The Park has something cooking with the Royal Thai Consulate, and we can't stop drooling...
Sipping on a Coco Ginger at Lotus Thai, where I am quite the regular, I wonder idly what new flavours this Thai food festival could possibly come up with. The Chef De Cuisine, Satit Chaimano, seems to have taken this train of thought as a challenge, as he presents us with a unique degustation menu. The a la carte version extends to nearly 25 dishes. Right from the start we are surprised when the galangal soup turns out to be clear and not creamy as usual. “Pak Tai is in the Southern region of Thailand — the cuisine there is not as well known as the Northern one. We are trying to showcase those flavours with this festival,” explains the chef, who hails from Trang in Thailand and has joined The Park Chennai about eight months ago. Embellished with pink petals, the oyster mushrooms flay their fronds daintily as the flavoursome broth is poured over them.
Chip and tell
Soon we realise that besides new flavours from the South, chef Satit has also focused on the presentation — and that it is getting prettier with every dish. The Kanom Krok Tai has a bright and colourful garnish — strips of peppers, kernels of sweet corn — and looks like miniature appams. The bite-sized rice pancakes with a topping of coconut cream are delicious. The raw veggie salad Khaek with fried tofu and peanut dressing, presented to us next is an amuse-bouche that prepares us for the flavour heavy Goong Phad Makham. Doused in tamarind and onion sauce the prawns are sweet and tangy — however the lotus stem chips used as garnish steal its thunder. Crunchy and flavoured with lemon grass — no one can eat just one!
Dine & dance
As a curtain raiser to the food festival, in association with the Royal Thai Consulate, Lotus Thai is presenting a specially curated dinner by visiting Chef Yotpicha Kachacheewa from Thailand, tonight. The menu will focus on Southern Thai flavours and with a Thai cultural dance performance thrown into the mix. There are limited seats for this experience and prior reservations are required. At Rs 2,150 per head (not including alcohol).
Pearls of wisdom
One can easily say that the Gaeng Kua Glauy Tau Hoo is the star of this lineup. With a delicate filigree of green curry tuile perched on the jasmine rice — the red curry looks rich and creamy, unlike the thinner version which is more common. A mouthful is explosive with flavours and what we thought to be an odd combo — the green banana and lamb — work together perfectly with the latter being juicy and tender. The chef tells us how the addition of turmeric is a Southern touch.
A childhood favourite, sago is the main ingredient in the Buad Saku Khao Phod — topped with coconut cream and dotted with sweet corn, it makes for a mild and satisfying dessert.
On till August 19, a meal for two is at about Rs 2,000.