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  • LIFESTYLE

    Mother knows best

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 01/11/2013

    » One of Bangkok's real culinary pleasures is the experience of stepping into an unremarkable-looking little food shop and finding a dish that is done really well. Food-alert types will know that this is something that happens much less frequently these days than it once did, but most will have a mental shortlist of little places that rarely disappoint, perfect for inviting special friends for impromptu informal meals.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Pure and simple

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 04/10/2013

    » Nowadays you have to be ready to do some serious detective work to find a restaurant where standard Thai dishes are cooked in a way that discerning Thais of earlier generations won't shrug off.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Flavours of yesteryear

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 24/05/2013

    » They still do exist, you know: real raan khao gaeng _ curry shops _ where the cook pounds the nam prik personally and takes the time to squeeze genuine, fresh coconut cream, separating it into the hua (first pressing) and the haang, instead of opening a container of dairy milk or (in hanging-offence cases) a can of evaporated milk.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Savours of the South

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 07/06/2013

    » Bangkok's Chinatown is so dense with good places to eat that a committed foodie could spend years exploring the neighbourhood. As happens so often in this city of ours, an inverse relationship can exist between the outward appearance of a restaurant and the quality of the food inside.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Obscure objects of desire

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 19/04/2013

    » If there is such a thing as a culinary endangered species, a type of dining establishment that occupies the same doomed territory as the Asian golden cat, the bumblebee bat and the Javan rhino, it is probably the small, informal restaurant, owned and operated by the same family for many years, where exceptional food is prepared using personal recipes that have been polished to perfection over time.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Off the eaten track

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 15/03/2013

    » You can usually be sure of a good meal if you're being taken to a restaurant you've never tried before by a friend who knows what you like. A recommendation from a co-worker with reliable foodie instincts will also generally lead to good things. But there's a lot to be said for playing it less safe, heading into unknown territory for a meal at a restaurant you've chosen just because you like the look of it.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Feeding the 5,000

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 25/01/2013

    » There are certain restaurants where the point of the dining experience has less to do with satisfying food than with the overall experience that the establishment delivers. At one end of the spectrum for this kind of place are the "molecular cooking" dining rooms like the late, lamented El Bulli in Spain or, locally, our own Sra Bua where, for a considerable price, one can have the pleasure of conversing with table companions through clouds of vapourising liquid nitrogen while sampling surreal culinary creations, served in dainty portions, in which exquisiteness stands in for more substantial virtues.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Coming on strong

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 16/11/2012

    » Last weekend a shared craving for Isan food sent Ung-aang Talay and some friends to Lat Phrao Soi 101, where there is a branch of the Tam Mua restaurant that had impressed a food-alert neighbour of U-a T's strongly enough to inspire him to mention it twice. It turned out to be an appealingly informal place with customers seated on square stools rather than chairs, simple decor, and the the kind of relaxed atmosphere amenable to long sessions of eating and talking.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Arather mixed bag

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 30/11/2012

    » A food-alert friend of Ung-aang Talay's recently recommended a restaurant in the Silom area, mentioning that it was related to the Sukhumvit-based Baan Khanitha, whose kitchen has been attracting loyal customers for many years with excellent curries and nam prik dishes, and with its signature multi-coloured rice. As a regular at Baan Khanitha back in its early days on Sukhumvit Soi 11, U-a T's curiosity was aroused, and a group supper planned for last week seemed like a good opportunity to give the place a try.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Fruit of the egg

    Life, Ung-Aang Talay, Published on 05/10/2012

    » There was a time when the Bangkok weekend market was held at Sanam Luang rather than at Chatuchak, and those who remember it as it was then will recall that it had a character very different from now. The tourism frenzy that began in the late 1980s was still many years off, and the great majority of the people who went to Sanam Luang to browse the market were Bangkok locals. It would have been unusual to spend a couple of hours meandering around there without running into someone you knew.

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