Friday, 26 August 2016

Ohh Milk - A Thai Milk Bar

In Thailand a popular way to socialise with friends and family is to go to the Thai milk bar. you can not compare it to the milk bars you see in Russia and Eastern Europe, this is actually a bar that serves what it says in the title, milk! Most of the milk bars open here from around 5pm till about 11pm and serve all flavours of milk which i will explain more of a little further down. The bars are very popular with the students as they are not as expensive as a coffee shop or a public bars that serve beer and cocktails and provide a nice and relaxing atmosphere as you sit out doors and enjoy the night, just bear in mind most of these are out doors so if the weather is not showing its best, its better to avoid it as you will get wet.

As you enter the bar don't be afraid to just walk in and sit at a table of your choice, the waiter or waitress will bring you the menu and a piece of paper to write out your own order and hand it back to them (dont worry this is a common practice to order your food in Thailand). If you struggle to find a table wave the waiter/waitress over and ask for a table, there may be no table free, as you can see above, as these milk bar are very popular, and they will give you a ticket with a number on and you wait in line to be seated.

Once you get the menu do not be alarmed, the menus can be extensive, its not just milk they sell, they sell a couple of rice dishes, bar snacks like chicken wings/nuggets fries, and the choice of deserts is to die for it really is. You will be looking at the menu for ages mainly because of a couple of reasons. 1 the menu is so huge you just done know where to start and 2 the menu is properly in the thai language and not in english or the language you prefer. Im not saying that all milk bars the language of the menu is like this, but if you go into the suburbs you are mostly guaranteed this. DO NOT PANIC though, the thai people are very humbling and friendly and will try there best to help you out as much as thy can. 

Like i mentioned above the types of milk and flavours you can get is immense, you have 3 options but all may not be able to deliver depending on the flavour and fresh ingredients you wish for. the options you have is hot milk, cold milk, and blended milk with ice so its a little like a slushy soda. The options of flavours are as followed - plain milk, banana, strawberry, cocoa, kiwi, caramel, almond, green tea and the list of flavours go on, most of these are made with fresh fruits as well so its an all round heathy option for an evening out spent with friends and family. 

Once you have ordered your milk, why not order some food, the list of hot food is not extensive but by golly its tasty and packed full of flavour from simple dishes There are usually a few rice dishes to choose from and some western food snacks if you want a change from all the rice and noodles and want a taste of back home or even try different culture's foods if your from an asian country as well.
The food here rivals most street vendors and not expensive at all and as you know with rice dishes, it fills a very well deserved gap after travelling and exploring all. I must say even the western food they serve is not half bad as well and is also extremely cheap if you want to compare it to McDonalds or KFC over here, which in my opinion and i will talk about western food chains here in another blog is quite expensive for the Thai cost of living here. 

Once we have all had our dinner is time for the best of the meal in my opinion, the dessert. Now as i said before at the start of this article that having milk is a healthy choice, forget about everything i said now about that, The desserts here are a delicious, yummy, heaven on a spoon, and basically heart attack food. And this is sometimes exactly what you want, something hearty and full of treats that you know you shouldn't have but you just got to have it. Most of the desserts here are a bread/toast pudding, with lots of sauce on top, you can all kinds of toppings on from chocolate to whipped cream, to bananas and ice cream, or you can just ask for everything on top, Now please don't knock it till you tried it like i did, you will be presently surprised with the softness of the toast with the sauce and ice cream to go with it, its a delight to eat. Now if you are really featuring adventurous you can get a bowl of flavoured milk with ice, Oreo's, Kit Kats, jelly/jello toast, ice cream, cornflakes with chocolate flavour wafers in plus more. This is for the ultimate dessert expert to indulge in and a desert worth ordering in my opinion.

Just to leave it here, i just wish to say if you ever come to Thailand this is a place to check out, well worth the time and a nice way to spend an evening on some occasions, especially if its a nice day. Last time we went to the milk bar we got 2 milks, fried chicken with rice, fried pork with rice, fries and a the bowl of chocolate delight and the bill came to 290 Baht which is around £6.50 or $10 USD

So basically it is not expensive at all to try out. 

Monday, 1 August 2016

Thai BBQ you say???

This is a question we have been asked a few times now so i thought i would give you a little run down of what to expect from a Thai BBQ. A Thai BBQ usually consists of going to a restaurant where you select as many raw items as you wish and cook them on your own private BBQ on your table rather than the western style BBQ where you usually have it in your back garden.

Im just going to give you the experience on one we went to just the other day, but the prices and what kind of food is on offer depends from restaurant to restaurant. To add further more to this the restaurant we choose was the cheapest we have found so far in our area we are living . Some BBQ can be really deluxe and can be found in top hotels even in the Hilton corporation.

The Thai BBQ we went was an outdoor restaurant and cost 159 Baht per person for unlimited time (Some places do have a time limit and if you go over the allowed time, you will be charged extra depending on the rules of the particular establishment), with unlimited food and bottled water and there was also unlimited pepsi available but that was the one and only brand of soda they do.

What happens first is you get seated by the waiter/waitress to your own private table and a big ceramic pot is placed in front of you with burning coals in. you are given a stainless steel disc with a moat around the edges which you place on top of the ceramic pot and pour what is a clear soup into the moat. While you are waiting for this to heat up you can go and get your cooking ingredients to bring back to where you are sitting

There is so much food to select from various types of pork, chicken, shrimp, beef, squid just to name just a few raw meats with a big selection on vegetable, eggs and sushi. There is also a cooked section with chicken nuggets, french fries, sausage and other snack foods as we call them to enjoy while your waiting for raw meat to cook

Once you have your selected meats (obviously for the starting course) and your vegetables, you break down the vegetables into smaller pieces and place them in the moat of the cooking dish, allowing them to slowly wilt down into the soup, you can also add meat into the soup if you wish to boil and to add a different flavour and texture than grilling. You grill your meat by placing your meat on the round dome on top of the dish, which is the hottest point, and turn occasionally while cooking to your liking and taste buds.

Obviously this is the first stage of the buffet and doesn't look the most appetising but the more you grill and the juices drip into your own made soup the more colourful and tasty it is going to be. This is always a huge hit by the locals as its cheap, plentiful and its a great place to meet with friends to socialise. As you can see pretty much every table is taken here.

After you fill your boots up and are almost stuffed there is also a selection of fruit, jellies and ice cream (which we believe is the brand "Nestle Ice Cream") to finish off on and to end a nice evening with your family or friends before retiring home because you are too full to care and do anything else.

Now don't get us wrong, this is not the best quality buffets in Thailand you can find, but for the price its a steal, unlimited food which is fresh and tasty, unlimited bottled water and Pepsi and a deserts section for 159 Baht you can't grumble (they even had Thai football (soccer) on the television as well). Just one little note that most of these BBQ will charge you extra if you have leftover food on your table when you are about to leave, i can't give you a price as we had ate everything on our plates and left satisfied and happy on our dinner this evening.