Cafe Hopper Review: After You Cafe@Silom Complex, Bangkok

I was here because of a friend’s recommendation. He told me that the place is good for its dessert and nice ambience. It happened to be just beside Baan Ying, a cafe which I reviewed sometime ago. Since I roughly know the place, I decided to pay After You a visit during my Christmas break. When I stepped into the cafe, it already hit my soft spot for wood. The cafe is so filled of woody stuff, just like Baan Ying and very spacious. The spaciousness of the place is so welcoming in a congested Bangkok with most of the shop spaces being very tiny. There is so much of walking space and if you sit at the cafe you have so much of personal space as well. The counter is located in an angle that seems to tell every customer, “Hey I am here…!” Indeed a very welcoming atmosphere and more so when the staff are generally friendly and full of smiles.

I ordered my usual latte and a maple syrup toast with assorted sausage. Looking through the menu, they serve mainly pancakes and thick toast and they are mainly sweet….what am I talking about…this is a dessert ship right. The menu is quite interesting and there are other permutation of pancake with other ingredients or thick toast with other stuff. So its really cool just looking at the menu. I also noticed a corner where they have this nice, modern, wooden shelves full of cookies and other pastries. They have a whole table of different types of brownies and other stuff. This is is just so amazing. I must say also that that the cookies are very nice. I was so tempted to buy one!

The food arrived and they serve the australian type of latte and I must mention that their latte does have some standard there. I noticed that they like to foam their latte in Bangkok or in Thailand. The main draw here is the food. When my stuff came, I was so excited. It really looks very beautiful and yet not too complicated. The toast is coated, not simply just tainted with maple syrup….the syrup is coated on the surface of the toast and it forms a very crispy crunch on the surface. So each bite of the toast is sensational and its soft in the inside. This give it a very good texture in the mouth. The sausages however are pretty normal but well complimenting the toast.

I am so thankful that my Thai friend recommended this place and I certainly would like to go there again.

the gatekeeper





Cafe Hopper Review: The Little Hut House of Waffles@Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok

I arrived at Asoke Station and was moving around to try to locate my apartment. Thank God for GPS and I had some idea of the area. Asoke has been one of my favorite spot in Bangkok because of Terminal 21. I love the stuff in Terminal 21. If you have never been to Bangkok for shopping spree, this is one place that you must visit when you are here. I finally found Sukhumvit Soi 23 but I saw no sight of Citadines 23 apartment. Based on my previous experience with Citadines, they are always located in prominent places and it should not take me too long to find them. As I walked further into the street, there I found Citadines. I am so proud of this Singapore brand name that can be found all over the world. Just when I was about to approach my home for the next few days, I bummed into this little hut that is just across Citadines. It really looks very cool…like this houses in cartoon. I told myself I must visit this little hut.

I checked into the apartment and rested for a little while, waiting for technology to be all charged up…well, I mean all the mobile phones and other gadgets that God knows since when we can’t do without them. I was all so excited to enjoy some quiet moment with myself and to do a little shopping before I retreat to Latkrabang to runaway from the new year crowd. Guess where was my first stop…bingo…Terminal 21. I just love this shopping mall. Again, I went from Terminal 21…to MBK then to Siam Paragon and back to Terminal 21 again.

I decided to pay the little hut a visit on my way back to the apartment. I dropped by and I must say that the exterior decor of the place is really attractive and it does allure you to come in. However, the interior of the cafe is not as fantastic as the exterior. I was expecting it to be a little more woody and probably with a fireplace some where to add to the cosiness. However, within the interior is another little bakery. I didn’t’ get to try to bakery…I guess most of the things were almost gone. I ordered my usual latte and I must say that the latte does have some standard there. I know I cannot expect too much on coffee in Thailand but this one is drinkable. I love the foam on the latte…its so wholesome. I was rather full so I didn’t order any food initially. But I thought it will be difficult to write about this cafe when it acclaims to be the house of waffles and I didn’t eat anything at all here. I decided to order a plain waffles. Its hard to be a cafe critics I guess….you somehow have to eat.

The waffle looks pretty good and its more towards the soft type of waffle. The waffle tastes pretty good just with a little bit of honey on it. I must say that if you are a dessert lover, this should quite a pretty nice place to have waffle. After my food, I decided to go back to my apartment to send out some updates to the bosses. Then I remembered that there was late night shopping in Terminal 21. Hey Hey….I went out again for my shopping venture and it was cool! I love the experience. When I was on my way back, I observed that the little hut did have quite a considerable crowd. I suppose many of them could be attracted by the exterior decor. Honestly, its a not bad place to go to…a little resting place in the buzzing Asok area.

the gatekeeper


Cafe Hopper on Special Task Part 2

Right now I am taking my Christmas leave from the works in Korat. Although I was only in Korat for a few days but I have experienced much of the work there. I know that the work in Korat is extensive and I really respect people like Kim Yien and Pastor Dickson and the rest of the team for holding the fort there. I saw everyone so eager to do God’s work and they all contributed in so many ways big or small just to share the gospel with the community. Really a beautiful bunch of people.

After a few days there in Korat, I am having a clearer picture of my role there. I thank God for showing me clearer what I am suppose to do in Korat. I thank God for the people that I met in Korat, both locals and friends from Singapore. I am thankful to God for Mark and Angela for also ministering to me by praying for me before I leave for Bangkok for my Christmas break. They have been a tremendous blessing to me and I am sure to the people at Alpha.

So what did I do in Korat for the past few days. Honestly, The things that I am doing is only such a small fraction of what the whole team in Korat is doing. Basically for the past few days, I have been going for one Christmas event to another Christmas…and all these events are organized with just one purpose – that is so that the people can hear the gospel. For the past few days, I have been following them from Christmas party to caroling…then the Christmas service on Sunday. We also go to members house to pray and bless them. Then it was meeting at the university and at Boonwattana. The meetings were basically our way of building bridges to the various schools and institutions. Its been very exciting and I pray for God to bless the works of our hands. Unless the Lord build the house, the laborer would labour in vain.

Well, at night I am usually all by myself in the house of God. I live in the church and I will be living there for the second round when I am in Korat. Its simply amazing because this is really a dream come true. I always wanted to be a gatekeeper in the house of God and there you go…I am a gatekeeper for the past few days. At night I would do some housekeeping by washing my clothes and hanging them up. I would also iron my clothes so that I can look presentable at times in the ministry. I find worship in doing all of these. They are not chores but a worship unto the Lord. Sometimes I would help mop the floor of Alpha Cafe, which is at the first floor. I also helped to tidy up the place to make sure that the place is ready the next day.

Once all of those things are done, I will go to the Lord in prayer using the Book of Common Prayer. This is really my personal time with God and it has been most wonderful standing before Him and to worship Him; to give thanks to Him the day’s works. I do the same in the morning. I pray the Morning Prayer and offer the day to God and to His work in Korat.

For now, Merry Christmas to all my readers and May the Lord richly bless you!

the gatekeeper

Cafe Hopper on Special Task (Nakhon Ratchasima or Korat)

On the 19th of December, I followed Pastor Dickson to Korat after meeting him at Cornerstone Students Centre, Latkrabang. I stayed in Latkrabang for about one and a half week and had a wonderful time with the university students there. Although our times were short but I hope this brief friendship that was fostered will carry on for a good cause. Indeed, I am thankful for Pastor Andrew for giving me this opportunity to serve and to learn in the centre. To be honest, when I first came to Bangkok, I wasn’t exactly sure what the Lord would lead me to. Perhaps the whole sentiment of uncertainty and unsure-ness have made me feel a bit lost at first. However, as I seek the Lord during my time alone with Him, the Lord showed me clearer and clearer what He was leading me into. Like what Pastor Dickson said, the vision should get clearer and not more blur. I look forward to seeing the friends in Latkrabang.

On my way up to Korat, I had a very nice chat with Pastor Dickson. The first time when I met him, back in June this year, he was already a very friendly man and he was always ready to help in many ways. This time when I met him, I must say that I have a deeper respect for this man of God. On our way up to Korat, he was sharing with me and challenging me to continue to seek the Lord for what is the direction in my life. It was him who dropped me the idea of tent making ministry. I sort of know this concept but I do not know why it didn’t dawn upon me what the Lord is leading me to is tent making. He also cautioned me about being too indifferent towards expectations as some expectations are not expectations…they are obligations. They are naturally expected of us. I must say that the simple truth he was sharing to me really spoke to my heart. I felt that the direction now is clearer and he was like a light that suddenly shines on me and I suddenly see where I am heading to. He has also taught me about self-less giving in the mission field. I see this man as a giving man. He is always giving. There is not a single moment he is not giving. There was one day, Pastor Dickson told me one of the most important truth about leadership. He said that leaders are there to solve problems. There are not here to create problems. When there is a problem, it is always no-problem to a leader. Because of this principle, he always avails himself to solve problems.

Pastor Dickson has made me feel how small I am and there is so much I have to learn from this man. He is so simple and yet so profound in his faith to God. Its not easy for a man to leave his family in Singapore and come here all alone to avail himself for God and for His people. Yet at the same time, he has not neglected his family as well. Pastor Dickson, keeps reminding me to update my family about my whereabout and my well-being. I always assure him that I did call back home. I am determined to learn from this man about doing God’s work and to be more effective in my service to God.

I mentioned about tent making and somehow the Lord has allowed to meet fellow tent makers. Mark and Angela are so much more senior than me, and honestly through their sharing, I have learnt so much about tent making and how they give themselves in various ways to the mission field. They could have just enjoyed their retirement back at home and travel to many parts of the world. But they have chosen to avail themselves for God’s work. Beautiful people they are and again meeting them is really a humbling experience for me. This is my first update on my three months attachment with Anglican Church in Thailand and I know very well that the Lord will continue to speak to me and mould me and make me into the person that He wants me to be. Praise the Lord for all the people I have met and not forgetting Kim Yien and her team of church staff at Alpha Centre. They have done so much for the Lord and their works are sincere and full of love for God and for His people. I have deep respect for all these people. May the Lord have mercy on me and forgive me of my pride and arrogance. May the Lord have mercy on me and forgive me of my ignorance and stupidity in all of my previous ways. God help me!

the gatekeeper



Cafe Hopper Review: Provence@Chitlom, Bangkok (Gaysorn Plaza)

This is the second cafe that I am reviewing in Bangkok. Its hard to find a good cafe outlet especially when you are not so familiar with the place. I was roaming around while waiting for a local Thai friend to finish his MBA class. We are suppose to meet at Terminal 21, one of my favorite shopping malls in town. For those who are not so familiar with Bangkok, Terminal 21 is situated at Asok. The unique thing about the mall is that every floor has a unique country theme. For instant, the second floor is Japanese and the third floor is Istanbul if I am not wrong. The things there are pretty affordable. I love to shop for shirts and bags over there. Some of the shops operates in JJ market as well but JJ market is just too hot for any shopper in my opinion. I went there once to get some stuff for Toffee, my toy poodle, and I was perspiring like hell!

Anyway, I was in Gaysorn and I bummed into Provence Cafe in the mall. Its a very pretty cafe with the attempt to bring in the Italian atmosphere into the mall. The cafe is situated on the second floor or third floor and its very spacial. You will have a feeling of sitting by the park when you are in the cafe. The only thing rather strange about the cafe is that they don’t serve latte. I decided to go for cappuccino instead. However, they also run out of that. The staff were a little unfriendly at first when I sat down. Maybe because I was not very richly dressed and Gaysorn is a pretty up-market mall in Bangkok, almost equivalent to our Paragon in Orchard Road. Since they did not have latte or cappuccino, I decided to just order the iced thai coffee and a set of club sandwiches. Because people are scarce in Gaysorn, you will find that sitting in Provence provides a sense of tranquillity and peace. In addition, you will be getting aroma from many of the aromatherapy shops, selling all kinds of products there. As such, it can be pretty relaxing just sitting down there and rest before you go for your next round of shopping in town.

The coffee was pretty ordinary. Well, it tasted very much like coffee but I like their club sandwich. The toast effect is good…crispy on the outside and the softness of the various ingredients inside. The ingredients are pretty wholesome and its worth a try if you are a sandwich lover. I can’t say that it is fantastic but pretty reasonable in taste and texture I guess. Do drop by Provence and have a look and experience for yourself some up-market shopping in Gaysorn as well. If I remember correctly they have a LV outlet there and a Hugo Boss.

the gatekeeper




Cafe Hopper Review: Chock Full Of Beans@Changi Village

I was attending one of the many invites to BBQ and its really has been a long since I attend any of these BBQ session. Its always not so pleasant to do BBQ in Singapore as the weather is hot and humid. Anyway, I went for it…turned out to be quite fun and of course a lot of mosquitoes as well. They had their fun sucking our blood while we happily BBQ our way. We felt rather bored and decided to explore the place a little. After all, its been a long time since I came to Changi Village. I remember there are a few nice cafes around the area as well. Of course, Cafe Hopper won’t miss a single chance to hop into one of them. This time round, I hoped into Chock Full of Beans. I have heard of this one from many friends. I love the name and always wonder why they decided to use the word “Chock”. I didn’t bother to find out anyway…

We just had a whole lot of BBQ food so we decided to just order drinks from this one. I must say that the only surprise we got from them are the latte art on every cup of coffee they serve. When the first cup of coffee arrived, it was a Tic-Tac-Toe pattern. We we were so excited over and it we waited with excitement for the next cup of coffee to arrive. Well, I must say that they never fail to surprise us what’s the next pattern on the next cup of coffee. Other then this, I must say that the coffee taste pretty normal. Nothing very exceptional about it.

I love the decor. Again, it has a little woody element in it and it always warm my heart to see people use wood as part of their designs. The shop space is pretty small and thus, I am quite impressed by the decor and the space consumption in the cafe. This commendable. Of course, they have outside seatings as well but honestly if given a choice, most people would like the comfort of the air-conditioning, which in my opinion is the best invention by human hands.

This is one cafe that is worth the visit if you have already travelled all the way far east to Changi. A very good resting place from all the beach activities in the area. Or perhaps, a good place to chill after your dinner there or supper.


the gatekeeper



Cafe Hopper Review: Baan Ying Cafe@Silom Complex, Bangkok

This is probably my first across border review of a cafe and I hope that I will have a lot more opportunities to visit the cafe in Bangkok. Yes, I am now based in Bangkok and its really been a wonderful experience here. Where I am staying is quite away from the city area but not that far either. Before I came over, I had made several trips to Bangkok to settle some issues and I bummed into Baan Ying Cafe when a counterpart wanted to meet at Silom Complex. I decided to go there early to shop around before meeting up with him.

I was first attracted by the woody interior of the cafe. For those people who have been following me, you know that I like woody stuff and any interior that is woody will attract me in. Not only the furnitures are wood but the walls and many other things are wood as well. I like the feeling of being immersed in this woody environment. I decided to sit down by the window and overlooked Silom. Didn’t exactly know what to order I decided to order something light. I ordered a shredded mango salad with fried fish and a coconut freeze. I didn’t think too much about what ordered and as a matter of fact, I didn’t have the intention to review the cafe anyway.

When the food arrived, and when I started tasting it, let me say this, the coconut freeze was so refreshing and divine. I wasn’t too sure if I was really thirsty or something but I felt so refreshed after taking my first sip from it. I went on to try the salad. The shredded mango is cold and sourish and sweet and it compliments so well with the fried fish which is hot and crispy. I must say that I really love the salad dish that day. The two items had certainly made my day. Nothing really tastes as good as the two items after that. Anyway that was my last day for that Bangkok trip and good to end the trip with a nice salad and drink. I would certainly recommend that you travel down to Silom Station by the BTS and experience this simple but yet extraordinary cafe in Silom Complex.

the gatekeeper