Sunday, July 02, 2006

Thailand Day 21-23

Roadtrip to Dansai, Loei (northeast)

The northern parts of Thailand are quite different, more hills, green and lush, beautiful rice patties and overall just more quiet and peaceful so it seems. Loei is a region in the northeastern part of Thailand, called Isaan.

Dansai, a small town in the Loei region, was having their yearly
ghostfestival called Peetakhon, where locals would dress up, dancing through the streets in masks to wish for enough rain for a fruitful harvest and a good year of fishing. Similar events seem to be present in other cultures, including Switzerland as well.

Chateau de Loei Winery

Loei is also famous for their winery. Chateau de Loei is located in the middle of wide ranging vinyards where I wanted to go for some wine tasting as I heard that their white extra dry is quite nice.

At the tasting, I did manage to taste 2 wines out of about 10, as the others were "mai mee", an expression you might hear quite often while in Thailand, meaning "don't have". Trusting the word of my friend George, I ended up getting a box of the extra dry anyway and I'll keep you posted about it once I've actually tried it.

The Chateau de Loei Extra Dry

Amazing Thai Dinner

The food highlight certainly was this balcony type restaurant, situated right next to a small swamp off the main road. I feel comfortable to say that I had some of the best thai food ever here!

I really wanted to check out the kitchen as well and found that to be very interesting as it has nothing to do with western type kitchens we're used to. First of all, thai's cook outdoors whenever they can. This probably stems from the fact that their deep-frying and roasting chilies is more convenient in a well aired area.

Lots of stuff on the kitchen table.

The stove. Siemens? Electrolux?

The assistant cutting galangal (thai ginger).

The chef cutting lettuce for the soup.

Some kind of intestine for a sour-spicy soup.

Heating up the stove.

The best tom yum plaa (fish tom yum) I've eaten so far.

Prawn-egg dish.

One of the best fried fish I've had. She fried it for about 5 minutes on each side in a wok filled with peanut oil.

Smasing lemon grass to make fine threads.

Lemon grass threads, kaffir lime leaves, frog legs, sesame oil, tapioca starch and several spices which I don't know what they were. Really great!

Adding the above to the wok.

Frying until the lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves are crispy.

The basket for food delivery into the restaurant upstairs.


At 11:17 PM, Blogger yoko said...

very nice photos from the kitchen! they look like from a movie. nice dark lighting..
i also like the pieceful quiet scenery of the eastern region. and, one of the most scary masks of ghost! ...even though the colors are pretty.. :-)


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