First it was the cheesecake; now the bagels have arrived. There seems to be a growing affinity for things New York (or, at least, things perceived to be in the New York style) here in Bangkok. This trend first caught my attention a few months ago with the opening of NYCC – the New York Cheesecake shop at the Crystal Design Center. In the last few weeks we’ve added another source of New York style carbs to the local dining scene: bagels.
While I’m no bagel expert, I do recognize that a really good bagel must be boiled before it is baked. Simply steaming them (as is done in a lot of faux bagel shops) just produces doughy round bread. In fact, last October I made two attempts at making bagels, just to understand the processes better. Thankfully, I don’t need to rely on my own bagels anymore as I can now stop at BKK Bagel Bakery to purchase some freshly boiled and baked bagels.
Tawn and I made our first visit to BKK Bagel Bakery during their soft opening in late February. At this point they had at least a half-dozen types of bagels, several types of cream cheese spreads, and also several sandwich offerings. Sadly, the pastrami recipe has not yet been unveiled. We tried a simple toasted bagel with a cream cheese and olive oil spread, which had a nice, nutty taste.
I tried a roast beef sandwich that was alright but nothing to write home about. Besides using iceberg lettuce, the roast beef was a little dry. All of the flavor came from the generous helping of whole grain mustard. For the price – about 250 baht (roughly US$8) – it was a little pricey.
A week ago, I stopped by a second time to bring home some bagels for breakfast. The bagels themselves are quite nice with a good chewy texture and dense crumb. Again, I don’t claim to be a bagel expert but these certainly remind me of the bagels I’ve bought from bodegas in New York City. I’m eagerly awaiting their attempt at pastrami, though.
Located in the ground floor of Maneeya Center, adjacent to the Chidlom BTS station, BKK Bagel Bakery should have a ready supply of customers: not only is Chidlom in the heart of the high-end expatriate community but the Foreign Correspondents’ Club is located in the Maneeya building, too. I wonder what will be the next New York food to be introduced here?