The Kuidore Mission in Osaka
September flew by and may have been all the flying around I did that made it seem so brief (see last month’s food and restaurant buzz). I spent a phenomenal 10 days eating myself miserable in Osaka and I think the Kobe beef high I got from the experience lasted the rest of the month. You can catch some of Mark Wiens recent vlogs for a recap of much of the heavy eating. I’ll embed the first video below, but be on the lookout for Day 3 and Day 6 episodes, which were standout days in our mission to experience the true Osakan phenomenon of ‘kuidore’ (the word used to explain eating and drinking oneself into ruin).
Youtube Killed My Blog
Instagram fans may have noticed I’ve been making plenty of cocktails this week. There’s been ample time to drink and stare at the white screen of death, aka my website. The agonizing 36 hours or so where bkkfatty.com was down due to bandwidth struggles was pretty stressing. The death had been caused apparently by my most recent cameo appearance on the Migrationology travel vlog series mentioned above. The channel belongs to my good foodie friend, Mark Wiens, who’s known for his travels and his willingness to share his audible foodgasms with who ever will watch. This wasn’t my first appearance on the channel, but the other times were either before he had 200,000 subscribers who notice every detail, or about my charity project, The Courageous Kitchen.
This time, however, chronicled Mark and Ying’s travel to Osaka where they joined me on about my third day into the trip. “Japan’s kitchen” as Osaka is called, is known for a phenomenon called ‘kuidore’ or to ruin yourself with extravagant food, so you can guess the result was a couple of epic days of eating in Japan. Now if you’re a youtuber reading this you’ve probably already seen most of the days my trip collided with Mark’s, the highlight being our trip to Kobe, Japan to have an incredible meal at La Shomon and wander around the city eating. That’s a day I’ll never forget. If you thought Mark was unintelligible in those videos, you should have seen the full force of beef intoxication turning me into a useless, grinning, and drooling puppy dog.
Bangkok Restaurant Buzz
While I was gone, I missed this year’s World Gourmet Festival (see some of the food from last year’s event) and some sort of restaurant week/month thing the Thai restaurant rating website Wongnai was running. I didn’t hear about them making too many ripples on the food scene outside of blogger circles though. Instead people are talking about the closing of Opposite Mess Hall, which practically went up in burger smoke last week.
Thais seem to be in the mood for more non-MK chain hot pot spots this month, and piggybacking on that trend is the giant instant noodles at places like Jeh O Chula. The irony being that just about everything Jeh O (aka Jay Oh) serves is better than those noodles, but eager instagrammers may not have noticed. The imported places Tim Ho Wan, Kang Ban Phe, Hot Star Chicken, and most everything else there’s been a hoopla about recently, seem to have been a let down. Cheap Japanese food is still booming on instagram and vegetarian/vegan food is back in the spotlight with the opening of Broccoli Revolution and few other smaller places around town. Expect the healthy places to continue to get a boost in October with the return of the Thai Vegetarian Festival (aka the ‘J’ or ‘Jae’ festival).
If you’re not vegetarian, don’t worry too much. There will be plenty keep you busy, whether you’re tossing back craft beers and Thai food (Oct 2nd), or trying to decide who in Bangkok has the best burgers at the US Embassy’s first American Burger Festival (Oct. 2-4th). The burger event will bring together Bangkok’s food trucks and burger enthusiasts for the start of the embassy’s American restaurant week, which is sure to feature deals for everything from bagels to baby back ribs (hopefully including both BKK Bagel Bakery and Hickory BKK).
To Eat or Not to Eat
My list of things to eat in Bangkok is getting longer and longer as more new restaurants emerge on the scene. One friend assured me I’d love Tep Bar, and another friend promised I’d be disappointed with the Thai style tapas and cocktails. There’s a new Peranakan spot in Siam for you nasi lemak lovers called Sambalacha (ซามบาลาจา) and Ecuadorian food at a small restaurant in Asoke called Cali’s Grill (a bit further inside than Craft, across from Chef Yan’s Pizza). Osito Urban Tapas is crushing breakfast with their shooter’s sandwich, and finally I took a return trip back to Mint Balcony on Sukhumvit 26, which was delicious and satisfying.
Much of the cocktail buzz around town have revolved around the opening of Q&A Bar, with many of other new bars on the horizon before the end of the year. I’ve been a bit too busy making my own cocktails to explore much, but I plan to do more bar reviews in the coming months. If you cocktail loving guys and gals send in good feedback, I could also possibly include a wine or spirit of the month.
Mouth tingling szechuan peppers crushed over G&T’s A photo posted by Bangkok Fatty (@bkkfatty) on
I’m also slowly compiling a list of places not to eat in Bangkok and so far it includes Don Muang airport and Chatuchak Weekend Market. Any others to suggest?
Bangkok & Beyond
There are plenty of experiences to share from Thailand too. While Mark and I both were going through camera trauma, we had a few days away from Bangkok to visit Sriracha and Rayong. The food was amazing, so expect some recaps of that coming up in October. They will include fish egg plied soups and enormous, crispy frog legs from places we visited, stay tuned!