Saturday, 2 July 2011

Review: Cabbages and Condoms, Bangkok, Thailand

Cabbages and Condoms is born out of the Population and Community Association’s (PDA) desire to raise awareness about family planning and birth control in Thailand.  The restaurant’s name is designed to seek acceptance and refers to the PDA’s desire that condoms and birth control be as accessible as vegetables.  The PDA, founded in 1974, is one of Thailand’s largest, most successful private, not-for-profit development organisations.  At the time 7 was the average number of children per family and at 3.3% population growth the country would not live up to its development potential if it continued at this rate.

Initially the PDA organised distribution of birth control methods through local volunteer representatives across the country and an integrated approach of working alongside communities has remained central to their approach.  Today the restaurant has a strong reputation and is a thriving restaurant in Bangkok attracting tourists, ex-pats and locals.

From the moment you enter you are confronted by condoms in a range of ways!  There are figures including that of Tiger Woods, made entirely from coloured condoms, light bulbs decorated with them, and every customer is given a free condom.  In addition there are numerous information posters around the restaurant, from detail about their work, to research into population and birth control and posters showing different positions!

The menu here is extensive and has every Thai dish you can think of.  We ordered a spicy papaya salad (Som Tum Thai) and a green curry.  Both were pretty spicy!  The salad was fresh and tasty, and the curry was pretty good although a little small on serving.  The service was slick although the bill was confusing as you are just told a total rather than given an itemised bill.  The setting for the restaurant is really pretty and atmospheric and overall it was an interesting eat and nice to be supporting the cause.  The prices were a little high but I don’t think the crowd minds as it remains busy.


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