Bangkok, February 2007
Part I

After January

February 1-10, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Ever wonder where these things come from?

Friday, February 2, 2007

Now for something different in the way of food.

A local entrepreneur has started a delivery at home service that taps into the menus of 55 different Bangkok restaurants. The A to Z approach covers everything from American to Zambian. OK, I lied. It stops at Vietnamese. But, it does hit food from 21 different nationalities, including a Danish and a Brazilian restaurant.

For starters we are going to start at the beginning: American. In particular a meal from the GREAT AMERICAN RIB on Sukhumvit Soi 36. The dish: "Whole Feast - Serves 4 - 5 persons. Includes a full rack of ribs, a whole 'Butt Kickin' chicken, 1 pound of 'pulled pork', pepper coated 'Pastramied' pork tenderloin, BQQ beans, coleslaw, and curly fries."

It should be here in about 30 minutes, if their advertisement is to be believed.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The rib rack was excellent as was the pulled pork ... both had a nice smoked BBQ flavour. The 'kickin' chicken was very good ... nice seasoning. Buffalo wings: as expected. Cole slaw: fresh and tasty. The salad was not very good ... it did not travel well. Baked beans: super. Mashed potato: ????. Curly fries: weak.

Most of the portions were very large.

Would I order from Food by Phone again? Yes. Next time I'll try one of the Thai or Italian restaurants.

The courses were very well packaged so they easily survived the motorcycle journey during Bangkok's notorious rush hour.

Last night's delivery took 10 minutes over the hour promised ... but, to be fair this was the first time that they had delivered to our building.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Murder most foul ... or, just sleeping it off?

Anyway, long time readers will recognize this place as Nana Zero...the point where Sukhumvit and Phloenchit meet. Also, it was the former location of one of Mr. Ben's law offices.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Blurry vision from the Zeta bar at the Millennium Hilton: or, how sometimes auto-focus just doesn't work the way it should.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Glass reaches to the 23rd floor.

Reader M. Quinland from Spokane, WA writes: "This is just a little bit more exciting than watching paint dry".

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Eating at home alone. Easy to make. Hard to clean (*).

(*) Left dishes in sink1.

1 Wife unhappy.

Thursday, February 8, 2007 (Pre-journal)


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcranium". Bushcranium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311. These particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

The symbol for Bushcranium is "W".

Bushcranium's mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various elements in the environment and become assistant deputy morons in the Bushcranium molecule, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcranium is formed whenever morons reach a certain level of concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass". When catalyzed with money, Bushcranium activates Foxnewsium, an element that radiates orders of magnitude more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has half as many peons as it does morons.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


The next time you are driving on the road next to one of these trucks, think about the attached photographs.

Friday, February 9, 2007

BANGKOK, Thailand (Reuters) -- A $29,000-a-head gourmet dinner in Bangkok is making some Thais feel a bit sick.

Fifteen international high-rollers from the world of real estate, casinos and shipping have already booked seats for Saturday's black-tie dinner, which comes with a price tag of 1 million baht ($29,240) -- plus 17 percent service and tax.

Michelin three-star chef Antoine Westerman from France prepares his specialties for lunch at the Mezzaluna restaurant in Bangkok, Thursday.

"It's an absolute waste of money," said 48-year-old Sommai Promjan, who makes a living selling ice-cream from a street cart near the neoclassical State Tower that will host the event.

"You could buy a house with that."

Organizers of "Epicurean Masters of the World II", designed to promote Thailand as a destination for the mega-rich with profits going to charity, are not naming their guests.

Six three-star Michelin chefs from France, Germany and Italy, and some of the world's finest wines, were flown in specially for the 11-course extravaganza at the rooftop Mezzaluna restaurant.

However, locals think the gourmets are being taken for a ride, saying everybody knows the best food in Thailand costs just 30 baht and is cooked in a wok welded to a street cart and served at a fold-up metal table on the pavement.

"It's all the same. Chicken is still chicken, pork is still pork. They may have lobster, but we have prawns," said Pornpilai Chareonsimaporn, who runs an eatery in State Tower's shadow.

"The only thing they're paying for is some fancy table decorations," the 42-year-old said, ladling out helpings of spicy green curry onto a plate of steamed rice.

Mezzaluna manager Deepak Ohri defended the all-European menu and said it was impossible to start making price comparisons.

"We are not selling a meal -- we are selling the whole experience. You cannot put a value on the experience," he said.

However, many locals are unhappy, especially because of the dinner's apparent clash with the philosophy of moderation espoused by revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej which the leaders of last year's coup against billionaire Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra promote heavily.

To counter such criticism, Ohri said all profits from the dinner would be going to Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Chaipattana Foundation -- a rural development charity set up by the king to promote his "sufficiency economy" way of life.

That 1 million baht, 11-course menu in full:

  1. Creme brulee of foie gras with Tonga beans
    1990 Louis Roederer Cristal
  2. Tartar of Kobe beef with Imperial Beluga caviar and Belon oyster
    1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil
  3. Mousseline of "pattes rouges" crayfish with morel infusion
    2000 Corton Charlemagne
  4. "Tarte Fine" with scallops and black truffle
    1996 Le Montrachet
  5. Britanny lobster "Osso Bucco"
    1985 Romanee Conti
  6. Risotto with white Alba truffles "Enoteca Pinchiorri"
    1961 Chateau Palmer
  7. Saddle of lamb "Leonel"
    1959 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
  8. Sorbet "Dom Perignon"
  9. Supreme of pigeon en croute with Perigord truffles
    1961 Chateau Haut Brion
  10. 1955 Chateau Latour
    Selection of fine cheeses
  11. Imperial gingerbread pyramid with caramel and salted butter ice-cream
    1967 Chateau d'Yquem

In striking contrast to the food about to be dished up at the State Tower my favorite soi-food stall offers a complete meal for 60 baht (less than $2). And, all courses are accompanied by Chang beer for only an additional 20 baht.

Saturday, February, 10, 2007

A wild Saturday night at River Garden: pizza and karaoke.





Next: Part II

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