Meals on gourmet wheels: Expat entrepreneurs spark Bangkok's delivery-only dining scene
Despite Bangkok’s wonderful culinary array, it can still be tough to find some of those expat home comforts and international ingredients that have not been “localized” with the addition of sugar, fish sauce or candyfloss pork.
Fortunately a few local entrepreneurs have recently stepped up to the plate to exploit those niches that have yet to be filled on the city’s smorgasbord.
Some of their food is positively righteous. All of it is mouthwateringly good. Better still, it is ideally suited to the apathetically inclined as these four pioneering outlets are delivery-only operations.
Benjamin Lord, a financial services executive who arrived in Bangkok 10 years ago via Vietnam, Manhattan and Little Rock, Arkansas, only discovered the commercial potential from his love of baking artisan breads by accident.
Friends kept telling him he should start selling his creations. Late last year he finally acted on their advice.
Nowadays, much of the home bakery’s weekly product list is sold out within a few hours of being emailed out.
“Urban Pantry doesn’t strive to make types of bread you can already get here,” Lord says. “All breads are developed using very unique, some would say unorthodox, combinations of bold flavors, focusing on the freshest possible ingredients and using seasonal items whenever possible.”
The sourdough is excellent, as is the rye and black tea loaf, for which the marinated eggplant makes an excellent accompaniment.
Most products are price from 130-190 baht. Currently there’s no delivery charge for orders within Bangkok.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. +66 (0)89 787 4569. More info on Urban Pantry's Facebook page.
Homemade Cheese Co.
If you fancy some labaneh, quark or haloumi to spread on your artisan bread, the Homemade Cheese Co. provides on of the best local options. Run by Israeli Elad Bryn and a few friends, this shophouse business specializes in fresh dairy products, all of which are preservative and additive free.
The flavors are wonderfully light and the products carefully produced to reduce the excessive sourness that is a trademark of too many dairy goods.
Other Mediterranean treats are on offer, such as hummus and tzatziki, plus there’s a range of yogurts that are naturally sweetened with dollops of fresh fruit including cranberries, mango and kiwi.
Delivery charge is 80 baht.
Email: email@example.com. +66 (0)2 439 4510. www.homemade-cheese.com
While the deli sections at local Bangkok supermarkets have markedly improved over the past 10 years or so, a mass mentality still prevails and regional specialties typically remain hard to find.
For the last year, however, this has ceased to be a problem for fans of Italian food living in Bangkok.
E-buono, the home delivery spin-off of Foodditalia, an importer, supplies stacks of Italian cheeses, meats, olive oils, wines and more.
Better still the company offers free same-day delivery within Bangkok, so if you’ve run out of pine nuts or pecorino for your homemade pesto sauce, then salvation is just a phone call away.
“Our food is imported by air every week," says Roberto Brivio, the man behind the service. "Every order is prepared a few moments before the delivery time to ensure that the products are genuine and fresh."
If you want to try the range before buying you can arrange to visit the warehouse on Sukhumvit Soi 33. Minimum order 1,000 baht
+66 (0)2 6621 124. www.e-buono.com
Birds in a Row
Finally, there’s no need to despair if you find cooking your own food or slicing a piece of bread far too challenging.
Birds in a Row is on call with emergency supplies of lovingly cooked wholefood, with plenty of vegetarian dishes to select from as well as tasty flesh for the carnivores.
Regan Suzuki, a native of Winnipeg, Canada set the company up to fill the gap left by a lack of healthy but tasty food, initially setting her sights on UN workers in the Ratchadamnoen area.
The menu is seasonal and changes every three months. The current offering includes nutmeg sesame chicken with mango, pork skewers with salsa verde on pita, grilled wholewheat veggie tostadas with fresh salsa and poached egg with asparagus on focaccia.
Meals are delivered in biodegradable packaging, which is a nice touch. The deal is buy three meals for free delivery or cop the motorbike fee to your home or office.
A main with two salad servings costs 160 baht for vegetarian and 180 baht for non-veggie.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.+66 (0)2 628 4588. Birdsinarow.wordpress.com