September 3, 2023

Bangkok incognito day 3: new digs for an old favorite

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Foursheets got up this morning and decided that she would like to have some cha yan (ชาเย็น), so we walked around and ended up at Brainwake Café. While someone got her fix for milk tea, I noticed a selection of gelato from Ghignoni, and they happen to have cha yan gelato. So instead of having a drink, I got myself a gelato.

The three of us had a breakfast date not far from our hotel at Chez LN Homemade, run by none other than the lovely wife of our old friend Vincent Thierry. I haven't seen Vincent since my first visit to Chef's Table at the Lebua just week after their opening, and I was eager to catch up with him.

As it's a French bakery, of course I would take a pain au chocolat!

Foursheets was a little more hungry, so she went for the croque monsieur. I did help her out and had a piece. Very nice, indeed.

And I finally took my coffee... which came with a little quarter of a madeleine.

It was so good to catch up with our friend and get an update on their lives during the pandemic. Happy that the bakery seems to be doing well, and I really look forward to visiting Vincent back at Chef's Table again. Meanwhile, we needed to run across town to grab some lunch!

One of the places I wanted to visit on this trip was ICONSIAM, the new shopping mall which opened on the other side of the Chao Praya River. And it just so happens that there is a branch of Baan Ice Restaurant (ร้านบ้านไอซ์) which, truth be told, is Foursheet's favorite Thai restaurant. It's just a great casual place serving straightforward, delicious fare - only some of which will light my tongue on fire.

I chose to start lunch with some butterfly pea flower tea. This is always a good idea when in Thailand.

Stir-fried crab in yellow curry with egg (ปูผัดผงกะหรี่) - so... this was NOT the preferred dish for Foursheets, but I chose to overrule her choice on the basis that the menu said this dish is "only at ICONSIAM branch". I thought this was OK, and quite classic. In fact, it reminds me of this one at another of our favorite Thai restaurants.

Stir-fried cabbage and fish sauce (กะหล่ำปลีหัวใจผัดน้ำปลา) - this was soooo tasty! The cabbage was very sweet, perhaps enhanced by the umami of the fish sauce. We wanted to order a second serving, only to be told that the restaurant had run out of cabbage...

Crispy shrimp heads with salt (หัวกุ้งขาวทอดเกลือกกรอบ) - on our first visit to Baan Ice in 2017, I was shocked to find Foursheets greedily chomping down on these fried shrimp heads - something she never used to touch. Naturally we had to order a plate of these for her. Really, really satisfying.

Grandpa's kao yam (ข้าวยำคุณปู่) - we have been a fan of this dish ever since that first visit.

And we still want to come for this version despite having tasted the "refined" version at Sorn just 2 days ago.

Dried shrimp chilli paste and fresh vegetables (น้ำพริกกุ้งเสียบ พร้อมผักสด) - this was what we ordered when we wanted more vegetables and they ran out of cabbage. The dried shrimp with chili was so, soooo tasty! Perfect with all the fresh vegetables.

We were very, very full but very happy. As much as I would have wanted to spend more time walking around the shopping mall, we have another destination to hit this afternoon, and it takes us further west from the city.

Foursheets knew about Corgi in the Garden (คาเฟ่หมาคอร์กี้) before our last trip to Bangkok, but we decided it was too out of the way for our schedule and told ourselves we'd go there on our next trip. Well, it's now more than 4 years later, so we definitely had to come... especially as Corgis are Foursheets' favorite dog breed.

After paying our entrance fee which included one drink, we took our shoes off, put our disposable shoe covers on (without our shoes), and entered into the large area enclosed area to play with the little loaves.

A few of them have been lined up for a photo op, so naturally we had the staff take pics for us, too. This is a group of siblings which included Buttercup, Babycorn, Bluebell, Bean, and Bone. They are all offsprings of Dean and Quinn. In fact, Dean is responsible for siring 8 of the residents here.

Most of the residents are Pembrokes, although there are a couple of Cardigans. Just about all are typically round and chunky. I'm sure they get their exercise on their days off from duty, but most days visitors like us would buy bowls of treats - diced chunks of chicken, apple, and pumpkin - and feed these little sharks in order to get their attention.

The visitors are fairly spread out across the space, and most of the doggos choose park themselves in front of a group, waiting for treats or some petting. Others do what dogs do - lie down and chill. I love that the whole atmosphere is so relaxed, and enjoyed watching a few little kids spend time with the doggos.

I was surprised we didn't stay longer, but I guess after an hour or so, we ran out of both our drink and treats for the doggos. So we headed back to the other side of the river for a little more shopping.

Gaggan had suggested that we check out the Gourmet Market at EmQuartier, telling us that it has become his go-to place for grocery shopping. And we were surprised by how good the selection is here. Tons of local and imported goodies. I grabbed a bunch of spicy pork cracklings from a brand I haven't tried before, plus a whole range of chocolates made in Thailand with interesting local flavors. Really looking forward to trying those out. And I picked up some local fruits, knowing that they would have selected only the good stuff for their clientele.

With a big shopping bag full of goodies, it was time to head back to the hotel, chill out, and wait for our late dinner.

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