Photo of the day: View from the Sky Bar. Photo credit: Aaron.
We decided last night we needed a more quiet day today, given the last few days have been pretty intense. It actually worked out because I woke up with a tickle in my throat and some post nasal drip. Could it be? Could I be sick again? Only time will tell. I decided not to join Aaron in his morning jog at Lumphini Park today, which he quite enjoyed. He even caught a glimpse of a lizard at the park, which we’ve previously read about.
I figured I probably shouldn’t just roll up in a ball in bed all day, so I got up and started doing research again. I found a traditional Thai-Chinese coffee shop, Easee Coffee Shop, really close to where we were staying, so we headed there for some coffee and toast! We saw a traditional looking stop with a bunch of older men just hanging out, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper and we knew we were at the right place! Aaron had the black coffee and I had the coffee with milk. We forgot to ask for no sugar for Aaron’s coffee and of course, it came super sweetened. I enjoyed my coffee though, although remember to stir well because by the time I got to the bottom, it was all condensed milk. Of course the experience is not complete without the toast. We chose the one with sugar and another with kaya. I was surprised the kaya was green and not the usual orange I’m used to. Dipped in coffee, both were really good, but we preferred the sugar one more. It also brings back good childhood memories.
With all this sugar in our system, we needed something salty, so we headed to another nearby recommended place, called Nai-Ek Roll Noodles for some good roll noodles. There was a line but it moved very quickly and we got a seat in less than 10 minutes. I had the Kuay Jab (rolled noodles) and Aaron got the “crispy pork with rice”. As expected the broth was very peppery, perhaps to offset the taste of the the various pig offals, but I added a little too much chilli flakes and it got really spicy. The noodles itself was pretty unique, as they are just literally rolled up flour. Aaron’s roasted pork dish was very delicious, with this nicely sweet sauce and we both would choose that over the rolled noodles if we were to come here again.
Aaron wanted to check out another part of town, apparently where a lot of expats are. It definitely looked more spacious and modern compared to Chinatown. I noticed a lot of Japanese writing on the store signs here, making me wonder if there are a lot Japanese expats in this area. They were also advertising for condo sales throughout this area. The price ranges from 100,000 CAD to 2 million CAD! I guess you can get luxury condos everywhere, even in Thailand. The co-working place Aaron was looking into was in a really nice complex with various business, such as a nail and blow dry bar, a paint bar, a Vietnamese restaurant (!!), as well as many coffee shops. Hive was a modern all-in-one co-working space, spa and rooftop bar. With the day pass at 350 baht (~$13 CAD) per person, we figured it makes more sense to just hang out at one of the equally chic coffee shops in the plaza. We chose Rocket Cafe. They had a nice second floor with very comfortable sofas and soft music. We pulled out our laptop/iPad, ordered some coffee and tea and got to work. We ended up ordering their really delicious carbonara as well, since we got little hungry.
We noticed it was almost sunset and our plan was to go to check out the Sky Bar, supposedly the second tallest building in Bangkok with the “highest open-air bar” accordinging to Wikipedia. We needed to go home to change since they had a strict dress code. Once we arrived at the State Tower, we were greeted and guided up to the 64th floor, and we presented with a menu showing only $50+ drinks! I was like what is going on? Aaron asked if there was another bar and they pointed to a bar one level down where I saw a crowd of people gathered around a platform overlooking the city. As soon as we arrived, we were given another menu with more reasonable, but still overly inflated prices. We ordered 2 drinks then enjoyed the gorgeous view of the city with the river flowing through. It got a bit awkward since there was so many people trying to get a nice view plus there was really no where to really sit or even rest your glass while appreciating the view, so we left pretty soon after.
We then walked to the water taxi station to try to get across the river for dinner. We followed some sign to a pier but eventually decided to ask someone just to make sure. It’s good that we did because it wasn’t where we needed to be. We had to walk further. We found the correct pier and noticed there was also cruise boat tickets on sale there as well. We saw multiple cruise boats with bright lights, loud music and lots of people on board.
The water taxi was a quick 5-10 minute ride across and we were at the restaurant – The Never Ending Summer. Apparently it is owned by an architect. The complex was really cool with a furniture store, coffee shop, an office and this restaurant. We picked a nice table outside to get a view of the river and then started with some cocktails while reviewing their extensive menu. We narrowed it down to their spicy duck salad, grilled pork collar and soft-shelled crab and egg curry. Of course we ordered some rice to go along with all that. First came the grilled pork collar. It was like a very refined version of the pork in Bun Thit Nuong. The taste is very similar but the cut of meat is different. The sauce that came along with it also tasted a lot like Nuoc Mam. Then came the crab curry. I am usually not a crab fan because of all the work involved in getting to the meat. Soft-shelled crab is my kind of crab because I can just eat everything. It worked very well with the creamy curry and was the highlight of the meal for me. Next came the duck salad. It was too salty for me and there were too many flavours involved. I usually love duck but I could not taste the duck in all of this. It was refreshing to have some raw vegetables along with this but it was not enough to offset the strong tastes. We found it a bit strange that our rice did not come yet. This was not the first time it happened to us in Asia. We noticed that happening in Vietnam too. It was very odd as I thought most Asian countries like to pair their food with rice or noodles. We asked again and our rice came, which of course worked very well with all the dishes, especially the curry. The total cost of this meal was about ~$100 CAD, which is quite pricey for Asia standards, but given the quality of food and the location and decor, we would most probably be paying double or more in Canada. Plus we might not even be able to get this type of food there at all. Overall, a pretty relaxing day enjoying a different, more luxurious side of Bangkok.