Sunday, February 27, 2011

High End, Low End

Bangkok is about extremes.  In the shadow of the grand Wats the impoverished and maimed beg for baht.  On the Chao Praya luxury hotels share riverfront views with neighboring rusted corrugated shacks.  My two favorite culinary experiences reside on opposite sides of the spectrum.  My friends and I refer to the the nameless, street restaurant near the Asok sky train station as the purple place after the canvas covering providing shelter from the sweltering heat.  Three woman work long hours blending juices, stir frying noodles, and infusing broths with galanga and chili.  The green curry's semi translucent stock literally garners moans of delight from those who sip it.  And then there is Bo.lan.  A dining experience unlike any other.  Literally the best meal of my life, singularly worth the eighteen hour plane ride.  Chefs Duangporn Songvisava and Dylan Jones met while working in Nahm, David Thompson's Michelin-starred restaurant in London.  Their belief that the best Thai restaurant should be found in Thailand came to fruition when they opened Bo.lan two years ago.  Based on The Slow Food philosophy, fresh, seasonal, sustainable produce is at the core of the menu.  Living in Southern California this movement is behind many of the restaurants I frequent, but what sets Bo.lan apart  is the artful, layering of flavors and unexpected combination of tastings.  From the very first sip of an iced gingery, lime chamomile concoction my taste buds were awakened and taken on a journey of textures, spices, pure beauty and delight.  At the end of the meal Dylan Jones came to our table.  We gushed, expressing our gratitude and appreciation with exuberant questions and finally applause.


  1. omg - Maria - i am so happy to be reading this!! first - i love that you are blogging! i'm inspired and excited to read more. and you're back in Thailand?! damn, that's awesome! i will never forget some of the meals i had there...there was one restaurant we kept going back to in Bangkok where we had a dish i coined 'the fluffy curry.' i think i can still taste it... enjoy the ride! xo belisa

  2. YEs! Thanks for sharing your experience M... xx Allison