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Thai cuisine is slowly becoming very popular in the city. While there are a few stand-alone Thai joints, they are not as many as, say, Chinese or Italian restaurants. While both these cuisines reign supreme, you will notice a couple of Thai dishes popping up on almost every menu. It just goes to show that people like this spicy and piquant cuisine. Instead of talking about the restaurants, this time we decided to pick five of our favourite Thai dishes and the restaurants that serve them. So instead of waiting for your next trip to Thailand, pop into any of these restaurants and enjoy the cuisine right here. You might notice a lot of staple ingredients that overlap in each dish, which just shows you how simple the cuisine is and how different the dishes turn out.
Pad Thai, O:h Cha – Noodles are always popular with diners but these Thai noodles are rice based and cooked with fish sauce, bean sprouts, chilli, roasted peanuts and egg. Some recipes add shrimp oil and small shrimp as well, but you can customize your pad Thai and include any meat, seafood or vegetables you want. It is a dish best eaten on its own; it usually comes wrapped in an omelet and a great place to eat it at, is the very popular Thai restaurant O:h Cha.
Khao Soi, Café NCPA – One of the most popular dishes in the city is a khow suey, which is a wonderful curry-like dish served with noodles and a range of condiments like garlic, chilli flakes, coriander, lime, roasted peanuts, fried onions, etc. While it is a Burmese dish, the similar Thai version (which is slightly thinner) is called khao soi and is mostly found in Northern Thailand. The dish features in plenty of menus across the city, but a really tasty one is served at Café NCPA.
Thai Green Curry, Thai Pavilion – If you enjoy a good curry, then this spicy, robust green curry eaten with jasmine rice is something you do not want to miss. The curry paste has garlic, onions, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, chilli and lots of other ingredients, and is cooked in coconut milk along with baby aubergines, vegetables and any meat of your choice. The best Thai restaurant in the city is none other than the Thai Pavilion at the Taj Vivanta, and while their entire menu is stunning, the green curry is special. This is best eaten with shrimp, but chicken, pork or even just vegetables are equally delicious.
Som Tam, Busaba – While the menu at Busaba is a mix of South East Asian dishes, they make some particularly good Thai ones. The red Thai curry is a worthy mention, but the real standout is their amazing som tam or raw papaya salad. The salad is made with strips of raw papaya, chilli, palm sugar, cherry tomato, broad beans, fish sauce and roasted peanuts. It is made exactly as you get it on the streets of Thailand. While they use fish sauce in the salad, they use soy sauce for the vegetarian version.
Tom Yum, Lemon Leaf – A majority of Thai food is spicy, but the real king of spice in this cuisine is the tom yum soup. This is a fiery broth full of chilli, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime, fish sauce, and lime juice, which are a list of the quintessential Thai ingredients. It is best eaten with prawn, and even those who can handle spice find they often need to eat this soup with rice to cut down the spice. In Mumbai, the restaurant that dishes up a mean tom yum is Lemon Leaf. With two outlets, a menu featuring lots of different Asian dishes and very affordable pricing, Lemon Leaf is a perfect spot for a meal and a big bowl of tom yum.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.