Monday, November 30, 2009

Pan Fried Salmon with Japanese Mushroom and Japanese Creamy Sesame Dressing

It has been a long while since I stepped into my beloved kitchen. How long you ask? Well, let me put it this way: there is a thin layer of dust sitting comfortably on top of the frying pan, that's how long it was. Maybe it was the movie Julie & Julia that sparked my interest in cooking again but it was Mochachocolata Rita's recent entry on Pan Fried Salmon with Korean Mushroom and Japanese Creamy Sesame Dressing that inspired me to cook tonight's dish. ThanQ Mochachocolata Rita! I followed her recipe and added my own little twist to it. Well, not much of a twist because I actually took away some steps from the recipe because I am lazy, I am just too lazy. So instead, I prepared the Pan Fried Salmon with Japanese Mushroom and Japanese Creamy Sesame Dressing with many ready to use spices.

Adopted Recipe
  • olive oil
  • 2 pieces of salmon fillet
  • 1 pack of Japanese mushrooms
  • Japanese creamy sesame dressing
  • McCormick ready-to-use Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Black Pepper and Parsley Flakes (yes, all ready-to-use spices, woohoo! .... and why sea salt? because I only have that at home)
  • Chocolates (alright, they do not really belong here but hey, they are good for dessert and look how happy the M&M figure is)
(1) Since my lazy self did not use fresh garlic and shallot as instructed by the recipe I have to create my own ways to do it. Cut the bottom of the mushroom, clean them and dry them with paper towels. Put some olive oil into the pan and put the mushroom in after a min or so. Sprinkle some garlic powder, salt + pepper and saute it for a bit. Add in the Japanese creamy sesame dressing and continue to saute it for another 2 minutes at med heat. Set aside when done.

(2) While waiting for the mushroom to be done, I gently massaged the salmon with salt + pepper and some olive oil as well.

(3) I now realized why my salmon fillet did not turn brownish, it is because I put some more olive oil into the pan as well! I should have just heated the frying pan up and let me olive oil I rubbed onto the salmon do its own trick .... argh ... and the salmon broke off into little pieces! At least I am learning :) I should have read the instruction more carefully! Anyhow, I let it cook for 2 - 3 mins on one side and flip it over VERY CAREFULLY because the salmon started to fall apart and the skins were breaking into pieces. :( ... how can I solve this problem???

(4) Sprinkle some parsley flakes when plating. Where did the Japanese soba noodles and salad came from? Well, ready to eat items from the supermarket of course ... ^^

Woohoo I did it!! Thank you Mochachocolata Rita for the inspiration! How does it taste? Wonderful of course! So when will be my next venture into the kitchen? Perhaps in a month's time (or longer) ... ... ...

Bangkok Nov 2009 - Day 3 (Spa, Eat & Sleep!)

Bangkok Nov 2009 - Day 3 (Day 1 & Day 2)


After a quick breakfast at the hotel on Day 3, our last day of this weekend getaway, we headed for our much anticipated spa session at the Oasis Spa Bangkok. This time all 4 of us went together and if we were to be stuck in traffic, all of us will be there to suffer!!! I have been to the Oasis Spa Bangkok once before and the landscape, decor, environment and atmosphere has captivated me so much that I have to come back at all cause.

Please be minded that the spa is located in the middle of the city districts, hiding somewhere inside the busy streets! An Oasis indeed!

Soon after we arrived, we were led to the waiting area to select the spa package(s) over a soothing cup of tea.

I picked the King of Oasis package and ... ... how can a spa session go without a milk bath! I just cannot resist having a milk bath in a big bath tub located outdoors under the open sky with the sounds of birds and the sound of leaves in the wind all around me. Alright, I might have exaggerated it a bit but the bath tub and the shower was indeed situated outdoors and it was indeed a perfect environment for some personal reflection. Not to mention coming out with silky smooth skins!! The entire 3-hour spa session lasted not long enough; how I wish I can spend the whole day here, in this little oasis.



For lunch, our dear food guide took us to a nice little restaurant nearby. According to our friend, this place is a popular family restaurant in the neighborhood serving very traditional / local everyday Thai food. Perfect!!! Exactly what I was looking forward to try.

The kitchen of this restaurant is situated at the back of the building / lot and I sneaked out to take a picture of it.

There wasn't much decoration to the main dining area; plain, simple yet very homely.

So how local was the restaurant? Well, many items were only in Thai so we have to rely on our food guide to help us order. I don't know how to type Thai and not sure how to translate the Thai names into English, so the following will be another photoblog. :)

Although the weekend getaways was short, we all had an amazing time and we are already planning for our next little venture to somewhere sunny, warm, dry and of course a place where there are wonderful spa establishments!

Bangkok Nov 2009 - Day 3 (Day 1 & Day 2)

~ The End of Bangkok Nov 2009 - Day 3 of 3 ~

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bangkok Nov 2009 - Day 2 (Eat, Eat & TRAFFIC JAM)

Bangkok Nov 2009 - Day 2 (Day 1 & Day 3)

People say that one should not spend so much time sleeping during vacation especially when you away from home because it is a waste of time. I am very sorry, but I DISAGREE! I go all the way away from home for many reasons, one is definitely not to wake up earlier than my work day!!!! I will sleep in as long as I want and wake up whenever I wake up!!! So on our second day, we woke up around 9:30am by the natural sunlight. Although we actually got less sleep than usual, we got QUALITY sleep in those HEAVENLY BED!!!! Anyhow, we opted to have breakfast at the restaurant downstairs instead of room service. It was called ROMASAI and it has a little outdoor patio / alfresco dining area enclosed by trees, ponds, waterfalls and natural sunlight!!! We were not ready for the heat yet so we stayed inside near the ceiling to floor window right beside the little oasis.


Breakfast was buffet style and there were more than enough variations in my opinion. Well, there was a juice station with plenty of choices, a bread corner, a cereal & fruits section, a hot food section which include items such as fried rice, curry, made to order eggs and phad thai. YES, IT WAS BREAKFAST and they did serve such heavy food indeed, but that was not all, there was SUSHI!!! For breakfast !? Well yes people line up at 6am at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo for some fresh sashimi but I was not expect it being served here as a breakfast item.

Fried rice or Phad Thai was definitely not something I wanted for breakfast so I opted for something less heavy (or so I hoped): poached eggs which was bland, bacon which was not crisp, baked beans which was cold, sausages which were alright, hash brown which was soggy!, croissant which was nice, yogurt which was wonderful and a cup of extremely sweet Thai styled coffee.

While looking around or food, I spotted this Honey comb. I thought it was for show and tell only but it was a real thing whereby you get the honey right from the comb! A nice touch indeed!

Honestly, I cannot really remember the last time I had such a good time enjoying breakfast. The food was below par and we were very disappointed especially after the wonderful in-room meal last night, but it was the fact that we were here in a foreign land, chatting and laughing through our breakfast that made the experience so memorable.



After a short nap after breakfast, it was time for lunch! We were lucky enough that one of us have a friend who originated from Bangkok and she became our food guide for the weekend. First stop, J.J. Market (Jatujak Market)! It was starting to have a few rain drops so we headed for food right away. We basically picked one that was closest to us and hence the 2 little piggies banner hawker stall. (I can't read Thai so I named it with the little piggies on the banner)

Only our dear food guide knows Thai so we were not as panic as we would have been without her. I was surprised to find an English menu and was glad that I can check out the items. HOWEVER, my excitement turned into laughter's when I saw Frield Rice with Thai Sausage, Pud Thai Fresh Prawns, Frield Mama Drunk and Rice with Prawns and Squip? What are Frield Rice? Squip? Frield Mama Drunk??? Well, whoever typed this up was certainly drunk! Then again I should not be so critical I guess, they did what they can and I think I can still make out the words.

I ordered the Rice with Grapaow, Prawns and Squid (aka Squip?) along with a fresh young coconut to cool myself down from the heat. The kitchen was RIGHT BEHIND MY BACK which was good because I basically watch my dish being cooked.

Woohoo! Look at the fried egg! Brownish and crispy on the side, wonderful! The sauce was spicy but in a good and very delicious way! I think it is a fact that the use of spices and chili in Thailand is so different than in Hong Kong that the spiciness experienced here are hot and sweet while in Hong Kong, pure burning hotness! I love the food spiciness here in Bangkok!

My friends ordered variation of dry noodles and noodles in soup. According to their feedback, they loved the noodles because they were chewy even when served in soup, definitely not the type we were being served in Hong Kong's Thai restaurants.

It was a satisfying lunch indeed! It was very good! I was sweating like a duck at this point but who cares I had a good time and ate some good food! (plus, I was scheduled to have a SPA session later in the after ... well supposedly at least .. read on and you will understand my the reason for my grunt!) Anyhow, the best activity after lunch was to walk it off and since we were at the famous JJ Market, it was a perfect thing to do. It was busy, I mean people at every stalls seem to be very busy especially those related to food.

We came by this food counter which sells "SQUID EGGS." WHAT?? How do we eat SQUID EGGS??? I am at a lost, I never knew we can eat them like this but apparently it was something unique to Thai street food, usually served on a stick according to some blogs (ie: Anna's True Thai). I originally thought they misspelled Quail Eggs but I guess I was wrong. Well, they do have fried quail eggs for sale but if I am consume that PLATE of a dozen quail eggs, I will have an immediate heart attach from cholesterol overdose!

As we moved along, there were more things to see such as the HUGE snow peas and ...

... foot massage parlor! But my gosh! I will never ever never and ever try to do one here or at similar establishment under such environment and atmosphere! Did I mention it was raining and the roof was leaking water??? Alright, enough of J.J. Market for me and my friend who had a spa session scheduled and it was time for us to part our separate ways!

We were almost late for our appointment scheduled at 3:00pm and since it was quite far from JJ Market, we decided to take a cab. SO WRONG! WHAT A BAD DECISION IT WAS!!!!!!! It was raining and the roads were flooded!!! On top of that, the traffic was so BAD that we basically stood still in the middle of the highway for 15 mins idle without moving a single inch! (and we had many of those 15 mins idle time!!)

I cannot agree more with CNNgo's recent article on BKK's traffic. By 5:30pm, after 2.5 hours of sitting in the cab and with the taxi driver being lost 3 times, we had it! We should have known when the taxi driver rolled out his LCD TV from the dashboard that it was going to be a long and boring ride! We took off in the middle of the road and headed to the nearest BTS sky rail station of which we should have taken at the first place. The spa session has been rescheduled to Sunday morning and I was acting like a grumpy old man! Mt Taxi driver, I will remember you for a long long time, that I promise you!!!


Afternoon Tea

We need something to drink! We headed to Siam Paragon by BTS and attempt to calm ourselves down at the The Peninsula Boutique & Cafe.

The atmosphere was nice and relaxing, which helped us to return to a better mood. We just ordered the glasses of white and chatted for a while before our scheduled dinner.

Before we leave for dinner, we stopped by the huge food court / market at the basement level in search for some good Teh tarik. We were trying our luck and we were LUCKY! We still have some luck left after the 2.5 hours traffic jam, woohoo!



I picked Baan Khantha for dinner because it was one of the few that I can book online in advance. It is a tourist-y restaurant and so were the prices, but who said tourist-y places cannot have good food? We had a good time with good food!

The main dining area was very spacious but very dimly light for a Thai restaurant in my opinion. Since it is a tourist-y restaurant, all staff spoke good English and several other languages as well.

Sigh, it was because of the dimly lit dining area that I was unable to make out the name of the dish on the menu from the pictures I took. I should have used the flash or written it down instead or buy a DSLR perhaps? Anyhow, the following will be more of a photoblog. Overall, we had a good time, we were all satisfied with the quality of the food. Tourist-y it maybe, it was a well-deserved tourist restaurants.

Even with a full stomach, we continued to eat more fruits and pandan ice cream. What a wonderful way to end the day and we all look forward to Sunday especially the rescheduled spa session at Oasis Spa Bangkok!
~ The End of Bangkok Nov 2009 - Day 2 of 3 ~

Bangkok Nov 2009 - Day 2 (Day 1 & Day 3)

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