Culinary experiences associated with Pan Asian cuisine are increasingly gaining popularity in the city and thus it came as no surprise when gourmands skipped across town to Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center for their latest food offering embracing Thailand’s famed festival of lights, Loy Krathong.
Originating somewhere in the 13th century during the Sukhothai Kingdom, the festival is celebrated in honour of the goddess of water, Phra Mae Khongkha. It takes place on the full moon night of the twelfth month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar and one custom that makes its appeal more global happens to be the floating of flower baskets.
Made using banana leaves and decorated with flowers, candles and incense sticks, these floating baskets, fashioned as centre pieces were the first thing we noticed as we sat down for an exclusive food preview of the nine-day long food festival at the five-star property’s Inazia. The menu, curated by chef Rungtiwa Sorlae, features authentic Thai delicacies that originate from the mainland of the country.
Our course started with Som Tam, a grated raw papaya salad that boasts sweet and savoury flavour profiles. The salad was garnished with salted peanuts which added that extra crunch factor. We further balanced our meal by sampling Tom Kha Chicken Soup made using coconut milk and herbs such as lemongrass and galangal. Although simplistic with respect to its cooking style, the soup was layered with a rich creamy yet tangy taste and it is safe to say that we see it becoming our go-to meal over the impending winter.
With our bellies feeling warm and cosy, we wished to follow the soup with a nap but the main course, Homemade Southern Thailand Style Curry with rice awaited us. This meal, a global favourite, pairs perfectly with a side dish. Here, we mixed things up a bit and picked three appetisers, all in small portions. We sampled Kai Phad Med Mamuang, a Thai Omelette With Crab Meat and Phad Nor-Mai Farang. While the first two are the chef’s speciality and rightly gain top spots on the menu, Phad Nor-Mai Farang, loaded with stir-fried asparagus and shiitake mushroom, was not our first choice but it scored for its clean umami flavour.
With a little break before dessert, we took a stroll inside Inazia where traditional Thai umbrellas made using bamboo and small models of Tuk Tuks (autorickshaws in Thailand) were placed and they only added to the festival’s authenticity. Coming to the dessert, it would have been rather unfair if we were offered anything but the tender coconut ice cream, Ice Cream Boran.
Served inside a chocolate shell with rube jelly, peanuts and jackfruit, this decadent delight was certainly the perfect way to conclude the meal. With an equal number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes on display, on offer is a lavish spread of Thai treats that you must try this weekend.
Meal for two: INR 550 onwards. On till December 2. At Whitefield.