Clik – Fresh and Healthy Thai Fusion Cuisine

Clik Pomelo Prawn Salad

I often find inspiration for places to check out through friends, foodie groups, or just walking by and seeing something interesting. Clik (official Facebook page) is the first place that I’ve discovered via TripAdvisor. I’d recently reviewed Bacchus&Co and because I’m a repeat diner there I thought I’d go ahead and offer a glowing review on TripAdvisor, too.  After my submission TripAdvisor suggested Clik which was nearby–the pictures and reviews certainly piqued my interest.

In my research I discovered that Clik was the new culinary playground for the very well known Singaporean Chef Clement Ronald Ng. One look at their menu and I just knew this place would be perfect to write about. It had everything I look for: great food, great value, great service, and a story.

I was not disappointed.

Their menu is a roadmap for unique fusion dishes to tempt and excite the tastebuds. My journey began with an appetizer I’ve never seen before.

A great way to wet the appetite…

Clik Fried Watermelon Feta Cheese Rice Crackers
Fried Watermelon Feta Cheese Rice Crackers (150 baht)

I kicked off my foodie experience with an appetizer of pan fried  Watermelon with Feta on Rice Crackers. These little bites of joy are a sure fire way of getting your appetite going. It is sweet, tangy, salty, and full of texture sensations. The crunch of the baked rice crackers is balanced with chewiness from palm sugar holding it together. The pan seared watermelon retains its crispness and sweet juiciness. The blend of dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar has just the perfect consistency to stay on top of the melon and deepen the natural sweetness of the melon. While the tiny bit of feta cheese offers the perfect amount of saltiness.

My favorite salad!

Clik Pomelo Prawn Salad
Clik Pomelo Prawn Salad (160 baht)

Thailand’s famous for its Som Tum salads but my personal favorite salad is their Pomelo Salad (Yam Som O). There is so much flavor in this salad. Clik only uses the larger, juicier Muntang pomelos and they are only peeled and shredded when needed to make a salad fresh. This ensures that the pomelo kernels are fresh and juicy. This salad is made with pomelos (obviously), onion, lemongrass, red chili, peanuts, toasted coconut, sea prawns, and thinly sliced kaffir lime. It’s tossed with a dressing made of 3 kinds of chili, tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar. All of these ingredients combine to ensure that each bite offers new taste sensations.

Is this menu correct? Peanut butter fish?

Clik Ginger Leek Peanut Butter Chicken
Ginger Leek Peanut Butter Fish (280 baht)

My eyes did a double take when I read the menu: Ginger Leek Peanut Butter Fish. I’ve heard of Thai Peanut Butter Chicken before…but nothing like this. So of course I had to try it. Color me impressed. This is a simple dish with few ingredients: very flavorful tilapia filets (pond raised), coated with a mixture of blended peanut butter, leeks, and ginger. This is then baked and dusted with a bit of seasoning and parsley. I thought it would be sweeter because of the peanut butter, but it isn’t. The ginger and leek seem to tone down the sweetness and bring out the richness of the peanut butter. The peanut butter coating also locks in the flavor and juices of the fish, so that the filet is light and flaky. This is a highly popular dish at Clik. One bite will tell you why.

At Clik you MUST have dessert(s)!

Clik Rose Petal Brownie
Rose Petal Brownie (50 baht)

The dessert sizes and prices at Clik are designed so that diners are able to have room for and afford a decadent treat at the end of their meal. Don’t judge me–I had two. I first tried the Rose Petal Brownie with fresh whipped cream. This dessert is made with 70% cacao dark chocolate and ground rose petals.

This dessert is incredibly rich and pairs well with their cold brewed coffee (a blend of Guatemalan, Columbian, and Sumatra beans) which is cold filtered through a ceramic filter. The brewing process is so slow they are only able to brew 10 glasses a day. But it completely captures the flavor of the beans with each sip.

Clik Modena Mousse Cake
Modena Mousse Cake (50 baht)

Next I had their most famous dessert, the Modena Mousse Cake. This dessert is also known as the “Mystery Dessert”. I promised not to reveal what the dish is made with, because that would spoil the fun of trying to figure it out on your own. Thus far, no one’s figured it out on their own. The owner is happy to share the secret (and you will be shocked once you learn what it is), but he does ask that you keep it a secret so that folks can try it without knowing what it is. It is made with all natural ingredients, without sugar (though very rich and sweet), and was a stand out winner in Singapore’s Time-Out Magazine for their Creative and Healthy Dessert award category (very rare for a cake!).

A chat with the chef and owner…

Clik Chef Clement Ronald NgI had the good fortune to have a long chat with the chef and owner of Clik, Chef Clement Ronald Ng. Originally from Singapore, he is quite famous there for his creativity and culinary prowess. He decided to sell his restaurants (the well known Eden cafes) and start over again, semi-retired in Thailand.

Chef Clement chose Thailand because of the availability of fresh, inexpensive ingredients and reasonable costs of running a business. He felt that in Singapore restaurants were being “priced out” of being able to offer high quality, healthy, and affordable food. Chef Clement was so impressed by His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej’s Royal Project Foundation success with organic, sustainable agriculture at affordable prices that he decided Thailand was the place to start anew.

Two and half years ago Chef Clement opened Clik with a cooking philosophy: “Cook with Honor”. He feels that food should be cooked with love and respect in order to honor the ingredients and all those persons involved in the growing and distribution of that food. Everything should be used, lemons are not just juiced and tossed. They are zested first, then juiced, and finally the rinds are extracted for marinades. Clik has a food waste of less than 5%, and this savings is passed on to the customer so that gourmet food can be priced affordably.

Artistic inside and outside of the kitchen…

Chef Clement isn’t just creative in the kitchen. He also does the decor and art painting for the restaurant. One large painting in the restaurant is the main focus of the dining area. The painting is called “Clik”. It is painted with 3 colors red (life force), black (darkness), and white (purity). The painting represents his coming to Thailand and bringing a bit of Singapore with him. He paints only with these 3 colors and tries to find a balance in his works. Just as he works to balance flavor, texture, and costs in all of his menu dishes.

Chef Clement feels that Clik is a place where people can “click “with other people and with the food. In the future he foresees cooking more with edible flora. In Singapore he was known as the “Floral Chef” and his restaurant Eden Sanctuary Floral Cafe was very famous for its fresh, floral cuisine. From my experience, I’d say that Bangkok will benefit from the culinary creativity of this new resident.

Clik Outside

Located off of Soi 16, Clik offers both inside and outside seating and is also available for private dinners (with a minimum of 2 guests) at very reasonable rates.

Soei Restaurant (ร้านเส่ย) – Intensely Flavorful Thai Food!

Soei Restaurant Fried Mackerel Cheeks

Soei Restaurant (unofficial Facebook page) creates the most intensely flavorful Thai food dishes that I have ever experienced. Good friends recently introduced my partner and I to this foodie gem for a “Sunday Funday” get together. This is a place best experienced with a group of friends so that you can try their wide variety of wonderful dishes. It was very fortunate that my friend knew just what to order to get the best of their menu experience. Our first dish immediately woke up the taste buds and set the tempo for an intensely flavorful Thai meal!

Wake those taste buds up!

Soei Restaurant Wasabi Prawn Ceviche
Wasabi Prawn Ceviche (Goong Cha Naam Pla) 150 baht

We started our meal with a spicy Thai prawn ceviche dish that Soei Restaurant upped a flavor notch by also adding wasabi. Wow! If you’re a fan of Thai style prawn ceviche, then this Wasabi Prawn Ceviche (Goong Cha Naam Pla) will blow your mind!

It has all the garlic fire flavor of Thai prawn ceviche but the wasabi brings it up another notch in intensity. It’s not as spicy as you would expect, either. Rather the wasabi “fuel” flavor hits those taste buds that the spicy chillies miss. This is an intensely flavorful dish that we found for some reason also served as a palate cleanser. After trying new dishes we would return to this dish to perform a taste bud “reset”. We next enjoyed Soei Restaurant’s most famous and must try dish, fried mackerel cheeks!

The most famous dish of Soei Restaurant!

Soei Restaurant Fried Mackerel Cheeks
Fried Mackerel Cheeks (Kaem Pla Too Tod) ~ 100 baht

You will find that many of the signature dishes on the menu at Soei Restaurant use mackerel. When it comes to this friend from the sea, NOTHING is wasted. In fact, their most famous dish is the Fried Mackerel Cheeks (Kaem Pla Too Tod). Extremely popular, it must be ordered in advance and only one serving is allowed per table.

I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this dish or not, but I’ll try anything once. I expected this to be very fishy tasting but I couldn’t have been more wrong! The mackerel heads have their jaws and eyes removed (making it easier to eat). What is left is thin crispy skin, bits of cheek meat, and crunchy thin bones that are fried with lots of garlic and salt. It’s an excellent snack with cold beer, and the perfect potato chip substitute for pirates. You can’t eat just one!

Something from the farm…

Not everything we had came from the sea. We also enjoyed a Thai omelet and a couple of pork dishes. The omelet dish was an amazing combination of tastes. It offered a creamy, runny yolk, salty fish sauce, fresh herbs, garlic, onion, and spices. The simple grilled pork dish was very flavorful with a smoky, teriyaki-like sauce. A more interesting pork dish, was the Stir Fried Pork Trimmings with Basil and Chili (Kak Moo Pad Ka Prao). It’s basically crackling pork skin that soaks up the sweet, spicy, and savory sauce with crinkly Thai Holy Basil Leaves and a bit of fiery chili.

You’ll notice that many of these dishes make fine accompaniments to large ice cold beers. This is no coincidence…and I have no regrets. It’s called a “Sunday Funday” for a reason.

Holy mackerel! A fire show!

Soei Mackerel Tom Yum Soup
Mackerel Tom Yum Soup (Tom Yum Pla Too) ~ 150 Baht

After the pork we returned to ordering from the seafood section of the menu. This Mackerel Tom Yum Soup (Tom Yum Pla Too) dish was brought to us, and once lit produced the most impressive flame! This is definitely not a dish to be served in low ceilinged dining rooms or near curtains. Of all the dishes, this was actually the most spicy. However, the spice is very manageable and is well tempered by the kaffir lime leaves and meaty chunks of mackerel filets. Nothing was left but a small pile of kaffir lime leaves when we finished this dish.

Just a little more mackerel…

Soei Restaurant Mackerel in Coconut Milk
Mackerel in Coconut Milk Curry (Chu Chee Pla Too) ~150 baht.

I know, I know…it looks like we overdid it with the mackerel. However, each mackerel dish that we had was completely different. The heads were salty and garlicky, the Tom Yum soup was spicy and sour, and this dish of Mackerel in Coconut Milk Curry (Chu Chee Pla Too) was sweet and creamy with thin strips of kaffir lime leaf that gave it just the slightest punch of fresh citrus. However, we decided to end the meal with something new.

And now for something completely different.

Soei Restaurant Soft Shell Crab Curry
Curried Soft Shelled Crab

For our final dish we ordered Curried Soft Shelled Crab (Pu Pad Pong Garee). It was very mild with large chunks of soft meaty crab, mixed veggies, and a gravy of delicious curry and delicate egg. A fantastic finish to our amazing meal!

It’s the new Soei Restaurant!

Soei Restaurant recently relocated due to BTS station construction. It no longer has that interesting view of passing trains. However it now has air conditioned inside dining available (with more room for guests) as well as a larger kitchen to be able to get the food out faster. That means it’s comfortable to eat here all year round and gone are the days of 2 hour waits for your food. Despite the change in location, what has not changed is the incredible food. They still offer intensely flavorful dishes with incredibly inexpensive prices. For folks wanting to try amazing Thai food, this place should be on your radar to check out!

Dear Reader,

This blog is a labor of love, and love is all I can afford to put into it (not advertising dollars). I really hope to have an active audience reading my articles. If you enjoyed this article, and feel that others would as well, please consider sharing it on your preferred social media platform.  Thank you!

Olearys S.B.D. – Swedish Comfort Food and Great Deli!

Olearys S.B.D. Toast Skagen

If you are an expat or foodie living in Thailand you need to know about Olearys S.B.D. (official webpage). Many Swedish expats in Thailand are already in the know about this foodie gem, but it’s time to get the word out for the benefit of all! Located in Ban Phe, Olearys S.B.D. (Sport Bar and Deli) dishes out wonderful Swedish comfort food while its deli offers and delivers the absolute lowest prices on cheese and other items in Thailand.

The food!

Olearys S.B.D. menu offers a wide variety of Thai, pub grub, and Swedish fare (menu available to download from their website) at reasonable prices.  For my visit I chose to eat from the Swedish menu. Their Swedish fare shouldn’t be considered gourmet fine dining dishes. Rather it is the ’80s comfort food that you’d find in the average Swedish home during that era. It’s nothing fancy–but it is absolutely delicious with much attention also paid to presentation. I started with an appetizer of Toast Skagen (shrimp salad on toast).

Toast Skagen

 

Olearys S.B.D. Toast Skagen
Toast Skagen (195 baht)

Olearys S.B.D. makes their Toast Skagen with homemade mayonnaise, large chunks of perfectly cooked shrimp, with fresh dill atop a simple slice of toasted white bread. It’s so creamy, with a salty/sweet crunch from the shrimp, and freshness from the dill. I could feast singularly on these, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t order the meatballs.

Of course, Swedish Meatballs!

Olearys S.B.D. Swedish Meatballs
Swedish Meatballs (195 baht)

If you visit Olearys S.B.D. without trying their Swedish Meatballs then you’ve done it wrong. These perfectly cooked and seasoned balls of meaty goodness are to be savored in the rich, beefy gravy that pools around it. The homemade lingonberry sauce is made with whole lingonberries. The perfect bite would be: a bit of sauce coated meat on a pad of mashed potatoes crowned with lingonberry. If you do it right you’ll have some leftover creamy mashed potatoes on your plate that can be used to sop up all of that delicious gravy!

Sundays are special!

On Sunday’s Olearys S.B.D. has a rotating special that is not on the menu, just as most Swedish homes in the 80’s would have a special dinner on Sundays. During this particular visit, their Sunday special was Braised Beef Roast with Chanterelle Sauce and Maxine Potatoes with a Deep Fried Camembert Cheese with Blueberry Jam to finish. I didn’t get to try it, but it sure looked delicious!

At 250 baht, this is a pretty amazing value. My recommendation for folks  who travel to Koh Samed or Ban Phe would be to enjoy the enjoy the weekend then have a lovely Sunday brunch at Olearys S.B.D.. After lunch, hit the deli to load up on some amazing deals to bring home.

The deli: why you need to know about this place…

Olearys S.B.D. has the lowest retail prices on the cheeses they stock, parma ham, and Swedish snaps (for those uninitiated, it’s a liquor that if enjoyed too much will find you in the bushes or walking through glass doors–trust me). As an example, I purchased a 1.9 kg aged Edam cheese in a wax ball for 550 baht. Other deals found were  a 2.3 kg Arla brand mozzarella with a 3.1 kg Gouda for 1500 baht, and parma ham for 750 baht/kg!

I think that 5.4 kg of cheese is a bit much for my fridge but small restaurants take note if you are looking for a distributor. Their deli offers much more than cheese and meats. They also have desserts, homemade pâté, ready-made Swedish meals, seafood, spices, and jars of herring. There is much, much more but the list is too great to add here. If they don’t have what you want then reach out to them. They will find a way to get it. Honestly if you’re a foodie, their webshop should be in your bookmarks.

Delivery ANYWHERE in Thailand!

Olearys S.B.D. will deliver everything that they have in their inventory to anywhere in Thailand for very reasonable shipping fees. Most places in Thailand are able to get next day delivery, some of the outlying areas can take 2 days at the maximum. All orders are packed in styrofoam coolers with water bottles filled with ice. I personally ordered a Christmas ham from them and it was amazing.

A chat with the owner…

Mr. Göran Lunne, Olearys S.B.D. proprietor.

I had the good fortune to be able to speak with the Olearys S.B.D. proprietor, Mr. Göran Lunne. From Gothenburg, Sweden, he learned about restaurants at a very early age. He first began working at his father’s butchery as penance for his crimes during the “Great Apple War”.

On his street his family had an apple tree, and one neighbor had a plum tree, and another neighbor had a pear tree. A war broke out amongst the neighbor kids. Though there were no deaths, there were many window causalities. There were apples found inside the homes amongst the glass littered floors. Windows are expensive. Though Göran wasn’t paid much, he was educated pretty thoroughly in all the aspects of butchery and running a store until his debts were paid.

Göran’s interest in food grew and he served as a commis (that first rung of the ladder to be a great chef) at Johanna Gastronome under the patronage of the very famous chef, Leif Mannerström. He honed his chef skills there and refined his management skills by working with Fazer. With Fazer he traveled frequently to support the dining requirements for the army of workers at various Volvo construction equipment plants. He soon loved to travel and discovered Thailand on vacation.

Time to hang up the hat…and put it on again.

He worked hard for many years and invested wisely. When it came time to retire he sold his companies and moved to Thailand. After a couple of months retirement bliss turned to boredom.  Göran created Olearys S.B.D. to keep active and feel meaningfully engaged. The restaurant came first, 6 months later the deli was built, and then 6 months later the webshop was online.

Olearys S.B.D. Motto: Keep it simple!

His goal is for Olearys S.B.D. to be able to provide simple, quality, home cooked food to its customers and for the deli/webshop to be able to provide the lowest retail prices in Thailand for at least 50 major items customers desire. Fortunately his efforts to achieve these goals serve the benefit of any foodie inclined individual in Thailand!

 

Dear Reader,

This blog is a labor of love, and love is all I can afford to put into it (not advertising dollars). I really hope to have an active audience reading my articles. If you enjoyed this article, and feel that others would as well, please consider sharing it on your preferred social media platform.  Thank you!

Fatboy Sushi – Deliciously Unique Sushi!

Fatboy Sushi Roll-Cover

I am a huge fan of sushi. I lived in Japan for 6 years and every now and then the craving hits me. Fortunately, Bangkok offers a variety of Sushi Bars that vary up and down the wallet scale from super high-end, needing a reservation months in advance, to 5 baht sushi street stands (a little scary for me). Recently I discovered that there’s a mid-range priced sushi restaurant in my neighborhood, called Fatboy Sushi (official Facebook page). With a name like that, it’s worth investigating!

Fatboy Sushi – Same same, but very different!

As soon as I walked into Fatboy Sushi I immediately recognized how different it was from other sushi bars. First off, I wasn’t yelled at (to be fair it’s a Japanese greeting). Instead of a loud greeting, I was met with a warm smile and ushered to an available table. I began with a couple of appetizers and an ice cold Asahi draft beer (120 baht).

Taste the difference…

I started off with Tako Wasabi. I originally tried this dish in Kyoto and wasn’t thrilled with it. But I am a firm believer in giving food second (sometimes third) chances. The Tako Wasabi at Fatboy Sushi is delicious, and if you’re having beer you’ll want this to accompany it. It differs from the experience I had in Kyoto in that it doesn’t taste fishy. The raw octopus (tako) had a nice crunch (as opposed to being chewy) and a light saltiness. Also different was the wasabi. At Fatboy Sushi they use fresh wasabi root and many of the dishes include pickled wasabi root which tastes slightly sweet while retaining the heat of wasabi. I must warn you, this is not a pretty dish. But with a beer or sake you would find this to be an excellent accompaniment!

Fatboy Sushi Tako Wasabi
Fatboy Sushi Tako Wasabi (150 baht)

In addition to the Tako Wasabi dish I enjoyed a Hamachi Chili Ponzu appetizer. Much prettier, and less apt to raise eyebrows, it consists of thin slices of yellowtail topped with garlic and a thin slice of bird’s eye chili. Normally this dish is adorned with slices of jalapeño–but this is Thailand where the bird’s eye chili is practically the national flower. It works, too! The heat from the chili is tempered by the sweetness of the ponzu sauce and garlic. A hint of citrus from the yuzu zest accents the dish very well!

Fatboy Sushi Hamachi Chili Ponzu
Fatboy Sushi Hamachi Chili Ponzu (350 baht)

Next I enjoyed their Nigiri Sushi Set. The set came with salmon, tuna, yellowtail, amaebi (sweet prawn), and unagi (fresh water eel). Fatboy Sushi differs from many other sushi bars in that if there’s one thing you don’t like in a sushi set, you can swap it out with a similarly priced sushi item. The presentation of each sushi item was simple yet elegant. I especially enjoyed that they put a small dollop of pickled wasabi root on most of the items.

Fatboy Sushi Set
Fatboy Sushi Set (650 baht)

Time to sushi overload!

Fatboy Sushi Chopsticks
Yes, lets!

I’m the type of person that can eat my weight in sushi. If they keep bringing out delicious bite-sized treats, I will keep eating them. The Nigiri Set was just the springboard to the real feast. Afterwards I enjoyed three of their Fatboy Sushi signature items: two different sushis, and one sushi roll.

A sushi you can’t refuse…

One of the signature sushis I ordered was the Godfather. This sushi is a large sweet prawn adorned with foie gras, truffle paste, caviar, and edible gold flake. Pink Himalayan salt dusts the serving board in case you want a little salt kick with each bite. It is incredible and decadent!

Fatboy Sushi Prawn Star
Fatboy Sushi Prawn Star (200 baht/each)

Continuing the feast…

The other signature sushi item I had was the Ikura. A small pad of rice is wrapped with dried seaweed and then filled overbrimming with salmon roe, a dash of truffle oil, and edible gold flake. The salmon roe is marinaded for two days which removes most of the “fishy taste”. After this process the roe turns into little pearls bursting with flavor. It’s a sushi that is as tasty as it is Instagrammable.

Fatboy Sushi Ikura Sushi
Fatboy Sushi Ikura Sushi (200 baht/each)

I finished off the sushi portion of the dinner with a signature Fatboy Roll. This thing of beauty consists of thin strips of wagyu beef with unagi sauce and truffle oil, roe, and thin slivers of fried Japanese onion. The brazed beef is draped over a roll which contains foie gras, cream cheese, and avocado. It looks and sounds like a lot to take in, but it’s crafted perfectly so that it provides a “layered” taste effect. The first layer of taste is the truffle oil, beef, and crispy onion. This fades away, and the taste of unagi sauce and foie gras surfaces. Finally the cream cheese and avocado takes over with its creamy rich flavor and texture. Normally I shy away from rolls with cream cheese (as they sometimes take over the flavor). Fatboy Sushi uses imported Bega Cream Cheese and you can really taste the difference. It’s rich!

Fatboy Sushi Roll
Fatboy Sushi Roll (550 baht)

Something from the grill!

Fatboy Sushi offers more than sushi. They have a full service grill station which is encased in glass. You can watch them cook, and not worry about smoking out the place. I finished off my meal experience with a mix of yakitori items from the menu: pork belly, chicken liver, thighs, wings, skin, Japanese leeks, garlic, eggplant, and shitake mushroom heads. With the grilled goods I enjoyed a tall Suntory Whisky Highball (120 baht).

Fatboy Sushi Yakitori
Fatboy Sushi Yakitori (450 baht)

A chat with the owner…

I was very fortunate to be able to chat with the owner of Fatboy Sushi, “Bye”. His story is so interesting. He always wanted to own a restaurant, and has always had a love for sushi. Before he made his investment he wanted to learn the ropes of running a restaurant. He decided to buy a pair of second hand shoes and go undercover. He was hired for an entry level job at a Japanese restaurant. Here Bye spent 3 months gutting fish, cleaning kitchens, and eventually learning the business. After 3 months of “abuse”, he walked away from the Japanese restaurant and opened Fatboy Sushi!

Bye is passionate about providing an unpretentious atmosphere where customers can enjoy high quality cuisine at fair prices.  Their signature menu items are developed through experimentation and discovery for the benefit of customers who want something bold and delicious!

This is a place where you unwind from work by enjoying the company of good friends with good food. The Fatboy Sushi staff are incredibly welcoming and provide great service. Fatboy Sushi is open Monday through Saturday with daily Happy Hour Specials from 5-7 pm in which house drinks (draft beers, sake, umeshu) come with a free yakitori skewer set (1 protein/1 vegetable). They are certainly worth a visit just to try their signature sushi items!

Fatboy Sushi Outside

Dear Reader,

This blog is a labor of love, and love is all I can afford to put into it (not advertising dollars). I really hope to have an active audience reading my articles. If you enjoyed this article, and feel that others would as well, please consider sharing it on your preferred social media platform.  Thank you!