Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bann Klang Nam: a Thai Family Restaurant

While America has Denny's as its premier family dining restaurant, Thailand has Bann Klang Nam (roughly translated to "House in the Middle of the Water"), and with it's "II" prefix, its a chain which caters to families and small parties.

Serving a range of typical Thai food and some seafood, it also offers a few Japanese sashimi and sushi dishes just in case you wanted something different. The Rama III branch is often jam packed during the weekends, and reservations are necessary to get a table beside the river.

Prices are quite reasonable, and you could easily get a decent meal for two people for under 600 baht (US 16 dollars). In the picture below, we've ordered green curry, fried shrimp patties served with sweet plum sauce, stir fried vegetables as well as Kang Kai Cha Om, or Curry with Scrambled egg. All very typical fare, but filling and good.

Menus are also available in English, and this place has been named one of the best restaurants in Thailand Tatler in 2006, so you can't go wrong. Parking is a bit skimpy, so make sure to arrive early.

Call ahead for reservations: http://www.baanklangnam.net/

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Red Wings Korean Chicken

Hungry for fried chicken, Adam and I decided to try Red Wings Fried Chicken in the Western Addition/Nopa area of San Francisco which is actually fairly close to our neighborhood. The chicken was amazing, but a little pricey. It tasted like they use mostly thigh meat, as the chicken was super tender.

Although not really wings, a half order of the fried chicken is 8.50 USD, whereas the grilled versions run between 11-15 USD.

Complimentary pickles and radishes are also served at the beginning of the meal and on the side with the fried chicken specials.

1 Large OB beer (enough for two people)
Complimentary pickle and radish
Half order fried chicken
Full order grilled chicken

Total: 38 USD after tax and tip

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Flash Summit "Free" Lunch

I am always fascinated by things like subsidized or "free" food. This past week was the annual Game Developer's Conference and I attended the Flash Summit. The lunch box included a bag of Sun Chips, a turkey sandwich with a cranberry relish, 1/4 cup of pasta salad, 1/4 cup of caprese salad that tasted like rancid olive oil, a fuji apple, and a cookie. The food was ok, but I had to remove the top half of the bun on my sandwich because it was so thick. Gross!

Flash Summit sub-par "bento" lunch: included in 175.00 USD ticket to conference, paid by my company

Monday, March 7, 2011

Un-Kraft Your Life with this Giant Block of Turkish Feta

  by pintobean
a photo by pintobean on Flickr.

Most of my shopping is not done at large supermarkets such as Safeway or Albertson's or Kroger's etc (GASP!), instead I usually hit up the local delis and markets in my neighborhood, mostly out of laziness since they are only a few blocks away. My last post demonstrated what a great deal I can get on extremely high-quality smoked salmon. Keeping an open mind on what to eat, and trying substitutions in my diet, has allowed me to come across some very delicious edibles that often end up being healthier choices.

Speaking of diet, the amount of dairy I eat only proves my Western-ness, but at least I can add a little culture (hehehe, get it?) with an alternative to those giant bricks of unnaturally orange extra sharp cheddar. This 17.65 oz tub of feta cheese costs 5.99 USD before tax. Surprisingly soft, I have been spreading it on toast, crumbling on salads, and using it as an alternative to cream cheese and ricotta. This giant tub comes all the way to the US from Turkey, and is actually a cow's milk feta. That means it is extremely unsustainable if you are a localvore, but totally awesome if you are worn out on spreadable cheeses from (achem) Kraft Foods. Thus successfully convincing myself that imported Turkish cheese is harmless, I will continue to relish in this crumbly brick of white deliciousness.... sometimes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

According to the packaging, this block contains ~ 16 servings of cheese, thus, here is my breakdown:

ULKER White Feta:
5.99 USD a tub
.33 USD / oz
.37 USD a serving
~70 calories an oz ;)

Dusit Thani Greek Salad

The Dusit Thani makes an excellent hearty salad, and their Greek salad is stuffed with so much that it can easily be a fulfilling meal.

By Karn G. Bulsuk

Price: 260 baht (plus 7% VAT and 10% Service Charge)

The Greek Salad here is stuffed with plenty of thick chunks of cheese, in addition to crispy romaine lettuce, bell peppers, pickled olives, red onions and fresh rosy tomatoes. It's served in a fried dough/cracker bowl, which is edible and tastes quite good, and topped off with a hearty vinaigrette.

The salad is an excellent meal on its own, and with pizza, proved to be an excellent end to the day.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Pieces of a Better (and Cheaper) Fishy Breakfast

  by pintobean
a photo by pintobean on Flickr.

My car was due for some new tires and the tire shop is right by a branch of the famous San Franciscan Boudin bakery. I decided to grab a baguette this morning and on the walk home I picked up some protein to go with the bread: smoked salmon sold by the pound at our local Russian deli, yum!

Baguette: 2.35 USD after tax
Smoked Salmon: 5.07 USD for .39 lbs (yup that is 13 dollars a pound, but who eats a pound of smoked salmon?)

My boyfriend and I made a fancy breakfast of lox and delicious bread that would have cost at least twice as much, for about half as much salmon, if we had gone out to a local brunch place. Plus, we still have half the baguette left. Who wants a Nutella and baguette snack this afternoon?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Bim Bap at Kosirae

Bim Bap with Beef
Kosirae, Sukhumvit Soi 55, Bangkok, Thailand
Price: 300 baht (US $9.73)
By Karn G. Bulsuk

Like other major metropolitian cities, Bangkok has its fair share of ethnic restaurants run and own by the original creators of the food. There is sizeable Korean population in Bangkok and with it comes excellent Korean food.

Located just off Sukhumvit 55 (Soi Thong Lo) and accessible by the BTS Skytrain, Kosirae is owned and run by a Korean family, offering both a la carte and a 290 baht Korean barbecue pork buffet. Having come for the highly recommended buffet before in which they use hot coals to power your stove, I wanted to try out the a la carte menu as well.

I ordered the Bim Bap with beef (300 baht or US $9.73), which is basically served in a piping hot stone bowl with raw beef on top. You would then stir the beef and mix it with the rice, in which it will quickly cook and become well done, given the immense heat of the stone bowl. An hour later, the bowl was still warm. The rice itself also comes mixed with flavourings as well as fresh mountain vegetables.

As part of the set, you also receive a set of nine side dishes which you can ask to be refilled as many times as you want. These side dishes include kimchi, fruit salad and very delicious spinach, which is crispy and has a very distinct flavour. The side dishes themselves are very tasty and almost constitute a meal in itself. 
The bim bap was scrumptious and came with a bowl of soup, which helped to counter the stronger and spicy taste of the side dishes.

It's an experience, but the price of the bim bap is rather expensive, given that its 10 baht more than the buffet. That said, it's trying to understand the taste of Korean food, but I would probably come back for the buffet next time.