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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Le Crystal’s new Steakhouse opens at JJ Markets

Galerie Panisa holds its annual exhibition

La Bonne Chanson - a great evening’s entertainment

Shangri-La Hotel hosts East Meets West Cardiology 2008

Expats Travel Group visits the South Pacific

This week’s…

Le Crystal’s new Steakhouse opens at JJ Markets

Great venue, great menu, great location

Last week saw the opening of the Steak House by Le Crystal at JJ Markets on Atsadathorn Rd, right behind Tesco Lotus Kam Tieng, where the Cottage used to be.
As well as a varied and reasonably priced “meat fix” menu, there is a cake shop and French bakery, making it the ideal place to celebrate coming off that diet!

A great choice of huge salads and desserts is available for vegetarians.

Formally christened “The Steak House Pub and Restaurant”, Le Crystal’s new venture is planning to cater to the ‘white collar’ sector, both Thai and farang - local businessmen, government officials and foreign residents and tourists; basically, the middle class. A meal, including drinks, will cost from 400 baht upwards; on offer is US, Australian and Thai Beef. Examples include Lamb Spare ribs 390 baht, Pork Knuckle with sauerkraut and mashed potato 280 baht, Thai T Bone Steak 390 baht, Tenderloin 300 baht, up to US Prime Rib 950 baht. For non-“beefeaters”, a wide selection of Thai food and seafood is featured at good prices on the extensive menu, including baby sea bass at 380 baht and North Atlantic salmon at 240 baht. Portions are definitely on the large side, and, typical of Le Crystal’s reputation, are well presented, and there are varied and seriously huge salads for our vegetarian friends.
For the totally self-indulgent, (and who isn’t, occasionally?), the choice of desserts is overwhelming, mainly because of the restaurant’s cake shop and French bakery! Our underfed and overworked “Around Town” photographer loved the orange cheesecake, washed down by quantities of beer - or so the rumour goes…
Every woman’s favourite, white chocolate cake, is right there on the menu - but so are delicious traditional desserts including apple crumble! To go with your “meat fix”, The Steakhouse provides some great German and Belgium draft beers at 200 to 220 baht - alternatively you have the whole Le Crystal wine cellar to choose from, as the staff can bring a bottle of ‘that special vintage’ from Le Crystal Restaurant within 5 minutes.
An added delight, opening on September 1, will be the second floor lounge bar and “cigar” area - the mind boggles - which will serve lunch and afternoon tea - more tempting cakes and calories!
Those who already know the JJ Markets area realise that it’s fast becoming the “in” place for the bar scene, with its easy parking and its location away from any large residential area - the party goes on until well after midnight without any complaints from the neighbours! Le Crystal Steakhouse, with its combination of location, delicious food and easy-listening music, both Western and Thai, is sure to become the new “place to be seen at”. The restaurant opens between 11 am and 1 pm; the cake shop and bakery are open from 11 am to 9 pm. For further information or reservations telephone 053 224 123.

 

Galerie Panisa holds its annual exhibition

“Art and Amity V” shows Galerie’s students’ work

The owner of Galerie Panisa, Sirinan Chindasilpa, with two of its younger students; Natradee and Nattanan Chotipativetkul.

On August 9, Galerie Panisa opened its 5th Annual exhibition entitled ‘Art and Amity V’, on show until September 8. This is an exhibition with a difference - the art pieces are the works of the students of Galerie Panisa itself. Not just an exhibition venue, the Galerie holds three regular art classes; Adults, Students’ Drawing and Composition, and Kids’ Art. Every year, at the annual exhibition, the art students show off their skills and progress to their peers, friends, family and the public.
This year’s opening, attended by over 50 people of all ages, was an opportunity for all the students to get together, meet fellow artists from different classes, compare, admire, and just have fun! Galerie Panisa is on Mahidol Road, heading towards the airport, next to the flyover.


La Bonne Chanson - a great evening’s entertainment

Jean-Pierre Kirkland
Once more, the splendid and comfortable auditorium of the Shangri-La hotel was the venue for an interesting evening of French music performed with great energy and commitment by Antoine Garth, tenor, Jonas Dept and David Wilson, pianists. The programme consisted of middle to late romantic music by Debussy, Faure and Ravel and provided the audience with an interesting and intuitive insight into music all too rarely performed live these days.
The concert opened with an expressive and exquisite performance of Debussy’s short piano masterpiece, La Cathedrale Engloutie. Here, the listener was led into the eerie realm of Debussy’s impressionist-like writing as cathedral bells could be heard tolling amid the wispy whiteness of the swirling mists. Jonas Dept gave a thoroughly credible and sensitive performance of this glorious piece, with the beautiful final melody echoing away as the mists lifted and the cathedral was clearly visible once more. Ideally complementing this came a set of nine Faure songs entitled La Bonne Chanson, which formed the title of the concert. These were delightful and very sensuously performed with each nuance of the text being appreciatively interpreted by both Antoine Garth and his very supportive accompanist, David Wilson. Lyrical, forceful and at times poignant, these poems came across to the listener perfectly, with clear diction and emotionally well-balanced voice and piano giving us a persuasive and elegant rendering. In the third song, the words ‘O bien aimee’ were gloriously resolute as were the stirring finales to the fourth and fifth songs. In the final song, Antoine tenderly and expressively portrayed the composer’s yearning for summer in the words ‘que vienne l’ete!’, masterfully sung and sensitively accompanied.
The second half opened with a lesser known piece from Ravel, his sonatine in three movements. This late romantic work is not the most melodic of pieces, but Jonas Dept was able to emphasise well both the exciting rhythms and those more passionate moments, especially in the central movement. Antoine Garth completed the evening’s entertainment with another fine interpretation of the ‘Cinq Poems de Baudelaire’ by Debussy, a song cycle he had performed at the Shangri-La a few weeks ago. Once again, the eeriness of Debussy’s music was given full credit by Jonas Dept the accompanist, while Antoine Garth coped impressively with the many and varied contrasts of timbre and volume that these songs require. His body language and facial expressions matched the words admirably throughout, but particularly in the fifth song with an ecstatic and powerful rendering of the sensitive and beautiful lyrics.
This was a great evening’s entertainment. The Shangri-La Hotel and one of its directors, Julian Wipper should be complimented on hosting such an event, and for their warm welcome to guests upon arrival. They are keen to continue with such concerts since one of their aims is to promote much greater cultural awareness in Chiang Mai. Thanks, too, to Antoine, David and Jonas for their enthusiastic and sensitive performances. But where was the audience? Only just over half the seats were taken and this must have been a disappointment for these wonderful musicians. So, music-lovers of Chiang Mai - out of your armchairs and off your sofas for the next event whenever that may be - these performers not only need your support - their professionalism and dedication demand it!


Shangri-La Hotel hosts East Meets West Cardiology 2008

Annual meetings provide effective debate on controversial issues

From August 9-11, the second in a series of annual conferences entitled “East meets West Cardiology” was held at the Shangri-La Hotel. Over 500 delegates from across Asia were present, as were representatives from Australia and from the Mayo Clinic and New York University.

Pictured at the conference are Suphachai Chaithiraphan MD, FACC, FRCP with Nithi Mahanonda MD, FACC, FSCAI, FRACP and Robaayah Zambahari MD, FRCP, FACC, FNHAM FAsCC (l/r).

The annual conferences are intended as exclusive forums in which international experts are able to share and compare experiences both Eastern and Western, in order to determine the best methods of treatment for patients. Focusing on controversies, the event is designed primarily to enable effective debate about unresolved issues, resulting in a consensus of answers supported by evidence - based medicine and expert opinion.
The conference provided much opportunity for discussion, as well as lectures and seminars, and ended with a symposium entitled, “Today’s technology - tomorrow’s dream”, the grand finale of which was a section “predicting the future”. 2009’s conference will be held in August in Pattaya. For further details, please visit www.emwc.net.


Expats Travel Group visits the South Pacific

The Chiang Mai Expats Travel group, ever growing in numbers, met at Tuskers Monday 11, to hear the guest speaker, Ric Richardson, talk about his travels around the South Pacific islands during the past twenty-five years - islands that captured the hearts of Robert Louis Stevenson and Paul Gauguin. And, as Ric illustrated through his slides, (remember slides?), life in many of those island nations has changed little since then - still laid back and happy!
Ric talked of cruise liners and their destinations, and also covered the unique histories and sites of places like Norfolk Island and Easter Island. “But it’s Fiji’s Turtle Island,” he told the travellers, “that won our hearts. If you weren’t a hedonist and sybarite on arriving there, you had certainly become one before leaving.” Ric and wife Maggie indulged themselves there on three occasions and Ric showed many slides to prove why they found it such a magnet. “It’s where the epic Blue Lagoon was filmed,” he told them.
The group meets every second Monday of the month; at the September 8 gathering they will invite input from residents on Travelling Chiang Mai. All welcome - 7 pm at Tuskers Bar & Restaurant.


This week’s…

…Friday marks the birth of the annual Salzburg Festival as it is known today. Some 88 years ago, on August 22, 1920, Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s play Jedermann re-opened the festival at the Cathedral Square in Mozart’s hometown. The festival had been discontinued for 10 years because of World War I, and had previously been held at irregular intervals. Besides Hofmannsthal, composer Richard Strauss, conductor Franz Schalk, and scenic designer Alfred Roller were essentially involved in the revival of the festival. The picture shows multiply awarded British actress Vanessa Redgrave in this year’s festival’s play “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion. (AP Photo/ Salzburger Festspiele/ Kerstin Joensson, handout)