besides spending a year travelling around the world, my trip has always had another agenda nested within the "go around the world" plan: visit every trader vic's
in the world. currently there are 22 trader vic's restaurants in the world (not counting the 4 senior picos and 1 inaka-ya restaurants). these bar/ restaurants are located in the united states, england, germany, spain, japan, taiwan, thailand, the UAE, lebanon, bahrain, oman, and qatar.
coming from california, i was already quite familiar with the trader vics in san francisco
, palo alto
, and beverly hills
. and while planning my trip last year at the expansive bar of the san francsico trader vic's
while drinking a planter's punch
(i originally started drinking these after reading p. g. wodehouse's
glowing description of them in one of his jeeves stories
, and haven't looked back since), i glanced down at the locations list they have on a cocktail napkin, and thought... why not visit every trader vic's in the world?
and so after a few emails with the fine management team at trader vic's to let them know my plan, i put together a plan where i would cross paths with every trader vic's in the world as part of my trip. since my first place on my trip where i would cross paths with a trader vic's was bangkok, i haven't mentioned this plan in my blog before now during the first 3 months of my trip.
when we'd returned to bangkok
from ko samui
, the time had come to visit my first trader vic's "on the road": trader vic's bangkok
since i'm usually at trader vic's with friends eating on their bar snacks and drinking rum drinks, i decided to continue that theme through all the trader vic's i visit. at bangkok their crab rangoon was perfect (right down to the butterfly-shaped hot mustard and sweet dipping sauce plates), the beef cho-cho
was great (although it seems the bangkok recipe calls for less sauce than the US version, and adds an extra topping on top to boot!), and the crispy duck pancakes had a delightful abundance of crispy duck and hoisin sauce. the rum drinks were perfect, as befits a trader vic's (note the differences of the TV bangkok drink menu
from the US drink list -- for example, i don't recall seeing the "starboard light" or "portlight" in san francsico!) did i mention the decor
was classic trader vic's as well?
i had a great chat with the bangkok TV's general manager, pongporn, who took a few minutes to sit down with us and chat about trader vic's, was generally a great host, even arranging for the waitresses to dance
the trader vic's dance (which was ogled by a number of single farangs
)! there was also a piano player with two female accompaniments, who were great singers, especially when singing my request of "straighten up and fly right"
if i have a free evening before heading out to my next destination from bangkok, i may even try to visit the senior pico in bangkok
. ah, if only it was cinco de mayo... but how could i resist a description like "fare is Cal-Mex-less rich (lian) than Tex-Mex cuisine" -- i can only hope that they'll have brought over the chips and queso concept from tex-mex cuisine!
thanks to everyone at the bangkok trader vic's for a great night of hospitality. looking forward to the next trader vic's in tokyo or taipei!