Blogging · Vacation

Halal trip(s) to Bangkok

After three times going back and forth to Bangkok, I now have the gut to actually blog about my trip. First time is an experience, second & third trip is more to casual and food.

our two single beds room at i residence

My first trip to Bangkok was in the mid of August, 2016 with my colleague, Insyirah. It was our first time traveling together and I couldn’t recall how many days we stayed up there. We stayed at so called CBD area, i Residence Hotel in Silom. Quite convenient for us since our hotel is opposite Chong Nonsi BTS station.

Didn’t do much since it was our first time and also we couldn’t go anywhere that much due to bad weather. I remember clearly our second last day, we went to Chatuchak Market in the morning at two hours later, we were greeted by a stormy weather.

chicken sticky rice for 50 baht (if i’m not mistaken)

We managed to get a few items like food and clothes and had our brunch at this halal chicken rice shop somewhere in Chatuchak Market.

Second trip was in March 2018, with my fellow friends; Ain, Syai, Khai and Hazwan.

khai, me, ain, syai & hazwan

Many things have changed in just two years and we stayed at Citin Pratunam, a-three-star hotel with great hospitality and people. Because this is my second time to Bangkok and few times for them, they did all the plannings from food to whereabouts (even hotel too!)

Our first pit stop was Talad Neon, a walking distance from Palladium IT Pratunam. Oh before that, I’ll tell you about our hotel area.

Citin has two separated buildings, so the old one is located in front of a massage spa shop and the newest one located in front of 7-11, nearby to train track station (don’t worry, both buildings are a walking distance like… less than 15 seconds).

We took cab from Suvarnabhumi Airport since everyone had very bag luggages with them (except for mine!). But you can spend less than 350 baht (SG$16.00) and take Airport Rail Link (Suvarnabhumi to Ratchaprarop Station). By the way, 100 baht is SGD$1.55 (now, back then was SG$1.00).

For Muslim travellers, you don’t have to worry as Pratunam has so many halal food and restaurants! You can even find halal street food around the corner.

First stop was Talad Neon. Basically Talad Neon is like Chatuchak, except hipster version. But here is something you might want and need to know – their seafood stalls ARE NOT HALAL (even though they have the HALAL sign). They might just go ahead and say “yes halal halal” but look through their menu carefully (found out about this on my third trip, this year).

twisted potato stall at talad neon
i had bandung.

There are a few halal stalls, but more to finger food like cheesy fries, quails and some potato.

Next day, we had our brunch at Maedah Restaurant. This is one of the best halal restaurants that could be found around Pratunam area.

Ain was sick and so she didn’t join us for our second day trip. Syai stayed back in the room to take care of his wife (so sweet).

That night we had our dinner at Yana Restaurant. A bit distance from Siam Paragon and Khai, me and Hazwan tuktuk to get there.

I’m not really a big fan of eating many stuffs in a restaurant so I gotten myself a plate of pad thai. The food was nice and delicious and affordable.

This year, a week after Eid Mubarak, I went to Bangkok again but with Tasha.

Stayed at Citin Pratunam again (because why not! and affordable!) and this time around I went there with a limited budget, I did not bring my ATM card, paid everything in cash including make-ups.

Took SA City to our hotel and right after a few hours resting, we had our late lunch/early dinner at Al-Sana Restaurant. They serve Pakistani, Arabic and Thai food.

We then headed to Palladium Mall to do some shopping but to our surprise, the building closes early, at 8pm. So we walked around and took photos at their famous bridge.

not sure what’s the name of this bridge but it’s connected from palladium mall

Walked to Talad Neon and here’s the best part – this is where I found out about the fake halal food. I started to feel hungry and thought of getting some tom yam soup but when I looked around, I saw a few photos of pork. Asked one of the owners and she kept saying halal.

Then I decided to settle down with Thai milk tea first. The fellow man that sells drink is a Muslim man (i believe he’s a mixed of kelantanese & siam because he spoke to me in Malay). Asked him about food around Talad and he told me those seafood stalls are not halal. It is just to attract customers.

And what I meant by fake halal food is they serve and cook pork too. To play safe, better not have your seafood there. I will list down a few places where you can get halal food okay!

cheesy fries from one of the halal stalls.
halal lok lok nearby pratunam market

Next day, we went to Siam to shop some make-up. Eveandboy is haven for make-up lovers.

my favorite local brand, srichand

Also, we had our dinner at Zaabver Restaurant and I can say the price is a little bit pricey. Note: not complaining, but I was expecting more things on the menu. Had tom yam fried rice but not to my liking. Still prefer the street food nearby my hotel area (50 baht and have many prawns!).

My this trip is all about budget. We took tuktuk to everywhere we go. Even to Chatuchak! Worth the price for 200 baht and the driver even stopped us at this one place to let us try honey for free! But tragically, many shops closed due to fire breakdown.

We went there around afternoon and had a very light brunch in our room. We roamed quite long to find food in Chatuchak but again and we both became hangry. Then we found halal street food inside the market itself! I had pad thai for only 40 baht and ice coconut for 50 baht! My tummy smiled.

Had to have a dessert right after a delicious meal. This ice cream costs only 5 baht. I had mine in sarsi flavor (wanted thai tea but aunty heard wrongly).

Tasha didn’t believe me when I said Bangkok is a place for you to spend your money like a crazy person. She bought a lot of things especially snacks because Thailand has the bestest chips in 7-11!

So here are a few tips that I can give you (from my own experience):
ALWAYS ALWAYS smile because Thai people are rich with smiles and courtesy.

Never ever bargain too much and walk away. They don’t like to entertain people who keep on bargaining. Make sure know what you wanna get. Buy more than 2, you will get at least 50-100 baht off. For snacks, buy 5 free 1 (if you are lucky enough).

Speak their language – learn to speak Thai and they will enjoy more talking/give you discount. It works on me.

Be humble (ALWAYS)

Tips their hotel employees (they deserve because they are really helpful and patient with silly tourists).

For halal food:
Maedah Restaurant
Al-Sana Restaurant
Zabveer Restaurant
Halal street food, Palladium IT Mall
Yana Restaurant
Royal India (Siam Paragon)
Sinthorn Steakhouse
Yusup Pochana
Busaba Restaurant
Usman Thai food
AYA Japanese food

With that, I end my Bangkok trip blog here. For highlights, visit my Instagram to find out more!

Asian Food · Cooking · Simple dish

Simple rendang ayam

Hey semua. Yika nak share dengan readers menu simple masakan rendang ayam, recipe given by my mom. Bila tengok senarai bahan punyalah banyak tapi bila dah asingkan bahan-bahan untuk dikisar, ditumis, actually senang je. Yika akan pecahkan blog post ni dalam two languages – Malay and English so that my fellow readers who don’t understand Malay can actually learn and try to make this too.

Resepi dalam Melayu

Bahan-bahan:
1/2 ekor ayam dicuci bersih. Gaul dengan kunyit dan sedikit garam (tak nak letak pun tak apa) dan goreng setengah masak.
disangai: 3 sudu kecil ketumbar biji, 2 sudu kecil jintan halus, 2 sudu kecil jintan kasar, 1 sudu kecil lada hitam
1 helai daun kunyit (siat)
5 helai daun limau purut (siat)
1 keping asam keping
1/2 peket kerisik
Gula Melaka mengikut citarasa sendiri
Garam
1 kotak santan
2 batang serai (diketuk)

Bahan-bahan dikisar halus:
10 tangkai lada kering
10 biji bawang kecil atau 2 biji bawang besar (make sure betul2 besar)
4 ulas bawang putih
1 inci halia
1 inci lengkuas
1 batang serai
1 inci kunyit hidup ataupun 1 sudu kecil kunyit serbuk
Bahan-bahan yang telah disangai terlebih dahulu

Cara-cara memasak:

1. Panaskan 2 senduk masak minyak di dalam kuali. Masukkan serai yang telah diketuk dan tumis sehingga naik bau. Kemudian, masukkan rempah kisar dan tumis sehingga naik bau juga. Setelah rempah garing dan pecah minyak, barulah masuk ayam yang telah digoreng setengah tadi. Gaul rata sehingga sebati.

2. Masukkan santan kotak dan tambah air lagi 1 kotak. Kacau sebati. Kemudian, masukkan daun limau dan daun kunyit. Make sure api sedang. Kacau perlahan agar tidak hangit.

3. Sesudah kuah menjadi pekat, masukkan kerisik, garam dan asam keping, gula melaka dan kacau sebati supaya tidak menjadi hangit.

4. Jika ada rasa, matikan api dan hidangkan rendangnya!

Recipe in English

Ingredients:
1/2 chicken (clean & wash with lemon & salt) . Mix it up with turmeric powder and some salt (optional) and half cook it.
** fry without oil: 3 tablespoons coriander seeds, 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, 2 tablespoons cumin, 1 teaspoon black pepper
1 sheet of turmeric leaf (sift)
5 pieces of lime leaf (sift)
1 slice of tamarind peel
1/2 packet of fried coconut paste
Palm sugar according to taste
Salt
1 box of coconut milk (200ml)
2 lemongrass (knocked down)

Finely blend:
10 sticks of dried pepper
10 small onions or 2 large onions (make sure they are big)
4 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
1 inch galangal
1 lemongrass
1 inch turmeric or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
The ingredients that were already fried without oil**

Method

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the beaten lemongrass and stir-fry until you can smell the fragrant. Then, add in the blended mixture and stir until it fragrant too. Once the mixture is cooked and oil turns up, put in the half-fried chicken. Mix well.

2. Add coconut milk and add 200ml of water. Simmer well. Add in lemon and turmeric leaves. Make sure the fire is warm. Stir gently to keep it warm.

3. After the sauce has thickened, add fried coconut paste, salt and tamarind peel, palm sugar and stir well to keep it warm.

4. Once done, turn the fire off and you may now serve the rendang. Best eat with either lemang, ketupat or rice.






#wheretoeat · Dessert · Food

Sweet darkness at The Dark Gallery

I am not a sweet tooth kind of girl. I indulge bitter & sour more. But K on the other hand is hantu (ghost) chocolate. To be fair for both of us, I will always do some research that serves both sweet and not-really-sweet desserts in town, or at least nearby us.

Last two weeks, I discovered The Dark Gallery. You can find their stores at Takashimaya (B2-29), Millenia Walk (#01-K5) and Funan (#01-14).

To avoid many people, we decided to hang around at Millenia Walk and as a first timer, I’d always ask “What is your signature flavor/specialty?” Great service I gotta say (their employees are full with love and smile).

After quite some time, I decided to try thier 88% dark chocolate Sur del Lago along with waffle in a cup. And K had a slice of signature dark chocolate cake (66% dark chocolate mousse layered with fluffy sponge.) Not sure what drink K bought but I remember the name has white in it. Probably white coffee. Or white latte. I forgot.

I can actually taste that not-sweet-bitter in my ice-cream. I went “Ughh I WANT MORE!” and I even tried K’s 66% cake – it was delicious for me. But I’m not a big fan of mousse so I that’s why I skipped their cake part (I’m a simple person. No fancy cream).

As much as I wanted their waffle ice-cream, I had to skip that part because I had quite a heavy breakfast before going out.

Last week, I brought one of my Twitter friends, Nysa to The Dark Gallery (again). Gotta say… once I like one particular thing, I will definitely come over again to try their other menu.

And this time around I had 80% Signature dark chocolate and Nysa had Sea Salt Butterscotch with 64% Madagascar dark chocolate along with almond topping.

With this, I told her “This may not be special but as promised before I’ll bring you for an ice-cream date and since your birthday is around the corner, lemme treat you for some great dessert.”

Price starts from $5 and gotta say, this is one of a kind and affordable dessert place to hang out with your buddies and if you love dark chocolate as much as I do, you gotta try it out.