Cafe Hopper Review: @Cake, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

I was scheduled to have a meeting at 9am, so I decided to wake up early to buy my breakfast before the meeting. I planned to do a take away (Sai Tong Gab Ban) and come back to the centre to prepare for the meeting. After I bought my breakie, I decided to just walk further down the street and to see if there is anything else that I can buy back for the meeting. As I walked and walked, I came across a cafe that I have been wanting to visit since after a few days I got here. Since I still had some time, I decided to walk in and experience this little cafe that looks really rustic from the outside. I went in and I think I found a little piece of heaven in Soi Sarmsibkanya. I love the simple and rustic decor of the cafe and the staffs were very friendly. I tried to disguise as local and of course I did very badly at it. Once I opened my mouth they will know I come from some distant country. I ordered a piece of chocolate cake and my usual latte. Oh guess what, they do latte art here. I was so taken by surprise that I could get latte art here. It was a simple leafy design but I think its pretty cool! I sat down at this cosy corner and the more I spent a minute there, I wanted to order something else to experience the cafe a little more. I decided to order a pasta. Then a staff came and approached me asking about something which I obviously couldn’t quite understand. Later then I knew that she wanted to offer Chinese tea to me.

I must say that the latte is one of the better ones I have tasted here. It has a mild after taste of the roast. The cake is interestingly nice as well. It is soft and it is not as sweet as I thought it to be. The chocolate can be richer though but it is a pretty reasonable piece of cake for just 30 baht. I must say that the pasta was good and very beautifully decorated. The sauce is not too sweet or too sour and just nice to cover the pasta.

My overall experience  there is that the whole place makes me feel very comfortable and at ease. I feel that I can be relaxed there. I am sure that if I am with a group of friends, we would have a lot to chat over a cup of coffee there. Well, if you happen to be found in Nakhon Ratchasima, do look out for this cafe at Sarmsibkanya.

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the gatekeeper

 

Cafe Hopper Review: Weewa Cafe@Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat)

First time in Korat I visted a cafe. This is Weewa Cafe. Thanks to the staffs at Alpha Students’ Centre. They decided to bring me to this cafe. The cafe has a very rustic courtyard. You will be greeted by a stretch of koi fish and some sitting area as well. However, honestly you would’t want to be sitting outside because it can be pretty hot in the noon time at Korat. Given the hot weather we rather be sitting indoor with air-conditioning. When I went in, the thing that really caught my eyes was the stained glass window at the sides. They are very simple stained glass window but it gave the cafe interior a very retro feel.

Because this is a totally new environment to me, I wanted to try something different too. I ordered the iced caramel boom coffee. I also ordered a lemon pastry. I must say I am still not satisfied with the coffee here. I am not sure if it is the way the barrista did it, but the coffee doesn’t bring out the after taste and you really do feel like you are just drinking soft drinks. But I must say this as well, the pastry is quite impressive. The lemon pastry I ordered tasted very rich and every mouth of it really tasted lemon and giving a very refreshing touch to our taste buds. I was also impressed by the banana chocolate cake. There is really like real banana in the cake and the sponge tastes rich with banana.

We didn’t sit there for very long but it was quite a good chill out. The atmosphere is a plus for this cafe and needless to say, the pastries. I guess the coffee thing is really a nation-wide thing. Generally, its not easy to get good coffee in Thailand. They still have a long way to go before gourmet coffee can take off.

the gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: ‘爱自己‘ 论 (续)

昨天说到一大堆马桶论。今天让我们来说说为什么我们会有这些‘不合理’的要求?人本来就是一种不容易满足的动物。上帝给了亚当和夏娃一个这么美好的花园,丰衣足食,不愁吃也不愁穿,但他们还是不满足。他们要更多但不一定更好的。人会有对自己的‘不合理’要求是因为我们不满现状。我们一直以为我们现在所拥有的是不够的。其实你想想:我们为什么要的更多呢?别误会,我不是说上进是不好的。我赞成进步与发展,但在进步与发展的当而,我们要懂的知足常乐。当你知足的时后你就拥有全世界。记:人心不足蛇吨象啊!

the gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper on a mini Food Trail in Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima)

I walked out of the Alpha Students’ Centre, thinking of just having something simple for the evening. The stall that I normally frequent happened to be closed and I decided to walk down further to a little mini street paradise just at the junction of Soi Sam Sip Gaan Yaan and the main road. Honestly I didn’t want a heavy meal this evening. I ended up having a little feast, hopping from stall to stall. I started with the stall that always display this whole lot of pork trotter, selling pork trotter rice and wanton noodle. I am not a fan of pork trotter so I gave that a skip. I decided to use my sign language to order whatever I think is possible to order. I pointed here and there and the lady seemed to understand what I was trying to order…actually I didn’t even know what ordered. I sat there and while waiting for my food to arrive, I decided to order my favourite som tum again. This time I told her “mai phet” meaning non spicy. Last night I ordered from the same stall with “phet” and trust me it was spicy!!! Miraculously I finished the som tum last night.

My “finger-pointing” food finally arrived. It turned out to be a very decent bowl of wanton noodle with roasted pork on top of it. I must say that I don’t normally enjoy soup-based wanton noodle. This is one that I enjoyed and it was really tasty. The soup is very rich and the ingredients compliment each other very well. The noodle is of the right texture…it doesn’t clog together and you can taste the soup in every strand of noodle. There’s so much of ingredients in it that every mouth of it is great. The som tum this time round tasted much better without “phet”. It’s crunchy and the veggies are very fresh. I thought for a moment that was it for dinner. I decided to walked down to Seven-Eleven to get some snacks for myself. Before I could reach there, I stopped by at this stall that sell all kinds of satay like stuff, like fish balls, fish cakes, fried wanton and etc. I was so tempted…no I was tempted indeed to buy two sticks of it. I actually tried them yesterday and it was really good….so I decided to buy again today. So, since I got this as snacks, I would suppose that’s it. No….it didn’t end with the satay.

Before I could turn into Soi Sam Sip Gaan Yaan, there is this stall that sells dessert. They sell toast like those in toastbox (Singapore). I was tempted again to order a set to try and I did. Trust me….this stall is not inferior to toastbox. The toast is crunchy and with all the spread…mine! This is a perfect dessert after dinner. I was given a little surprise. The stall owner made a pot of tea for me after the dessert…you tell me that’s not value-added service?The tea was just perfect to make you feel less sinful after a heavy meal like this. Guess what? At the end of it, I still headed down to Seven-Eleven to buy a pack of snack just in case I really need it tonight.

Mine! That was really a mini food trail. I think I have tried almost everything along that small stretch. Look at the pictures below and you will know how much I have enjoyed my dinner tonight. Thank God for such a time.

the gatekeeper

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Cafe Hopper Review: Thai and Burmese Cuisine

Due to my long stay in Bangkok, recently I am pretty much exposed to a whole lot of Thai cuisine. For some reason, I am not tired about trying out the various Thai dishes, as long as they don’t involve the internal organs. I particularly love the Som Tum here in Thailand. Som Tum is basically the papaya salad. The Thai would use the unripe papaya, shred the papaya and mix them with whole lot of ingredients into a cold dish. The ingredients usually involve palm sugar, fish sauce, peanuts, long beans, cherry tomatoes, green tomatoes, lemon and etc. Sometimes, Som Tum is eaten plainly…at times it comes with fried fish, pork or even raw crabs. The one that comes with raw crabs is something that I dare not to venture. The fried fish version is very appealing to me.

Although I can’t eat too much of sticky rice, but honestly, during my one month more stay in Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), I have fallen in love with the sticky rice here. It’s so different from those that they make in Singapore. The sticky rice is fragrant and it really taste well as a snack or even as a main meal. It is normally eaten with an accompanied dish such as pork floss (different from those in Singapore), friend shredded pork or ribs. What the Thai would do is a mouth of sticky rice and a mouth of the accompanied dish. It really tastes good. Sometimes the sticky rice is also eaten with friend assorted stuff like fish balls, fish cakes and etc.

I am sure people who frequent Bangkok, will sure know Som Tum and the sticky rice. I have fallen in love with Som Tum so much that I am going to learn how to make it myself. You will very soon see my own version of Som Tum.

I went back to Singapore for a short while and interestingly a friend introduced to me Burmese food when I met up with him. That was the first time I tasted Burmese food. He ordered this Bee Hoon salad for me and besides it being very spicy, I think the taste is great. I began to explore the Burmese cuisine a little more and I made him promised to bring me for more Burmese food when I returned to Singapore. Interestingly, the Burmese cuisine comprises of a lot of different types of salad or cold dish as well. I was particularly very interested in the rice salad that I saw from Youtube. Go Google or Youtube Burmese salad…I am sure you will find many!

the gatekeeper

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