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Thread: Gourmet Thailand - They times they are a changed !!

  1. #1
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Gourmet Thailand - They times they are a changed !!

    Just back to CNX after a bit of island time.. And first day back I get a package of fresh roasted Red Cliff coffee (superb local roaster.. All batches done fresh.. More later)..

    As the house was barren of fresh foods we did a shopping run.. Even Makro now stocks amazing surprises, frozen whole rabbits !! Blocks of really good high quality stilton.. Etc etc..

    I think back 10 plus years ago, you had to battle to get a bit of bland processed cheese.. Some 'new zealand cheddar'.. There was so much that simply wasnt here.. Now here in CNX you have more choice than theres time for and its not even that brutally expensive.. I guess as volume sales have made it so much less specialized.. Plus theres mail order companies like Quintessence who package up platters and baskets which look great (not ordered yet but might do for my next wino afternoon with mates)...

    We have so many restaurants of international flavor.. Argentinian Grill, Spanish tapas, French / Euro Etc etc... Theres wine bars and beer places with global choices of light, dark, stouts, ales, wheat beers.. One beer place has 16 on tap and 30 plus verities of bottles, the staff know how to pour a pint too, different beers in correct classes, filled to the top or carded and with a head depending on type. Proper service, done right, no mai pen rai here..

    Theres local bakers producing all kinds of different bread options.. Organic farmers doing the direct to customer farmers market scene.. A local smokehouse doing amazing smoked hams, turkeys, bacon of all types, smoked sausages, etc etc..

    Theres almost every kind of fruit you can think of, this last year even locally grown peaches at local type prices..

    Its at the point now, where racking my brains, and thinking of the most obscure type of things, its hard to think of anything the local market doesnt supply. West country type scrumpy cider about the last possible thing I can think off (gap in the market still ?? There was a guy setting up bulk cider brewing in Cambo a couple of years back, I really think sweet ciders would do well in asian markets).

    Its not even just the big stuff.. Its the subtle things.. A couple of years back I was happy to find giant Portebello and horse mushrooms in rimping, but at 200b for 4 they were still slightly luxury.. Now they have packs of 5 in Makro for 89b.

    The Thailand I live in now, is so much more cosmopolitan and sort of grown up, than the Thailand I came to.. Increased wealth, increased spending power, the power of the internet to allow small producers and direct to customer sales.. All have a factor but whatever it is, it sure is great.

    Its part of why I truly love living in Chiang Mai, it has all the selection yet doesnt feel like Bangkok or Patts urban lifestyle.. Its something I would totally miss if I lived on Samui for more than a few months. It really is a hell of a quality of life appeal.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    https://www.facebook.com/redcliffcoffee

    My go to coffee supplier now.. 100% arabica, 350b for 500g.. Posted to you.. Best of all as fresh roasted as it can be from roaster to the door.

    https://www.facebook.com/do.fann.7

    Local goats cheese.. Ripened with a rind.. Not sampled the pepper garlic etc ones..

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chian...58296974188416

    Local smokehouse (and home done pickles and all kinds of stuff).. So good I now want to build myself a smoker to do my own ribs etc slow style.

    https://www.facebook.com/TrueVineFarms

    Local organic farmer who does a regular 'delivery box option' and often has other local produce (organic / wild honey.. artisan cheeses.. Etc)..

    https://www.facebook.com/cmbread?fref=ts

    Great breads.. Also cheeses jams salads, loads I havent tried..

    http://www.cheesequintessence.com/

    Delivery luxury cold cuts, global fine cheeses, gift baskets etc etc..
    Last edited by LivinLOS; 20th November 2014 at 12:38.

  3. #3
    Senior Member slampay's Avatar
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    The Junta is really making changes for the better then? Score one for Dodger...
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    A woman won The Nobel Peace Prize? Must have been a pretty good sandwich.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slampay View Post
    The Junta is really making changes for the better then? Score one for Dodger...
    5555... Touche.. If they would just lower the wine taxes I might be sold

    Really tho.. It used to be living here it was one of the compromises, lots of missing foodstuffs, high prices and low quality, Etc Etc.. Its really not an issue any more, sure I know its more expensive than at source, but thats the same everywhere.
    Last edited by LivinLOS; 20th November 2014 at 12:44.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    ..... Its something I would totally miss if I lived on Samui for more than a few months. It really is a hell of a quality of life appeal.
    TBH there is nothing I miss here on Samui that I feel I can't live without with the exception of good fashionable clothing....I tend to get my own stuff made by tailors....though I must say I pretty much found the same thing even on HKT as anything that was vaguely nice wasn't available in my size...

    sure we may pay a little more for the finer things being an island and it may not all be in one place but as far as food goes there are numerous gourmet delis, bakeries and restaurants around the island which carry all sorts of delectables....German, Swiss, French, English, Italian, Lebanese, Turkish etc etc...even Moroccan.....and Makro, Big C and Tesco all have large flagship stores here which between them carry almost anything I want/need

    I'm sure there is way more depth of choice in places like CM and BKK especially at the higher end...has to be its a way bigger market...but I'll stick to my addage that you can get pretty much anything you need here...it may not always be the prettiest or most prestigious but its usually available...somewhere...you just need to ferret it out

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonone View Post
    I'm sure there is way more depth of choice in places like CM and BKK especially at the higher end...has to be its a way bigger market...but I'll stick to my addage that you can get pretty much anything you need here...it may not always be the prettiest or most prestigious but its usually available...somewhere...you just need to ferret it out
    I dont want to get into a tit for tat this or that kinda difference.. But having just been in the tescos big c and makro there, the obvious lack of some of these choices then coming home to it, really made me realize that long term, 6 months or more, would make me miss it.

    You just have to go into one of the rimpings, classical music filtering through.. grapefruits, avacados, peaches, organic salad, fois gras (whole ones!!), Maine lobster, french oysters, trout, alaskan king crab (also in Macro so probably in Samui too), massive cheese selection, etc etc etc.. Quite honestly the selection of high end goods is possibly better than whats available in my mums area in deep SW england. What she has is I am sure cheaper for only slightly less depth, but the new wealth of Thailand and the disparity means those that do shop high end, quite like it exclusive and the Thai way is to keep those darker skinned peasants to the makro, and we will pay extra for someone to pack our bags.

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    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    I'm not being defensive or sensitive of Samui here...it has its strengths and weaknesses like all places....I have just learned to live with what's available, find decent alternatives and go without some stuff after almost 3 years of living here....as i said earlier in agreement with you CM and BKK have vastly more choice in produce than I can find here

    and yep...a Rimpings would be very welcome for treats but TBH I don't see them opening here...despite the tourists there is just not the population/demograhic...even I wouldn't use them much unless they were in Lamai as i can get most things I want between the local talat and Tesco

    the fruit and veg you mention is available here but some things are only seasonal from AUS/SA...like nectarines/peaches (so I eat a lot of mangoes which I love), avacadoes, grapefruit (Som Oh which I prefer)...etc

    The high end imported seafood stuff you mention I don't really miss with the exception of trout which I have never seen here but would love to....either fresh or smoked...I do miss that from time to time....so I make do with smoked salmon or even smoked cod occasionally

    As i said we get most generic things....only mostly they are the local rather than flown in versions....although Makro does have a huge selection of imported seafood I just don't go rummaging through it as I prefer fresh and have learned to live more "locally" over time

    The availability of swimming in the sea all year round is what drew me and keeps me here...it makes up for manifold sins, wickedness and weaknesses for me..I can just wash them away with a nice swim in the ocean 555....you have your bikes and mountains which draws you to CM...I love CM too but would be itching for the sea after a couple of months there too....vive la difference...and travel 555
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  8. #8
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    You can't beat caught that day or the night before seafood.
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    Sipping from the Fountain of Youth that is Thailand.

  9. #9
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Beyond the food you can buy in grocery stores

    A big draw of Thailand for me is how many good restaurants of any kind there are.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sundancekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Its not even just the big stuff.. Its the subtle things.. A couple of years back I was happy to find giant Portebello and horse mushrooms in rimping, but at 200b for 4 they were still slightly luxury.. Now they have packs of 5 in Makro for 89b.
    Indeed. I am truly amazed at what I can find even at the Makro in Patong these days. Incidentally, I picked up that exact same packet of Portebellos just the other day. Any guesses how much the Villa Market chain priced it up?

    Getting that kind of produce at unbelievable prices is very much welcomed. Did I mention that a sack of 5 KG quality whole wheat Atta flour cost me 300 THB?
    Last edited by sundancekid; 24th November 2014 at 02:09.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kris-one's Avatar
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    This makes me Lolz that a few years back people deriding the "new" face of Phuket. Now we talking bout posh mushrooms, artisan cheeses & home done pickles 555
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  12. #12
    Senior Member sundancekid's Avatar
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    Certainly not me though. During the 12 years I’ve lived here now, I find most of these developments positive. Not least the huge improvements in internet access. The occasional Portobello mushroom at reasonable prices is just an additional bonus…

  13. #13
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris-one View Post
    This makes me Lolz that a few years back people deriding the "new" face of Phuket. Now we talking bout posh mushrooms, artisan cheeses & home done pickles 555
    Touche...

    Definitely 2 sides of the same coin there..

  14. #14
    Senior Member BroTiger's Avatar
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    I love the variety of good food available from around the world in Patong. It's one of the things that makes it my favorite vacation destination.

  15. #15
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    I never got the theory you need to limit yourself to certain things while travelling

    I can stay in 5 star hotels, eat at food stalls and then at a luxury steak house the next night and still get the local feel.

    I can stay at a local small hotel., big 5 star hotels ....eat a steak or a noodle soup on the street

  16. #16
    PTG
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    Just ordered some of red clifff coffee set for delivery to Phuket, thanks for the tip.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PTG View Post
    Just ordered some of red clifff coffee set for delivery to Phuket, thanks for the tip.
    Let me know what you think.. I think its pretty smooth, would like it to have a little bit more kick, possibly as other beans often have some rombusta, theres setting on my machine for different grind and the like, need to have a play.

  18. #18
    PTG
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    Will do. I looked at the guy's page and he grew coffee in Kona. I used to order 10 pounds of Kona coffee at a time and have it shipped here, so this should save me a chunk of baht. Supposedly he has beans from Kona and elsewhere, so looking forward to a nice cup.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Theres another local roaster I am trying to sample, but they seem to be retail through the coffee shop.. Will see..

  20. #20
    PTG
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    Just had the first cup this morning. The coffee is very smooth, but I'll agree with you it could be a bit stronger. Tomorrow I'll make sure Mrs PTG grinds up more beans. Coffee reminds me of Kona, which are probably the beans he's growing.

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