Wine bars in Bangkok – Water Library Thonglor

February 28, 2013

Water Library

Virtual visit only

You might know by now that Bangkok is the capital of Asian gourmets. Thai’s are obsessed with food, they hunt for the best bargains, and constantly photograph what they were eating. Social media sites in Thailand are cluttered with pictures of dishes right before consumption. These pictures are shared with friends and family, so that everybody knows about the best food in town.

Also the wine bar scene is very lively. You can find all kinds of wine bars, at the lower price end or the high-luxury one.

The latest craze in Thonglor where I used to live, seems to be the Water Library, a wine bar cum restaurant with excellent reviews. I admit that I have not been there in person as yet. I visited “virtually”, meaning I looked at their website.

Tripadvisor rated the Water Library as 46 out of 6,862 restaurants in Bangkok, which is very impressive. Water Library has received six reviews, all rate the place as excellent.

I studied the wine list which has 19 pages in a pdf-format. The list is impressive too. Largely, it seems to be about “point-drinking”. Mr. Parker must be very happy about this. Very few wines on the list do not show the Parker rating. Prices are considerable, and I admit, way above my budget.

A ‘2007 Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spaetlese’ by Joh. Jos. Pruem, a wine from my beloved Mosel, is an excellent drop, but 2,800 Bath or Euro 72,- is a bit much for me (the 2011 vintage sells for 19,40 in Germany).

But what I take really issue with is the fact that not a single Thai wine has made it’s way onto the list of Water Library. As an advocate of new latitude wines, I think that every place with a bit of a reputation should include some of the excellent wines produced in Thailand, on Thai soil, and by Thai vintners.

Nonetheless, I will check out the place and report back to you.

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TerraMater – Sauvignon Blanc from Chile

February 18, 2013

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2011 TerraMater Sauvignon Blanc

It was a hot Sunday in Bangkok, and I was longing for a fresh and refreshing wine. I went on a wine shopping tour to our local Wine Connection shop in Thonglor, just a 15 minutes walk away from my home.

I browsed through the shelves and found a few white wines which matched my desire. One of them was a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, a ‘2011 TerraMater Premium Vineyard SB’.

This is a very solid wine, with pleasant aromas, lovely acidity and a reasonable finish. I also loved the golden colour of the wine. For a mass produced wine in this low price segment, this wine is value for money. I can only recommend it.

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2011 Sauvignon Blanc Premium Vinyard Wines by TerraMater

TerraMater is based on a family wine business going back to the 1930s. But in 1996 the three Canepa sisters (Gilda, Edda and Antonieta) reinvigorated their family enterprise through the construction of a new winery and the restructuring of their production portfolio.

The visit of the company website makes you anxious for the premium range of TerraMater wines, especially the Carmenere and other reds. I wonder if Wine Connection does import some of them to Thailand. TerraMater also produce olive oil and apples.

I was very pleased with my choice. Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favourite whites anyway, and the Terra Mater SB from Chile fully satisfied my wine drinkers desires.


Fine dining in Bangkok: Patara Restaurant revisited

March 15, 2012

My favourite Thai restaurant in Bangkok is Patara in Thonglor which offers exceptional fine Thai cuisine of greatest quality.

I have written about the place a few times, but it is always a very special occasion when the four of us, I mean my family, are heading to Patara for a family experience.

In 2009 Patara was awarded the title: the Best Restaurant in Thailand. We have taken some of our closest friends there to share this experience.

The interior of Patara restaurant

The other day, a Sunday, it was time again to patronize the place, and indulge in fine Thai cuisine. And look what we ordered. The starter platter is just a wonderful assortment of various delicious Thai dishes.

The starter platter

Another starter

Pork wrapped in bamboo leaves

Also the main dishes are fabulous. I love the steamed fish with herbs, but also the omelet Thai style, the greens and the steamed rice in four colours.

The steamed fish

Omelet Thai style

Morning glory greens

Steamed rice in four colours

I was pleasantly surprised to find a few Thai wines on the wine list. New latitude wines from Thailand are some of my favourite wines since I live here in Bangkok.

I choose the ‘2010 Colombard’ from Monsoon Valley Wines in Hua Hin. The winery has a German wine-maker, Kathrin Puff, who graduated from Geisenheim. I met her at the 3rd International Symposium of Tropical Wine in Chiangmai in November last year.

2010 Colombard from Monsoon Valley Wine

I usually do not like the grape variety. But here in Thailand Colombard makes incredible delicious single varietal wines. It is Monsoon Valley premium range brand.

The 2010 vintage won silver and bronze awards. It has a crisp acidity with complex aromas, and a nice finish. Needless to say the wine goes very well with Asian food. I was glad that I had selected it, and was reminded that I need to stock up on the wine myself.

The back label of the Colombard from Monsoon Valley

Dessert

And another sweet

Of course we had a coffee after the delicious meal and the desserts. Another highlight is that Patara offers to take you home in their Tuktuk, an open air three-wheeler, which is great fun for old and young.

Check it out. It is definitively worth it.

Address:
Patara Bangkok
375 Soi Thonglor 19 Sukhumvit 55,
Klongtonnua Vadhana, Bangkok 10110
Tel.: +66-0-2185 2960-1
Fax.: +66-0-2185 2962
www.patarathailand.com


Good bye my terrace garden

March 12, 2011

My terrace in Thonglor, Bangkok

Today was the last day on my terrace garden in Thonglor. We are moving from Wednesday onwards into new premises in Ekkamai, just a block further away from our beloved Baan Phansiri which was our home for the first two and a half years here in Bangkok.

“From all that he loves, man must part”, is an old saying, and parting it is again. I have had my own gardens since university days, often together with friends.

Hans-Heinrich Schuessler, my maternal grandfather, introduced me not only to appreciate wine but he also laid the seeds for my gardening passion. When I was just a little boy he took me with him to his many gardens. As station master of the German Railways, my grandfather had various gardens along the railway line in Martinstein, Nahe – a wonderful wine region by the way. I never had to do any work. That was somehow the trick, I suppose. Friends of mine who were made to work as children usually hate gardening or agricultural tasks. In striking contrasts I just love them.

Together with friends at Bonn University I cultivated various gardens in the vicinity of the university town. I planned fruit trees, scrubs and vegetable patches, and left all behind when moving abroad. Every garden partner had his skills, his passion and his magic. And we celebrated many parties deep into the night in our gardens.

Later in Rome I set up a terrace garden overlooking Garbatella, a resettled neighborhood south of the city center. My lemon trees produces beautiful fruit. In Beijing I had a glass corridor on the 11th floor which I greened with various indoor plants. In New Delhi I grew Indian vegetables. Our household staff watched in disbelief when ‘sahib’ got his hands dirty while digging in the back garden. But when they saw the veggies growing strongly, they all asked me for seeds.

The biggest tropical garden I ever had was in Jakarta, in Lebak Bulus, in South Jakarta to be precise. Five rambutan and two mango trees were a constant source of sweet and wonderful tropical fruit. I grew also papaya and star fruit.

Here in Bangkok the terrace was my place to relax and dream. Quasi an illusion, a place to worship nature, but basically to make me forget the noise and pollution of the city around me with its huge construction sites, the skyscrapers, and the constant stream of cars, and endless noise.

Today, I prepared my many pots for the move. I had to cut a few bigger scrubs and transplant some others. Also my many orchids needed some tender care. Since I have to leave for Germany today, I will not be around for the move next week.

I will have a terrace in the new location as well but a covered one (therefore not all my plants will grow), and not one with an open sky. So I had to lay there for a last time and look up into the clouds and the endless sky. Needless to say that I am very sad to leave this place where I felt so much at home.

But as the saying goes: “From all that he loves, man must part”, and so I try to look ahead with beautiful memories which no one can take away from me.

Good bye my terrace garden in Thonglor. Thank you for the pleasure and the good times.


Chinese New Year – Bring the rabbit on

February 6, 2011

I took a time out from blogging. While just watching from the sidelines I had a record number of visitors to my entry on the Johanna Budwig diet which I wrote as tribute to my friend, the late Peter Ryan. But since then, I had declining numbers of visitors to my blog. Well, let’s resume.

Every Chinese New Year we have a family at a Chinese restaurant in our neighbourhood Thonglor called Royal Kitchen.

The restaurant is just a side street away from where we live.

Happy New Year and good wishes from the Adam family

So what did we eat? Well, it was bit of a mix. We started with some dumplings, had lots of prawns, some tofu, a steamed fish and some sweet and sour soup.

Fried dumplings

Prawns in orange

Prawns Shanghai style

Sichuan style tofu

Hmm, was delicious on rice

Sea bass steamed sorry, I came to late for the photo

Sweet and sour soup

Needless to say that the meal was delicious and we had a great time on the first day of the year of the rabbit.

PS: We drank beer and we did not eat rabbit, honestly.

Address:
Royal Kitchen Restaurant
912/6 Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok, Thailand 10110
Tel.: +66-2391 9634, and 2714 8548
e-mail: info@royalkitchengroup.com
www.Royalkitchengroup.com


Wine of the day: Climbing Merlot by Cumulus Wines

February 20, 2010

Cumulus Climbing Merlot

I do not drink much wine from New South Wales, except maybe Semillon wines from the Hunter Valley. The other day some wines from Cumulus Wines, the largest producer (about 500 ha under vines, not a boutique producer), located in the Orange Region, appeared in our supermarket in Thonglor, Bangkok.

I bought a couple of bottles from the Climbing Series (Shiraz and Merlot). My children liked the label. The ‘2007 Climbing Merlot’ won gold, silver and plenty of bronze medals. It’s a cool climate (grown above 600 m), fruity wine, elegant with a good structure, a delight of a wine, even if one has to fork out about 20 Euro/30 A$ for the bottle here in Bangkok.


Wine of the day: 2008 Yering Chardonnay

February 18, 2010

After a hot day in the tropics nothing is better than a nice glass of white wine. We selected a ‘2008 Yering Station Chardonnay’ from the Yarra Valley. Yering Station is the oldest vineyard in Victoria. The winery is a must visit if you are touring the Yarra Valley. It’s located just outside Yarra Glen.

Only very recently had this wine arrived in our supermarket in Thonglor, Bangkok. It’s moderately priced for Thai conditions (less than 10 EURO or A$ 15) and a very lovely drink.

Wine on the terrace: 2008 Yering Station Chardonnay

Yering Station has still ‘grape growers with contracts’ and our friend Steve Sadlier is one of them. If we want to drink wine from his grapes, Yering Station is the winery to buy it from. Steve produces excellent cool climate fruit in the Yarra Valley.

We were a bit homesick and needed a reminder that Australia can be very near. Cheers folks