Esplanade and Movies

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Preparing the Takoyaki

This weekend, I discovered a new shopping/entertainment center located only a couple of stops from my apartment on the metro.  It's called Esplanade and apparently opened fairly recently.  This was convenient since I didn't want to have to travel all the way down town to get to a mall, so I pretty much hung out at Esplanade the past two days. 

I have two good reasons for doing staying at the mall this weekend so don't condemn me for playing mall rat instead of going out and living it up in the city of Angels (yes, apparently Los Angeles doesn't have sole claim to the title, though Bangkok's full name means so many things, it doesn't really seem fair for them to get to use all of them.  For a more detailed explanation of Bangkok's full name, see the bottom of the entry).

The chefs do little chants as they spin the Takoyaki
  First, the mall was packed with locals so I was merely attempting to get a true feel for Bangkok life.  (And if you don't buy that...) Second, the mall was air-conditioned, full of coffee shops and restaurants where I could sit and read, had a movie theater, and I just didn't feel like riding 45 minutes on the metro. 

Now that I mentioned the movie theater, I would like to take a minute to once again express my love for Bangkok cinemas.  For about $4-5, you can see a movie in a theater every bit as nice as the best theaters in the U.S.  The sound systems are incredible and seats are so comfortable that my Mom would have no trouble sleeping through the latest Die Hard movie if it was showing after 9pm (mom, you know it's true).  Add that to the fact that for $3.

Actually doesn't taste too bad. I guess everything tastes good fried.
50 you can get a large soda and popcorn (which comes in three flavors: salty, sweet, or cheese) and you have a movie lovers dream come true.  I saw two movies this weekend for less than the total cost of one in the in U.S.  

Aside from seeing movies, I also tried a couple of the restaurants in Esplanade.  To stick with my "live like the locals" idea, I decided to eat at the most popular restaurant in the food court.  Figuring out which was the most popular wasn't hard as only one had a line, and the line was about 15 people deep when I joined the line.  The place was called Gindaco and I had no idea what they served when I got in line (always a somewhat risky venture in a foreign country as there are some rather exotic food choices out there).  As the line moved I was able to see the preparation area.  This was actually rather interesting as Gindaco serves something called Takoyaki.  Takoyaki are little fried dumplings prepared in a special fryer which allows the chefs to continuously rotate the dumpling in their individual frying cups using small skewers.  I took some photos with my phone and will post them as soon as I can.  At this point I was feeling pretty ok about my dining choice.  Then I saw them fill one of the frying trays and discovered what the main ingredient in Takoyaki is, for those of you who are curious you can find out here.   Well, I believe in trying anything once, so I stayed in line, ordered my six-piece Takoyaki and sat down to dinner.  It was actually pretty good; a little chewy at times, but overall enjoyable.  I would probably eat it again. 

Other than that not much happened this weekend.  Now for the explanation of Bangkok's full name.

Bangkok's full name in Thai is:  "Krungthep mahanakhon amonrattanakosin mahintra ayutthaya mahadilok popnopparat ratchathani burirom udomratchaniwet mahasathan amonpiman avatansathit sakkathattiya visnukamprasit."  This roughly translates to:  "Great City of Angels, City of Immortals, Magnificent Jeweled City of the God Indra, Seat of the King of Ayutthaya, City of Gleaming Temples, City of the King's Most Excellent Palace and Dominions, Home of Vishnu and All the Gods."  It is officially recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Longest Place name (so I am told).


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Preparing the Takoyaki
Preparing the Takoyaki
The chefs do little chants as they…
The chefs do little chants as the…
Actually doesnt taste too bad.  I…
Actually doesn't taste too bad. …
photo by: Deats