Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bangkok Food Trip: Ice Cream!

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for Bangkok, Thailand ice cream..."

OK, it's a bit of a stretch but I couldn't help myself. Inspired by a post by Franco, I wanted to devour as much ice cream as I could on my trip to Bangkok. Normally, ice cream wouldn't come to mind when the topic is Bangkok--pandan chicken, pad thai, chili, sure--but ice cream?

Thing is, there are just sooo many ice cream options in Bangkok (just like there are sooo many Italian restos---on our street alone, there must have been around ten!). Must be the climate. I had to stop myself from going all seven-deadly-sins and decided to avoid the gluttony. Limiting myself still meant ice cream every day, of course.

The first one I tried came at the end of our meal at the Jim Thompson Cafe. It was fried ice cream. Looked really pretty, but the core was melted so it could've been better.

I loved the rest of the food at the cafe though--will rave about it in a succeeding post!

I was on the hunt for iberry (which came highly recommended by Franco), but my Bangkok-based relatives gave me a puzzled look because they didn't think it was particularly special. (My niece's favorite: Cream & Fudge, their version of Cold Rock. Alas, there were not enough days and not enough space in my tummy to accommodate her suggestion.) I was just intrigued when Franco said there was a Horlicks flavor. I did find iberry at the fantastic Siam Paragon food hall, but they didn't have Horlicks that day.

I proceeded to window shop and finally decided to try some gelato from one of the many other ice cream/gelato options instead. I thus ordered three scoops from Felice: strawberry, white chocolate, and mint.

I particularly enjoyed the strawberry--it tasted incredibly fresh, instead of tasting like fake strawberries! H, surprisingly, enjoyed the white chocolate, which wasn't cloyingly sweet. The mint was pretty refreshing.

As we were walking along Ploenchit Road, we came across Amaltery at the Urban Kitchen, Erawan Bangkok. The cool thing about the place is that there are alcohol-infused flavors! I don't drink much (mostly because I'm allergic), but I really wanted to try it. They had a dizzying array of flavors from A to Z (as in "A.T.V."--almond, toffee, liqueur, vodka--to "Zombie"--rum, apricot brandy). I decided to get the cookie set, made up of two homemade chocolate-chip cookies with fat slabs of B-52 (brandy, Baileys, and Kahlua) ice cream.

The cookies were OK--I would've preferred 'em chewy instead of slightly crunchy. The brownies were alright. The ice cream, on the other hand--I was convinced that it didn't contain just 5% alcohol. Gumuguhit! Haha. If all ice cream were like this, I think H would have this cool treat a bit more often!

I came across iberry again at Emporium and this time found the Horlicks flavor. I kind of expected it to be a bit...more brown. I was surprised that it had a yellowish tint. The taste didn't disappoint though--it was very flavorful!

Right after buying my cup of iberry, I saw Gelate and its heavenly display. I was kicking myself for having low EQ and rushing to buy iberry when I could've had me some of this gorgeous-looking gelato. Sigh.

My last taste of ice cream in Bangkok came by way of a brand called New Zealand Natural. I'm not sure if that's the exact name--I was saving the napkin, which had a description and all. Unfortunately, I got the sniffles and needed some tissue, and it was the only one in my bag... Anyhoo, the chocolate was so rich, and I super enjoyed every bite.

Even after trying all these during my trip (too short, way too short), there were still so many brands waiting to be tasted. On my next trip, for sure!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ilocos Food Trip

Aside from getting a taste of the famous soft biscocho during our Ilocos Norte trip, H and I stuffed ourselves with one of the most evil food inventions known to man--bagnet!

Paired with the KBL (a siding of tomatoes, onions, and bagoong), we just couldn't get enough of the stuff!

I think we ordered this three times in three days at our little hotel, Palazzo de Laoag. It was particularly delicious the first night; the fat--glorious, sinful, artery-clogging--was perfectly cooked, the skin incredibly crispy. Mmmm...I've got a hankering for something heart-attack-inducing right about now.

Ilocos is likewise known for its pinakbet, so even though I'm not big on the Pinoy veggies, I still shared an order with H.

Framed newspaper clippings at Palazzo proclaim that the hotel has the best pinakbet, like, ever, but I haven't eaten enough of the dish in my lifetime to gauge if it was true. I did, however, enjoy eating pinakbet in an unusual form...

Pizza! We tagged along as the hotel owner went to Paoay for lunch, and had the famous Pinakbet Pizza at Cafe Herencia, right across Paoay Church. While you're there, you might want to try their Dinuguan Pizza as well!

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