During my first visit to BKK, we relied mostly on the BTS and a friend staying in BKK who drove. On occassions whereby we took taxis (usually the yellow/green ones), they were all honest drivers. Lesson learnt was the places looked further than it seemed from Google map, slightly far for walking but too near to take a taxi from nearest BTS.
For this second trip, several of the places we planned to visit were not as near to the BTS hence we decided to rely on taxis more. We knew it was more risky to flag taxis by the road as they sometimes refuse to run by the meter, hence we usually start from hotel lobby whereby staff will check that they run by the meter (at least where we stayed previously).
My bad run of rogue taxi drivers in BKK began on this trip from my hotel to Karmakamet Diner. We hopped on to a PINK taxi that arrived at the hotel to drop passengers and the staff helped to inform the driver where we were going. Upon moving off, we saw that the driver had not turned on the meter, when we requested him to run the meter he simply said “No meter” and asked for B250 = S$10 for the short trip. This is considered expensive cos the trip from Airport to BKK city only cost about B250 (before tolls)!!!
Having no prior haggling experience with such drivers we acceded to the ridiculous request as it was partly due to our carelessness that we boarded the taxi without first negotiating the price. I would have asked to alight immediately if it wasn’t raining…On the way, the driver still had the cheek to ask if we were going for dinner and he could send us to dining place…BEWARE: its a scam that they will earn some commission for fetching customers to certain restaurants. Worse thing was the driver doesn’t even know the exact place we were going (he only know its near Emporium) and we even had to turn on our GPS and tell the driver where to drop us! This was not the worst, my bad run with PINK taxis continued for my next journey…will write about that in another post…
Glad to arrive at Karmakamet diner after the unpleasant journey and was immediately touched by the welcoming gesture of being offered umbrella by the security uncle for the short walk to the entrance of the restaurant. Many stopped to snap photos of the lush greenery and well-manicured courtyard at the entrance, which looked like a zen garden in Japan.
Karmakamet started off as a brand selling aromatherapy products and the dining was a expansion of their business profile. The diner only opened in Sep 2013, a few weeks after I last visited BKK, but soon attracted lotsa attention and crowd.
The building looked like a green-house from the outside, but interior decoration resembles that of an apothecary warehouse/shop. The full length windows in the dining hall allows diners to enjoy the views of the lush greenery in the al-fresco area and taking in some natural lighting. The merchandise section, on the other hand, was more dimmly lit, filled with warm lighting and had cabinets and shelves filled with jars and bottles. Felt like I’m in a potion class of Hogwarts…
Although I had been warned by others that the place is over-priced and over-hyped, I still wanted to visit the place for its decoration and ambience. Since I’m here, I had to try the instagram-worthy dessert of Strawberry in the Clouds strawberry short cake, amaretto cream, strawberry ice cream, walnut crumbles and rainbow cotton candy (B390 = S$15). Sadly, I wished it tasted as good as it looked…The cup in the bottom was simply stuffed with the individual ingredients and I felt that the strawberry ice cream had the artificial flavour found in the Magxxxxx brand ice cream tubs bought from supermarts…
Other than the iconic dessert, we also ordered another dessert of Banana Espresso Eclair eclair with baked banana filling, caramel espresso, light whipped cream served with kahlua ice cream (B390). The baked banana had a slight sourish taste, which had me thinking whether a part of the banana was “bruised”…
The best item I had was the White Yin Long Spring/Summer (Tea Star). It was light and fragrant.
Other than the nice decor, the food was pretty mediocre. Glad I’m having my dinner elsewhere…
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