Naphalai’s Diary: July 23-29
As a magazine editor,
I spend more time behind the camera than in front of it. But as with everything, there are exceptions and I have been asked to be professionally photographed a few times. One of these was for the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer to raise awareness of this cancer that can be beaten if caught early. The previous weekend I went before the camera for a campaign by The Mall Group for the launch of its new branded credit card with Siam Commercial Bank. It was at a studio in the Praditmanutham area and although I was prepared to spend several hours there it was all over in about two hours, with both still photography and video. The pictures came out great although I had to make the photographer promise to photoshop out my lines and wrinkles. The launch of the card is this Friday at The EmQuartier.
Last week I went to only one event in Bangkok.
No, not because I was getting lazy or sick of socialising but because I had only one day in town. Before I tell you where I spent the rest of the week, let me get the one event out of the way. It was for the launch of Hourglass. Stupid me I thought I was attending a watch affair (there is a well-known luxury timepiece distributor by that name) but it was actually for a beauty company from the US. The event at Gaysorn Urban Resort saw some of the top Thai make-up artists turning up to check out the brand's signature products such as the Ambient Lighting powder and new lip shades.
So where did I go?
To Singapore for Wild Pop, Bulgari's presentation of its high jewellery collection inspired by 1970s/80s New York. The Italian luxury jeweller normally gets its cues from its heritage but this time it crossed the Atlantic for its designs. Vice chairman Nicola Bulgari lived in New York in the 70s and 80s and among his friends was Andy Warhol. This collection pays tribute to the artist and the influence of pop art and music with fun pieces drawn from everyday items such as microphones, shoes and even marijuana leaves. Yet the unmistakable Bulgari craftsmanship and design leave no doubt that each piece is indeed high jewellery. Flying in for the function held at Capella on Sentosa island were creative director Giampaolo Della Croce and jewellery division chief Mauro Di Roberto. Also present was timepieces head Andrea Granalli who presented a workshop highlighting the Octo Finissimo elegant and slim watches.
The guests who had flown in from around the region were also accommodated at Capella, which styles itself as seven stars. This hotel, by the way, was where the historic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un took place last month. I must say we were very well taken care of by our hosts, represented by marketing and communications director Teo Sze Lin and communications manager for Thailand Anan Petdachai.
On our first night we were taken for dinner at Curate at Resorts World Sentosa. Now I am one of those fortunate people who've had the opportunity to eat at great restaurants by some of the world's top chefs. But I must say I was blown away by the food there. This is a restaurant that hosts Michelin chefs on a regular basis, but chef de cuisine Benjamin Halat is a mean cook as well. My favourite is the farm egg soufflé, which presents light and fluffy egg white with a runny yolk and topped with caviar. Still can't quite figure out how he was able to create that. On the second night we tried Candlenut at Dempsey, probably the only Peranakan restaurant around with a Michelin star. Peranakan combines Malay and Chinese cooking styles and is a cuisine that Thais can enjoy as the tastes are not unfamiliar to our palate.
Because Friday was a holiday,
I decided to stay on for another two days with a friend. She is someone who knows the best eats in Singapore, especially street food. She took me to one of the best briyani places, a nondescript shop whose lamb, chicken and fish briyanis sell out within hours. Each mouthful brings an explosion of spices, aromatic rice and tender protein that blend in well together. It is served with a boiled egg, dhal and vegetable curry. Apologies the picture does not show the dish at its best—it was taken after I had almost finished it.
On the flight back I saw several people carrying bright yellow shopping bags with the latest must-buy for Thais. If you don't know what it is then you're definitely not in the know. The salted egg fish skin from Singapore is a big hit in Thailand and those travelling there are loaded with orders from family and friends. It's not cheap, at eight Singaporean dollars for a bag that goes up to double at touristy places. I don't see why we can't produce this in Thailand—we have crispy fish skin snacks. All it takes is someone to find out how to add the salted egg flavour.
Got back home on Saturday,
which is the way I like it as that leaves me another day (two this time because of the long weekend) to rest and prepare for the week ahead.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: July 16-22)