I first heard about the fresh date two years ago on my trip to Japan when Phi Mount, Sakulthai Magazine’s Deputy Editor, told me that they are worth trying. Really worth trying, she said. Well, yesterday I got a call from Khun Moo, my lovely neigbour (a steward on Thai), who just flew back from Dubai and got me this beautiful bunch of fresh dates. He tasted it for the first time not too long ago and liked it enough to buy back and share it with me.
In Bangkok, we can only find the very sweet types of dried dates in supermarkets, so here is a tasty revelation for me. Khun Moo told me to leave the fruits for a couple of days before tasting it. But since I was impatient, I tried one as soon as I got them and found the taste very very tart with a hint of similar scent as lamut fruit (sapodilla plum); its flesh still crisp and crunchy.
Funny thing is that fresh dates has become a common gift of many other homes in our community, too. Khun Ae who lives 8 sois away just got another bunch of these similar fresh dates from her neighbour who came back from Brunei, so I shamelessly asked her for a couple. Hers look similar to mine, but much sweeter even still fresh and crispy. I wonder if they are of different types or not, or they just taste as different as Thai oranges in the same tray.
Anyway, another thing totally unrelated to those fresh dates is that I just finished reading a very good book of Toby Young. ‘How to Lose Friends & Alienate People’ is now a film, but I first read about Young in an article in Times while in London last month. Naturally, when I came across his book at Kinokuniya, I bought it. It is a very good book and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for something similar to the Devil Wears Prada in male points of view, although Young’s version contains much more cultural footnotes than the Devil. In a part where he brought up the danger of the perceived democracy in the US, Young cited ‘Alexis de Tocquevill’ who wrote back in 1835 that people usually wrongly equate ‘democracy’ with ‘equity’ which resulted in the ‘majority rules’ sort of thinking which is now the current problem here in Thailand when the ‘selected’ politicians keep repeating that they got the majority and thus the rights to do whatever they want!! And those with different views are casted as ‘outlawed’ and unjustifiable.
I am writing this on the Judgement Day of Thaksin Shinawatra’s corruption case of land purchasing in Ratchada area, hence my headline. And I am glad with the verdict. We also did some eating last Sunday, but it was such a big disappointment despite my all positive outlooks prior to the meal. We went to the much-acclaimed ‘Delicatessa’ on Thonglor Soi 10 where I have been hearing all good things about the place and also their steep pricing. We were so willing to pay because we wanted to have good food. But everything was so bad I couldn’t type fast enought to describe it. We paid roughly about Bt2,000 for two for four dishes: salad (tuna & vinaigrette), pumpkin soup, penne with smoked salmon and snow fish in garlic and lemon sauce (each ranges about Bt399-499/plate ++) and what we got for the bread (I was expecting some artisan kinds with fresh oilve oil and balsamic) was very nasty thinly-sliced supermarket breads served with two small packs of Orchid butter. 🙂
I’d say just avoid the place if you do not want not be ripped off. The snow fish was clearly out of the freezer (where they must have been for ages); its stale and tough texture horrified both of us about how low the quality of the food here could be. They call themselves ‘The Best Italian Restaurant in Town,” but we’d rather call it ‘The Worst Italian Restaurant in Town’ to suit their food.