Kochi’s first exclusive Thai restaurant opens in the new Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty
You’d be surprised when Thai Soul located within the Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty welcomes you with a berry loaded drink served in a plastic bag. Well, we are. So much more about the mismatched chairs in the 151-cover restaurant that exclusively serves Thai cuisine.
“Rather than a fine-dining space, we have incorporated elements from the famous street cuisine of the cities in Thailand,” says head chef Supattra Boonsrang, explaining the idea behind the casual design. Past the lounge area, chef tables and the private dining room, we decide to dine al fresco, adjacent to the pool, sipping an excellent citrus drink thickened with bananas.
Tucked away on the floor below the lobby, the dining area opens to a lakeside lawn. We’re disappointed that the view afforded on the upper decks is blocked away by the landscape design.
We learn that the chef has already picked out dishes for us as we browse through the one-page menu (set into small bamboo frames) while munching on the yam som o je. This pomelo salad offers a complex mix of flavours from ingredients tamarind sauce, palm sugar and roasted coconut.
“Street food in central Thailand cities like Bangkok takes influences from other regions including North and the South. Our menu incorporates dishes from all of these culinary regions,” says the chef, who hails from the North Eastern region Isan and has spent 33 years traversing the world with her food fests.
Plated as a whole fish and sporting a lemongrass and chilli dressing, the steamed dish pla nung manaow is a hot and sour delight.
Observe closely and you see a lot of similar ingredients in Malayali and Thai cuisines like the extensive use of coconut. Thai people definitely love their seafood, I think as the chef serves a creamy and salty tiger prawn coated with garlic sauce and crispy fried garlic.
“I prefer using local vegetables as much as possible but we’re having to import certain items like pandan leaves from Thailand. A new chef’s garden is also in the works to grow herbs for our own use,” informs Supattra. The highlight of the lunch is a chef’s special lobster with cashew nuts inspired from the cuisine of the southern province Phuket.
Mild yet vibrantly flavoursome, the wok preparation is doused in soya and oyster sauces and marinated with chilli paste in oil. Remember what I said about familiar flavours on the menu? Get into a good mood with the dessert tab tim krob—a colourful blend of chestnut dumplings and jackfruit in coconut cream—and you’ll know.