Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cabbages and Condoms - More Thai food in Bangkok


That was exactly the reaction I got when I told people that I was going out for dinner at "Cabbages and Condoms" Most people thought the phone connection was bad or they heard me wrong!! Saru's reaction was the best of all - "Does condom mean something else in Thai? Sometimes I wonder if he is as smart as they say he is!

Most people were shocked at the name and it made for some interesting discussion o n my Facebook status. I confess that was the only reason I went there. When you travel as much as I do, at some point you get tired of seeing normal things however beautiful they are! I mean, how much can you gush about beautiful sculptures and golden pagodas and keep the listener/reader interested. The shelf life of normal travel tales is short. Every year, Saru and I would go on one big trip every year and come back with lots of pictures and stories. None of the trips garnered as much interest as the one where Saru's laptop and visa documents got stolen by a taxi driver in Seville . Our friends K and BS (OMG.....how did I never realize that his initials are BS? I cannot believe I missed out a golden opportunity such as this!!) were with us in Spain. BS regaled friends with this story for months. With every repetition, the thieves became more elusive and we became smarter as we turned the tables on them and got back our stuff in 2 days. BS wrote a 3-part mini-series on how we maintained a vigilance at the airport, made friends with taxi drivers, even met the taxi association president and got him to get our stuff back. It was an instant hit! I will re-post his story on my blog one of these days.

Anyway, my point is that it is fun to mix it up and go to crazy places once in a while. When we went to Czech Republic, we were tired of seeing ornate churches, so we took a day trip to see a church that was decorated entirely with skulls and bones - made for a great story!

So, I was in Bangkok for work and free for dinners. The French restaurant I blogged about was great, but I was itching to try local Thai food. When I googled for cool restaurants, I came across this name. It intrigued me, so I went, albeit cautiously. The restaurant was established by the former Thai Health Minister, Viravaidya to promote birth control and AIDS awareness. His aim was to make condoms as common as cabbages, hence the name.

Contrary to what I was expecting, the restaurant had a very romantic feel. The hanging lanterns, and tropical trees decorated with lights makes it look like Christmas in Condomville. When you walk into the restaurant, you are immediately greeted at the door by Santa Condom and his family:) I wonder how many hundreds of condoms it took to make these figures.

I ordered food and took a walk around the restaurant. There was a safe-unsafe sex wheel of fortune that you could spin to test your luck, a chart of jokes and lots of condom art to entertain the guests. I don't know about spreading birth control message, but this restaurant was doing roaring business. It was full of foreign tourists. You don't go to a restaurant named 'Cabbages and Condoms' for its food and not surprisingly, there were very few locals there.

Food was not bad....I actually did not have a bad meal in Thailand till now. Soup was nice and spicy while the raw papaya salad and cashew chicken were yummy.

After dinner, if you are looking for a mint, you will be disappointed. The check comes with 2 complimentary condoms and a coupon for a free vasectomy at the next door clinic:):)


  1. Nice reading your blog after a long time! I can't believe they made Santa using condoms. The rest of the decor is beautiful and the food looks yummy! Didn't you have dessert? No pics? Also, I am glad they give out complimentary condoms, else am sure Santa will be missing a few when people walk out the door :) Free vasectomy!!!! That is so funny.

    And yes, my hubby's initials are so apt, no? Its been ages since I read the Seville travelogue too. He is so busy with work these days, no time to write.

    Talking about busy, its amazing you found time to write this up. Good job! Keep it up!

  2. Very interesting and strange place. The shots are beautiful and the decorations are amazing.

  3. i just read about this place a couple of weeks back.. and there u are, writing about it! wish i could go to some interesting places like this too... am absolutely bored at home and cant wait for my next vacation!

  4. Kala - Desserts are not any different than what you get in Thai restaurants in the US. I love Thai soups and salads and curries so much, I skip dessert.
    Yes...BS's initials are so apt!! I will take his permission and post the Seville travelogue here...I don't get much time to write these days. This one was written many weeks ago and just needed to be finalized.

    Rajesh - Yes - very interesting place.

    Anu - It is very popular with tourists like me who are looking to do something different. I know what u mean about a vacation - i have been home for a few months now and my feet are getting itchy.

  5. I remember you telling me about this place :)) So glad you wrote about it! The pics are lovely! And you are right about travel stories - there has to be something interesting happening to add spice :)

  6. Haha.. very strange place.. no wonder not many localites were there.. Instead of mint, you get condoms? that's kinda gross.. The decorations were very good..
    I love Thai food though :) Nice to see a post from you.. missed your posts a lot! :)

  7. Love those colored condoms:-) What is their vision statement-"Bloat your tummy and get a vasectomy".

  8. Uma,
    Yes....Stories have to have spice and Thai ones have a LOT of spice:)

    Avada Kedavra,
    Thanks. I have been lazy in posting, will try to be more regular now that my actual travel has decreased.
    Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines. I can't wait to go back there this December.

    LOL!! Their statement actually says " GUARANTEED TO NOT GET YOU PREGNANT" That is partly why they pass out the condoms with the check:)

  9. Yes. Those are my initials. Interesting how you wrote her name as "K" and mine as "BS". I did not realize that Santa's dress was actually all condoms. They actually got condoms in different colors to match the Christmas themes! Do they glow in the dark too?! The restaurant lighting looks beautiful. The food looks nice too. The vasectomy was a nice touch. Is the message of the restaurant to get women to drag their partners to the clinic to get neutered? Its like Sanjay Gandhi's own restaurant.
    Vamsee, your blogs are awesome. Its not about quantity, but about quality. Like having kids ;o)

  10. The title of that place is just so weird. But I can see that it has many things to offer just like all those wonderful views and delicious foods. I think I need to visit that place.

  11. this is quite interesting...!!...the decor is really very romantic!!...i could go to this plc with the husband

    btw, this is unrelated to the post, but it struck me that i may have come across ur CV in my office, i mean we are bidding for some transport projects and one of our key experts(non staff) is also of the same name as you and is also transport planner and also has lived in the states for a considerable time...i could be wrong...but if its you, then gosh its such a small world!!!

  12. Bhaskar / dining tables - Thanks

    Shooting star - Thanks. Yes, I am the same person and I agree...it is a small world.

  13. we were talking abt Thailand yday and lo, I visit your blog..

  14. Incidentally the caption reminded me of the condoms in Bali..almost in every room, they have one along with the fruits, snacks and mineral water, besides the mini bar :)

  15. hahaha... interestig name for a place and whoa, they actually give you a condom at the end of the meal?? amazing!!

    I love Thai food.. lemon grass...:D

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  17. The lights create a dramatic effect. The food looks yummy.

    Vasectomy after a healthy dinner meal :-) It is something like killing a goat after fattening it up :-)

  18. I guess I'd have also found out what kind of a restaurant Cabbages and Condoms is. After all, travels include discovering and trying to find meaningful connections with a new and interesting world out there.

  19. Lightening effect is stunning here...the most interesting part is dresses in that pic...I like that style...

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