Istanbul launching

Launching with a view of the marvelous "Blue Mosque"

Foodie stayed a while in Istanbul, a fabulous metropolis with officially more then 13 mio people, the real number though is much higher.

Istanbul resides right at the edge of Asia and Europe and is divided by the Bosporus connecting the Black Sea at the north with the Sea of Marmara at the south.

You can travel between the continents just by crossing a huge suspension bridge. The bridge itself could easily misplaced to San Francisco – on first sight. Otherwise this town is quite unique and not likely to confuse with any other place in the world at all.

The bridge over the Bosporus connects Europe (left) with Asia (right)

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Airline food – the better part

Initially I was not sure if I should write about this topic. It needed some convincing from others and some additional first hand experience of my own, to finally tackle it. And I am aware of the many different opinions people have on this, especially those of my dear fellow flyertalkers. Still, I would like to embarrass myself by going into this… sensible topic… from a more common and very individual point of view.

Normally most people I now think about airline food as the disgusting stuff you get served to shut up and hopefully sleep during the flight. And also, as most people, the humble FoodieOnTour sees the world of airplanes mostly from the cheap seats in economy – no matter if the flight is working related or private.
Honestly, normally I hardly find kind words about the food served there. Even when (rarely) traveling in business class, I encountered not that big of a difference. But on the other hand my experiences are mostly influenced by the definitely “not famous for service” European Airlines.
So what to expect from Asia? Is is really that different, like I heard and read?

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RR&B Steak House Bangkok

Foodie is again on the quest for a great steak. This time it should be Bangkok and specifically the RR&B Steak House in the Landmark Hotel. The Landmark advertises its restaurant with “The Best Steaks in Bangkok” and as a proof they proudly present at the entrance certificates for that from No.1 votes of the last four years.

I always think the most convincing point is the food itself. So let´s go and find out.

A new friend in Bangkok is a genius, when it comes to getting a membership card for pretty much anything, preferably when these cards come with a huge Food & Beverage discount. And there is a card for dining in the Landmark and it sounds fantastic. If this is not an incentive than what?

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Kuala Lumpur Prime

Foodie went for a few days to Malaysia and its capital – Kuala Lumpur. This was more an escape from Bangkok, than a particular planned trip to KL.

So what to do in a muslim oil country boring as hell – if you already know most sights in and out? Having a damn good steak!

Kuala Lumpur has some decent steak restaurants, like the Qba in the Westin and Jake Charbroils Steaks in the Starhill Gallery. But there is only one particular place, which is regular voted the best steak house in KL, the Prime Steak Restaurant on the 5th floor of the Le Meridien Hotel.

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Shopping Delivery

The previous described shopping trip was over but at this time I was not aware, that the experience itself would not be over yet.

Let me explain some of the circumstances, which led to a “happy ending” in a shopping sense.

In Bangkok manual labor is relatively cheap. This leads also to affordable delivery service. The ultimate high end grocery store of Bangkok makes no difference here and offers this service too. With a purchase over 5.000 Baht (~120 Eur) this service would even be free of charge. Another option is to apply for a membership card and the bill for a free delivery just has to be over 3.000 Baht…
Nice – where do I have to go for this card?

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Siam Paragon Gourmet Market

Leaving hotel life behind – at least for a while – means the necessity to fill the refrigerator. So Foodie goes shopping. To make a memorable and somewhat fun event out of this necessity I choose the Siam Paragon as the place to be.

Siam Paragon

 

Fountain in front the Siam Paragon

The Siam Paragon is a well known upscale Shopping Mall and Department Store in the heart of Bangkok with many fancy brand-names. You can here listen to a piano in an artificial pond, have the perfect colonial tea time at the lavish Mandarin Oriental Shop, buy luxury cars from Maserati Ferrari and Porsche, the newest Gucci handbag or Prada shoes, see your private banker or just visit the Paragon Platinum or even Prestige Club
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Japanese Discovery in Bangkok

Yours truly Foodie (can you say that?) happens to be a lot around Phloen Chit lately. During those trips and by total accident I discovered a small shopping mall in the All Seasons Place, which is mainly for the employees of the surrounding office buildings and kind of hard to find. The mall itself is somewhat sterile, overpriced and boring – the typical place for foreigners. So normally no place to talk about or to recommend… but surprise surprise, inside are two gems to discover. And about one of those I would like to tell.

The offices in the area are strongly influenced by Japanese companies and the people who work for them. Since you have the people here it is only logical to find a Japanese restaurant in this neighborhood too. This particular combination or connection is to found all over the world and a further prove for the fondness of the Japanese for their own cuisine – some might say it is a dependency if not addiction. But this topic at another time.

Back to the this restaurant I found. It is called “ZEN” and I  was quite surprised about it.

Japanese Restaurant "ZEN"

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Bangkok Apartment Hunt

Over the last week I was able to take a load of pictures about food, people, scenes in Bangkok and more. And sure, these and their stories I would like to share with you. Unfortunately in the same time I am completely occupied by the hunt for an apartment (or better condo) here in Bangkok. Despite my prior investigation this went somewhat different from what I expected.

One of the reasons for the oh-so-different prospects on the Bangkok real-estate market is the booming economy in Asia. This should be great for the Thai people – and it is – at least for those who own property. A major part of the roaring prices (and sadly inflation) is real estate. Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Seoul are known for this development – Bangkok not so much – at least not to me.

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Foodie meets Jean Reno

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Jean Reno

Being in Bangkok has it´s perks – especially food wise. But to meet one of my favorite actors is definitely not one of the perks I was thinking about. Surprisingly enough he is staying in the same hotel and just hit the restaurant and bar when I had my evening cocktail. I am still a little impressed by the incident… even though he is not as tall in reality as I  pictured him from the movies.

Anyway, Jean Reno is in Bangkok in the Le Meridian Bangkok / PatPong. This hotel is very well known and beloved in the gay community… not to start any rumor 😉
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Bangkok Food Courts

I am definitely not the first person to write about them nor would they need so much advertisement at all. Nearly everyone who has been to Asia knows of them, been there, ate there. I am talking about Food Courts.

I have encountered them in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or even Sydney and Tokyo. They are everywhere and I think an essential component to the traveler friendly “Asian experience”. Without speaking the local language you can see the food to choose, decide, sign, point, wave, nod and smile to the person who prepares your food and make sure you receive what you crave.

Food Court at Siam Paragon Bangkok

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