Bangkok: "Omelet Masala"
April 28, 2007
My Dear Friends in India,
This morning I wandered into the Alif Laila (Arabian Night) Restaurant. The posted menu indicated Indian food and the owner of the restaurant looked Indian. (He was Burmese.) The restaurant is spotlessly clean with wooden tables and chairs and upholstered leather booths.
I ordered a Masala Omelet, Nan, and a coffee.
Before the omelet arrived the server brought over a platter of fresh vegetables: scallions, carrots, parsnips, and pickled tomatoes. She also brought a carousel of toppings: crushed tomatoes, marinated sweet onions, and my favorite, a chutney of basil and garlic. The taste of the garlic was strong and spicy -- a perfect accompaniment for the sliced vegetables.
The omelet plate and was decorated with tomatoes, cucumber and a tomato skin shaped into a rose. The omelet had chopped onions, tomato and parsley. I scooped up bits of the egg with the warm Nan. The coffee was strong.
Alif Laila is in The Middle Eastern neighborhood of Bangkok. I spotted a variety of outfits -- women head to toe in black, others with colorful scarves and several men in long white caftans. I also saw a few women in bright African dresses and headdresses.
The restaurant has an outdoor terrace that overlooks a busy street. (I know you know what "busy" means.) There is a constant flow of motorcycles, tuk-tuks, cars, buses and trucks. But somehow this avenue lacks the charm of a boulevard in India. There are no cows! I miss the cows.
My friends, I miss you as well.
Since my India visa does not expire until August, I may show up on your doorstep sometime soon. But, if not, I plan to visit Alif Laila again so I can relive the stimulating flavors of my recent trip to India.
Thank you again for your friendship and your warm and generous hospitality.
Cheers from your friend in Bangkok,