Growing up in the 1970’s I have very happy memories of nipping down the local Chinese restaurant and ordering a C3 or an M4 off the set menu. Sweet and sour pork, chicken chow mein, egg fried rice. The price… an exorbitant one pound and that included prawn crackers and a coke!
Since then I have always loved the English version of Chinese food. That includes things like crispy duck with pancakes and shredded beef with chili. The sort of food you’d never find in China.
Apparently Chinatown here in Bangkok is one of the largest and oldest in the world but can you get a decent egg fried rice or chicken chow mein? Not a chance, pig’s innards….no problem, bird’s nest soup or lizards entrails oh yeah by the kilo, but a nice bit crispy duck and pancakes…..dreamin!
That is why I got quite excited when I ran into Joe (now managing the Dragon’s Head) at Pickled Liver the other night and he told me all about the Golden Bowl (which i have heard of as a great takeaway, but never tried) and how they are now serving out of the Dragon’s Head on Patpong 2 and I thought, ok I better get down there and give it a try.
Well I got there on friday night with my mate Toby and I ordered the Beef with chilli in black bean sauce, chicken chow mein and the duck with pancakes (I did think the duck in pancakes was chancing it a bit). I know you might be thinking…Dave chicken chow mein really? But I always say;
She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie….CHOW MEIN!
The food was all excellent and the atmosphere at the Dragon’s head was also great with live music from Wombat. This tiny little bar now seems to be making waves as a real live music venue and is packed most nights. It certainly was on Friday.
After pigging out at the Dragon’s Head I did pop into the recently opened Glamour Bar, right opposite foodland, and I have to say I was impressed. They had over 30 girls in total and they all looked good. The airconditioning was good, the drinks were nice, the service was polite and I liked the comfy sofas. Could I have just caught it on a good night? Well maybe, but the experience did leave me thinking I wouldn’t mind going back for another look and at the end of the day if you’re running a bar that’s the result you want.
The Strip was a bit quiet as was the Black Pagoda but these venues have been going so long now you have to ask yourself the question, does it matter? It’s a bit like going to a well know pub in your home town. It’s a place people know and will always go to because it’s familiar. If you go there and it’s a bit quiet one night, it won’t stop you going there again. You’ll be back when you’re next in that part of town because, as I’ve always said, people do like to go places that they know and where people know them. The job of a good bar owner is often just to look after these customers and then they’ll keep coming back.
This friday there is a big underground live music event Joe was telling me on Patpong called Gong of the Pong, which will have several live bands playing at the Black Pagoda and Dragon’s Head, this event is expected to pull a couple of hundred people or more so I shall probably pop down again with my camera and yeah I might well have another Chow Mein while I’m down there 🙂