Saturday, July 5, 2014

Asiatique and More Cupcake Love

Today we decided to take it easy. Yesterday was a huge and we felt the effects. My friend woke up feeling sick and although he tried to be a man about it, I felt that he needed to rest. But before going back to the hotel, I felt a couple of cupcakes were necessary to take back to the hotel from my new favorite cupcake 

On my last visit to this fabulous cupcakery just two days ago, I had my eye on this beauty. I mean just look at this piece of culinary art! As soon as I bit into the creamy frosting, I knew this was going to be one of the best. 

The real lavender sprinkled on top of the lavender-infused frosting, along with the lavender-infused vanilla cake just blew my mind. An endless explosion of lavender flavor permeated my mouth, with just a hint of vanilla. 

I also chose the Cappuccino Cupcake because in all honesty, I've never had coffee-flavored cupcakes before. This one was also a winner in my book with the coffee flavor coming through hints of caramel and vanilla. 

It even went perfectly with my cup of coffee. Who knew that coffee cupcakes would pair well with coffee!

So I let my friend sleep for a couple of hours to see if he'd feel better. Fortunately he did and he looked ready for anything! After making sure that he really felt OK and wasn't just saying that to make me feel better, we took the train to the pier along the river, to take a boat ride to Asiatique, a fairly new night market I've never been to. 

As you can see, Asiatique sits right on the riverfront and the easiest way to get there is naturally by boat. This night market even has a little bit of history. 

Back in the 1900s, King Chulalongkorn felt the need to raise Siam ( modern Bangkok ) to the level of other leading countries so decided to establish relations with Denmark. The construction of the pier was part of the project and it signaled the beginning of international trade between Siam and European nations. Now it's been carefully renovated into one of the biggest night markets in Asia. 

Each block is designated to certain items such as interiors, clothing, art, souvenirs etc. Our favorite turned out to be this shop selling aroma-related items such as these colorful and beautifully-fragranced soaps. 

These mini soaps shapes like Thai fruits and flowers, have natural loofah sponges that are built into the soaps themselves. These are perfect for gifts and I purchase a whole bunch of these. 

They also have other skin care essentials such as body lotion, massage oils and body mist. The great thing about this brand ( and so many other Thai brands ) is that they are made with all-natural ingredients, utilizing local herbs such as lemongrass, galanga and orchids. The aromas are exotic and many fragrances come as a surprise. It was so refreshing to experience body lotions that were far from predictable. 

The owner of the shop explained to us the concept behind their store, which is all natural using only the best herbs, spices and florals from Thailand. Did I tell you that this was by far, the best store in the entire Asiatique marketplace? 

I guess that explains why I didn't take photos of any other shops here. First of all, we were in a time crunch as we had a cabaret show to catch. Second we needed to find a restaurant to eat something before the show. 

Unfortunately, that left very little time for browsing the myriad of shops. In fact, this place is huge and I really have to make a point to come back someday to check out everything else they have to offer. 

 Oh, I almost forgot about dinner! We decided to try out this casual outdoor restaurant in the Asiatique complex, serving Hainanese-Style Chicken Rice. There are a crowd of people there so we figured it must be good and boy was it good! To start off, we cooled down with Iced Chrysanthemum Tea. 

My friend ordered the Deep-Fried Chicken version and it was good. The rice was pure heaven as it was cooked with chicken broth and a hint of coconut. Just stunning. 

As for me, I got the Pad Thai for myself as I haven't had it yet on this trip. Pad Thai is one of those dishes I consider "safe", especially recommended for those who don't like spicy food, or in my case, if your stomach has been dying from too much spice. 

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