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FEATURED RESTAURANT smell. With more and more Thais having the
opportunity to travel, they have been trying new
In June of last year, I met with Vinder Balbir
ready to taste Indian food.
dishes and flavours and our now curious and
to discover the traditional and authentic Punjabi cuisine that she and her husband have
Different markets demand different menus.
been cooking and serving since 1975 in their
In our Sukhumvit Soi 11 fine dining restaurant
Mrs Balbir’s restaurant in Sukhumvit Soi 11.
where the customers are mostly Indians plus
Since then their business has expanded into out-
foreigners or Thais either with either an Indian
lets in shopping malls. I recently met with her
heritage or a palate for Indian food, we serve
again at her outlet in the basement of the recently
traditional Indian dishes. Here at Silom Complex
re-furbished Silom Complex.
we are very authentic with many of the same dishes as in Sukhumvit. I have introduced a touch
“Five years ago Indian food did not appeal
fusion to provide a bridge for the curious Thai who
to Thais,” explains Vinder, “they didn’t like the
isn’t yet 100% comfortable with strong Indian
spicing and they weren’t comfortable with the
Get a FREE Shawarma Chicken Sandwich with any order over 499 THB
2 winners will receive complimentary vouchers at Mrs. Balbir’s worth 500 THB each! Just go to foodbyphone.com and answ er a few simple questions.
LAST MONTH’S WINNERjS pairo Cristina Garces & Ornanong Pong from hers vouc ntary plime won com each! Angel City Diner worth 500 THB
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CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 >>
FEATURED RESTAURANT MRS. BALBIR’S
“Indian cuisine has a strong British following,” she says, “many have gone as far as to adopt curry as their favourite dish, but they still like chips with everything. That inspired our Salt and Pepper French Fries. Our French fries or chips, depending on which version of the English language you are using, are deep-fried, seasoned with salt, black pepper and a light sprinkling of Indian spices and served with a dish of ketchup for dipping. A popular and comfortable snack, easy to eat with with fingers “Thais love spaghetti,” says Vinder, “which caused me to create Chicken Tikka Masala Pasta, an Indian curry sauce served with Italian pasta and a piece of garlic naan. The dish represents a trend popular back in India, the combination works. Authenticity has its place but food styles evolve by customer demand, for better or worse, it’s their call. “Pita Bread is more a Middle Eastern than Indian bread,” she says, “we use it with our Naan Pockets, sliced lentil cutlets stuffed in naan bread with Indian salad mint dressing and served with Bombay potatoes. Mrs Balbir’s Indian restaurant - Central Silom Complex 155/1-2 Sukhumvit Soi 11/1, Bangkok 10110, Thailand Phone: 0-2231-3174-5 http://www.mrsbalbirs.com https://www.facebook.com/mrsbalbirs
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Price per person without drinks THB 300 FBP partner since
“I introduced a Mexican fusion dish as something to catch the attention of the younger generation. Many come here with their parents after school; parents want authentic traditional, their kids something different. For them I created Chicken Tikka Tortilla a pan fried bread sandwiched with tandoori chicken tikka, mozzarella cheese, served with
chicken xuscous served with mixed vegetables in a delicate sauce. Finally we have cre ated an Indian-Thai bread. Thai Basil Naan that has the krapow taste that the Thai palate is familiar with. Fusion maybe or perhaps a style of Indian cuisine that reflects its Thai location, whatever, it appeals to a wider audience, which is good for business, “Physically Bangkok is a spread out city with traffic issues,” Vinder admits, “It’s not always physically convenient for customers to come to my original much loved restaurant in Sukhumvit. The reason for moving into shopping malls is about getting food to the people
FEATURED RESTAURANT MRS. BALBIR’S
who want to eat it. Here at Silom Complex we are bistro style with a take away counter. Our outlets in Central are more for Home Take Away, including our newest branch at Central Rama 9 which just opened in April.
by Mrs Balbir’s has been GMP & Halal certified by the Halal Science Centre of Chulalongkorn University. This means that its not only Halal compliant but kitchen practices are all certified for their standards of hygiene
“What’s new about Mrs Balbir’s,” says Vinder, “ is our fushion additions exclusively here at Silom Complex with are no more than 30% of our total menu. I want to be clear that Mrs Balbir hasnt gone fushion, my passion is still for authentic Punjabi cuisine, variations to the menu are location specific driven by customer demand.”
“The secret of running a multi-outlet restaurant operation is having a good team,” Vindar concludes, “I am their mentor and treat them like family not like an employee. My kitchens are open bright and transparent with the homely touch of fresh flowers on every table.”
Punjabi cuisine come from North-Western india, the base ingredients of their masala are onions, garlic and ginger. Their Amristar region produces quality used to make paneer, a fresh milk rennet free soft cheese which is completely lacto vegetarian. Vinder makes her own paneer with high quality milk from a small herd of cows in Hua Hin. She has also been Consultant Indian Chef for Thai Airways creating the inflight menu for their Indian flights. “Our menu offers authentic Punjabi cuisine,” says Vinder. “chicken Tikka masala and Lamb Vindaloo are two of our best selling dishes. After 35 years I have created my own Inspired Indian Cuisine; Mozzarella cheese and bell pepper pakoras; tikka masala with an Italian twist served with pasta rather than rice.” Due to the limited kitchen space at Silom Complex the majority of the food served is prepared in the Central Kitchen in Sukhumvit Soi 11. For the past four years all food served
PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH
DAVID PARROT CREPES & CO
David Parrot first came to Bangkok in 1995 as Food and Beverage Co-ordinator for The Oriental where he was responsible, among other things, for setting up The Oriental Shops and the original Oriental Cafe at the Emporium. After two years, he moved to the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong for another two years and then back to Bangkok at The Peninsula. He returned to the Mandarin Oriental group in Macau where Jonas Schuerman, the man who originally hired him at The Oriental Bangkok, was working. Jonas was his mentor and gave David his rock solid foundation in the hospitality industry. When Jonas moved to be General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, David followed to continue working with him. “I am passionate about the service side of food and beverage,” David admits. “And I decided I wanted to set up my own business while I still had the energy to make things happen. I had 15 years solid food and beverage experience with Mandarin Oriental and Peninsula. “I was acquainted with Serge Brutin had his late brother Philippe’s concept for Crepes & Co., the highly successful Bangkok creperie with an outlet on Sukhumvit Soi 12. My proposal was a partnership to fulfil Philippe’s vision of having Crepes & Co restaurants around the world. “My first experience of expanding the brand was the opening of 8 Thonglor,” he says. “It was extremely stressful as I had invested all my savings and more into the restaurant which was delayed in opening for seven months waiting for the developers to complete the mall. Cash flow was extremely tight, but somehow we soldiered on keeping all the staff on the payroll. My second was a mini Crepes & Co with the re-opening of CentralWorld, just a corner cafe for take away and just 15 chairs for desserts and snacks.” “I took the brand overseas for the first time open at the Shanghai Centre,” he says. “It’s the most prestigious mall on West Nanjing Road, home to The Portman Ritz Carlton and the Consulates of America, Australia and Britain. My business partner is a Swiss gentleman with a Chinese wife who had been my management trainee at Mandarin Oriental. “We flew our three top staff to Shanghai last April for six weeks for the opening. It was the first time they had a passport, left Thailand or even flew on an aircraft. It was an amazing experience! “We started with the same menu concept that opened the original restaurant in Sukhumvit Soi 12: salads, crepes and brunch. It’s packed for lunch as the clientele can relate to this style of food for their mid-day meal. Dinner is still slow as we are gradually introducing our Mediterranean dishes which the Shanghai crowd are still not familiar with. It takes 12 to 18 months for a restaurant to establish itself. After the opening I stayed in Shanghai for two to three months but had to come back to Bangkok for the opening of our Langsuan branch, in the sub-soi behind the former Calderazzo. “I go to Shanghai once or twice a month as I need to feel the business,” he says. “I do two hours training in the morning, the rest of the day working. We have very few key reports. To understand your business, you have to be there, especially if the company is small. “The land on which our original Soi 12 branch was located has been sold to real estate promoters. We moved to a beautiful old house to keep the same homey feel in Langsuan that was completely refurbished and opened in August 2012. I chose Langsuan because its a good mix of residential and business, plus embassies. Here we serve the full Bangkok menu as at 8 Thonglor. We are getting a different crowd here than at Thonglor; we have expanded rather than spread our business when opened this branch.
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Sukhumvit soi 22 Bangkok T : 02 260 1115-6 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.indian-host.com
Soi 2 4
RECOMMENDED DISHES TRY SOMETHING NEW TODAY
115-43 Kesari Rasmalai Fresh cheese cakes served in reduced milk, topped with pistachio and saffron
Miiso Tonkatsu Fried pork cutlets with Miso sauce.
26-15 Fajitas Charley Browns Famous sizzling fajitas. Tender marinated strips of either grilled beef, chicken sautéed in onions and a capsicum marinade. Accompanied by warm home-made flour tortillas, Spanish rice, ‘mexi-beans’, shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream and ranchero sauce on a bed of crisp shredded lettuce.
Gold Katsu Curry Rice (M)
Cheese Quesadillas Assorted cheeses with jalapeños folded in flour tortillas and fried crispy 225 THB
Half Roast Chicken Servedwith Rice And Sliced Vegetables or Juicy Crystallized Potatos
Pizza Vegetariana Tomato, mozzarella cheese and assorted grilled vegetables 465 THB
Basler Salm Basel style salmon steak topped with fried onion sauce 520 THB
126-29 Lobster Bisque Hot & Creamy
WHAT TO DO IN BANGKOK When? 9-12 May
What? Money Expo Bangkok
A display the latest and advanced financial services, investment Impact Exhibition & Convention Centre. Organised by Media resources, Financial Services and Funding Sources. Associated Company Limited 42/38 Chokchai-Ruammit Soi, Vipavadi-rungsit Road, Bangkok 10900 Tel: 66-02-6914126
Royal Ploughing Ceremony
In the ceremony, two sacred oxen are hitched to a wooden plough Sanam Luang, and they plough a furrow in some ceremonial ground, while rice the ceremonial ground seed is sown by court Brahmins. After the ploughing, the oxen are adjacent to the Grand Palace offered plates of food, including rice, corn, green beans, sesame, fresh-cut grass, water and rice whisky. Depending on what the oxen eat, court astrologers and Brahmins make a prediction on whether the coming growing season will be bountiful or not.
22-24 May (Trade) 25-26 May (Public)
THAIFEX - World of Food Asia 2013
This year the event welcomes the official launch of World of Seafood, an official collaboration to crown the best coffee bean from Asia in the new Roasters‘ Choice Award, a supercharged Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge, and distinguished international speakers at 3 exciting new conferences, World of Food Safety, Pack InnoTech and Cold Chain World.
Impact Area www.thailandfoodfair.com
Visaka Bucha Day
An important day in the Buddhist Calendar and is a Public Holiday. Devotees will visit temples to pray and pay respect to The Buddha as well as offer food & alms to the monks. In the evening they will join a candle light procession.
Royal Benja Hotel http://www.tomorrowpeople. org/wlc-call-for-papers.html Contact person: Jovana Savic
23rd May, 6.30pm
Pascal Jolivet Wine Dinner THB 5,500 net, THB 3,850 net for Wine Ambassador Club Members
A 5 course tasting menu paired with the fresh, fruity and crisp wines from Pascal Jolivet in the Loire Valley
The Reflexions, Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel, Wireless Road, tel 0-2650-8800, email@example.com
Berlin Photography Exhibition
Architect and photographer Gerrit Engel now lives and works in Berlin uses to pinpoint precision of the large format camera Engel logs the facades of churches and castles, museums and theatres, villas and upper-class residential complexes, schools, shopping malls and embassies, accurately and distanced at the same time. A tour through the history of architecture has developed. Strictly sorted by the dates of origin of the buildings he takes no preferences and prejudices into account.
FOOD BY PHONE AVAILABLE ON YOUR
BANGKOK’S BEST RESTAURNTS DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR
ASA Centre, 5th floor Siam Discovery, Free admission firstname.lastname@example.org
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Food by Phone offers a service to restaurants by providing an alternative sales channel as well as a service to customers by bringing to the...