Elitistreview’s eighth anniversary dinner at The Bangkok Brasserie

Elitistreview is eight years today and, my, how it has blossomed into an artfully sculpted youth. I admit that before I had a course of Cognitive Behavioural therapy for psychosis in 2009 the posts were all too often often awkward and desperately unhappy, but since then the jokes have got a lot better. I have a few things to say in this brief review of The Editor and my celebratory dinner at Winchester’s excellent Bangkok Brasserie, some of which I know some people will not want to read. I shall start off with one of them, an apology.

The current psychotic episode I am having is manifesting in a variety of ways, and the most recent of which is when I write I see odd extra words appear in my text. A very few of them I have actually written and if I keep re-reading I can expunge, but most come and go like rain in an English cricket season – I go to delete them and they have moved a few words away, changed into different words, or disappeared entirely. This makes writing extremely frustrating, confusing and, unlike how it is normally to me, a source of great unhappiness. Consequently, this will be a short, mainly picture-based review.

It is not the length of the article that I think some people will not want to read about, more references to my psychotic symptoms. I suspect it is because some people do not understand my illness, either by choice or simple lack of information, that it frightens them to read about the experiences I have. For those who do not wish to shutter their minds I am happy to talk openly about the experience of paranoid schizophrenia, in the hope that it will make people less frightened in the end. If you wish to learn, about a great meal and more then read on.

The portents for the meal being good were hopeful as we left the flat. For a couple of weeks now I have been seeing mouths open up in the pavement and road, with teeth trying to bite me and snake like tongues I could feel lick at my ankles. I was having to walk so close behind The Editor to avoid stepping into one of these I have presumably knackered his heels permanently by treading on them so often. When we left the flat the mouths were gone! Whoopee! I could walk the brief distance to The Bangkok Brasserie in a far more relaxed state than any of my recent trips outside.

Once we arrived at The Bangkok Brasserie it was a case of getting in a couple of obligatory Singha beers and power ordering the only way one should order in a Thai restaurant. Simply tell your waiter/waitress “We would like whatever the chef recommends exactly as he would like it cooked for himself.” None of this ‘not too spicy, please‘-shite. If you are going to have a cuisine you have it how practitioners of the art would like it themselves; not in some watered-down, limp, insipid pastiche of the food made for craven cowards and gutless poltroons. This is how we have always ordered at The Bangkok Brasserie and we have always been rewarded with first rank Thai food.

Yes, a lot of the dishes certainly are hot, but that is no their principle character. By avoiding the faux-food of the timid customer you experience more than chilli heat, you get he full intensity of flavour. Even when I was sweating like a pig it wasn’t the chilli that was having the main effect on my palate. No, more the intense, complex and harmonious interplay of powerful flavours. It was so good I was only moderately worried by the three metre tall, spike-encrusted, massively mushed beast of utter horror waiting by the door to get me when I went to leave.

Extremely high quality food, much like extremely high quality wine, can have such an improving effect on one that psychosis becomes a tiny bit more of a mundane an affair to deal with, like why the hell napkins are designed to instantly fall from your lap to the floor, rather than being the only possible thing you can think about. This, I have found, only really applies to the very finest aesthetic experiences; you cannot expect a trip to MaccyD’s to have a sedative effect on one’s psychotic experiences (I probably don’t need to add: at that establishment, quite the reverse is most likely). Fortunately, if you order as I have instructed, The Bangkok Brasserie delivers the very finest in Thai food. And the very finest Thai food is fine indeed.

I am sorry to wimp out at this point, but chasing phantom words is becoming far too distressing an affair so I will turn over the review into a pictorial one and leave you with the best of the pictures of us enjoying our powerful, characterful, authentic meal:

Thank you, and goodnight.

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