Bangkok is known as a shopping as well as an eating destination. Bangkokians love nothing more than to go shopping and to take part in eating, all the time, day and night.
But why are Thai women so skinny you ask? Let me just say, it's part gene, part eating habit. There's no need for me to go into detail. But I will say this, unfortunately I didn't inherit the first part ... yes, yes, boo hoo to me. I did however inherit the Thai 'love of eating'; which without the skinny genes, is not a good predicament to be in.
So before I get completely depressed about how I can't eat a whole tub of ice-cream without putting on weight, CentralWorld shopping mall is a huge complex which can be accessed from the skywalk which connects to both Siam and Chidlom BTS stations.
It used to be the World Trade Centre years ago and I remember it as a pretty empty, quiet sort of a place. It also came under fire during political unrest in the second quarter of last year. Nowadays, it's buzzing with life.
Having been to the Taling Pling chain of restaurants before; in Paragon shopping mall and a visit to another outlet, I liked their food. So tonight after a bit of shopping, I decided to try out their outlet in CentralWorld.
It's located in the Atrium zone of the 3rd floor and the casual, smart contemporary décor with mood lighting and floor to ceiling windows at the back, all makes for a pleasant cafe-style restaurant.
Their helpful picture menu is a godsend for those who aren't familiar with the dishes and is just a really nice guide for those who are. The focus is on homestyle Thai cooking and there's loads to choose from: appetizers, curries, noodles, one plate rice dishes, vegetarian, fish, desserts.
I wanted something a bit different and something that I hadn't eaten for some time. So I went ahead and ordered the 'spicy stir fry "sator" beans (otherwise known as fava beans) with minced pork and prawn '(155 Baht).
For those who have never eaten sator/fava beans, they have a sort of mild nutty taste and are slightly crunchy in texture. Some say these beans are slightly bitter in taste. Cooked well, i.e. with a really good, strong stir fry sauce, the bitterness is hardly noticeable. At least that's my opinion anyway.
Now, I must forewarn, this is a truely 'nose-runner' of a spicy dish, so if spicy, and by this I mean really spicy chilli is not your thing, then do remember to ask for it mild or mi phet (not hot).
And to ensure I got my five-a-day, I also ordered a plate of 'Stir fry morning glory with garlic, chilli and oyster sauce' (95 Baht). This is one of my favourite vegetable dishes of all time, although I am told that I shouldn't eat too much morning glory as it's not good for energy levels. Not sure where I heard this, but I rarely heed this advice. Needless to say, maybe this is the reason for my low energy dips in the afternoons, or maybe that's more to do with eating too much for lunch?!
Staff are friendly and polite here. Food didn't take too long to come out and I can't remember whether there was music in the background or not. Shh, I would make a rubbish restaurant critic, good job I am not one then. Although secretly, I would love to be, and now my secret desire to be one is not so secret anymore. Anyone need a restaurant critic? I am really good at eating ....
3rd Flr Atrium Zone, CentralWorld Mall, Bangkok
Tel: +66 (0)2 613 1360-2
Nearest BTS: Siam and Chidlom