Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back In Bangkok


Another reason for my latest Bangkok trip was to meet my friends Ace and Rey for their annual birthday bash. We were supposed to travel and celebrate it in Hanoi but due to conflicting schedules we had to cancel it and settle for the next best thing: meet in Bangkok. I was also there for some sourcing with Tita Jaki and also meet Miguel and Bo.

I was with Tita Jaki for most of the morning and afternoon as she was in Bangkok for a limited time. I wanted to finish our business schedule as planned because I needed time to prepare to change for the intimate birthday bash of Ace and Rey in the evening. Tita Jaki also had plans with her family for dinner so we were really efficient with our sourcing. I even had time to have an early dinner with her.

Fashion Diary: top and bottom - DP, shoes - Timberland, bag - Plantation Issey Miyake

I love my bag. I got it in Phnom Penh in Sakura, a Japanese thrift store. I was looking at the belt section and it was hanging there. When laid flat it's sorta looks like a wide canvas belt but with the pleated part expanded it becomes a roomy vessel.

I saw this window display at ZEN and it looks cool.

I had an early dinner with Tita Jaki at Platinum Mall's food court. As expected I ordered my favorite somtam with salted eggs and rice noodles with assorted seafood balls and fish.

I rushed to dress up and picked up Bo and Miguel with Julius. They were staying quite near Julius' apartment so it was easy for us to pass by there. Actually, their hotel was at the back of Dean&Deluca where I prefer to hang-out when I'm in Bangkok now. We just then took the BTS to the Centara Grand Hotel where the birthday party was.

This is the view from Red Sky on top of the Centara Grand Hotel. Lovely!

The cast: Gibo, who flew in that day; Ace, the birthday boy from San Francisco; moi; and Bo...

Miguel, Julius, Rey, the other birthday boy, and Kawadjan, who owns some of these pictures that I've stolen. Thanks dear!

Minus Miguel and Bo, we've all met through blogging. I first met Gibo and Kawadjan in Luang Prabang so if you back track a bit (since I'm lazy to find the link) you will see the photoshoot we did there. Last year I had a fab vacation in Bali and Phuket with Ace, Rey, Kawadjan, Julius and Mike. Too bad Mike couldn't come for this one because of previous commitments (or me thinks maarte lang talaga sya! hehehe). Well, anyway, we had an empty chair just for Mike at dinner so he is there with us in spirit.

Apres, we had drinks at DJ and went to Noodie House for some after-after-party noodles. Highlight of the evening was Kawadjan scoring a Emporio Armani jacket from Rey, a Bo Parcon jacket from Bo AND a 'Puey Quinones for Danzen' jacket from Miguel! Julius had to settle for a Hugo Boss tie from Rey. Let me just say, in the spirit of full diclosure, that Ace made a disappearing act. I'll leave the answer to your imagination.

I wore this for the birthday dinner: top - DP half jacket + Y's Yohji Yamamoto tank + DP top, bottom - DP pants, shoes - vintage, bag - Y'saacs.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back In Bangkok


Early March I was in Bangkok again. It seems like Siem Reap is my 'countryside' and Bangkok is my 'city'. Dean&Deluca is my usual first pit stop for some nourishment and wiFi connection. Unlike Siem Reap where most establishments, especially coffee shops, have free internet, Bangkok seems to be lagging behind such concept. It's not very tourist friendly on that point. Kudos to D&D for thinking of their customers that's why I've spent a lot of my food allowance there. And the food is delish, too!

The schedule for the evening was a birthday dinner celebration with Rex. He wanted to treat me for his birthday since I can't go with them to the beach extravaganza he will host for his dearest friends. I'm so bummed I'm missing it because it's also the opening of ARTillery in Phnom Penh. Aside from me he also invited Julius.

Doesn't my vintage Jean Paul Gaultier bag look cool? I found it in the Japanese thrift store in Siem Reap. I was so stoked plus they also gave me 50% discount! So happy with this find because the style is so me.

This was my look for dinner: a Leelo top with a Muji tank under, Muji pants, Timberland shoes and Jean Paul Gaultier bag.

It's not so obvious but the back of my Leelo top is a sheer chiffon with a fold detail. I needed to wear a tank inside because it was too scandalous to wear without.

Dear Rex, one of Bangkok's host with the mostest, brought us to DID at the Ascott.

Basically, it's dining in the dark. Before we entered we made sure to go to the toilet first because it would have been cumbersome to enter and excuse yourself for a wee wee. We proceeded by choosing our food preference, mainly, key words like International, Thai, etc. Of course, it was Vegetarian for me. You'll never know what will you get. Even the drinks have codes like Sweet/Sour or Bubbly/Light. We were asked to leave our celphones and camera at the reception area. They placed it inside a box and locked it. I was the keeper of the key. There was a ritualistic factor to the whole affair. The experience was exciting!

Apres, a blind waiter guided us to our table and carefully explained our seating and arrangements on the table. As I expected from any fine dining establishment there was a bag hook under the table. I was toting a huge bag so I need that. Inside it was completely dark. When I entered I was a bit claustrophobic at first but slowly calmed down when I adjusted to the place. I sensed it was spacious and well organized. It smelled great, too. You have to assured that it's clean because you can't see what you're eating, right?

It's a three course meal and its started with a salad for me. I tasted blue cheese in the sauce along with the usual salad components. It was delish!

After dinner they showed me the salad. It looked pretty!

For the main it was a composition of ratatouie on top of crispy noodles with grilled Portobello mushrooms and shoe string potato. Yumminess!

The desserts was vanilla ice cream, melted chocolate, candied fruits and banana spring rolls with jackfruit jam.

To add excitement to our dramatic dinner, Julius scolded a rowdy group of people in the restaurant. Talk about scene stealer, LOL! Until now I can't help but giggle when I think of the incident. I'm pretty sure we'll be talking about it for years to come.

A little souvenir shot at DID.

I designed a special tee for Rex as a birthday gift. Julius also ordered a jacket for him from me. He also bought one of my tees, so that night he got 3 DP's instantly!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Square 24

I was going to Bangkok for Loven's birthday so I decided to fete him at Square 24 with Faith. I haven't tried this resto before despite it being open for a year or so. Just goes to show I have been lazy and usually head to my default dining faves like Moloppor or The Indian.

It was fully booked when I arrived but kudos to the staff for accommodating a table for us, which made it even special.

The owner of the place, a friendly Khmer French gentleman, chatted with us and I learned he had a working stint in the Philippines prior to setting up his place. He worked with some of the best hotels so I really expected to be impressed with their food and service.

I started with a potent Margarita and some amazingly herb fragrant chips.

I also tried their Pina Colada and it was velvety smooth.

We skipped starters because we had enough of the chips. I ordered steamed fish on a bed of stir-fried garden vegetable and flat noodles. It had 4 dipping sauces: a Kampot pepper with lime sauce, a peanut sauce, a sweet chilli sauce and a lemon garlic sauce. The fish was cooked to perfection and I really love the different sauces to go with it. My fave was the Kampot pepper. I liked how a simple Cambodian dish was elevated into something you can serve in a fine dining restaurant.

My only complain though was how it was plated. I would have wanted it in a bigger vessel since their generous portions were overflowing from the plate. It would have been easier to take a piece of the fish and put a little bit of my chosen sauce without mixing it all. But it's a minor concern and I still totally enjoyed my meal.

Loven ordered Fish Medallions and I got to taste it. The flavors were exploding in my mouth and I will order this the next time I come back there. I really thought it was beautifully plated. There was a mushroom salad to go with it and it complimented the textured of the fried fish.

Faith had this chicken dish with a tomato capers salsa.

Apres, we had desserts at Swensen and I had my favorite Celebrity Brownie.

Le Look

At Kampot: Another Place tee, DP pants, DM's and ArtBerg bag.

At Kep: Another Place tee, Muji pants, DM's, vinyl cap, Van's shades and ArtBerg bag.

It's basically the same style in different colors and a bit styling. I've come to realize that I like these kind of clothing to wear because it's comfortable. I've gotten lazy to think of my outfits everyday that I revert to default easy mode especially when I travel. I'm always stocking up on cotton tees from Another Place, Seven Heaven and Divided because it's just so easy to wear. If I can afford it I buy Margiela AIDS tee whenever I can. Dropcrotch pants have been essential in my uniform, too. I reserve the special ones from Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto for special events. On regular days I have my own design and also pieces from Muji and other basic labels. Comfy chic is my style direction for myself.

Kampot And Kep

Went to Kampot with my friends for Oscar's birthday bash. The party was fun but I didn't take any photos at all! That is very weird of me. I guess, I was just too relaxed to whip out my camera phone.

On this trip, I got to read the second installment of Zsazsa Zaturnnah and I was terribly disappointed. I don't understand why I didn't find it as well crafted as the first one. I'm hoping the next chapters would go back to the Pinoy humor and campy style. Napaka-serious mode naman nitong bagong issue.

I had a lovely breakfast the next morning. The mangoes were so sweet!

From Kampot we drove to Kep. This is the port going to Rabbit Island which I plan to explore next time I'm in Kep.

There is something magical about this place for me.

We had lunch at the Crabs Market. I really enjoyed this shrimps with Kampot pepper.

We also had grilled fish and squid. OMG! My mouth is watering thinking of those squid.

At the Sailing Club with Eng, Nod, Digard, Henny and Toefi.

Also with Doc Vic, Oak, Dave and Romyr.

We also checked out Knai Bang Chatt. I stayed there before and fell in love with the place.

Rural Dining

One of my most memorable lunch! We went to Vani's house in the farm and had lunch there together with my friends from church. Fresh air, natural food and awesome view! What more could you ask for?

I think I had like 6 pieces of fresh coconut.

We had snapper in a sour soup and stir fried kang kong.

Grilled snapper.

Snapper in tamarind sauce.

And fried snapper. I had an overload of fish. I was very happy with the food.

There were some grilled chicken, too!

It was so much fun! Vani is the guy wearing a blue shirt.

Annual Giant Puppet Parade