfish with geranium oil, lemon caviar, carrot mousseline and spinach; duck with fig-tree oil, lemon jam and smoked aubergine; red fruit in hibiscus-flavoured soup; and apple tart bouquet de roses.

For reservations, call 02-344-8888 or email promotions@sukhothai.com.

Finding Neverland

Published เมษายน 11, 2013 by SoClaimon


Enter the magical world of wholesome American food at Peter’s Pan

Published: 5 Apr 2013 at 00.00

It’s hard not to imagine whimsical gimmicks when you hear of a restaurant named Peter’s Pan. We think of waitresses dressed in Tinker Bell costumes, Captain Hook using his signature hand to spear meat, and those who try to dine and dash being made to walk the plank.

If you’re like Peter Pan and refuse to grow up, your inner child may be disappointed that the newly opened Peter’s Pan doesn’t stay true to the elements of the story. Fortunately, grown people with a special liking to steaks and other wholesome American dishes should find the place to be a culinary adventure.

The restaurant officially opened at its new location at lifestyle complex Mille Malle in the beginning of March but it has actually been around since 1993, priding itself as one of the best steakhouses in Bangkok.

Surf & turf

Although the decor of Peter’s Pan isn’t fashioned after Neverland, you will be quite amazed once you step inside. It oozes eclectic taste and comes across as a study hall/art gallery/dining room of an avid traveller who flies first class. Ancient artefacts including Khmer deities, Buddha statues from the Sukhothai era and Chinese figurines are put on display to show their timeless glory. The main dining area also features a small library with National Geographic magazines.

Girls, if a man treats you to a meal here at this kind of pricing, it means he really, really likes you. Also, given the generous portions, it can be a place to bond between friends since you’re likely to have to unite to finish the big dishes.

Foie gras (B450; prices subject to tax and service charge) would be pan-fried to almost perfection if the outside was a little crispier. The oily sensation of duck liver may be too much for some but can be balanced with the side of red cabbage, raisins and ripe mango.

Norfolk seafood platter (B1,950) is grandiose in terms of both presentation and flavours. Plump and juicy scallop goes great with spicy melted butter that bubbles away in a small aromatherapy lamp. The tasty tiger prawn unleashes some smoky flavour. Bros, you can be a hero and come to your lady’s rescue by cracking open the Alaskan crab arm for her.

You may have to summon the strength of everyone at the table to defeat Roasted prime rib (B1,500). However it’s a delicious struggle. The 330g grain-fed prime rib is served au jus (that’s fancy talk for “with its own juice”) for additional flavour. There’s also hidden treasure on this meat island in the form of chewy tendon. This dish is available on Fridays and Saturdays only as of now.

Lamb shank (B470) lavishes your palate. The aromatic and tender meat easily comes off the bone with a gentle fork poke.

Surf & turf (B1,800) is a gargantuan duet of 500g Maine lobster and 330g tenderloin black angus beef that you can really sink your teeth into. The thick beef should give your stomach a juicy workout.

Pan-fried US cod loin (B800) offers two chunky fillets of the mild-tasting fish. The firm flesh is a nice canvas for tasty hollandaise sauce. The side of white asparagus almost melts in your mouth.

Peter’s Pan is serious about giving you a wholesome sit-up dining experience where you can’t help but appreciate the size of dishes and its tons of flavours. Pricing here may feel like paying a fee to enter a real-life Neverland but Peter’s Pan offers more bang for your baht with its epic portions. With great taste, interesting ambience and convenient location, Peter’s Pan works well on many levels, no fairy dust necessary.G

Peter’s Pan Roasted Prime Ribs & Steaks American

11am-2pm, 5-11pm 2/F, Mille Malle, 66/4 Sukhumvit Soi 20 02-663-4560-1 www.peters-pan.com,facebook.com/ Peterpansbkk

Norfolk seafood platter

Going Green

Published เมษายน 11, 2013 by SoClaimon


By creating environmentally friendly stores, Starbucks is trying to encourage other businesses to do the same

Published: 3 Apr 2013 at 00.00

Who said that a green building that has sustainable and effective energy features must belong to massive office complex? A compact store can also become a high-performance building that has less impact on the environment, is healthier to people who use the building, and is more effective to the operation if the owner has committed to implementing thoughtful design and green construction with a careful selection of highly effective materials. With a strong green commitment combined with a concrete effort, the project is able to successfully achieve an international rating.

Starbucks at Porto Chino’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) gold award for retail commercial interiors section has provided a striking illustration of that.

It’s the first store in Asia to obtain the award, which is the second highest level of recognition for green construction certified by the US-based Green Building Council, an independent environmental rating agency. Award levels are certified, silver, gold and platinum.

“We want to do the best we can to lessen the negative impact on the environment, and to give back to the community. It’s the right thing to do,” said Murray Darling, Starbucks Thailand managing director.

Carbon dioxide sensor.

“We are happy doing this. The building is designed and operated in a way that is environmentally friendly. Our store uses a daylight control system for appropriate lighting during daytime. The furniture we have in our store is made from coffee grounds. We use paint and an air conditioning system that is much better to the environment and people in the store.”

Project consultant Kanapapha Akapha who is green building manager of SCG’s Home Solution Business Division said the store was completely developed from scratch in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner in order to measure up to green building standards.

Inside and outside, the store, she continued, has incorporated comprehensive sustainability programmes and green strategies through site selection benefits, water consumption reduction, energy reduction, construction waste management, regionally sourced and recycled materials, and design for a healthy interior environment.

One of the store’s striking sustainable features is the construction of a green roof that helps reduce urban heat island effects, and improves energy efficiency and control temperature.

The reason behind the decision to choose Porto Chino on Rama II Road to establish the store, according to Thanasak Kulrattanarak, business development director of Starbucks Coffee (Thailand), is because the neighbourhood provides community connectivity and alternative transportation options. This is in line with the requirements for application of the certification.

“The locale gives easy access to mass transit and that can encourage customers to use public transportation; reduce use of personal cars. And they can use bikes to get around. This then helps reduce the emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said Thanasak.

Coffee grounds are given away to customers as they serve as natural fertiliser for plants. They help the store make the most of their material and reduce waste.

Today, the company has five Leed-certified stores in Thailand, and the Porto Chino store is the latest to receive the award, while more than 10 stores are registered with Leed for future certification.

“We wish to implement a high rating system to our stores, but many of them have limitations on locations. For example, we cannot bring fresh air to our stores that are located in department stores,” said Thanasak.

The adopted standards have provided the stores with a wide range of positive outcomes and added value. For instance, by using more efficient electrical, lighting and heating and air-conditioning systems, as well as water-effective fixtures and other green building materials, the certified stores, according to Thanasak, use 30% less energy and 60% less water than the Leed baseline.

As part of its waste-management plan, the certified stores also expect to achieve the use of 100% recycled cups by 2015.

Promoting health and well-being of customers and its employees is also part of the store’s sustainable effort. To achieve the goal, the store at Porto Chino, for example, has a Co2 sensor and utilises water-based paint with low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) materials in order to ensure that the occupants feel comfortable as possible.

“In a closed room, people take oxygen out of the air through their breathing and give out carbon dioxide. The sensor is used to inspect and control of the level of Co2 in the store if the quantity of the greenhouse gas exceeds the standard level,” Kanapapha explained.

The implementation of Leed certification is not only the company’s goal to reduce negative impact on the environment, but the company believes that it has a responsibility to be an example to the retail industry as general.

“By doing these activities, we give the environment space,” said managing director. “We are striving to improve our performance and encourage everybody else to do the same, because that’s a great thing to do for the environment. Not just here in Thailand, but across Asia and around the world.”

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