Light summer fare and sweets: By Heather Allens

This week’s review is going to cover something a little different, The Salad Concept on the corner of Nimmanhaemin Soi 13. Fresh organic vegetables, hydroponic lettuces, reasonable prices and a nice selection of add-ins make this place something a little unique. Serving just salads, and the most amazing looking cakes, bars and cookies, they offer do it yourself style salads, where you pick your ingredients on a card and hand it to the waiter for assembly, or you can choose one of their salads from the menu. I had the grilled beef salad with a delicious garlicky soy sauce dressing for 85 baht. The lettuce was crisp and tasty, the beef tender and the sauce flavorful. They offer Caesar salads as well as a salmon salad, for the meat eaters in your life.

Dressings range from French, to Italian to a delicious sound tamarind sesame dressing. The add-ins include corn, mushrooms, pumpkin, tofu, bell peppers, pasta and more. A nice addition in season would be avocadoes. The do it yourself salad runs only 50 baht with a choice of 5 vegetable (or pasta) add ins and the dressing of your choice. Meat costs about 20 to 35 baht more, cheese 20 baht.

They offer fruit smoothies for 50 baht and wheatgrass juice for 40. The smoothie I had was rich in fruit and not too sweet.

The Salad Concept also offers a large selection of rich brownies, cakes and cookies but if you want those, you have to get in early as they are out the door pretty quickly. They have fresh coffee and free wifi for those that like to people watch on Nimmanhaemin. Open from 11 AM to 10 PM, it’s recommended for those that want something light on these hot summer days.

Next is not a restaurant but something sweet and appropriate for the hot weather: Ice Chic Gelato on Nimmanhaemin Soi 11. If you are in the mood for rich delicious gelato, then this is the place to go. They offer a huge range of gelatos that vary daily. I had the nutella gelato and the mint chocolate gelato. Both were rich, creamy and full of flavor. My friend had the black forest gelato and the pistachio. Again, flavorful and rich. They had a large selection of fruit gelatos and enough chocolate selection to make even the most determined chocolate lover like myself satisfied. Not a place to visit if you are on a diet, I would have to say, as the gelato on offer is irresistible. A large scoop of gelato is 45 baht, not cheap but considering the rich flavor, well worth the money. You can have it in a cup or in a tasty waffle cone.

Ice Chic Gelato has a lovely Italian style garden, where you can sit outside and enjoy the summer day, or sit inside out of the sun, in their comfortable air conditioned area. They are open from and can be accessed from either the garden side entrance on Nimman soi 11 or the aircon side on Nimman soi 13. The gelato is on display at the soi 11 entrance, so be sure to walk around to that side to ogle the display. 14 Nimmanhemin, Soi 11. 053 289 262

Finally, after getting lost past the superhighway, I stumbled upon a newly opened restaurant, open only for a day or so, it’s called The Tower Bridge, and offers delicious home-made English sausages, pies, pasties, sausage rolls and pork pies. Being lost and hungry, I stopped in because I saw the sign and couldn’t resist the call of a delicious sausage sandwich and wasn’t disappointed. The sausage was tasty, filling, not gristly or made with loads of filler and was a reasonable 80 baht for three sausages. The owner is an amiable English gentleman who informed us that they’d been producing home-made sausages for local area restaurants for quite a few years and had finally opened the new restaurant on their premises. So, if you live out on the way to San Kamphaeng, drop in. They are located on Route 1006, past the Superhighway just before the ring road. Open from 11 am. 053-851-539


Gazpacho - The famous Spanish cold soup

Gazpacho is always served cold, so it is a most refreshing soup for these hot days. This recipe is particularly simple, as it uses canned tomato juice, rather than having to process tomatoes in the blender. You will need a blender to prepare this soup, but do not over blend. The soup should have a thick consistency. You can also substitute red and yellow bell peppers for green if you wish.

Ingredients                 Serves 4
Tomato juice                                1 litre
Cucumber peeled and chopped            1
Green bell pepper cored and chopped   1
Onion chopped                                   1
Garlic                                      2 cloves
Olive oil                                   2 tbspns
Vinegar white                          4 tbspns

Cooking Methodd
Using the blender, first chop up the garlic, then add the cucumber and bell peppers (capsicum), adding tomato juice as needed to liquefy. Finally add the rest of the juice. If you want elegance, press through a sieve. If you’re going for heartiness, just leave it the way it is. Mix in the olive oil and vinegar. Now refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, pour into bowls and garnish with salad vegetables as you see fit: minced or notched and sliced cucumber; thin green bell pepper slices; chopped coriander and croutons.