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Upmarket Wining and Dining..


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OK here is the problem...

...I have to entertain for a evening a mid 40's Chinese business woman..CEO of a large company, educated, intelligent, smart (let no get into the *why* of it...LOL..)....not Thai, just visiting..

Need recomendations on *great* restaurants (any type) and possible "after meal" activities. She will *not* be into the bar scene, Kareoke or disco's, or anything connected with "naughty activities". More of an Irish coffee and lounge type I suspect..

Money not problem (I am not paying...LOL).

OK, all you urbane, sophisticated types, looking forward to your recomendations

(this is in this section as it is more than just "food", and the "nightlife section" came no where near to this type of activity as far as I could see)...


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for chinese food i suggest baiyun on the 60th floor of the westin banyan tree (679-1200)- wonderful view and the place is a favorite of the movers and shakers in thai business- zanotti's on soi sala daeng (636-0002)has been voted restaurant of the year for the last two years running- upscale italian and my personal favorite for business and/or pleasure

reservations needed in both places

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for chinese food try sheraton grande's china restaurant; for thai food: bussaracum (pan road) or baan khanita (suk soi 23 or ruam rudee); italian: regent's biscotti or l'opera (suk soi 39); french: moulin de sommai at soi langsuan; vietnames at the le dalat indochine (suk soi 23)

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Three quick recommendations and a long trip report that might add to the flavor of one of them.

For dinner, the Hibiscus room, 31st floor of the Landmark Hotel. Or the English Grill at the Dusit Thani Hotel (Note: this actually may be named something different, but the theme is right).

For late cocktails: the Bamboo Bar at the Oriental.

All of these are classy, intimate without being slick, very appropriate for either business or a romantic night out.

Now here is a repost of something I put up on another board a year or so ago.

The Charity Ball Girl

[some preliminaries snipped] ....

Back in Bangkok, I reunited with the lady who took me to a Charity Ball last September. As some of you may remember, I struck up an expensive and platonic relationship with a vibrating, late 30's, travel agent, who sat next to me on the Osaka-BKK leg of my flight the previous March. We didn’t get together then, but continued a correspondence by email.

Miss Pen is not beautiful, but she is cute and vivacious, and as it turns out, rich! Meanwhile, through knowing her, I am getting measurably poorer.

We made plans to meet during my return trip in September, when she warned me to bring a tux (she finally settled for a dark suit) because we were going to a Charity Ball. It was an affair to remember, but I won't retell the whole story here. It is important to remember though, that the evening ended at the Bamboo Bar in the Oriental Hotel, drinking French champagne, three rounds of which cost nearly $200!

A glutton for punishment, I invited her for dinner during this latest trip in March. Once again, she picked me up in a large, chauffeured Mercedes. This time, however, I was staying at the Grand President, not the Montien or the Royal Benja, as I had before. I have to admit that she wrinkled her nose quite a little. I told her the Montien had been sold out, and the GP was the best place I could find. She hinted something to the effect that since I was obviously saving a lot of money on my hotel, then she would let me take her somewhere expensive for dinner.

She chose the Hibiscus restaurant on the 31st floor on the Landmark Hotel. It features a beautiful view of the Bangkok skyline and very good food. At a price. Dinner and a bottle of Mouton Cadet set me back another $150. I don’t know what happens to me when I am with this lady, but I seem to lose all perspective.

Meanwhile, since we evidently had passed some kind of trust threshold during our three or four meetings, Pen began to let drop some facts about her family. I think you'll agree that a wee bit of discretion here is due on my part, but I will say that she has a flag rank brother in the Thai army, and her father was, shall we say, highly placed in the government. Obviously, by trailing around with me she has proved herself to be something of a maverick. And, just as obviously, I was probably being followed, vetted, and otherwise scrutinized --a little unsettling, to tell the truth. Nevertheless, whatever they learned wasn't revolting or dangerous enough to deprive Miss Pen of a dinner companion.

After dinner, Miss Pen ordered a private table to be set up beside the piano in the bar, where I had the privilege of opening another bill. I can attest that the Hibiscus has, or had a full collection of XO cognacs and Belgium chocolates. We put a large dent in their inventory of both while tossing names of old American songs to Aguilar, the Filipino piano player who knows everything ever written. Turns out that he and Pen are old buddies dating back to her teenage years, when he was the first nightclub entertainment act she had ever seen. It was a reunion, for Chrissakes, which was duly celebrated with more XO. Except now, with the addition of Aguilar, it was a threesome unlike any threesome I have ever had in Bangkok. Bar bill: another$120.

So there is Miss Pen in a short, magenta, Thai silk cocktail dress with about $50,000 worth of matched jewelry hanging off her (I found out later that she is also a partner in a jewelry factory), and me in a pin-stripped suit and a Jim Thompson tie. Quite a change from the duds I'd been wearing at Thermae the night before. I confess that the ASFO "Wearing Shorts" thread crossed my mind more than once. But what the hell, variety is ... well, variety is expensive!

We had a very good time at the Landmark, a fact that was duly noted by everyone in the place, since Miss Pen becomes rather animated and loud in a friendly way when she has drunk a hundred dollars worth of fine spirits. In fact, we were having so much fun that another Thai lady got up and followed us out when we finally called it a night. Miss Pen went to the ladies room, and the other lady went right in after her. They didn't come out for thirty minutes, during which time I went to the men's room twice and cried while standing at the urinal thinking of the exorbitant rent I had just paid for all that booze.

When Miss Pen finally came out, she was shaking her head and laughing. The other woman had followed her to find out who she was and to comment on her obvious joie de vivre. The gist of it, as near as I could tell, was the other woman wanted to have what Pen was having, sort of like the scene in the movie where Meg Ryan simulates an orgasm. It may have been Pen's joie, but it was definitely at the expense of my vivre, which I reminded myself about on the drive back to my hotel.

I won't even comment on the brief stop we made at the Sukhumvit Grand Sheraton disco, where some multinational hip-hop music group bored everybody stiff, except to say, don't go there.

I was hoping that after all this financial intimacy, Miss Pen might suggest booking a penthouse suite somewhere to consummate our beautiful new relationship. But that was not to be. We pulled into the little courtyard between the GP towers and stopped. The chauffeur opened my door. Pen offered her hand up to my lips for a discreet goodnight kiss and said, "Email me when you get back to America."

I'll let you guess how long it took me to change clothes and jog down to Annie’s.

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i don't know any upscale restaurants, but I do travel quite a bit. Often when I travel, my hosts will want to take me to an American restaurant, I don't know why. When I travel, I would love to try the local cuisine, especially when accompanied by someone who can lead me through the menu and tel me what's good and what's not.

As a tourist, its really hit and miss when you go to a restaurant in a foreign country and order off the menu. If you are lucky, the menu has english translations, although they are often incorrect, and in some Asian countries, you get pictures of the food. In any event, I have often ordered something which turned out to be very different than I expected. Of course, one thing that is always the same is beer.

Good luck with the dinner.

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For a nice, respectable Thai dining experience, I would recommend the Siam Erewan Restuarant. It is in a square near by the Siam Novotel Hotel, and is visible from the top of the stairs that descend to CM2. From Siam BTS Station, walk down Soi 6 past Novotel, and look off to your right front.

It has three levels - the ground floor is "relaxed" upscale, the second level is more formal, set up as sort of a piano lounge, with a main sesting area, and also private dining rooms for small groups. The live music is subdued, to permit conversation.

The third level is Thai classical, with Thai dancers that perform at 8:00 pm. In this large room, all seating is on raised platforms and futons (What I think of as Japanese style).

Eric Wong is a Chinese-American exatriate who has some management role, and will happily show you around if you want to check the place out in advance. My inpression is that he will go the extra mile to win business (i.e., if you want a Chinese speaking hostesss standing by, or you want something not on the menu).

Siam Erewan: Tel 02-250-1252 (for at least another few weeks!)


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