Apsara French restaurant

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Merlin

Surin Founding Father
There were very few Chinese restaurants where I was living in the UK as a kid in the 1950s and early 60s, and almost no Indian restaurants at all. Then, the Chanticleer opened in Chester's Rows, and the gates of paradise opened! Dad had been in Hong Kong at the end of WWII, and stayed on for 3 or 5 years, and had told me that the food there was wonderful. It was my birthday treat to try sweet and sour Pacific prawns that first time, and the memory remains with me some 60 years later. Similarly, Mum had completed her nursing training at the Manchester Eye Hospital when Dad was in HK, and she adored Indian curries - the hotter the better. She would talk about Manchester's Koh I Noor restaurant long before any opened in North Wales. I couldn't wait to try this exotic fare either.

The point is that when I eventually tried both cuisines, I enjoyed them tremendously, but they were very much an occasional treat. Years later, I lived just two or three miles away from Manchester's famous "Curry Mile" but only went there a handful of times in 28 years! I ate at many different Chinese and Indian/Bangladeshi restaurants throughout the UK during that time, as well as lots of Italian, Spanish, Mexican, French, and even the odd British restaurant too, and rang the quality changes too - taking in the old Wimpy bars, KFCs, McDonalds, Milk Bars, Kardomah coffee houses, local chippies, and some very grand Michelin starred places too. Yet none of them were places that I went to every week. Many of them were a novelty - such as when visiting relatives in Toronto. They seemed to think it would be a real treat for me to visit some British themed "pub," when all I wanted was to try authentic Canadian fodder (if there is any, and Wendy's doesn't count!)

Why should Thai people be any different? Brits eat British food most of the time, with the occasional foray to foreign restaurants (more commonly now of course, due to the popularity of foreign holidays - despite which think of the Spanish Costas and the signs there advertising "Full English Breakfasts" and "Fish and Chips.") In the same way, lots of Thais will eat some Western food - mostly when dragged there by their Farang husbands, but sometimes as a novelty choice, and sometimes simply because some like the taste and the difference. I can't think of any Thais who would eat Western food for every meal if given the choice, just as most Brits wouldn't eat Chinese or Thai food all the time.

It's probably that degree course I took in "Stating the Bleeding Obvious" that led to the above, but the popularity of Thai food in the UK is probably no greater than the popularity of Western food among the Thai communities over here. It's a niche market. It might be growing, but - here in Surin anyway - there is definitely a glass ceiling for Western eating places. IN places like Bangkok, it is undoubtedly "cool" to eat in Western style places. Even in Surin, the popularity of Starbucks is quite remarkable - though most of the clients are either Farang, or rich Thais who want to be seen there rather than in some typically Thai places despite the +300% prices.

I've been asked to cook a variety of Western dishes over here by Thais, and most have enjoyed them. Several have asked why I won't open a small restaurant specialising in those dishes. Not a bloomin' chance!!! And the main reason is that I don't believe that tasting them once would make the Thais come back regularly enough to make it a worthwhile and long-term venture. As many have asked: "How do you become a millionaire in Thailand?" Answer: "Start with 2 million."
 

Yorky

Fullritis Member
If one has tried new techniques to be successful which haven't succeeded why should they be compelled to believe another year will make a difference.

If you remember Aladin which AtB reckons was a great deal - Bht 300,000.00 for a ten year lease and Bht 6,000.00 per month. That's over Bht 1,000,000.00 commitment - how long did he last?

And do you remember when Gert employed Rudi as the Chef in White Elephant Resort - That could have only lasted 6 months maximum.

How long did "Chefy" last?

"Where have all the flowers gone?"
 
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Benson

Forum Sponsor
This does not surprise me, i knew he would not last long. Surin does not have the clientele to support such a place. Unless to can attract the Chinese/ Thai, the Farang population is not large enough and have a shrinking income. The regular Thai would not go near such a place.
 

Cent

FORUM SPONSOR
Totally agree, Merlin.

In the states there were very few Chinese restaurants around in the 60s besides the obvious places, the 'Chinatowns' in the larger cities.
But in the smaller cities it was few and far between. I remember the places we did get to when a little older and they just sprung up like mushrooms everywhere. A favorite deal for us poor hippies back then was the Chinese 'Sunday buffet'. Cheap as hell. I love Chinese food, but in the US most were serving dishes that have/had been changed, or even 'invented' for the American palate. Most Chinese places I have eaten at over here in Asia are VERY different in the offerings and flavors compared to the American Chinese we are used to. :) Still, I do like those Americanized dishes. Never saw an Indian restaurant until much older. And I do love Indian once turned onto the cuisine. Same for Mexican really. In the Boston area they were none until the early to mid 70s. I used to go with friends of mine to a small Mexican place in Cambridge Mass my buddies had found. It was in an apartment, bring your own booze, cooked by the Mexican Mama, living room and dining room done up as a restaurant. Just amazing Mexican foods. These were popular out west and down south much earlier on as there were a lot of Mexicans living in those areas. Now Mexican restaurants are everywhere in Boston and the whole country. It took a while to hit the northeast and east coast, then exploded once people had a taste.

The past 20/25 years or so there was an explosion of Thai restaurants. Seems to be one in every town and city these days. Many were started by Chinese that jumped onto the trend and popularity to cash in on it.

I found Malaysia has a wide variety of dishes, a mixture of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Thai etc. Wonderful foods there in Malaysia. They are foodies there.

These days in the states the new trend is for Indonesian and what they call 'fusion' and Asian dishes. A mix of the more popular asian cuisines, a lot of it Thai.


There were very few Chinese restaurants where I was living in the UK as a kid in the 1950s and early 60s, and almost no Indian restaurants at all. Then, the Chanticleer opened in Chester's Rows, and the gates of paradise opened! Dad had been in Hong Kong at the end of WWII, and stayed on for 3 or 5 years, and had told me that the food there was wonderful. It was my birthday treat to try sweet and sour Pacific prawns that first time, and the memory remains with me some 60 years later. Similarly, Mum had completed her nursing training at the Manchester Eye Hospital when Dad was in HK, and she adored Indian curries - the hotter the better. She would talk about Manchester's Koh I Noor restaurant long before any opened in North Wales. I couldn't wait to try this exotic fare either.

The point is that when I eventually tried both cuisines, I enjoyed them tremendously, but they were very much an occasional treat. Years later, I lived just two or three miles away from Manchester's famous "Curry Mile" but only went there a handful of times in 28 years! I ate at many different Chinese and Indian/Bangladeshi restaurants throughout the UK during that time, as well as lots of Italian, Spanish, Mexican, French, and even the odd British restaurant too, and rang the quality changes too - taking in the old Wimpy bars, KFCs, McDonalds, Milk Bars, Kardomah coffee houses, local chippies, and some very grand Michelin starred places too. Yet none of them were places that I went to every week. Many of them were a novelty - such as when visiting relatives in Toronto. They seemed to think it would be a real treat for me to visit some British themed "pub," when all I wanted was to try authentic Canadian fodder (if there is any, and Wendy's doesn't count!)

Why should Thai people be any different? Brits eat British food most of the time, with the occasional foray to foreign restaurants (more commonly now of course, due to the popularity of foreign holidays - despite which think of the Spanish Costas and the signs there advertising "Full English Breakfasts" and "Fish and Chips.") In the same way, lots of Thais will eat some Western food - mostly when dragged there by their Farang husbands, but sometimes as a novelty choice, and sometimes simply because some like the taste and the difference. I can't think of any Thais who would eat Western food for every meal if given the choice, just as most Brits wouldn't eat Chinese or Thai food all the time.

It's probably that degree course I took in "Stating the Bleeding Obvious" that led to the above, but the popularity of Thai food in the UK is probably no greater than the popularity of Western food among the Thai communities over here. It's a niche market. It might be growing, but - here in Surin anyway - there is definitely a glass ceiling for Western eating places. IN places like Bangkok, it is undoubtedly "cool" to eat in Western style places. Even in Surin, the popularity of Starbucks is quite remarkable - though most of the clients are either Farang, or rich Thais who want to be seen there rather than in some typically Thai places despite the +300% prices.

I've been asked to cook a variety of Western dishes over here by Thais, and most have enjoyed them. Several have asked why I won't open a small restaurant specialising in those dishes. Not a bloomin' chance!!! And the main reason is that I don't believe that tasting them once would make the Thais come back regularly enough to make it a worthwhile and long-term venture. As many have asked: "How do you become a millionaire in Thailand?" Answer: "Start with 2 million."
 

CO-CO

You chose a custom title
A restaurant selling (decent) pizzas and fried chicken under a Thai presentation would do well.


Farang custom would be considered a bonus - and possibly segregated.
 

Ivor the Engine

Nowhere man
A restaurant selling (decent) pizzas and fried chicken under a Thai presentation would do well.


Farang custom would be considered a bonus - and possibly segregated.
Agree. My ‘local’ restaurant sells around 10-15 pizza’s each day (all 190b) and most are for Thai customers to take-away. Home made pies/burgers/sandwiches are for mainly farangs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Yorky

Fullritis Member
A restaurant selling (decent) pizzas and fried chicken under a Thai presentation would do well.
Farang custom would be considered a bonus - and possibly segregated.

The problem with the pizzas I've had here (with the exception of Petteri's place on the Buriram Road) is that they are sweet.
 

Prakhonchai Nick

You chose a custom title
"We will officially be closing down the restaurant on the 17th of this month and will organize a special event for all our faithful patrons to attend before that date."

Whilst I won't be attending, what news of this last special event for those that would like to go? Only a few days left!
 

Yorky

Fullritis Member
Whilst I won't be attending, what news of this last special event for those that would like to go? Only a few days left!

I shall not be attending. I'm not a faithful patron (for reasons I've outlined earlier herein) and I'm definitely not a balloon chaser!
 

Merlin

Surin Founding Father
"We will officially be closing down the restaurant on the 17th of this month and will organize a special event for all our faithful patrons to attend before that date."

Whilst I won't be attending, what news of this last special event for those that would like to go? Only a few days left!

Nothing more on their FB page, nor on Cyril's nor Francois's.
 

Moderators

SITE ADMINISTRATOR
Staff member
Thread closed, as will be the restaurant shortly. I have been informed that it’s closing party is by invitation only.
 
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