Posts tagged “colonial

Cafe de Laos, Bangkok – Bring me my sossidge.

Review:

If you haven’t been to Laos, then you really should.  It is a beautiful, simple, spiritual place with awesomely hot food, and one particular dish that I will kill for – Laos sausage (the very good ones in Thai Hut in Wanchai, still pale in comparison to the real thing).

Laos

If you need some more convincing then the next time you’re in Bangkok go try the food.  There are a few Laotian/Isaan restaurants in BKK, the most well known one being Vientiane Kitchen.  We were put off this one by the concierge and the fact that they have a band and dancing, which isn’t really my bag, so instead we went for Cafe de Laos.

Cafe de Laos

Food: Very tasty food.  Laos sausage-tastic.  These are rustic, garlicky slightly fermented sausages served with fresh coriander leaves, slices of chili and peanuts.  Bloody love them.  The beer marinated pork neck and  jungle curry were also really good. Quite a lot of interesting dishes with more of a bent towards river fish and shellfish rather than seafood as Laos is landlocked, so flavours are quite delicate.  DO tell them that you eat food hot like they do, otherwise they will tone down on the chillis for sure, thinking that you are a useless nancy farang.

Drinks: They serve Beer Lao which is always a bonus.  They even have a wine list, although I’m not really up for pairing Laos food with wine yet.  Beer is perfect for me!

Ambience: Restaurant is in an old colonial house, and it’s pleasant enough, but the main ground floor room where we ate was rather bright and lacked any vibe at all, which is a shame because the food is very good.  There is also a lot of wood and tiles, so very little material that damps down noise.  You do feel a bit like you are in a National Trust tea-room in the UK.

Service: Service was a little slow, and fortunately for us they actually forgot one dish which was fine as we were stuffed.

Price: Very reasonable, can’t remember exactly, but it was very good value for the quality of food.

Location: In Silom, 16 Silom Road Soi 19. Tel +662 6352 3389

There are a few more Laos and Isaan restaurants in Bangkok which I would try over going back to this restaurant, simply because I believe there must be somewhere with better ambience.  Can’t fault the food though.

The Eugenia, Bangkok – lovely boutique hotel

Review:

I first stayed in The Eugenia when it had just opened, and it really was a lovely experience. It’s a refurbed colonial era house, oooooozes charm and character, and is very chilled and sophisticated. We love this kind of “colonial safari lodge” style décor, animal skins on the floor, stuffed wildlife on antique tables, old cameras converted into lamps, natural linen and leather furniture (and great cocktails).

The Eugenia, Bangkok

Here is the skinny:

If you are arriving late at night at BKK airport, resist the temptation to be met by their vintage Jaguar S-Type.  The back seat is just big enough for 2 with hand and man bags.  If you travel light as we do then our cabin-sized luggage just about fitted in the boot.  The car is oooold, so it is slooooooow, and it struggles getting up hills, so when all you want to do is get to your hotel and then hit the town, it’s quite frustrating to be dribbling along in a car with rubbish suspension, (I’m sure under other circumstances it’s really romantic…).

Rooms: We usually stay in one of the two rooms that open on to the little terrace on the 1st floor – think they are the Sawadee or Eugienia Suites. Eugenia is a good deal bigger than the other.  The bed linen is some of my favourite in the world.  It’s really heavy french linen, and the mattresses are some of the deepest you will come across.  The toiletries are homemade with lovely essential oils – lemongrass, citronella etc, just yummy.

Service: In-room breakfast.  Yes, yes, yes!  A hotel that’s got it right.  I hate having to go down for my breakfast, so always end up spending a fortune on room service – I like to have a cup of tea and eat my yoghurt in my bathrobe.  The Eugenia will bring you breakfast whenever you want it, so civilised. Very helpful staff, good concierge skills, English skills very greatly between staff so sometimes need to find the right person.

Facilities: lovely bar – The Zheng He Lounge, stunning (decor at least) restaurant D.B Bradley Dining Room – I was meant to eat there for my birthday last year, but was staying in a different hotel in a stupid part of town, where it would take me 2hours to get to the Eugenia – grrrrr), decent sized pool, garage full of cars that will take you about.

Location: 267, Soi Sukhumvit 31, North Klongtan, Bangkok. Tel: +662 259 9011.  The hotel is a 5-10min walk to the Skytrain (Asoke) or metro (Petchaburi), but the hotel has it’s own tuk-tuk so they will happily buzz you down there if it’s too hot or rainy. Close to Soi Nana, lots of good shops and little eateries, pretty quiet little road even though the hotel is right on it.

Price: we think good value for the surroundings, service and facilities – we usually pay around HK$1300 through our concierge (Coutts Worldcard).