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Thursday, May 05, 2011

A fantastic show @ Siam Niramit, Bangkok

A few months ago, my dad told me about an awesome stage show called 'Siam Niramit'. He highly recommended me to check out this special Thai show. After reading some reviews from Trip Advisor, I decided to book my tickets! I approached a travel agent in Holiday Inn Silom (5 minutes walk from my office) and bought 2 tickets at a discounted rate! =)

On first day of Songkran (a.k.a Thailand's new year/ water festival), a driver from the travel agency fetched me and AO to Siam Niramit, which had quite a distance from my apartment. We arrived before 6pm to collect our buffet vouchers and show tickets. Firstly, we were greeted by the friendly ushers and blessed with holly water. Then, I received a pretty orchid corsage from her too (the corsages were only given to all the female guests).

There were some souvenir stalls selling souvenirs mainly with elephant theme. An elephant was near the entrance waiting for customers who wanted to snap pictures or ride on it. Some dancers who wore traditional costumes were walking around smiling at the guests. After we took some photographs with the dancers, we went to the restaurant for buffet dinner. There was a wide variety of food at the buffet bar! From Thai style to Indian to western to vegetarian food! I didn't try all of them as I were already bloated up after 1 round of main course and 1 round of dessert. Haha!

After dinner, we still have some buffer time before the show start at 8pm. We spent some time in the 'Thai Village', and enjoyed their local delicacies/ finger food. Our first stop was rice cracker dessert that served in a banana leave bowl. The rice crackers looked like our normal coco cereal. When the lady handed me the rice cracker, I was looking at it and wondered how am I supposed to eat without a spoon. LOL! XD

The lady quickly used some sign language and taught me me to pour the rice crackers from little bowl directly into my mouth. Hahah!! I was giggling and followed her instructions. Ohh! The rice cracker was good! Crunchy! I gave her a thumb-up. "A-loy!!" (Yummy in Thai) Hehehe!! 

Besides rice cracker, there were also other traditional Thai dessert like mini pancake, omelette, and more. I didn't try all the dessert, but I tried the omelette. Its good! Comparable with the Royal Omelette from Blue Elephant Restaurant. Haha! Yummers! 

Guess what, there was a traditional way of making pop-corn too (See the picture below)! The lady was shaking the pop-corn maker up and down, in and out. Then, the corn seeds were popping one by one. It took pretty long time to make a small portion of pop-corn, not very efficient tho. 

Traditional pop corn maker

On top of that, there was another lady making something like Indian nan (or roti canai bakar)... Not too sure tho. Hehe! I didn't try, but I saw her flipping that piece of 'roti' over and over for quite some time. =p
Roti bakar?
Other than food, there were also some samples of traditional houses. In the northern style village, there were some demonstrations on how to make Thai silk. A lot of Thai silk shawls were displayed in the village too.
Thai silk ingredient?
After checking out all the food stalls and traditional houses, we enjoyed a teaser show in front of the hall. When time comes, everybody proceeded to the main hall and got ready for the highlight of the night - Siam Niramit show. 

No camera or video camera was allowed to enter the hall. All the cameras were confiscated at the hall entrance. We kept our cameras in a bag provided by the organizer. Then, we were given a coloured tag with number, which will be used later when claiming back out cameras. 

We entered the hall together with many other guests. We were lucky enough to get one of the best seats right in the middle! We waited for a while before everybody got into the hall and the show had began. 

Do not worry if you couldn't understand Thai, because they do have subtitles in another 5 languages including English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and the last 1 was probably French? I couldn't read the last language but there was a 5th language. Haha! 

That was a great show on a gigantic stage, performed by ~150 performers! You wont be able to imagine how good it was until you experience it on your own. That was the best show I have ever watched so far. Its is highly recommended to see this show at least once if you are in Bangkok. Some might think THB 1,400 (approximately RM 140) for a show is pricey, but I think it worth every single Baht... Hehe!!

Tips: Apparently it is cheaper to book your ticket through travel agency (World Travel Agency), which cost only THB1,400 including transfers to and fro hotel, buffet dinner and the show. I saw the ticket counters were selling the tickets at THB1,500 (not sure if its including dinner)


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Fine Dining @ Blue Elephant Thai Restaurant

This is the entrance of Blue Elephant Restaurant
On one fine evening, my colleagues and I decided to pamper ourselves with a good meal (very sick of the typical fried rice and fried noodle). We relied on T's new GPS to direct us to this famous Royal Thai restaurant located in Sathorn - Blue Elephant Restaurant.

I have first read about its good review from some travel forums. According to TravelFish, this is a chain restaurant which had branches elsewhere in the world for many years before finally opening a branch in Bangkok. It's other branches are locating in Jakarta, Dubai, Paris, London, Malta, Lyon and a few other cities.

Besides the restaurant, there is also a Blue Bar and Blue Elephant Cooking School in the same building. If you are interested to learn Thai traditional cooking, you can join their cooking classes. From their brochures, they are offering traditional Thai cooking classes on a daily basis.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted by the a waiter and waitress. The waitress told us that their restaurant was fully booked and we were only limited to dine for an hour before their next group of customers arrives. We accepted the offer and she brought us to a round table with 3 seats.

Firstly, we were served with a set of complimentary starter consists of a crispy fried dumpling, yummy chicken soup in shot glass and a beautiful orchid (of course the flower was not edible).

Complimentary starter - very nice presentation
That was my very first time drinking soup from a shot glass. Haha! When I first saw the glass, I looked at it curiously. Then, the waiter told me that was actually chicken soup. LOL! *thumbs up* I enjoyed it very much.

The chicken soup in shot glass taste great!
The romantic restaurant environment - perfect for couples
Organic brown jasmine rice

After the starter dish, our main dishes were presented to us one-by-one. We may select between the normal white rice or the organic brown jasmine rice. I had chosen the brown rice while both greedy T and L took both types of rice. XD The brown rice was black in colour and I felt it's lighter than the normal white rice. Something new and worth trying. =)

We ordered 3 main dishes - 2 pork dishes and an omelette. They were all very yummy. Check out my pictures below...

(1) Grilled spare ribs with honey - THB 380 (Approximately RM 38)
(2) Sweet and sour pork with longans - THB 380 (Approximately RM 38)
The last dish was the highlight of that night!! The Royal Omelette, which was the most expensive omelette that we ever had in our life! Hahaha! It cost THB 380 (approximately RM 38).

(3) The Royal Omelette - THB 380 (Approximately RM 38)  
You must be wondering why was it so expensive. Well, lets check out the descriptions from the menu. 
It says 'Thai omelette stuffed with stir-fried minced pork and vegetables. His Majesty King Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) created this dish himself and it was recorded in Thai history when it was served during his second visit to Europe. It became His Majesty’s favourite dish and very popular with Thai and foreigners.' 
Sounds very 'royal' right? To me, its just an omelette with pork and vegetables. I did not find it very special and it was hard for me to justify the price. So, I think the previous 2 dishes were more value for money. Haha!

Overall we were very satisfied with the food and services. The restaurant ambiance was very nice and comfortable. I think it is perfect for couples too. 

Guess what! On our way out, I received an orchid (for females only) from the waiter!! Aww... So sweet... Hehe!!