Thai Pavilion comes to Kolkata. The iconic Thai cuisine speciality restaurant, which started with Taj President and then subsequently in Taj Begumpet and Taj Gurugram, makes a special appearance for a period of 10 days in the new look all-day dining of Vivanta Kolkata.
There are not many dedicated Thai food joints in Kolkata, though Bengali tourists from Kolkata are perhaps maximum from this city. Light flavours, use of herbs and the balance of five fundamental flavours - hot, sour, sweet, salty and umami makes this cuisine so interesting.
The festival, which is on until 29th February, showcases some of the best dishes from Thai Pavilion. Sourav Ghoshal, General Manager, Vivanta Kolkata confirms that he was always keen to get this iconic Taj brand to the 'City of Joy' so that the guests can enjoy some of the best Thai dishes ever in Kolkata. Leading this initiative, Chef Prajuab Shoosridam, who has been with Thai Pavilion, Taj City centre Gurugram has flown in with his handpicked imported ingredients like Galangal leaves, Thai basil leaves, pandan leaves etc to make the taste as authentic as possible.
When asked, Chef Prajuab was excited to share that the dishes which are showcased here are the most popular dishes across three Thai Pavilion outlet.
A carefully curated menu is divided into Appetisers, Soups, Mains, Curries, Rice and Noodles and Dessert. Here are some of the dishes which I recommend.
Tom Kha - The traditional Thai soup with distinct galangal flavour and coconut milk is available with prawn, chicken and vegetables. A spoonful of this bursts with flavours and unknowingly one cannot stop at one.
Som Tam Salad - For salad lovers, Som Tam doesn't need any introduction. Sliced raw papaya salad with sweet chilli sauce balancing the tangy papaya is an all-time classic.
Koong Yang Rad, Preaw Ped - Pan-seared large-sized prawns with sweet chilli sauce. A lovely creation, where one can taste the perfect amalgamation of Thai chilli sauce, oyster sauce and hint of galangal leaves. Large-sized prawns have myriad of flavours and an uncanny tangy after taste which makes it worth craving for. In addition, for the starters, there is the evergreen classic of Kai Hor Bai Toye - the marinated chicken morsels wrapped in pandan leaves and deep-fried. Though deep-fried, the morsels are soft and the presence of herbs made it flavourful.
Tahu Kratiem Prik Thai
For vegetarians, there is Tahu Kratiem Prik Thai - the silken tofu tossed in pepper garlic and crispy rice tartlets in vermicelli noodle with water chestnut and sweet corn.
The main course has a plethora of options for veg and non-vegetarian. Fish, prawn and chicken being the main proteins for the non-veg.
Heaw Phad Prik Deang
We strongly recommend the Stir-fried prawns with garlic and pepper (Koong Thord Kratiem Prik Thai), Crispy fried fish in Chilli Kraprao Sauce and Thai herbs, and definitely, the Heaw Phad Prik Deang - a strong robust dish of cashew nut, crunchy water chestnut in red chilli paste. This one has a strong flavour body and uncommon to the light gravy with which the Thai cuisine is known for.
No festival of Thai cuisine is complete without a Thai curry. Served with Jasmine Rice and made with stone-ground spices, these are Chef Prajuab's signature dishes. The Thai Green Curry with baby Aubergines and a hint of hot and spiciness is a must-try with Jasmine rice which comes along with this. In addition, there is a spread of rice and noodles which can be enjoyed like Spicy fried rice with roast curry paste, Pad Thai and the home-made rice noodles with Thai herbs called Phad Khi Mao.
Tub Tim Grob
Use of Water chestnuts in Thai dessert is always much coveted and our top pick is Tub Tim Grob - diced water chestnut with coconut milk. A perfect soothing ending to the flavourful meal.
This festival is one till 29th February and a meal for two will cost approximately INR 2000.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.