Engerland Engerland Engerland

So I made it to The Londoner yesterday, managed to drink six beers until 11 PM and still wake up fresh this morning, no small feat in my age.

The game was very promising, the replay of the old situation. The US got in in the last minute and the English were left to face the Germans.

Without Russians to do the heavy lifting, however, it all ended up badly. The US were sent packing by pesky Ghanians. Payback for the slavery, I guess, and the English were severely beaten by Germans, in style, I might add.

Londoner was fully packed, as expected, but not very cheerful, reminded me of the Engerland chant from “How to lose friends..” movie:

Brilliant.

Of course there was this disallowed goal:

Lampard's disallowed goal

The ball bounced out and into the bar, though, I can understand why the ref thought it didn’t cross the line.

Personally I’m against introducing any technology to help referees with decisions like this. I like football as a human game with human mistakes, but, as the game has progressed, there’s a lot of money at stake and I won’t be surprised if they eventually start suing referees for the lost income.

Perhaps tennis approach is better, where each Grand Slam tournament has its own rules on how many challenges, if any, a player can make.

Anyway, Germans added two more and that was the end of it.

Before leaving, the English squad visited a South African orphanage: “Nice to give ’em smiles, faith & bit of hope,” said Stephen, aged 6.

Courtesy of Tuslathit

Korn was there, at the same table, as far as I can tell. He was nice and friendly and posed for a few photographs. I wasn’t in the mood of stalking him and I’m NOT taking a picture next to him, he is too tall – the reason I called British Ambassador a shorty earlier.

Only when Korn was finally leaving I thought I should take a shot just for the memory. He was out of flash range, nothing to see, really.

He was literally head and shoulders above the crowd, and no mean looking guards either, he walked in with a friend, I think, not a bodyguard.

Altogether the English let me down – I put so much effort and preparation in making this late drinking session work and they just blew it.

Missing Korn

Korn, the Finance Minister, watched England game at the Londoner yesterday – MY pub, though now that I live in the suburbs I rarely go there.

Korn at the Londoner

That pic’s gone missing. Here’s another one, from Londoner’s FB:

Korn at The Londoner

I was really planning to go yesterday, too, and I was very determined but after test run on Saturday (Holland – Japan) I decided I’m too old for the minimum of six pints of beer and getting up for work next day.

On big days like this they sell only coupons – six beers or two margaritas or some other sets like that. You have to be there before 7PM, hang around until 9 and leave at 11, get to bed after midnight.

Knowing me, I’d have finished the first six before the game even started and the next morning wouldn’t even have the energy to call in sick.

So I missed Korn.

Glad we choose the same places to watch football.

I don’t know how Korn feels about watching illegal Astro broadcast, though. They’ve got English commentary but no HD so it doesn’t look as good as at home.

Note to myself – send an e-mail to the Nation with suggestion for True to hire its own commentators next time. In the off season there should plenty of capable people in England who could come to Thailand to watch the Euro or World Cup and get paid for it.

That’s what Astro does, I think.

True’s excuse is that FIFA doesn’t sell English commentary in this region for fear of privacy, as is aptly demonstrated by Londoner. They probably pay for their Astro card but it can’t be legally sold here.

Abhisit is reportedly rooting for Argentina, Korn, on the other hand, had his quote of the month: “I’ve always been a fan of England and long suffered for it”.

I knew the English would pull through this time, they bounce back from their disastrous spells very fast, a lot faster than French, it’s all in the mind anyway.

Now the next game is Germany – England on Sunday night.

Tempting, very tempting.

Essential info – Londoner is on the corner of Sukhumwit Soi 33, BTS Promphong, they brew their own beer (German brewmaster, Peter, a nice, very likable fellow) and sell all kinds of local and imported stuff, too. Food never gets rave reviews, as a vegetarian I can’t say anything about it except they offer every traditional fare as there’s a lot of competition for farang patrons – there’s Bull’s Head around the corner, Robin Hood, and an Irish pub across the street. No bar girls of any kind.

House beer is of two kinds – Pilzner, which is brewed by German rather than Czech recipe, and Bitter, which is a dark beer, English, rather than German “dunkel” style that is usually brewed or imported here.

Both are very tasty, Pilzner is stronger and Bitter gives bigger headache.

Perhaps something harmless like Heineken is a better choice for late night drinking but that would be a sacrilege.

Delizious Halloween

I live in Minburi and we are not spoiled for Western food here. We’ve got two Scoozi outlets, one at the new Avenue mall behind Fashion and the other at new Carrefour on Romklao, and that’s about it, so the addition of Delizio is very much welcome. It’s on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 164, between Mistine and Big C, on Mistine side.

Unlike Scoozi that basically follows Pizza Hut format but with Italian taste, Delizio has a full menu with antipasti and all. I’m a vegetarian and so was very pleased to find a whole page devoted to veggy food, in addition to some mouth watering non-meat entries in the main section. There’s also “Kids corner” and tiramisu and stuff.

I’m not a food critic so I won’t comment on their truffle ravioli, I’ll just say we don’t get anything like that here, ever.

The other thing that we don’t get here is draft beer imported from Germany. There was Great American Rib on Ramintra that had Paulaner but it went out of business a few months ago. I couldn’t memorize the brand at Delizio but there were “clouded” and “dark” choices. Both are good. As with truffles, there are just no substitutes.

They also seem to take their wine seriously, selling a lot of reds and whites by glass, but I’m not sure how popular they are with Thai customers.

It also happened to be Halloween and they took it seriously, too. All staff were fully dressed in various costumes and all faces were painted as ghosts, and they gave away various trinkets – horns, magic eyes, all with lights and batteries. Whole nine yards, very impressive.

One problem is that it’s a shop house affair without the glamor of downtown restaurants or the relaxed atmosphere of outdoor dining in suburbia, and curbside parking, but I can live with it for the food and beer they offer.

It’s also not the kind of place where you can feed the whole family for two hundred baht. Four entrees and beer was B 1,300, but we can easily spend more than that at Fuji, so it’s not by any means outrageous. Truffle ravioli at B330 was the most expensive item, and pizza was under 200, I think.

Shame about shop-house environment but it easily beats fried rice and Chang with ice at any other place in this area.