Most countries have an iconic chef, one who is familiar to every person on the street. The UK has Jamie Oliver (Sorry Gordon), France has Joel Robuchon aand Thailand has now……..well, the iron chefs. British food is undergoing a resurgence, as French food is with the new generation of ‘Fooding’ guys. Thailand, hopefully, will always have the street food vendors, but for Thai cuisine by a Thai person?
Enter Chef McDang…….
I hear this time and time again from frequent visitors to Thailand. ”We always want to go to Huahin, but its sooo far away” If the words ‘Crab Heaven’ make your legs go tingly and jaws tightened in anticipation for cracking shells, you need to take the 2 – 4 hour journey from Bangkok to Huahin. This place….of course, is 30 – 60mins away in Pranburi, google ‘Pranburi Resorts’ if you intend to stay there instead of the main tourist hub of Huahin.
Opened by a local celebrity Chef and his protege, this restaurant brings the nose to tail eating concept to Bangkok. St John made this concept its own in the UK, and the food that comes out of St John is so simple and fantastic that one may be fooled into thinking they can cook it at home too…..or in their restaurant. I mean, how hard can it be right? Simply cooked offal and meats?
Can the team at Smith live up to St John’s philosophy to which they have so blatantly subscribed?
Potential 2 hour traffic jam? 30mins minimum waiting time for your table? Not so far, but not so near to the city? You’re dependent on a taxi to bring you to Ram-Intra? Speak no Thai?
But……you’ve just landed in Bangkok, as have I, and you are craving craving craving for some seafood, local style. You’re tired, cranky, desperate in need of some stomach lovin’ and wanna boost your cholesterol levels up a notch. Do you REALLY want to come here?
You have 2 days and 1 night in Bangkok, armed only with an iPhone and you need to eat and document some food. What do you do? What do you do? Well, this is just a very small list of the places I frequent to satisfy desires and cravings. Whether you can find these places or not…….its another question and up to your abilities to navigate your way around. Here are some recommended eating places for those on a tight schedule:
Day 1 – Lunch
Time sure passes fast as just 1 year ago, we were celebrating Songkran in Wimbledon, London, feasting on delicacies cooked to the ‘Thai taste’ on the temple grounds.
This year, amidst the protests and riots that besieged Bangkok’s commercial nerve-centre, I began what could well be my last holiday in a long time. Well, not so long, as Songkran 2011 will see me back here.
Its not a coincidence that Songkran and Easter follow each other closely, as both events are/were determined through astrological observations. Songkran is now celebrated within fixed dates, where the whole country simultaneously contributes to the coffers of Scottish distillers.
Imagine my shock when Polish colleagues in the UK told me of the water-splashing tradition during Easter in their country. What are the chances that 2 different races, continents apart, practicing different religions would have the same practices?
Perhaps we are connected even more deeply then we think, and this short break was a great time to undo the hardships of the past 2 years on the road, relax, chill, drink copious amounts of alcohol, stuff my face with food and just do absolutely NOTHING.
This year, we drove up to Huahin, currently at the top of my ‘Places to retire to before 40′ list, a timely reminder of why one should take a chill pill now and again.