25 April 2009

First class theatre

On Saturday, the air was warm and humid with overcast skies. That is, until precisely 20 minutes prior to my husband and my planned departure time. The sky opened up for the third day in a row and dropped sheets of rain. Thunder cracked overhead and the winds whipped. Our street flooded. As I stepped a toe out into our river, formerly referred to as a street, our security guard wrinkled his nose and quickly showed excitement as a taxi appeared within hailing distance.

Moments later we were in the car and off to Bangkok's CentralWorld for the rare treat of a movie.

After paying for our tickets, and wondering why they cost more than the last time we were at the theatres, we were greeted at the base of a red carpet and directed down a hallway that I had not noticed on previous trips. Little did we know that we were embarking upon one of Bangkok's truly amazing finds- The First Class Movie Theatre. Similar in concept to first class on an airplane, although executed with even higher levels of service, the theatre allows movie goers private, exclusive priveledges. 

At the end of the hallway was a modern glitzy lounge, serving drinks and a small buffet of bite-sized Thai treats. Perhaps you'd like a beer or a cappacino served to you during the start of the movie? Or, maybe you'd like to have an elegant taste of Thai caramel custard or chicken satay before entering the theatre. All options are provided with the compliments of your ticket price or for a small additional fee (depending on your beverage selection). 

We were again greeted and escorted to our seats. WOW: Two side by side giant plush velvet covered easy chairs awaited us. Our order was taken for a choice of curry or herb salted popcorn and choice of beverage (both included with the ticket price). Blankets were brought and, after standing for the national anthem and accompanying montage footage of the King, we reclined to tuck in for the movie ahead. My future movie going experiences will be forever spoiled by Thailand's "first class movie theatres."

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 45:
Thai pizza
I never thought I'd move to Thailand and end up getting really good at making pizza! However, when the nearest grocery store isn't right around the corner and the frozen pizza sold there looks extremely unappealing, one quickly figures out how to make a healthy, delicious pizza for the pizza lovers in their life! This recipe involves quite a few steps, but if you have kids, they'll love to help you (my two year old dons his apron and loves to help knead the dough). And, the dough freezes beautifully so make a double batch- freeze the dough in the round. When you want to cook a pizza again, just remove the pizza round from the freezer and set aside to thaw before topping and cooking.

3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup cornmeal, plus a bit extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons nut butter (use peanut for an authentic Thai flavor, but my family prefers cashews)
3 Tablespoons of brewed tea
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons lime juice
pinch of dried red chilies
pinch of dried ginger
2 Tablespoons honey
3 green onions, chopped
1 large boneless chicken breast, chopped into fine strips about 1/2 inch long
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
extra dried red chilies for optional garnish

For the dough- Place the warm water, yeast and honey into a large mixing bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, remove from bowl and knead for 10 minutes. Place in a clean, well oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour. Return to the risen dough and on a floured surface, create the pizza round. Then sprinkle a pizza stone or pizza pan with cornmeal and move dough to the stone/pan. Set aside and let rise for at least 1/2 hour.

To prepare the toppings- Combine the nut butter, tea, soy sauce, lime juice, chilies, ginger and honey. Stir thoroughly. Remove 2 tablespoons and place over raw chicken. Cover remaining sauce and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Cover raw chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour. Remove chicken after marinating and cook in a hot skillet, about 3 minutes, then set aside. 

To make the pizza- Place the pizza round into a 250 C/425 F preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove and quickly top with the nut butter sauce, spreading a thin layer. Add the chicken, the green onions and sprinkle with cheese. Place back into the oven until the cheese is bubbly. Remove, top with the carrots and cilantro. Serve immediately with a side of dried red chili peppers for topping at the table.


  1. Fantastic pizza recipe! My husband and I make pizza several times a month and can't wait to Thai it up a bit. Thanks for the post about cinema...It was very timely. I had just spent the past week trying to find a good write up of it. We hadn't been on our previous trips so I am very excited to try the first class movie experience on our upcoming visit.

  2. This pizza looks like a lot of work. Because I like your other recipes I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out. Have a great, hot day!

  3. Natalie, Thank you for your comment! Let me know how the pizza turns out for you... it is different, but a tasty treat if that's what you're in the mood for. And, when you make it to the first class cinemas, I highly recommend the ones at CentralWorld, top floor (great escape from the heat too!).


Looking forward to hearing your comment!