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Ka-fe-vi-no at Think Park

By Heather Allen
This cozy little restaurant offers coffee from my favorite coffee shop, Akha Ama Coffee. For those of us who love their coffee we can now enjoy it on the west side of town. However, this charming light filled spot has more than just coffee, you can guess from the name that they also offer wine and have a really good selection of both wines and international beer. They have a nice outdoor space with small patio tables and chairs. Located at Think Park on Huay Kaew and Nimmanhaemin this would be a great spot to sit and people watch when Think Park holds its weekend night market.
They also have a small but interesting menu with Thai and western dishes, pastas and sandwiches as well as fusion style food. I had breaded chicken with wasabi, the chicken was perfectly cooked, the breading crunchy and not oily and the wasabi sauce sinus clearing without being overwhelming. The dish came with a tasty garnish of shredded cabbage and other greens. It was a late lunch stop for me but it looks like it would be good for dinner too. They had pork chops on the menu, I noticed, and the lady next to me had a really nice looking pasta dish.
The atmosphere cannot be beat, old wooden doors with glass inserts making the place light, large wooden tables and benches, and a wonderful chandelier made of old wine bottles. I would love to have one of those for myself! Whilst some might say, “yes it sounds great but what a location, where can I park?” Well, Think Park has come to an arrangement with the Rincome and there is parking available across Nimmanhaemin in the Rincome Hotel parking lot. Turn in at the opening in the metal wall and then make your way across the street to Think Park. Ka-fe Vi-no is located along Huay Kaew Road near the big condo that is going up. Ka-fe Vi-no is open from noon to midnight and dishes range in price from 80 to 300 baht.

RECIPES BY NOI: Ab Kai Pla or Grilled fish roe

Finally, the rainy season has started! It was quite surprisingly hot, too hot this year. I thought we wouldn’t have a rainy season. I don’t like it when it’s wet and rainy but after this summer I really appreciate the rain. However, the farmers who have been waiting for the first heavy rains of the season for their rice farming are certainly happy and might be celebrating by working hard in the rice fields.
Rain doesn’t only bring farmers to the rice fields but also brings a lot of our main protein source; fish. My village is on a big area of flat land surrounded by mountain. Rains wash the smell of new soil from the mountain and flowing down into small channels that are dry for most the year. After that it goes through rice fields and then meets our main river the Nam Ing which is the home of the fresh fish. When all the small rivers are connected again, these fish are then ready to deposit their eggs. They will swim to as close to the head of the river as they can. The best way to catch them is by net as they are too small for a hook. Some people might say the best part of fish is cheek, stomach part or head but to the kids is the fish roe.
Ab Kai Pla is all the kids’ favorite. Some recipes might add chili and all the ingredients as the same as Ab Jin (see edition XI No.12 - Sunday November 18 - Saturday December 1, 2012) but that might be too spicy for some, also this one is easier!
Collect as much fish roe as you need, then add salt and lemongrass. Mix together and wrap in a banana leaf. Grill on a low heat and that’s it!

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