Bangkok - Groceries & Food Near Grand Hyatt Erewan?
I will be staying at the Grand Hyatt Erewan this Tuesday/Wednesday. I need advice on where to buy groceries and eat.
For groceries, I want to buy shrimp paste, hoisin sauce & Sriracha sauce, ideally like the Lee Kum Kee Hoisin & Rooster Brand Sriracha you get in the US. I realize that outside the shrimp paste, the other two are not necessarily typical Thai groceries, I just can't get them where I live, so I'm looking to load up.
For food, I'd like to get Thai food (obviously), and am happy to eat pretty much anything - papaya salad, fried chicken with garlic, curries, seafood - at any price point. Maybe a slight preference for seafood, again as being something that's not so great where I live. Mostly just trying to get great Thai food, close to the hotel or a short distance away.
re: Curt the Soi Hound
The Hyatt was closed down due to demonstrations, so I was moved to the Marriott. Things were so busy work-wise, that I basically only ate room service. I have a feeling that the Marriott food is not as good as Hyatt food (Hyatts in China can provide some pretty good Chinese food), but they did provide some serious heat when I asked for "very spicy."
Said demonstrations shut down Siam Paragon, Central World, and several other shopping centers over there, so those didn't quite work out. Central Chidlom was, however, open, and selling Three Mountains brand sriracha. I think Three Mountains is a little less spicy than Rooster Brand, and my wife thinks it is a little more tart. All in all, it's a perfectly adequate substitute for Rooster Brand. Central Chidlom also sells a yellow sriracha, also from Three Mountains, which has the exact same English language labeling as the red. I bought a bottle, but haven't tried it yet. I'll let you know how that goes.
Shrimp paste was available at Villa Market across the street from the Marriott. I didn't check Central Chidlom.
Hoisin was the 8.5 ounce glass bottles of Lee Kum Kee, available at both markets. I'm hoping it's a southeast asian/Vietnamese formulation, and not the China-formulated LKK that is sold in the PRC. Again, haven't tried it yet.
Thanks much for the guidance. Hopefully I'll get to Lek Seafood on my next trip.
The Erawan, itself, has one on Bangkok's better buffet lunches. Mostly "international", with some Thai.
Just to the east, connected to the Chitlom BTS platform, is Amarin Foodhouse. It offers Thai/Chinese and some Japanese, all pretty good stuff.
For a great, local, seafood dinner, try Lek Seafood. Buy a fare to "CHONG NONSI". Hop on, headed to "MO CHIT", but hop off at "SIAM". Transfer to the train heading to "WONGWAN YAI". Get off at "CHONG NONSI". Lek Seafood will be beneath the platform.
If you wander a little east, you'll come to Central Chitlom. The basement level features a supermarket. I'm pretty sure you'll find the Rooster Brand Sriracha, but maybe not the Lee Kum Kee. You can always head to Siam Paragon. They should have both.
All this said, keep up to date on events. That very intersection (Ratchaprasong) is ground zero for the protests. Today, many, if not most of the businesses are closed. I believe that the BTS is keep protestors off the flyover, so you should still be able to wander a bit.
re: Curt the Soi Hound
Hey, thanks much for the quick response.
Are there any particular things at Lek Seafood to try? I see reviews of a 3-flavor snapper. Is this deep fried with a 3 flavor sauce? What is 3 flavor sauce? Is this the giant cafeteria-sized place Anthony Bourdain visits in No Reservations?
Looking at my hotel website, I see the following listed as nearby shopping malls:
Erawan Bangkok Mall - Adjacent to the hotel
The Peninsula Arcade - Adjacent to the hotel
Gaysorn Plaza - Opposite the hotel
Siam Paragon - Connected by Sky Bridge from the hotel
Central Chidlom - Connected by Sky Bridge from the hotel
Central World - Connected by Sky Bridge from the hotel
Does this mean that I don't need to get on the subway for Central Chidlom & Siam Paragon groceries?
Thanks for the heads up about the protests as well. Wonder if my meetings will actually happen. . .
Bourdain's original Bangkok show featured Sea Food Market, a restaurant where one "shops" for ingredients, then passes them off to the chefs to prepare. Although the food can be good, the prices are quite high for Bangkok. Sea Food Market is not a local haunt.
Later, on a second show, he visited more local eateries.
Lek Is more on par with local pricing. Sans booze, you should come away anywhere between 200~500 baht PP.
The 3 flavor fish is my favorite preparation. It is fried, then covered with a sweet, spicy sauce. Lek also has good gaengsom cha om - a spicy, tamarind based soup with omelet chunks.
I liked their deep fried baby crabs - a nice, crunchy snack.
Giant prawns are always a hit.
All those malls listed are directly accessible, without heading down to street level. Once you reach Siam Paragon, you can also shop/browse your way through there, then Siam Center, on to Siam Discovery, and continue to MBK Center, still without hitting the street.
There is also the Amarin Plaza, which has some interesting "boutique" shops. It's just east of your hotel.
re: Curt the Soi Hound
I will second the rec for LEK--I had a very good meal here some weeks ago; I found this place with the help of Curt and found it to be just the kind of place I was seeking..filled with locals; very friendly; good seafood at moderate prices; easy to find. I will write a short review once I get back to my senses after my long trip..