{ 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.

highlights of twenty fifteen

i scrolled through my photos and smiled at the highlights of twentyfifteen. 

many, many gastronomical discoveries - some good, mostly okay and a few bad (thankfully!).

many tried new recipes and kitchen adventures.

a few firsts. 

some memorable and awesome travelogues.

string of photos share these happy thoughts the best:

of learning family traditions & keeping the family recipes alive 

of my first coveted treasure from dominique ansel bakery 

of meeting 1600 pandas

of exploring chiang mai's wats filled with rich histories

of learning cooking techniques for authentic northern thai cuisines

of enduring (& loving) my first zip lining through the forest

of my first khantoke dinner in chiang mai

of learning how to take a step back and just breathe deeply (& bask in the sunrise)

of completing my first 5km

of my first stay-cation for some little time off just for myself

of sipping my first cold brew coffee

of my first nobu meal experience

of discovering delicious cornflakes s'mores cookies

of my first ever trip to the middle east

of watching the colorful traffic of bangkok cities for the first time

of appreciating bangkok's finest cuppas with the loveliest friend 
aka coffee connoisseur ;)

of my first joel robuchon meal at l'atelier de joel robuchon in bangkok

of savoring the amazing views of beautiful raw lombok

of playing in the clear waters and watching the blue skies at gili trawangan

twentyfifteen holds many wonderful memories and i'm grateful for the experiences and the special  moments. twentysixteen is the renewal of my resolutions that i missed of previous year but looking forward to many more yummylicious possibilities. 

in fact, i already have some exciting plans in store! :)

thank you for being part of my twentyfifteen and hope that you'll stick around to share my moments in twentysixteen, loves. 



p.s. top eats of twentyfifteen follows soon :) 

{ bkk } kaizen coffee co.

the traffic was quieter in the morning. i watched with interest through the window of the jeep as we weaved through the narrow lanes - locals gathered around the street stalls, peppered randomly along the corners of the main streets, satisfying cravings from the plethora of street foods and engaging in light conversations with the vendor. 

my local coffee connoisseur friend had told me that i'd had to sacrifice some sleep to wake up earlier on a weekend morning despite the late night prior. as the car parked into an empty parking space, i noticed the commercial row was only about to rouse from its lazy saturday slumber.
so was i.

i was told the meeting with a blonde mocha at kaizen coffee would be worth the precious sleep i was missing.

jazz music filled the all-white narrow but long space that was accentuated by the straight minimalist black lines spanning the walls with a single striking blue line in the middle. the natural light streamed through the full length glass entrance that gradually melded seamlessly with the soft yellow lights as we walked deeper into the cafe. little round marble tops stood sparsely aligned in a similarly straight line along the dark grey cushioned bench against the wall. a diner was seated with a book in the hand while the coffee cools on the table while enjoying the soft music in the background.

baked goods crowded the quaint white counter right in next of the white spiral stairs that led to a similarly minimalist second floor of the cafe. we snatched up the last choc-almond croissant that was sitting behind its label as we quickly contemplated our breakfast choices. the other side of the stairs centerpiece where small bottles of cold brew coffee stayed cool within the illuminated glass case on a silver counter.

seated at the end of the comfy cushioned bench closer towards the entrance, i was splitting my attention between watching the traffic going by at a slower pace on a typical weekend morning to occasionally admiring the barista's working her magic at the espresso machine that was shining brightly in the spotlight while indulging in food conversations and waiting for our drinks to arrive.

displayed pastries :: almond croissant

i bit through the buttery, flaky crisp shell of the oddly shaped croissant (not quite a crescent), expecting the airy layers. instead it was more chewy, the croissant delicate layers were mushed by the sweet almond paste, hits the tongue cloyingly almost in a coy manner that it masked the nutty aspect of the almonds.

displayed pastries :: choc-almond croissant

similar rich butteriness and textures were emulated by this chocolate counterpart but its difference was what made it lovely. the heavenly melted chocolate injected a deep cacao richness that was a wonderful contrast against the sweetness the almond paste. chocolate made this a winner between the two.

displayed pastries :: apple-walnut raisin muffin

the cinnamon aroma hits the nose before its announced its prominence via the first bite, paired with its classic partners-in-crime sweet apple and nuttiness of walnut. a buttery and moist delight - similarly an apple crumble tart but in a dense, rich cake-like texture.

coffee :: blonde mocha

a double shot ristretto rendition was the reason behind the distinct mild bitterness of the coffee nuanced with cacao notes enhanced by the sweet chocolate. the chocolate shavings succumbed to the mild warmth of the coffee + milk, melted as i took a sip. a strong start of chocolate richness but yet the coffee managed to distinguished itself from each other but complement each other in a delicate balancing act for a smooth round finish as it trickles down the throat. definitely a flavor cup of mocha despite it being a little to sweet for me.

beverage :: hot chocolate

it were the same high quality chocolate that was the main star to this comforting drink of ye cold winter's night. the lovely chocolate was distinct but leaning towards a creamier/milky finish. a lovely drink nonetheless.

coffee :: cold brew 

a mini bottle and a paper cup with ice appeared on the counter before me as my dining companions merrily immersed in a coffee conversation with the barista. it read "fruitberry". my nose crinkled at the unexpected tartness followed by the transient bitterness that was fleeting - much like a period at the end of a sentence. ahh, first sips.

a coffee full of character from its floral notes flirting with the citrus lightness but finished with clean clear flavor as i continued to slowly savor the coffee. it was as if a little fun fair in my mouth with pleasant surprises of taste notes that collaborated in sync together.

tldr // kaizen coffee co thus was my first introduction to bangkok coffee scene and it was beautiful. coffee is a must here and blonde mocha may be the way to go if you love a strong chocolate+coffee combo. best with a double shot ristretto to have a balanced bitter-sweet relationship. on the cooler side, the cold brew is an awesome little surprise package. our pastry picks were mediocre.

kaizen coffee co | location
tai ping tower,
582/5 ekkamai soi
26 and 28
bangkok, thailand
{opens daily: 7am - 7pm}

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