Saturday, 14 March 2015

One Day with Central Bangkok to Eat, Shop and Play

There is just so too much to do, see, play and eat in Bangkok. I spent a whole day - from morning till midnight in Bangkok's trendy Pathumwan district visiting the shopping, dining and entertainment havens of Central Bangkok.

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It was fortunate that I had a good night's rest in this very comfortable room in Centara Grand Bangkok Hotel. It prepared me well for the loo....ong and hectic day ahead.

Centara Grand Bangkok Hotel is centrally located, surrounded by many places to eat, shop and play. It was great that all are within walking distance of Centara Grand Hotel.
  
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I had my breakfast at the international buffet at The World restaurant in Centara Grand Hotel.

There are few better ways to start the day than with a freshly made omelette ;-D There were, of course, lots of other delicious food - from Thai to international - at The World but I was saving my stomach space for the many food tastings throughout the day.

My visit to Bangkok was graciously hosted by the Central Group and I visited the Central Bangkok collection of luxury shopping centres, department stores, entertainment and lifestyle hubs. All these are within walking distance of the BTS Skytrain Ploenchit station and Chitlom station.

One thing for sure.

One day is definitely not enough to enjoy all of what Central Bangkok can offer but we tried our best!

Come with us ;-D

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Our first stop was the revered Erawan Shrine at Chidlom BTS station, which is a short walk from Centara Grand Hotel.

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Passers by often stop and face the Erawan Shrine to pay their respects and say their prayers silently.

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We next walked from Chitlom BTS to Central Embassy shopping mall. Walking and stopping to take pictures all along the way on the Skywalk, we took about 15 minutes from Chitlom BTS to Central Embassy.

I really appreciate the Skywalk elevated walkway. It took us above the dust and fumes of Bangkok traffic below and shielded us from the scorching sun above. We walked from Chitlom to Central Embassy, and were still in the mood to shop and eat ;-D


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Central Embassy is a high end shopping mecca aspiring to be Asia's fashion hub.

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All the well known international brands are represented. Renowned Thai designer boutiques also have a strong presence here.

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Central Embassy is also home to many of the most interesting cafes and eateries in Bangkok.

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Some are renowned international brands, some Thai household names while others are unique boutique start ups. I would love to try some of these, but our lunch appointment today was at Eathai in Central Embassy.

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The idea behind Eathai is to bring chefs from every culinary region of Thailand together, and present their respective regional Thai dishes for guests to enjoy. All under one roof and in a comfortable environment.

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At Eathai, they even replicate the eating ambiance of each regional cuisine to give guests the complete dining experience.

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We took full advantage of everything Eathai had to offer ;-p We had a dish from every region.

My personal favourites are Somtam green papaya salad from South Thailand. Tops for me too is the crazily spicy Kva Kling fried pork, also from South Thailand. Spicy soup Tom Yum Goong from Central Thailand is a Must for me. I was also delighted with the rice roll with minced pork and crunchy vegetable fillings from Esan Viet or Northeast Thailand.

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From the traditional at Eathai, we moved to the contemporary; stopping for nitrogen ice cream at Nitrogenie.

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This was my first taste of nitrogen ice cream.

With so much food in our tummies, I was looking forward to a walkabout/ shop about to burn off some calories.

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From Central Embassy we walked through the Embassy Link (at level 2) into the adjoining Central Chidlom department store.

Central Chidlom is Thailand's forever young grand lady of luxury shopping. I remember shopping at Central Chidlom during my first trip to Bangkok, back in the 1980s. I still come back to Central Chidlom for that special intimacy, even though many new shopping malls have sprouted up in Bangkok since then. 

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Central Chidlom is the Flagship store of the Central Group's department store chain with branches throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia. Central Chidlom's seven shopping floors are rich with the latest imported and local fashions, shoes, accessories, beauty, cosmetics, jewellery, home décor, toys, books, gifts and Thai-Asia handicrafts.

All under one roof.

After Central Chidlom mall, we walked to CentralWorld mall via the Skywalk.


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As we walked on the Skywalk, we can see the sprawling CentralWorld mall.

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CentralWorld is the largest lifestyle shopping complex in South East Asia with more than 500 stores.

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CentralWorld has over 100 restaurants, entertainment centres, education and learning centres, and the largest supermarket in Asia. CentralWorld even has a very popular indoor ice skating rink.

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Ms Dear is checking out her favourite Disney characters.

Every staple international brand of fashion, accessories, beauty care, toys and more is here at CentralWorld.

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But what really fascinates me in Thailand and CentralWorld are the unique local brands. One of the stores that promote Thai brands is N/N Next to Normal boutique.

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Smelling the perfume at Erb perfumery which makes unique fragrances naturally from local Thai plants, flowers and herbs.

We next went to Groove for dinner.

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Groove which adjoins CentralWorld is a collection of trendy lifestyle restaurants, bistros, bars and cafes.



Several are global brands like Maxim's Bistro, Fauchon, and Harrods premiering here in Thailand.

There were just too many choices at Groove - we settled for Tales of Gold Mine restaurant.

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Tales of Gold Mine restaurant is the brainchild of co-owner Chef Nhoi. Chef Nhoi worked nearly a decade in Texas and New York in USA. She was inspired by the stories of Chinese miners who worked in the gold mines of San Francisco and California in the 1800s. Tales of Gold Mine serves Chef Nhoi's interpretation of Chinese inspired American food, with a Thai twist.

Inside Tales of Gold Mine, Chef Nhoi meticulously recreated the Californian gold mines that inspired her restaurant and cuisine.

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We had Oyster Stew - a rich soup made with fresh Thai oysters with a touch of white wine and white truffle oil. The Sweet and Sour Chicken Salad was made with orange glaze crispy chicken, shredded carrot, mandarin orange and sesame soy dressing.

Main course was Pan Seared Mantau buns and 5-spice duck breast, yellow chilies vinegar condiment and house made Hoi Sin sauce. We rounded up our dinner with 5-spice sugar dusted churroz served with warm soy milk. This is Chef Nhoi's interpretation of the classic Chinese you tiau and soy bean milk breakfast.

A bottle gourd shaped container of Chrysanthemum Panna Cotta with Candied Ginger help washed down the dishes and lubricate our cheerful banter.

After Groove, we took the lift to HEAVEN, one of Bangkok's most spectacular dining and entertainment havens!

HEAVEN Bangkok is a collection of four concept restaurants – ZENSE Gourmet Deck, Lounge Panorama and Shintori Japanese Art Cuisine, Sake Bar.

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HEAVEN has one of Bangkok's most breathtaking 360° rooftop views.

It was fun to walk around the roof top and take in the 360° panoramic view of the Bangkok skyline and the great pulsating city below.

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It was fascinating watching the mixologist whirl and twirl.

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All that action went into HEAVEN's best selling Cocktail Favourite, the Mai Tai.

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Classic Crispy Pork Belly with Sweet Chili Paste Sauce and Sweet Black Soy Sauce.

The still slightly moist pork was fried to a nice crackly crisp outside. Not greasy at all. I was able to finish this dish by myself despite what I have eaten the whole day.

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Yum Som-O Pamelo Salad with Chicken and Shrimps.

Nice tangy, sweet, spicy and savoury salad. Very appetising.

It had been a very satisfying day so far, but .........

Wait, wait. The night is not over yet. Far from it.

This is Bangkok.

Indeed, the night was still young.

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Something exciting is always going on at CentralWorld Square, the open area just outside the CentralWorld mall. This is the largest Outdoor Square in central Bangkok for large-scale events.

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Of course, we cannot pass a day or night in Bangkok without tasting some street food. There are many stalls at CentralWorld Square.

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These were just some of the street food in Bangkok. We love to nibble at those Thai style beef jerky along with local beers ;-D

I had an exhausting but awesome day in Bangkok.

No exaggeration!

Wrong.

Awesome is an understatement.

There are just no words to properly describe what a great day I had.

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Still it was great to return to a clean, well made up, air conditioned room. Take a steaming hot shower, soak in the hot tub for a while. Let all the tiredness melt away and reflect on what a great day we just had.

Then......, sink into that soft bed that had been waiting the whole day to swallow me ;-D

Good night.

I am looking forward to another exciting day in Bangkok.

Central Embassy mall

Address: 1031 Ploenchit Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok
www.centralembassy.com
Opening Hour: 10am - 10pm daily

Central Chidlom department store

Address: 1027 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok
www.central.co.th
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm daily

CentralWorld mall

Address: 4/5, Rajadamri Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok
www.centralworld.co.th  
Opening hours: everyday 10am - 10pm daily

HEAVEN restaurant

Address:  Level 17-20, Zen World, 4/5, Rajadamri Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok
Opening hours: everyday 10am - 10pm daily

Acknowledgement: My visit to Bangkok was graciously hosted by the Central Group.


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I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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