Friday, January 31, 2020

Joke Sam Yan - Delicious Porridge near Triple Y Hotel @ Bangkok [Thailand] #jokesamyan #porridge

Is the joke on Sam Yan today? Just kidding as the word 'joke' means porridge in Thailand although i thought the pronunciation could have been drawn from the Cantonese dialect! 

Yes, it's once again porridge day in Bangkok and this came a day after Jok Prince (a Michelin bib gourmand eatery)! I researched before my trip and identified Joke Sam Yan as a potential place for breakfast as it's pretty near our accommodation (the new Triple Y Hotel). 

The place was packed when i reached at about 9am on a Saturday and many people were asking for takeaways! Mind you, it's not just a bag of one or two packs of porridge; some had ordered like 10 or 20 and it's not an uncommon phenomenon. 

Ordering can be a challenge as the staff didn't seem to understand much English and the menu was in Thai and Japanese! There were pictures though and i just pointed to what i wanted; small porridge, with egg and only meat balls / patties! 

Don't you just love it when eateries have tissue paper dispenser?! 

Our porridge! More 'grainy' compared to Jok Prince; the portion at Joke Sam Yan was bigger but in terms of flavour, i would prefer the one from the Michelin bib gourmand eatery.

Hold your guns first; there's something better than Jok Prince. The delicious minced meat balls which were more patty than ball-like; there's a tinge of addictive pepperiness to them and the taste of the porridge with the meat patty and strips of raw ginger was unforgettably good! 

See how clean my bowl was! 

We returned the very next day as the porridge was just calling to us! I currently have a bet with my mom and the stake is a trip to Bangkok (ya, like again); no prize for guessing if i would be bringing my mom to Joke Sam Yan! 

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Address
245 ซอย จุฬาฯ 11 Wang Mai,
Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330,
Thailand

Map
As above.

Pricing
Porridge (S) - 40 Baht
Egg - 5 Baht

Additional Information
Don't bother getting the youtiao from Joke Sam Yan as the version they had was the crispy type which would not be able to soak up any porridge! The one in the picture above wasn't from the eatery.

Right opposite Joke Sam Yan was a stall that sells youtian (the kind we are more accustomed to; albeit much smaller) and cost 3 baht each. There's only one problem.

They close right early; youtiao was already sold out at 9.15 am. 

The Hilltop Aonang - Great Place to Catch the Sunset and Loving the Resident Musician @ Krabi [Thailand] #thehilltopaonang

In 2011, i was already aware of this place on a hilltop said to command a spectacular view of the sunset in Krabi's Ao Nang. However, weather wasn't that good then and i didn't manage to visit.

Fast forward to eight years later; here i am in a cab making my way up to The Hilltop Aonang! It was just 2.1 kilometers away from BlueSotel Krabi but i needed a fast transport as we were cutting a bit too close to sunset and i sure didn't want to miss it!

Frankly, i was a bit taken aback when the cab dropped us. There didn't appear to be anyone and that's rather unnerving given that The Hilltop Aonang was said to be the best place for sunset.

Second heart stopper after i stopped into the restaurant proper; absolutely no customer. At that point of time, i was almost on the verge of deciding to leave. To me, online reviews might not be 100% accurate and in real time, we have the choice to decide whether to stay or go.

Thankfully, a staff member spotted us and directed us to one level down.

Phew, at least it's not empty although what you see above was the sheltered area where, surprisingly, most diners were not at. I am quite paranoid about free-roaming birds shitting into my food and drinks and thought it's better to be seated at areas with a canopy.

Here's the more popular spot where you would literally be basking in the glory of the setting sun! No doubt the view was amazing even though it's warm and humid as hell without the sea breeze. I am happy where i was.

Before we talk about the scenery in front us, let's proceed with the ordering of food first. Prices are not cheap for Thailand standard but for Singaporeans, it would be rather similar to what you pay for Thai food in the little red dot. You may check out the menu here.

Singha Beer - nothing beats having an ice-cold beer when the weather is hot! And on a beach vacation, a bottle of beer can really relax your mind and body.

Deep Fried Shrimp Ball - at slightly more than S$10, these appeared more like gigantic onion / sotong rings rather than shrimp balls. No complaint though as i can see a picture of it on the menu.

The chef was real generous with the amount of prawns and one word described it all; delish! They came with a sauce of sweet sauce which was unique with a tinge of spice that i couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was!

Stir Fried Vegetables with Tofu and Cashew Nuts - a vegetarian dish, this wasn't spicy despite its fiery outlook and while i loved the nuttiness from the cashew nuts and the tenderness of the abalone mushrooms; it's a tad sweet on its own and you would be better off having a bowl of plain white rice to go with this dish.

Southern Curry with Crab Meat - ever since i visited Phuket in 2018; i had been raving about the curry with crab meat at Raya Restaurant! Therefore, i couldn't resist ordering this at The Hilltop Aonang, especially when it was tagged with the top 3-starred rating!

The unforgettable coconut-infused curry that carried with it deliciously juicy crab meat that's of a substantial size! The first sip perked me up and although the taste wasn't up to the epic standard of Raya Restaurant; it was still very good. p.s. a tad too spicy for me.

Typical of southern curry, there's a serving of cooked vermicelli which was a perfect accessory to soak up the yummy crab for that extra oomph!

Come, let's return to the setting sun! As you can see; the operator had installed the sign "the hilltop" on the lawn which would likely make it a top hit as an instagrammable spot! I can imagine many influencers coming here just to "punch card".

More of the sign!

Beauty of the setting sun! Of course we have visions of the setting sun in Singapore too on a clear day but maybe because we were on vacation; it just felt incredibly dazzling!

Those interested in having an exclusive table that's elevated to be closer to the golden yolk can consider booking the "love seats". Beware though; i bet you would be the key subject of many photographs taken by strangers.

Lawn may look green and all manicured but just look further beyond the sign and love seats and you would find a border wasteland. It brings to mind many instagrammable spots from over the world; it may look nice from one angle yet totally different once you zoom out.

Picture of the restaurant; taken from the sign.

Random photos; key object was this iconic tree with hanging lanterns that lighted up when night beckons. I especially love the last photograph!

One side of the restaurant was dotted with rolling hills and limestone cliffs and when the sun was on its way to slumber; you would notice swirling smoke coming out from likely the kitchen of residential dwellings.

Christmas decorations as it was November when i visited Krabi!

There's live music to serenade us and this gentleman here sang so well; i actually wanted to order another beer so that i can listen to him sing songs that i remember hearing when i was younger!


Definitely a walk down memory lane!
Check out the video above!

Price list of seafood; if you are interested.

Alex at the staircase of the entrance. There were two entrances and this one was definitely better than the one we entered from. Well, maybe the lights helped.

Trees outside the restaurant were also adorned with hanging lanterns. Frankly, they did appear scary at night; as if the trees were filled with heads without bodies.

Making our way out by walking; which was just a 400-meter stretch to the main road. The slope was a bit steep and do look out for traffic (cars, motorcycles etc).

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I can't deny that The Hilltop Aonang was a fantastic place to catch the sunset and it wasn't as crowded as the beachfront. Pricing was on the high side yet i think we have to give and take given the ambiance, the scenery, the location and the live music. 

Address 
99 หมู่ที่ 3 Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, 
Krabi 81000, Thailand

Website

Pricing
Singha Beer - 100 Baht
Deep Fried Shrimp Ball - 250 Baht
Stir Fried Vegetables with Tofu and Cashew Nuts - 180 Baht
Southern Curry with Crab Meat - 450 Baht
(Subject to Service Charge)

To read more about my 4-day, 3-night trip to Krabi, click here!

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