Foodie Friday: 57th Street and Govinda’s

Haven’t written one of these posts in a while! I have, however, been chowing down pretty good’n’often recently. It suddenly hit me that once little Bannock is here, she is also going to be chowing down pretty good’n’often, which will probably lead to a slight reduction in my mobility. So, I am making a valiant attempt to eat my way around Bangkok before she arrives. Here are two of the restaurants that I hit up this week:

57th Street at the Marriott

One of the best parts about working for a magazine is the random invites that get sent my way. On Wednesday, I received an invitation to a celebration of Indian and Indian-Chinese food at the 57th Street restaurant at the Marriott, which would take place that evening. It was accompanied by an apology for the short notice. No apologies necessary: any time I’m invited to scarf curry for no charge, I’m a pretty happy camper. Todd made the supreme sacrifice of swapping his volleyball game for a night full of binge eating, and accompanied me.

The evening began with wine and Indian/Chinese fusion appetizers.

This photo demonstrates neither wine nor Indian-Chinese foods. But it does show TODD who likes to EAT.

After an hour of chit-chats and calories, the Indian ambassador to Thailand gave a brief speech – I’m sure the content was great, but my brain is drawing a complete blank – and we stormed the restaurant.

Part of the Indian selection.

Part of the Indian-Chinese fusion table

Aloo Gobhi, Kadhai Paneer, and Goan Prawn Curry

Wee gems from the ocean

The spread of food was pretty impressive. Sadly, these days my stomach’s capacity is pretty pathetic (compared to my glory days, at least), so I limited myself to Indian food.

But don’t worry about me! I still managed to find a few calories.

When I noticed that everyone around me was drinking wine, though, I decided to drown my sorrows in the dessert room.

Pretty decent, as distractions go.

I couldn’t fully capture everything Todd ate in one photo: let’s just say he got his money’s worth.

I can’t believe you didn’t at least TRY to capture my meal on film. So betrayed.

All in all, it was a delicious evening, and we will happily return any time the Marriott wants to celebrate Indian food.

Govinda’s

I barely had time to digest before it was time to waddle out for another meal. While the name may suggest otherwise, Govinda’s is actually an Italian restaurant. It has been quite a while since I’ve eaten Italian food, and I wanted to order everything on the menu. Decisions of any kind have never been my strong suit, but they are especially difficult now that I have to account for the cravings of both myself and Bannock. I haven’t been too impressed with her impulse control just yet. I started off with a Caprese Salad, and then ploughed through a plate of pesto gnocchi.

The gnocchi was great. My facial expression on the other hand…

Drowning in an amazing pool of oil/garlic/basil.

I ditched T-bone in favour of some more estrogen-filled comrades.

Who tried to pretend that I wasn’t taking awkward photos of them in the middle of their dinners/intense, estrogen-fuelled conversation.

I have to ask: is it a female thing to share meals? I’ve often seen women do this, but do men do it, too? I can’t speak for myself, because I am extremely territorial about food, and the thought of splitting dishes makes me break into a cold sweat. Maybe this is due to the fact that I grew up with four ravening wolves siblings.

Jacqueline, on the other hand, has no problem sharing meals.

The night ended with ice cream at one of the many, many conveniently placed McDonald’s outlets in this fine city. And now, I think I need to go sleep off this food hangover…

Endings…

The school year officially ended on Friday last week. What a beautiful, beautiful day. Overall, I’ve enjoyed subbing this year, but it was time for it to end. The general feeling hanging in the air at school was sort of like a tasty dinner that turns into revolting leftovers when forgotten in the back of the fridge for a week – something good that is way past its prime. Or that relationship that you know you should end, but you just can’t quite find the courage to do it. Or that moment before you finally cut the baby curls off your not-so-little boy. A line from Handel’s Messiah kept running through my head: ‘”Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoi-oi-oi-oi-oice greatly!”

Before the year was officially over, though, I got to enjoy the delights of a student/teacher talent show. The whole school, including the three-year-olds, crowded into the school gym to enjoy a little light entertainment for no fewer than two hours. In the grand scheme of things, two hours is pretty short, but when you are watching angsty teenagers perform Thai love songs, it can feel like an eternity. Fortunately, there were a few dance acts that spiced up the show. Unfortunately, several of these involved ten-year-old girls shaking their booty to songs about “gettin’ it down on the floor.” In yet another sign (other than the exploding expanding torso) that motherhood is imminent, my immediate response was to mutter ‘overmydeadbodywillanychildofmineEVERdancelikethat.” At least the three-year-olds were entertained.

IMG_2309

I love this photo. Everything from the “Done” sign, to the dancing three-year-olds, to the awkward rapping.

The end of the year wasn’t all good, though. There are a bunch of teachers who won’t be coming back next year, and it was sad to see them go (you will be missed!). There was a big staff dinner during the last week of school, and it included a tribute to those who were leaving. The tribute was a karaoke rap song about people dying by Puff Daddy (or whatever his name is now), and included a rewritten verse for every single one of the EIGHTEEN teachers who were leaving. I got to rewrite a verse for one of the teachers, and let me just say that I have a new respect for rappers and the sheer volume of words they manage to spew. My verse was bad enough, but when compounded by a factor of eighteen, it was sheer carnage. One real highlight of the evening for me was the opportunity to wear maternity pants (read: elastic waistband) while hitting the buffet. I don’t care if you’re pregnant or not, or even if you’re a woman or not: you need to wear a pair of these next time you go to a buffet. I promise you won’t regret it.

IMG_2297

This picture contains less than half the people who were *attempting* to rap.

Todd and I decided to celebrate again on the weekend by doing one of our favourite things – namely, binge eating Indian food. We hauled across town to a restaurant in the swanky Chit Lom area, and dove into a few old standbys – Chicken Tikka, Aloo Gobhi, and Saag Paneer. It was beautiful. Todd says that as soon as the chai touched his lips, he could feel the stress of the year melting away. Never underestimate the healing effects of fat and spice.

IMG_2320

I couldn’t even hold still for a photo.

IMG_2322

Notice the ghee glistening on every dish…

And that’s it. Hard to believe that our first (school) year in Thailand is already over. Definitely a time for reflection, pontification, and remembrance. But mostly rejoi-oi-oi-oi-oi-oicing!