We concluded that Erawan Tea Room at Grand Hyatt Bangkok is not a good place to go for those with slim figures and are calorie counting. But if over-eating is not a concern and you have the time and appetite to try all kinds of Thai food, then it is a good place for dinner. Erawan Tea Room opens daily. At dinner time from 6pm to 9,30pm, they have an all-you-can-eat option that costs $950++ baht per person (approx S$40++). We thought that it was good value for money dinner at a 5-star hotel and at a restaurant that has a Michelin Plate status. The Plate symbol was launched to recognize restaurants that ‘simply serve good food’. We do not have much of a figure to worry about and so there was nothing to lose. This story is about our two-hour, 2000 calories dinner in Bangkok.
Audrey Cafe Des Fleurs is a cafe in the Emquartier Bangkok mall. This is a new mall that opened in 2015. Across the road, on the other side of Sukhumvit Road is the older Emporium mall. They are both linked to the Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain station. The top floors of the Emquartier mall are dedicated to restaurants – in a zone named “the Helix Quarter”. So named because the floors are connected as a continuous spiral. We once had a mall built like this in Singapore, the Promenade Shopping Centre, next to the Paragon. Both buildings had merged to form the present Orchard Paragon. The Helix Quarter hosts a collection of restaurants over four floors. The Audrey Cafe Des Fleurs is one of them.
Nahm Bangkok is a restaurant that shows up in many lists when we searched for places to eat using the phrase”best Bangkok restaurants”. They certainly have received many awards such as Top 10 restaurant in Asia in the annual San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna list, a Michelin star etc. They do not do so well on TripAdvisor, being rated a lowly #559 of 10,909 restaurants in Bangkok. We suspect the relatively high prices may have something to do with that. Nahm Bangkok serves traditional Thai cuisine – nothing avant-garde or modern. According to their website, “Chef Pim Techamuanvivit, who heads the restaurant, wants diners who visit nahm to feel as though they’re dining in the home of sophisticated Thai friends“.
During our visit to Bangkok, there were times when we wanted a break from the rich Thai food, the elaborate meals. For the sake of the stomach and the budget as well as to get a balanced dining experience in Bangkok, we do try to look for simple meals in between the big ones. One of the places we found for a quick meal in Bangkok was BKK Bagels. It is a small cafe specialising in bagels and coffee in a convenient location in Bangkok. Not quite a hole in the wall, but a cozy place for a quick bite.
Where to eat after visiting the tourist attractions in Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River? That was how we ended up having lunch at Mei Jiang Bangkok, the Chinese restaurant at The Peninsula Hotel Bangkok. We started early in the morning on the eastern side of the river where the Grand Palace and many other nearby attractions, hotels and restaurants are situated. Took a boat ride across the Chao Phraya to the other side to visit the impressive Wat Arun which was our last planned stop. There seems to be fewer places to eat along this side of the river, but one place called out to us from Google maps. The Peninsula Bangkok and its Chinese restaurant – Mei Jiang.