Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Stay at The Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Le Club

The trip between the United States and SE Asia is long no matter how the flights are booked and the best airfares are usually ones that begin and end in Bangkok.  We spend a fair amount of time in SE Asia and, at first, I dreaded the flight; well, I still do, but I have turned it into something I look forward to – not the flight but the Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport at the end of the flight.  For those heading into the city of Bangkok keep in mind that it is an hour by taxi and who, after flying for twenty or more hours, wants to take a flight to another destination. Not me. I book a night (sometimes two) at the Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Hotel.
After collecting my baggage I walk to Gate 4 where a gentleman the Novotel Greeter’s Desk takes my bags and leads me to the complimentary shuttle. In a few minutes I am at the Novotel, someone takes my luggage, tags it, and tells me it will be delivered to my room. Just walking into the bright, airy, elegant atrium I feel better – no longer cramped in a metal tube.

There is a lot to like about the Novotel.  Guests can arrive anytime and check-out 24 hours later. The choice of five restaurants and bars off the lobby make dining a pleasure.  The hotel has one of the nicest roof top swimming pools I have had the pleasure to enjoy. It breaks the mold of airport swimming pool with its Thai design and plenty of trees.  Adjacent to the pool is a workout room.  The spa is also wonderful with special massages designed to relieve jet lag.  When I arrive after a long flight I like to spend a day getting adjusted to the time change, going to the pool, and getting a spa treatment.  The hotel also
has an open-air “garden room” where it is possible to relax surrounded by greenery; a wonderful place to chill out with a book. I usually book a night or two at the same Novotel when it is time to return to the States so that I feel ready to endure the long flights.
I am a fan of the Novotel’s Le Club Level and find it value-laden. Checking in at Le Club is a sit-down experience and swift.  The accommodations are large and Le Club includes complimentary internet, breakfast in Le Club or at The Square’s massive buffet. We prefer breakfast in the serenity of the Le Club at “our” table by the window.  Le Club bookings also include discounts at the spa and other benefits.
We like the friendliness of Le Club and have come to know some of the staff and they often remember us. A nice touch.  On our last visit we noticed the chef checking out Le Club’s evening offerings. When I complimented him on the delicious selections and mentioned my husband’s favorite was the Thai Fish Cakes  Executive Chef Maximilian Schwaighofer offered to have his Thai sous chef, Banyon Malalek, show me how to make them.  Amazed, I accepted.

Thai Fish Cakes Recipe

7 ounces white fish meat similar to Tilapia
10 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 egg
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
10 fresh coriander leaves, minced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp pepper
3 kaffir lime leaves
7 ounces cowpeas trimmed, diced (or string beans)
1 cup vegetable oil for deep frying

Dipping Sauce
2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp roasted peanuts pounded
1/2 cup diced cucumbers

In a bowl mix thoroughly the fish meat with chili paste, egg, soy sauce, sugar, coriander leaves,
garlic, ginger, and pepper. Add cowpeas and kaffir leaves, mix. Take one handful at a time and slap it down on the mix, grab a different handful and repeat. It will make it stickier. Put some oil on hands (gloves) and shape the mix into balls or rolls; the fish can be formed into various shapes using a cookie cutter dipped in oil; only pack the form halfway full. Drop into hot oil for about five minutes.  They will rise to the top and when toasty brown remove, and drain.  Lightly mix chili sauce, cucumbers and peanuts.  Serve with dipping sauce on the side.

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