All manner of bread. Croissants, bagels, baguettes, batards…done in rye, sourdough, white, multigrain. You get the idea. All top notch quality. I decided to hop on my bike and weave an unsteady path through the Bangkok traffic down to his establishment on the lure of “first person to find us wins some savoury bites”. The trip down Sukhumvit was uneventful what with its noxious ancient buses, near suicidal mopeds, Chelsea Tractors, and pasty tourists peering nervously looking for a gap to cross which will never, ever appear. I am getting a bit cheeky these days, choosing to casually use cars to lean on when stationary, using those pickups to just give me a small tow when I’m cruising the lanes in a world of my own.
Anyway, I made it to Soi 23 (just past BTS Asok) and took a left. The bakery wasn’t terribly hard to find, a quick first right, first left, two hundred metres run to the last moo before the University and there, at the end was BakedinBangkok with its two resident patisserie chefs humming away to themselves as “bread got baked and cake got maked” in tune to Jazz. Fresh cinnamon buns were cooling and I was offered one but had to decline as cinnamon is the devil’s spice and Cinnabon his home. I explored a little bit, though the place isn’t large and is not yet open to the public for shopfront browsing – that is planned next year. Here’s a few photos of what you can do with a bit of enthusiasm, a whole lot of skill, and plenty of dedication:
I left, wondering whether I could reach Petachaburi Road – a main traffic artery that runs parallel to Sukhumvit, about a kilometer north. Trouble is, that means crossing Khlong Saen Saep. Now you can cross it on Asoke but I wanted a different route so I headed away from BakedInBangkok, turned right and went straight at Srinakharinwirot University. Founded just after WWII as an Advanced Training School for Teachers, it first became an Education College in 1953, then attained University status in 1974. Now it boasts faculties in Education, Humanities and Science, Social Science, Science, Physical Education, Medicine, Fine Arts, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Health Science and Nursing plus having a Graduate School.
I was forced to run right across the face of it, seeking a route over the khlong and found myself quickly on Soi 31. It was at his point I decided to take any left I could see to reach the water. The result was I learned a lot about the maze that is the region between Soi 23 and Soi 49 as it’s nearly impossible to follow anything other than the dusty, white brick road. What was fascinating was how baan (houses) of the rich mingled freely with derelict buildings. Rubbing shoulder to shoulder, everything was distinctive. It is so unlike the UK which has its areas and estates of uniform, drab abodes. In the UK you can pretty much identify the year anything was built by its type. Not so in Bangkok. Here’s some photos I took of the area:
Did you spot the set of apartments modeled on a Disney reinterpretation of a European Castle! Cool, huh? Then there was the derelict “mansion” guarded by ten foot high walls topped with broken glass! Also, the impressive gates…the picture doesn’t do them justice, they glittered silver! There was much, much more but, short of filming the ride, it would be impossible to relate in a blog. I found that I was venturing down dead ends under the curious gazes of locals who usually would not see a farang there given the lack of businesses. It was mainly residential, people pottering about fixing masonry, cutting trees, or congregating round a lone street stall for shade, conversation, a drink and maybe a taste of something. Pulling a u-turn was absolutely fine because the fun was in the curiosity of exploration.
Eventually I found the khlong but it was impassable, an old jetty with its surface torn away and piles standing stoically against the current.
I cycled away and found myself on Soi 49 which I know well (by car) with its Bangkok Dolphins swim school which Isla attends. Five minutes later I was back on Sukhumvit in the three lanes of traffic and heading home again with my savoury baked prize in my rucksack.
So, bakedinbangkok.com – new, exciting, but above all….very fine food. Order something if you’re nearby…you will not regret it.
Is this what diplomacy is all about?