{ bkk } bangkok coffee trending // v2.0

i flipped through my personal travel guide, making mental notes on the places i missed out the first time. 

it was just shy of 6 months since my first time. i was walking along the familiar quiet, tree-shaded alley, branching off from the busy and bustling main street as i walked towards my first weekend brunch  with my friend since i arrived in bangkok... again.

"oh, a new cafe just nearby! awesome..cos i'm really starving..."

my thoughts drifted just for a brief second - only half a year has passed but there were even more new cafes, trying to make a name for itself in this haven for coffee enthusiasts. 

after my first #bkkcaféhopping adventure (read here!), coffees and cafés were among the top things i was looking forward the most.

oh those and bagels...just mainly 'cos i've been craving for some good ones since i've returned from the US, which was several years ago....

.....so the craving was for  real

i snapped back to the present as we were led up to the second floor where the cafe's ambiance reflected a minimalist meet rustic with its warm, light wood hues blending in against the white brick wall; the space illuminated by the morning sunlight streaming in through the ceiling high, narrow bi-fold glass doors.

it was just one of the many cafes and hidden hole-in-the-wall local favorites i've tried as i checked them off my list. enthused doesn't begin to describe it. i've drunk way too much coffee and tea, tried the many desserts & brunches yet i am yearning to have more. 

i promise i will get to each one of them in separate posts as i try to devote the attention each of the eateries deserves, including the ones from the first series. no promises on the when though..

but first, the previews.

//1. brekkie.
organic brunch selections gravitating towards healthy.

//2. casa lapin x49.
a revisit to an old favorite for mocha. different location, same love.

//3. toby's.
a new kid on the block. rustic. cozy. classic french + new american brunch favorites.

//4. tealily's.
matcha & houjicha lattes mastered, close to perfection.

and of course the home of #mochithecat :)

//5. ceresia coffee.
a must have encore ofone of my favorite lattes.

//6. gallery drip cafe.
located in bangkok art and cultural center (bacc), an artistic with a touch of hipster stopover for an ice drip mocha.

//7. patisserie rosie.
delicately intricate desserts, flavors masterfully personified.

//8. d'ark.
another stopover - revisit for a teatime special. mini pastries + lattes.

//9. featherstone.
whimsy in its decor, faintly a la alice in wonderland.

//10. rocket.
the highlight: the d.i.y. hot chocolate. but caffeinated mocha was what i needed.

//11. warm wood cafe.
its name manifested in its decor, new american brunches with a twist.

//12. yellow spoon pastry.
quaint and simple cafe. my first canelé.
-- phenomenal.

full entries to follow soon after... i hope

having a foodie + coffee connoisseur friend who lives in bangkok is definitely a huge plus for me. and she's definitely have the formula down most of the time - delicious brunch and coffee with a punch.

even during my six-month-long absence after my first travels in the city, there were many new quaint and cozy cafés, offering a haven in their quaint, comfy space and their delicious renditions, seeking to find their spot in this ever evolving, exciting food scene in bangkok. so during your next visit, make time for a pit stop at these cafes for a quick cuppa or perhaps a sweet dessert or two, as you take a short break from your adventures, exploring this bustling city.

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

-- apologies for the erratic entries. travel, life and work has taken over my life lately. and i've recently picked up online gaming again. but i will be striving to write a few entries on local eateries and some on bangkok in the next few weeks. 

dotty's pastries & coffee, ttdi

it felt like i opened the french doors to a cafe in london.

the pastries on display behind the glass window on the marble counter top flirted with me with its buttery flaky layers. i divided my attention between the whole breads on the shelves, with its name and price handwritten on brown tags to the detailing of the different spanish tiles on the kitchen wall that eventually phased into white ones. i stared quizzically at the bare cake stand that was labeled with "salted egg yolk cronut" - dotty's best seller and signature invention. 

streams of the morning light streamed through the large glass panes into the petite cafe with french inspired monochromatic floors filled with high table and chairs. a few tables were aligned against the brightly colored, cushioned bench that spanned against the royal blue walls.

we were seated at one of the tiny high table for two very close to the open kitchen at a spot away from main dining space. it almost felt we were sent for detention. i didn't understand dotty's preference for the high tables and without bag hooks, it meant bags had to go on the ground since there was just no space to spare on my petite high chair.

the open kitchen is where the cronut baking magic happens. bakers were hard at work carving out donut shaped pieces from thick sheets of pastries while another was frying them in hot oil.

"when will the cronuts be ready?" i queried the waitstaff.
"it should be ready at about 11am" 

that meant an hour and a half wait.

"we bake more than a hundred pieces so you don't have to worry about it running out. we will send one to you once it's ready" the waitstaff smiled when asked if i could reserve a coveted one when it got out of the kitchen.

and i thought in the meantime, why not coffee and other pastries before the main event? i opened the leather bound menu for brunch and sandwich options only to pick out coffee and to share two of the tempting pastries that probably had our names on them as soon as we stepped foot into the cafe.

specialty drinks :: mocha (rm 11)

a huge mug of mocha with dotty's emblazoned upon the coffee art made it to the table. the chocolate tipped the scales in its favor vs the faint coffee bitter notes with a strong milky finish. a decent cup of mocha but would have preferred a stronger chocolate-coffee combo against the milk.

off the shelf :: salmon & zucchini quiche (rm 12)

zucchini ribbons swirled in the golden egg custard, speckled with pieces of smoked salmon that filled out the lightly browned but slightly dense tart shell. the egg custard was soft but begged for some seasoning in bites where the smoked salmon was missing in action. an addition of a fresh herb could have brought that something special.

off the shelf :: butter croissant (rm 5)

breaking into the golden crispy crescent shaped revealed flaky layers but not without leaving a buttery trail on my fingers. the shell flaked into crumbs as i picked up my half and admired the honeycomb insides but with a slight chewiness. however, it felt like the butteriness piled with every bite that it got too greasy/rich. it came with a side of softened butter but tasted like margarine - firstly, don't need it; secondly, margarine is a no-no with croissants.

off the shelf :: salted egg yolk cronut (rm 11)

the genius invention dominique ansel that makes doughnut - croissant fans rejoice in glee.
this hybrid pastry wears layers like a croissant but is fried like a doughnut.

this was my first. and i was excited.

wearing a crown of golden glaze jeweled with sprinkles of salt, the doughnut shaped pastry had distinct layers as it would a croissant; it glistened slightly from the grease on layers. as i cut into the cronut, the golden lava oozed out generously. the thick custard was buttery rich with a more prominent sweet profile over salty but was disappointed by the weak flavors of the salted yolk richness. combine the two and there you have it: a richness overload that pushed my tastebuds to wave a white flag.

the greasiness from all the pastries finally caught up to me, prompting me to stop after my second bite. it was odd that it was so rich that i was craving for good ol' chinese food after that.

while that was my observation, i also have friends who loved the richness and the concepts it believes in - salted egg yolk. in fact, while we were there, a group of six diners grabbed one cronut each while my dining companion and i managed only half.

perhaps it is still best to try this coveted pastry for yourself to see which camp you belong to.

tldr // dotty's pastries & coffee is a european inspired petite cafe that churns out rich, buttery classics and a few interesting creations such as salted egg yolk cronuts that you may either love or hate but you'd have to try it out yourself. coffee was more milky than it was coffee strong.

dotty's pastries & coffee | location
20 jalan tun mohd fuad 2,
taman tun dr ismail
60000 kuala lumpur
{opens mon, wed - fri : 9am - 5pm;
weekends : 8am - 6pm}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

{ bkk } d'ark piman 49

i quickly slammed the door to the back seat of the parked car before clumsily shielding myself from the light drizzle with my tote as i dashed promptly to get shelter. i pulled open the huge heavy glass door into a space with similar decor - the wall stretches tall to reach the high ceilings while the walls are lined by warm colored couches to add that hint of coziness into the monochromatic space.

we took our seat at a corner of the white communal high counter table while staring at the exposed bulbs that were akin stars in the bright skies, hanging low. the kitchen staff were dishing out some dishes from the semi-open kitchen while on the right were stairs that headed up to the mezzanine that overlooked the main space. the natural lighting would have been beautiful with windows stretching and spanning across this corner cafe to make this a pleasant place to hang out and enjoy the sun if we were there for a morning fix.

my dining companion had recommended a must have here at d'ark at piman 49 but i was still left with the choice of the coffee pairing. she had described her previous brunch dining experience here that embodied "classics but done with a twist in the most overly complex way"  bad for some because of over complexing a classic disappoints expectations but a joy for others because of the experimental but potentially pleasant surprise.

after semi browsing the menu while listening to my friend's stories and picked out my usual go to whenever i can't seem to decide.

choose your favorite coffee :: latte (thb 115)

a cup of espresso + milk combo was brewed at the counter just across from us as the espresso machine screeched against the jazz music playing in the background.

the cup of latte was lukewarm as i took a sip. the creamy milk prevailed over the mild flavors of coffee. the flavors of the bean itself were muted but managed to sometimes taste a light but rounded flavor note of espresso.

desserts :: d'ark espresso tiramisu | mascarpone cream, homemade ladyfinger biscuits, espresso coffee shot (thb 180)

a bowl with what was akin to whipped cream, a small teapot of espresso, a shaker with cacao powder, a small plate of round light biscuits and an empty mug were brought to the table on a tray. the tiramisu began to take its shape under our watchful eyes as the round ladyfinger biscuits set up base in the mug for a splash of espresso shot only to take on the light and mascarpone cream to finish it off with a shake of cacao powder with three layers to complete it.

the ladyfinger biscuits tasted homemade with its airy texture but crisp, softened and doused by a sharp tartness to be ended with a note of bitterness from the espresso and finally relieved by the heavenly light and sweetened mascarpone layer with a light cheesiness. the ethereal quality of the mascarpone was resounded by the light cheese flavor, not distinct but with substance. sometimes the strong espresso occasionally unexpectedly punches the tastebuds lightly.

tldr // d'ark piman 49 is a cozy modern minimalist cafe with an endearing ambiance and a tiramisu from scratch that was worth trying.

d'ark at piman 49 | location
emquartier. 651 sukhumvit road,
khlong tan nuea
bangkok thailand
{opens daily: 7am - 7pm}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

top eats of 2015

akin to a very efficient rolodex, i mentally flipped through the good eats of twentyfifteen quickly in search for the #bestof2015 of which i have bookmarked along my food adventures of the previous year. 

i sighed out almost audibly before opening up my notebook to physically browse through the many food photos i've tasted. pausing at a few potential candidates, my lips curved into a smile as i remember the emotions it evoked when i had my first bite. it was then that i just knew they were the ones.

i picked up a piece of post-it and penned on top of the piece of colored square.

"top eats of 2015"

// the olive cake by copper european restaurant.

if it was an art piece, i'd call it "willfully arranged mess".

dollops of lemon cream custard with the twist of small spoonfuls of passion fruit became the base for  the lightly sweetened olive cake mini wedges & rustically torn pieces of bread divided and contrasted the vast dark textured canvas. hidden within the crevices were roughly choped black olives to surprise unsuspecting diners with its briny fruitiness with edible flowers strewn almost haphazardly but purposefully for color.

uncertain how i should start on the dessert, i've taken the approach of getting small bites and was pleasantly surprised how every component tickled the different taste buds. it was briny, but then sweet to be followed by a lovely assault of tartness while i was also savoring the different textures.

the element of unexpected deliciousness and unique flavor profile that worked so beautifully made it a very memorable dessert. just lovely.

// the croissant by rubberduck.

probably the closest to a perfect execution of the iconic classic french 'pain' (bread), rubberduck bakes the best croissants i've ever had thus far. small crisp crumbs flaked off the golden layers of crispy shell as i tore into the chewy, soft and lightness of the buttery bread. the mild salty - sweet flavors dueled in a fair fight to shine in the light rich flavor of butter had me dreaming for more.

// the jjajangmyeon by chung gung restaurant.

chung gung's version of this beloved korean chinese rendition of black bean noodles was what jjajangmyeon dreams are made of. a lip-smacking black bean sauce where the sweetness whispers in the thickened sauce that clung lovingly onto the perfectly cooked noodles as i bite into the noodles. 'inhaling' the noodles with gusto, slick velvety texture coated with a savory, umami flavor with the fleeting sweetness of the lightly cooked diced onions. it is comfort food with the familiar chinese flavors that i love to eat but with a korean twist.

// the braised pork trotters by sabx2 wanton noodles.

the pork trotters at sabx2 wanton noodles in bangkok must be how beautifully braised with much love and care taste like. fall-off-the-bone moist meat, drinking up the flavorful soy based gravy that boasted of umami with a light sweetness to be surprised further by the gelatinous fat that melted in the mouth without the heavy guilt. lip smacking on the first bite with the richness of the fat coating my lips, i quickly gobbled up the rest of the plate with enthusiasm, laden with very little to almost no guilt. #soworththecalories.

yes, a definite must have during my next visit to the colorful capital of thailand.

"the bib gourmand list"
// the ones who missed the list but are deserving of a quick mention

// the tsukemen by ramen bankara.

dipping in the chilled chewy noodles in the warm and massively flavorful broth of familiar spices in the predominantly soy sauce umami tp warm the signature ramen ever so slightly to retain the bite and texture.

the tsukemen was very close to making onto the big player's list but some of the elements in the ramen were amiss, bumping it down to take the top spot of the bib gourmand instead.

// the salted caramel ice cream by fatbaby ice cream.

the pairing of sweet and salty embodied in a creamy cold delight with splitting the two just at the right spot.

// the latte by cerise coffee roasters.

a minimalist cafe in bangkok. a not-so-minimalist latte.
the memorable roasted flavor that punctuates the sentence of mild tart undertones followed by the hint of brief bitterness to be rounded by the natural sweetness of the creamy milk. a lovely roller coaster of flavors in each mouthful.

there you have it. twentyfifteen had some hits, several averages and many misses. but it has been quite a lovely ride. here's to another 365 days in twentysixteen for a hopeful foodie anticipating new combinations of flavors on a plate. i just can't wait! :)

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and option. experiences and taste buds may wary for others.