Kirk and I meandered to a restaurant called "The Deck" last night which was located a few iron work stairs up near the water by Arun Wat, a gorgeous million meter high temple which made for a spectacularly sparkly evening. We sat upon the noveau teak deck dining for free on eighty dollar a bottle French bordeaux called Meureux and australian grassfed serloin. How could this possibly ever come about on shoestring budget meandering?It was a chance meeting the night before our flight to Bangkok at a pub on the small isle of Bainbridge island Puget Sound, Washington. Kirk's family friend Steve bumped into us and hearing of our 24 hour departure to Bangkok he eagerly said, "I'd love to buy you dinner in Bangkok". Luckily this was not a pick up line towards my man friend but rather a networking multi-tasking gift that gave us permission to dine in style 5,000 miles away via steve for free! Steve arranged through a friend to shoot us reservations at this posh upscale, literally off the beaten path feast of finery. Let me tell you, I have never tasted a more spotless and tounge numblingly graceful four course meal.
To begin, Kirk ordered us both a french onion soup that was a light prime to our palletes. Each bowl contained a tiny piece of artisan bread that had been fried and melted with cheese, the first cheese I've had since my touchdown here. Next our wine, which was my choice was from France circa early two thousand and was a Mereux Cabernet Sauvingnon. Kirk remarked, "it has a sharp nose" but that was Kirk for, this is the best wine I've ever had oh my god oh my god silky satin. Thats how I translated it into Sammi but nonetheless, Bravo on the wine. Most beautiful color and it left me beaming all night.
For my entre I got a braised Lamb shank that was marinated in various herbs such as a nice spiced wine, and a definite helping of saffron and tarragon, ryhmes eh? To my mouth it tasted like a naked full moon celebration to honor the concept of tenderness. It was paired with a aspargus/mushroom creamed risotto that went blissfully with my wine.
For dessert? A chocolate ganache with homemade vanilla bean icecream dragonfruit garnish and strawberry puree sauce that lined my plate. Oh help me lord. Kirk was so smitten with my ganashe he ignored his five stories high strawberry millefois to munch on mine, I could have killed him.
From this nearly lethal delecatbleness we meanered onto the terrace to sip cocky cocktails with some of Bangkok's richest, and we were met with a 5,000 baht bill. "Hmmm? What?" was our responce. Apparently something from Steve's goodwill had been lost in translation to our ethereal Thai dinner host "Roj". Though an overabundance of fanagling via our phone to Steves phone to Roj's phone, we settled the $150 dollar bill from thousands of miles away without paying a cent. Thank you Steve and the mysterious Roj I will never meet!
All in all, being able to sample and savor the alternate non-backpacker culture across the otherside of Bangkok was an important experience but first and foremost a gift. It was where those who dined decided to dine and it was host to asian cuisine as well as western cuisine. It was also a favorite of successful asians in the city and I was happy to be amongst natives who had carved this out as a favorite amongst other haunts. This atmopshere was elegant and haughty, it was a beautiful evening and although it almost cost me six days of living here, I'm glad that risk was on the table. But nevertheless, juxtaposed with the poverty I knew was only two flights of stairs down around the corner made this savory meal rather bitersweet. From this experience in a country that contains the hardest working and most underpaid people I've ever met has caused me to scale down my material desires and spending in large part. Without this experience of socio-economic disparity between the westernly groomed thais dining near the water and the thais around the corner making 75 cent pad thai on the street, It would've taken longer to sink in.