In between bites, Pang provided information about the differences in food from Central, North, Northeast, and Southern Thailand; Central tends to be sweet, Southern fiery, North herbaceous, and Northeast simple and spicy. She also shared a bit of history about the neighborhood we visited. For example, Bangrak can be loosely translated as Village of Love, but it also served as a major shipping port in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of the restaurants we patronized have been in the same building for decades. Panlee Bakery, for example, is located on Charoen Krung, the first road in Bangkok; until it was constructed in the 1860s, canals and the Chao Phraya river provided all transportation.
The buffet itself was art. Shrimp and snails were piled majestically into a silver tureen with the hotel garden as a backdrop. Delicate slices of salmon were deliberately draped across a silver tray. Fresh salads of every type glistened with olive oil and glowed with the colors of freshly-picked vegetables.