Posts Tagged ‘food’

Small Bangkok Restaurants

December 13, 2009

Right across the road from Bangkok’s main railway station: Hua Lamphong, is a parade (British English term) of shops fronting a small street market. Just about anywhere else such a prime location would have been redeveloped into fast food outlets and shops. But not in Bangkok.

Although there is a 7-11 store there – cheaper for supplies prior to a train journey than the shops in the station – it’s an old style market. Hidden inside is the entrance to the Station Hotel.

I Bet This Place has Some Stories to Tell

There are also several hole-in-the-wall restaurants that sell unexceptional Thai and Thai-Chinese food. I had lunch at one today. The staff are friendly and speak some English – they get many impecunious backpackers as customers. The decorations are basic – the wall may be held up by layers of posters.

Small Restaurant on Rong Mueang Road, Bangkok
Small Restaurant on Rong Mueang Road, Bangkok
I had pork soup and BBQ duck. Both were good portions and served with plenty of sauce and chilis. The vegetables served with the duck were fresh – not the frozen stuff served at places like Black Canyon.

Small Restaurant on Rong Mueang Road, Bangkok

BBQ Duck

Small Restaurant on Rong Mueang Road, Bangkok

Pork Stew

Total price: 150 Thai Baht (about US$4.50 according to Oanda.com). Not the cheapest meal in Bangkok, but it was good and filling – and in an interesting location.

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Mini Tripod

December 2, 2009

I was disappointed with the quality of the picture I took of Thanksgiving Dinner. A slow lens and not much light overwhelmed the image stabilization of my Nikon Coolpix P6000. That’s why I did not post a picture to Flickr and only put a small version on this blog.

 

Mini Tripod

Michael Willems suggested that I can try a mini tabletop tripod. I have one but I’d forgotten about it. Thai camera stores give away some cheap accessories when you buy a camera: I got the mini tripod and a flimsy case when I purchased my old Sony DSC-W35.

 

I dug it out and took it with me to lunch today: Delifrance at Central Lat Phrao. It’s small enough to stick in a back pocket – and thus small enough to lose easily.

Here’s a picture of my sandwich lunch:
Lunch at Delifrance
It’s definitely sharper than my handheld efforts. I used the closeup setting on the camera and the two-second self timer. I even got a somewhat blurred background sans Photoshop.

The angle is too low for plated meals and I had to be careful to keep the tripod level. Each leg can be bent independently.

That was a good free experiment. I’ll continue to take it with me and maybe I’ll get better at using it.

Shooting my Lunch

November 10, 2009

Lunch at Little Home Bakery

This is my photo for Michael Willem’s assignment “Shoot Your Lunch Tomorrow”. See here.

I guess it would have been more interesting to take a photo of some exotic Thai food, but today I felt in the mood for “farang food”.

I was on Silom Road and remembered a restaurant called Little Home Bakery in the basement of the Central Department Store right by Sala Daeng Skytrain Station. They have a big menu from Western food through some fairly elaborate Thai dishes.

Inside you’d think you were in an American family restaurant. My “American Breakfast” included bacon, eggs, a grilled tomato and home fried potatoes. There were side orders of both toast and pancakes. A cup of tea or coffee was included in the 165 Baht price. That’s about US$5.

The portion was small by US standards and the coffee wasn’t a “bottomless cup”. But that’s no bad thing – American portions tend to be excessive. I’m down to my “ideal weight” for my height after three years here. In the States I was getting a bit “prosperous”.

I could quibble about the quality of the potatoes but overall it was good and freshly cooked.

I usually take a photo of my food in a restaurant unless it is a very hi-so place. I wrote here about cameras that have a special setting for food photography. I used the “close up” setting on my Nilon Coolpx P6000 and used the available light in the restaurant.

Here are some examples from my Flickr photostream:

Ostrich Steak
Rice with Dried Pork
Spring Rolls with Papaya & Crab Meat
Laab with Prawns
Pork Fillet With Mushroom Sauce
Northern Thai Curry
Snack at Foodland

There are many more.

Filling the Frame

October 21, 2009

I was inspired by today’s “Picture of the Day”: “Book Snap” in Michael Willems’s Daily Photography Blog to post some pictures I took in Prawet Market, Bangkok on Saturday.

Bangkok still has many traditional wet markets selling everything from fresh meat and fish, vegetables to clothes and electronics. Some are tourist attractions like the Flower Market near Memorial Bridge. But most serve the local people as they’ve done for years.

The markets are usually crowded and ill-lit so photography isn’t easy. I’ve found the pictures I like the most are close-ups of the produce on sale. The colours and textures are often compelling – especially if so much is unfamiliar to Western eyes (and nostrils). As Michael commented with his Book Snap, it’s good to fill the frame.

Here are a few examples from my Flickr photostream.

Joe Boxer

Joe Boxer

Chilis Drying in the Sun

Chilis Drying in the Sun

Shirts of Many Colours

Shirts of Many Colours

Dried Fish

Dried Fish

Outside the tourist areas the vendors are always friendly. They’re thrilled and surprised that a foreigner is interested in things they sell every day. But in the tourist areas like Sukhumvit and Silom Roads the stall-holders can be pretty hostile. Perhaps they are worried that I am checking on the counterfeit goods they are selling. But most likely they are tired of tourists with cameras not buying much.

Minute Steak

October 7, 2009

Lunch at Foodland
I often eat lunch at Foodland, Sukhumvit Soi 5. Most Foodland supermarkets have a 24-hour food counter. They all serve the same menu of Thai and Western standards.

I usually take a photograph of my food, much to the amusement of the staff. Foodland must be a good employer. This branch has had the same cooks for a long time and they all seem enthusiastic. The turnover is usually high in Thai service businesses. Not here.

Surprisingly if the order taker is busy any of the cooks speak enough English to take orders. That’s very rare in Thailand.

The clientele is a mixture of all types from business people looking for a cheap lunch in an air con environment to western tourists and residents with or without their girlfriend of the moment.

It is also popular with the Indian traders who frequent the lower Sukhumvit. Maybe it is because Foodland has a lot of vegetarian options and even make a passable Indian style curry alongside the Thai varieties.

Their minute steak was not the best meal I have eaten. When I posted the photo to Flickr I said that it gave my teeth good exercise.

Does anybody know where the term minute steak came from? I could look it up but it is more fun to ask online.

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Does Your Digital Camera Have a ‘Food’ Setting? – Slashfood

August 17, 2009

Does Your Digital Camera Have a ‘Food’ Setting? – Slashfood.

Fortunately my Nikon Coolpix P6000 does not! I bet when the engineers’ eyes roll when the marketing people ask them to put in all these extra scene modes (as Nikon calls them on my camera).

I wonder what parameters one would set that is special to photographing food? The only ones I can think of is to boost saturation and to set the “close up” mode.

I often photograph food, at home, in a restaurant or on a vendor’s stall that I pass. Thai food can be particularly photogenic with the colours and subtle textures.

I photographed this fish dish in a local restaurant using the old Sony DSC-W35 and no special settings apart from close up mode.

Delicious Thai Fish Dish

I think it is a good picture as it is in focus, the colours are true and I can see the texture of the herbs and the richness of curry gravy.