Condom Compendium - Review of Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant, Bangkok, Thailand
Yes, you read it right, the name is Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant. No, they don’t serve cabbages as main entrée with a side dish of…prophylactic devices!!! In fact, they serve excellent Thai cuisine, but with a playful humorous twist. Located in the heart of Sukhumvit’s bustling shopping district (among high-end fashion boutiques and trendy night clubs), this restaurant’s mission - besides serving up some of the most delicious traditional Thai dishes - is to promote safe sex practice and HIV/AIDS prevention. All proceeds from the restaurant are used to support the family planning and sex education programs overseen by a local non-profit organization called The Population and Community Development Association. You know you are in for an orgasmic feast when you see “Our Food Is Guaranteed Not To Cause Pregnancy” printed boldly and brightly on the front cover of the menu!
The setting is also unique: a contemporary Thai home, surrounded by a lovely landscaped garden, which has been converted into a restaurant. You can dine outside on the stone courtyard under hundreds of twinkling lights strung on tree branches or go upstairs to the main dining room which is actually a large covered terrace overlooking the garden below. Blue and red checkered table clothes, along with more strings of lights hung on the tent-like ceiling and colorful bouquets of flowers (made of, believe it or not, cheery red and yellow condoms) on the tables, give the dining room a very festive, campy ambience! If you look closely, you will notice the lamp shades on all the lamps hanging in this room are also made with condoms in every size, shape and color of the rainbow! And there’s a bar - appropriately named the Vasectomy Bar - located on the same floor with the dining room.
Despite the concept, there is nothing offensive or vulgar about Cabbages & Condoms. With high-quality food and friendly, courteous table service, this restaurant is fun for the whole family and attracts a wide variety of diners - both locals and tourists - of all ages.
Satay Kai (Chicken Satay) at Cabbages & Condoms is luscious! Tender chicken meat marinated in turmeric, ginger, and lemongrass, then skewered on bamboo sticks and grilled to perfection (slightly caramelized but not charred). Served with a thick, creamy sauce made of roasted peanut, garlic and chili, this classic Thai appetizer is a perfect starter to get you going!
Mieng Khum appetizer is our favorite! It's an ancient Thai dish not commonly served at other restaurants in Bangkok. Deep-fried coconut shavings, ginger, chili, shallots, lemon peel, peanuts and dried shrimp, all to be wrapped in fresh betel leaves and dipped in a special-of-the-house sauce with more chili peppers. The flavor of this dish is so complex and unusual that it is hard to describe, but incredibly tasty! Betel leaf is known for its mild stimulant effect and used as an aphrodisiac in Thai culture.
Nor Mai Farang Phat Gung (Stir fried Shrimp with Asparagus) is a very satisfying main dish at Cabbages & Condoms. The shrimps are succulent and tender, nicely sautéed in a delightful sauce with spears of fresh carrots and asparagus. We enjoyed this dish with steamed brown rice. By the way, the rice is molded into a perfect heart shape on the plate! Nice touch.
Cabbages & Condoms has wonderful desserts, including the classic Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango and the popular Western style Banana Split. We tried the Bo Loi Nam King (glutinous rice flour dumplings filled with black sesame paste) because it sounded so intriguing! Served in a steamy hot ginger-infused syrup, this dessert is quite sweet but we still enjoyed it with the nutty sesame flavor and the soft chewy texture of the rice balls.
Dinner for two cost 920 Baht (about $30USD) including 10% service charge. It’s affordable and for an excellent cause, so you can feel good that you made a contribution. By the way, your dinner bill arrives with condom packages (for you to keep and hopefully use) instead of mints! Also, because it is an extremely popular restaurant, reservations are highly recommended.
Don’t forget to check out the fascinating condom museum (learn about the history of contraceptives and see a collection of condoms from around the world) and the gift shop (Cabbages & Condoms logo t-shirts, coffee cups, arts & crafts, jewelries, etc.) located downstairs below the dining room. Plenty of other oddities to gawk at including a Mona Lisa holding several condoms in her hand (now we know WHY she was smiling!) and a life-size Elvis wearing an outfit made entirely out of, what else? Condoms!
Cabbages and Condoms for a night to remember!
CABBAGES & CONDOMS RESTAURANT
10 Sukhumvit Soi 12, Bangkok 10260, Thailand
Hours: 11AM-10PM Mon-Sun
Phone: (02) 2294610
ABOUT THIS HUB
The author and his partner recently spent a month in Thailand. They had a great time at Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant and neither of them became pregnant from the dinner. All photos were taken by the author with a SamsungDigimax 301 3.2MP Digital Camera.
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2012 Viet Doan (punacoast)
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