Amid all the bustling activity and commerce on Silom Road sits a wonderful surprise: Wat Khaek, the Hindu Temple. Whenever I come here, I feel like I’m in India, and my eyes are immediately drawn to multi-hued garlands entwined with blue PVC pipes, as well as pink and white lotus flowers, yellow marigolds, scarlet roses and ceramic-white jasmine. The surroundings capture my attention as much as the temple itself does. This riot of colours, along with the smell of sandalwood incense, helps me imagine that I have travelled a long way to get here.
Besides this wonderful sensory experience, I also enjoy coming to this neighbourhood because I have discovered here an oasis of Ayurvedic food. If you walk down the lefthand side of Thanon Pan away from Wat Khaek, past the Kathmandu Gallery, you will come to a fortune-teller on the sidewalk. Just past the fortune teller, on the left-hand side, is a small soi, through which a cooling breeze always flows, carressing your face. In this alley is Ayurveda Wellness Center, Suananda.
It’s hard to believe that such a cozy outdoor green space could be found here in the hectic centre of the city. And the food and drinks here are amazing. This healthy restaurant and wellness centre springs from the passions of Sukesh, who, along with her staff, is friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and other offerings. Fresh vegetarian dishes come in three different sets each day.
Each time I return, they offer a satisfying combination of dishes like dal, vegetable curry, salad, rice, whole wheat roti, chapati and idli (rice cake). Pomegranate seeds, sprouts, lentils and the antioxidant-loaded beets play big roles in the taste and also offer many healthy benefits.
Finally there are amazingly fresh yoghurt lassis. The menu – all dishes are made from scratch – is exotic, but not strange, even for people unfamiliar with Indian food. The place is a treat, a retreat and truly an oasis.
109/9 Thanon Pan. The lunch set costs B180. Besides lunch, you can also enjoy Ayurvedic treatments, cooking and massage too.