Bangkok welcomes Bordeaux Rendez-vous 2014

On Friday 25 April, Elements Restaurant will welcome the 2014 Bordeaux Rendez-vous delegation to Bangkok for an exclusive professional tasting with some of the most respected names in French winemaking. 

Classic vintage wines, presented by various Chateaux owners and directors, will accompany modern interpretations of classic French dishes created by Chef Henry Jordan and his team. Priced at THB2,500++, this experience is limited to only 30 only guests and will begin promptly at seven o’clock.  

The delegation will also travel to Vietiane, Jakarta and Bali for future events running until Friday 2 May.For more information and reservations, please call 0 2687 9000 or contact Marc Bittner, Head Sommelier at marc.bittner@okurabangkok.com

Easter brunch specials in Bangkok

We’re drooling thinking about the Easter treats that are around the corner—yellow chicks, chocolate eggs and bunnies, oh my. But a city like Bangkok has so much more to offer for Sunday brunch, see our list below for more details:

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The Peninsula

From 19 to 20 April 2014, The Lobby’s Easter afternoon tea will be available from 14:00 to 16:00 hrs and will feature live entertainment. For children, the Teddy Bear Afternoon Tea will also be available at The Bar. 
All events will have exciting activities for children, including an Easter egg hunt and fun giveaways.


From 13 to 20 April 2014, a range of Easter goodies will be available for purchase at The Peninsula Boutique, which is located on the Ground Level of the hotel. Items are available between 10:00 - 19:00hrs. 


For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the Food & Beverage Department at +66 (2) 861 2888 or e-mail diningpbk@peninsula.com. 

Millennium Hilton 

Children and those who are young at heart can partake in an egg hunt, egg painting and visit a bunny mascot at this year’s Easter Brunch on 20 April at Flow restaurant. Priced at THB2,500++ per person, or THB3,500++ including a free flow of Bloody Marys, Blood Orange Mimosas, Wines and Bubbly, the brunch offers a wide range of both international and local flavors. Highlights include: rock lobster salad, lobsters, oysters, king crab, scampi, Bouchot mussels, seared foie gras, slow roasted lamb leg, lamb rack, and roasted prime rib.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call +66 (2) 442 2000.

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Mandarin Oriental

A selection of Easter treats and delicacies are available from 4 to 20 April 2014 at all Mandarin Oriental Shops at Siam Paragon, Central Chidlom, Gaysorn, The Emporium and the hotel lobby. Select items include Colomba easter cakes, hot cross buns, Easter cupcakes, golden eggs, Easter chocolates, yellow chicks, chick lollipops, bunny in hole, large chocolate eggs. 

For more information, please call +66 (2) 659 9000 or email mobkk-bakery@mohg.com.

Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit

From 12:00 hrs to 15:00 hrs, this Easter Sunday brunch buffet at 57th Street will include honey ham, hot cross buns, foie gras and fresh seafood delights to name a few. Guests are also invited to guess the chocolate bunny’s weight and the lucky winner will take the prized bunny home.

Children under 6 years old dine free and the restaurant offers a half price brunch for children between 6-12 years old. Brunch runs from THB1,657++ per person with the wine bar costing THB650++ per person.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call +66 (2) 797 0000.

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The Sukothai Bangkok 

The Sukhothai Bangkok features two dining celebrations - Easter Sunday Brunch at Colonnade and three days of Easter Chocolate Buffet at Lobby Salon.

Executive Chef Antony Scholtmeyer has prepared a broad selection of traditional Easter dishes for Easter Sunday Brunch. For THB3,500++ per person, from 12:00 – 15:00 hrs on Sunday 20 April, diners can choose from specialties such as roasted lamb with Middle Eastern spices and Harrisa sauce, braised lamb shanks with green olives and apricots, fig and orange glazed ham and South American ceviche marinated to order. For dessert, expect classic Easter treats including Easter carrot cup cakes, Easter mini praline eggs and hot cross buns.  

Those with a sweet tooth can indulge in a three-day Easter Chocolate Buffet featuring sandwiches, savories and imported liquid hot chocolate. A cakes and pastries station provides assorted Easter cookies, blueberry crème brûlée and mini chocolate bunnies. The buffet is available on 18 – 20 April 2014 from 14:00 – 17:00 hrs. at THB990++ per person.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call 02 344 8888 or email promotions@sukhothai.com

Siam Kempinski Hotel

Gather the family at Brasserie Europa from 12:00 hrs to 15:00 hrs for Easter Sunday brunch. Some of the highlighted food stations include seafood on ice, sushi and sashimi, Thai salad and appetizers as well as freshly cooked à-la-carte main course dishes and desserts. Kids Club attendants are available to supervise a variety of children’s activities. 

The brunch offers a variety of payment options depending on inclusion of alcoholic beverages and age. THB3,150++ per person includes alcoholic beverages and free-flow of Moët & Chandon Imperial Rosé champagne,  THB2,200++ per person includes non-alcoholic beverages, and THB1,200++ per child aged 6 – 12 years old.

The River Cafe & Terrace will host Sunday Easter brunch from 12:00 – 15:00hrs. The buffet is priced at THB2,500++ per adult and THB1,250++ per child below 12 years old. Children under four years old can enjoy brunch with compliments.

For more information or to make a reservation, please contact +66 (2) 162 9000.

Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers

The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers celebrates Easter with Sunday brunch at Feast Restaurant overlooking the Chao Phraya river. The brunch includes fresh seafood such as lobster, Alaskan crab, New Zealand mussels, oysters, salmon, king prawns and a caviar corner. There will also be live cooking stations with grilled and roasted meats, a paste corner, Chinese, Indian and Japanese cuisine as well as large dessert selection. For the children, the hotel has arranged an easter egg hunt around the garden. 

The brunch is priced at THB1,800++ with free flow blended juices. For more information or reservations, contact +66 (0) 2266  9214 or email events.rosh@sheraton.com

Two star Michelin chef at Ciao, Mandarin Oriental

Chef Norbert Niederkofler is presenting two set-menus at Ciao at The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok from 7-12 April with a grand 7-course finale on Saturday 12 April at the restaurant’s Chef’s Table. As the Executive Chef of St. Hubertus restaurant at Rosa Alpina, a five-star hotel in Dolomites mountain range in Northern Italy, Chef Norbert’s commitment to fresh ingredients and his ability through sound technique to showcase their best qualities, have earned him two Michelin stars since 2007.

We caught up with the chef before one of the dinners at Ciao to talk about his dedication to fresh and local produce, and some of the trends in global cuisine.
Ravioli with liquid goat cheese, glazed eel, lemon and mountain pine chips

A couple of years ago we decided to work with just local products, so products from the mountains where St Hubertus is located, and seasonal products. We have our own farmers and suppliers of meat and vegetables so all the products that we need for next winter we ordered one month ago. We tell them what we need and what they have to grow and they produce it for us. 

In the summer time we buy mushrooms, wild berries, fruit. We cook it, store it, we put the mushrooms under oil or we dry them so we have products for the winter. When we’re working with a meat supplier, we never just buy a filet, we buy the whole animal and then work it in different ways. That’s the way of our cuisine.

There are 3000 to 4000 different types of mushrooms and we don’t even know them. Worldwide there are some 2200 different apples. For me it’s very important to keep the variety and it’s nice and important for the future because otherwise we’re running out and we’re working with just 1/10 of what we could have and it’s a pity to lose all the experience and all the knowledge about the other products.  


Char, peas, horseradish, mint

We try to work with every technique that you can find, we use all of them. We always try to help the product. For example if we have a delicate product like a trout, we don’t marinate it before we cook it, we work with it in its natural way. We se how nature presents the product and we try to serve it as close to that as possible so that we don’t change the quality too much. If you close you eyes you have to know what you eat, it’s very important to me. To have everything as close as possible to nature.

Some of the ingredients we use here at the Mandarin we mailed before. Some we could buy here. Most of the products are from Thailand. It’s very funny for us to work with products from Thailand and work them in our own way. For example, we cook the potatoes in the soil and mariate the beef tenderloin in the hay. So you cook it and let it rest in the hay and it gets a really nice taste from the hay. 

I was never into molecular cuisine because I don’t like it. We use all the techniques too but I don’t like to change things just to change them. I like to work with the product, for it to be as natural as possible on the plate. There are a lot of chefs in Europe that like to show off with the technique. I don’t have to show off with the technique, I have to know the technique beause it’s my job. I mean if I want to be a mechanic in Formula One, I have to know how the engine works. If I don’t know how the engine works it makes no sense that im there.  


Lamb, parsley root, pearl onions, garden angelica

Everybody does the same thing. It’s not good. We’ve got so many different regions and cultures and so many different possibilities of seeing the food. I don’t blame anybody. For young chefs it’s normal. You go around and you pick up things here and there that you can work with and you say ‘this is good that I good’ but maybe the older you get you say ‘no, no’. Do it right. Do a clean Italian cuisine in Thailand, do a clean Japanese cuisine in London. That’s fine. But do it clean. I don’t like the mixtures anymore.  

I always compare food with design. Because the cleaner the design is, the more perfect it has to be. The more difficult it is because if you do just one little mistake, you see it right away. And if you have just three ingredients on one plate, they have to be perfect. Then you cannot hide anything. It’s there.  

Chef Norbert will be at the Mandarin Oriental until 12 April. for more information or reservations, contact mobkk-ciao@mohg.com or call +66 (0) 2 659 9000 ext. Ciao 

Guest chef at Marriott Sukhumvit

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The District Grill Room & Bar at the Marriott Sukhumvit is currently hosting chef Chris Irving from the Gordon Ramsey Group in London. Until 24 May the Canada born chef will be at the restaurant on a regular basis and present two different menus. There will also be cooking classes for a limited time. 

Chef Irving comes from a diverse culinary background having cooked for Her Majesty The Queen of England as well as the Spanish royal family. 

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On a recent visit we had a refreshing tomato and red pepper gazpacho with cubes of apple and celery; grilled tuna with salty sauce made of coriander and lack sesame on top a salad of fennel and onion; espresso braised beef rib with young broccolini, crsipy sweet potato and carrot puree and finishing off with a decadent chocolate sphere of bitter chocolate mousse, honeycomb and blackberry sorbet to balance the sweetness of the chocolate. 

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Prices for the set dinners at the Chef’s Table vary depending on the menu. For more information and reservation contact +66 (0) 2797 0130. 

Aleenta Phuket launches new waterfront restaurant

Located on Natai beach in Phang Nga, THE EDGE is Aleenta Phuket's new fine dining establishment.

With a menu built on fresh locally-sourced ingredients and artistic presentation, each dish explores nuances of texture and colour, flavour and scent. The selection incorporates Thai and Asian influence which are presented through the chef’s menu of luscious Intro, Aquatic, Flora & Fauna and Finale choices.

During the day, the restaurant provides wider epicurean options by offering a specific a la carte menu, but also a buffet with salads, cheeses and various desserts. When night falls, The EDGE transforms into a more romantic setting with white tablecloths and candles accompanied by an extensive selection of local and international wines. Lunch is served from 12:00pm to 4:00pm and dinner is served from 6:30pm to 10pm.

“THE CHOP HOUSE” herds into Hong Kong




From its debut in Singapore last year, The Chop House will extend its gastro-bar experience to Hong Kong, introducing an array of international dishes with a contemporary spin, alongside craft beers and specialty burgers.

The Wooloomooloo Group’s latest dining venture will be located in Causeway Bay’s new landmark, Soundwill Plaza II, Midtown. The second branch of Wooloomooloo Prime will also be launched in the same building.

In addition to the food, one of the main attractions at The Chop House is the self-serve beer tap, the first motion-censored tap available to Hong Kong beer-lovers. Diners are invited to use the unique selfTAP card to tap in and out and pour their own pints. 

An evening with Henrik Yde-Andersen

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Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin at Siam Kempinski in Bangkok recently launched a new wine pairing menu, conceptualised by chef Henrik Yde-Andersen the founder and owner of Sra Bua’s sister restaurant in Copenhagen, Kiin Kiin. Yde-Andersen himself was at the restaurant from 26-30 March to present the new menu and selected classic and new world wines to guests.

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Following the same experimental model that has earned Kiin Kiin a Michelin star every year since 2008, the new menu runs for three months at both restaurants and introduces new dishes such as a tom yam served in two separate bowls, one cold with shellfish and galangal and one warm with noodles made of prawn. One of the highlights of the menu is the lobster tempura served with shavings of fresh cucumber and a dressing made table side in a mortar using green chillis, lime and garlic. For the spicy beef braised in oyster sauce with green peppers, pickled shallots and dehydrated sheets of onion, Yde-Andersen made the oyster sauce himself using fresh oysters from Thailand.

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Yde-Andersen’s interest in Thai food started when he visited Thailand in 2000. Together with his partner Lertchai Treetawatchaiwong he opened Kiin Kiin in 2006 and has since expanded in Copenhagen with no less than six other outlets from take aways to pan-Asian bistros. He’s also worked with famous Danish craft brewery Mikkeller, to make specialty beers to pair with Asian food. 

In line with the experience at Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen, where guests eat a selection of ‘nibbles’ and starters in a downstairs lounge area, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin recently introduced a similar ‘pre-dinner’ area for starters and cocktails. As part of the new menu, guests will be serves a selection of ‘street foods’ such as chicken satay, served in a non-traditional way on a piece of dried chicken skin; miang kam cornette, a modern take on the traditional wrap here served in an ice cream cone; eggplant relish with smoked marrow, an interpretation of the northern specialty nam prik noom, which is a spicy paste made of green chillis and five spiced pork, a piece of braised pork belly served in a traditional five spice sauce together with a quail egg and crispy pork skin.

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Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin was recently named one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for the second consecutive year at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. The restaurant is open for lunch from 12 noon to 3pm (a la carte only) and for dinner from 6.00pm to midnight. Dinner includes a choice of set menus and a la carte offerings with the ten-course set dinner with wine pairing menu at THB4,900++ per person.

For more information or to make a booking, please call 02-162 9000 or email srabua.siambangkok@kempinski.com 

Three-day experience in Koh Kood with wine expert James Suckling

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Soneva Kiri is hosting a wine appreciation weekend with James Suckling, wine editor of Asia Tatler.

The THB117,000 package includes two nights in a Bayview pool villa suite, a wine appreciation seminar, two wine dinners, one souvenir Lalique ‘100 points’ glass, and private round trip flights from the resort to Bangkok and runs from 30 May – 1 June.

For more information contact Soneva Kiri at +66(0) 39 619 800 or reservations-kiri@soneva.com

Food&HotelAsia returns to Singapore

The 19th International Food&HotelAsia (FHA) returns to Singapore on April 8-11. Held at Singapore Expo, the event brings more than 3,000 exhibitors from 64 countries under one roof to showcase products and services related to the food and hospitality industries. The organisers expect more than 64,000 trade attendees from 95 countries who will also be able to participate in specialised events such as FoodAsia, HotelAsia and Bakery&Pastry, as well as competitions and a conference.

Amongst the exhibitors will be Food Philippines, the Philippines’ collective food export brand, who will showcase 17 Philippine brands from the country’s sea and farm industries including fresh and dried fruits, coconut products, condiments, noodles and seafood and cocoa products.

The Philippines participation is organised by the Philippines Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness Marketing and Assistance Service (DA-AMAS) in collaboration with the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre (PTIC-Singapore) and the Philippine Center for International Expositions and Missions (CITEM). The aim is to promote the products of the Philippines, which is a major exporter of raw ingredients and one of the world’s biggest exporters of fresh and processed fish products, pineapples, bananas, papayas, mangoes, and coconut products.

For more information, visit http://www.foodnhotelasia.com/

For the love of food

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Text by Kerri Macdonald, photos by Kerri MacDonald, Janice Leung and Nicole Fung

Sharing is caring – at least when it comes to food, and what better way to share as many dishes with as many people as possible than to photograph them with a smartphone and upload to a social media site? Kerri MacDonald takes a closer look at the ‘foodography’ trend sweeping across Asia.

One spin and the cameras go away. That is the rule when Janice Leung goes out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong with a certain group of friends.

As the dishes are delivered, Leung and her fellow diners rotate the Lazy Susan on the round table.

“It can only go around once,” she says. “We can never go back – there’s no backflow. It goes around once, and if you don’t take a picture quick enough, it’s your fault, and we’re eating it.”

Not that Leung, 29, is against the practice of food photography. She helped found East Island Markets, Hong Kong’s first
local farmers’ market. She started blogging more than 10 years ago. Over time, her writing has become increasingly food-focused – and with that, her blog, “e*ting the world,” more photographic. Most of the pictures she posts as @e_ting on Instagram, where she has
a following of just over 1,000 people, are about food.

Leung and her group of friends may be exceptional. But as foodies and “foodographers,” they’re not alone in Hong Kong – or elsewhere in Asia. Walk into a restaurant, a café or a food hall and you’ll see someone holding a smartphone over a dish, lifting and tilting it in search of just the right frame. The list of foodographers in Asia – many of them with food blogs – is long.

“I think it just applies to the family that you grew up in,” says Leung, who was born in Hong Kong and spent part of her childhood and early adult years Australia. “I think in Asia it’s more common because we eat a lot of shared meals. And because you’re sharing, you end up talking about the food you’re sharing.”

In Cantonese, a typical greeting, “lei sik dzo fan mei a”, means, “Have you had rice yet?” or, “Have you eaten yet?”

“Food is a way of life here,” says Malcolm Ainsworth, a photographer who has lived in Hong Kong for 14 years. “People just like sharing – talking about food, inviting you to a restaurant with them, making recommendations.”

Ainsworth has been teaching photography for eight years. Last year, he ran a workshop about shooting food. His students, he says, included “everybody and everybody in between,” from a woman working on a cookbook to a foodie who just wanted to learn how to take decent pictures.

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There aren’t many other hobbies in Hong Kong, Ainsworth says. “It’s what people do – they either go eating or go shopping or take pictures.”

In many cases, in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, they do two of the three. Not only do most people have smartphones with solid cameras; many use those phones to connect to social media. It makes sense that the sharing – and the excitement – has gone digital.

“Social media has made some people feel responsible – like, as a foodie, to share what they’ve eaten or share interesting foods,” says Leung. “And one of the easiest ways to share it is a photo.”

Text, after all, is more difficult to digest. “It takes longer,” she says, “A photo, you look at it, you’re gonna have this reaction.”

Nicole Fung, a 26-year old who started documenting her food when she moved to Hong Kong three years ago, posts photos to Instagram as @thatfoodcray.

On her blog of the same name, Fung puts it this way: “Wouldn’t you rather SEE pictures/videos of food than read about food? I don’t want to bore you with a novel about how my hamburger tasted.”

She started the blog to keep track of what she has eaten, most of it alongside her partner, Eugene Kan. Far from family in Canada, they wanted to send their food experiences back home.

“The only thing my parents would ever really spend money on was food,” says Kan, 28.
“It was like, ‘OK, let’s spend good money on food and the experience that comes with food’.”

It translates, he thinks, to the generation eating with iPhones in hand – a generation for whom chefs are celebrities and people are beginning to think more about where their food comes from. Food, he says, is “not just an everyday necessity, but also an art or craft.”

Brad Lau, who runs the website ladyironchef.com, was 
at first a hesitant Instagram
 user. Now, the 26-year-old from Singapore has more than 220,000 followers as @ladyironchef.

Lau says he typically posts seven or eight photos a day – he posted 14 one recent Thursday – and often throws in leftover shots from previous culinary excursions.

“It is something that I enjoy, taking photos that make people hungry,” he says from Singapore, where he lives and posts pictures of local food, like chilli crab and Hainanese chicken rice.

Lau tries to go somewhere about once a month, using his website as a platform
to introduce people to new restaurants and destinations – and as an excuse to eat more himself.

If social media is about inspiring jealously in others,
Lau is doing well. His photos, most of which are shot on his iPhone, come with captions like one he posted on a recent Friday: “Dinner at a local Korean pub: kimchi jjiggae, ddeokbokki with cheese, and spicy chicken.” Or one that accompanied a picture of a cupcake with violet-coloured icing: “Life is just a cup of cake. No matter what you do, make sure you eat cakes.” (More than 11,000 people “liked” the cupcake.)

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Lau went to school for marketing and curates his feed with promotion in mind. He knows that he gets more likes when he posts dessert photos. A picture he posted from “Hello Kitty Sweets Café” in Taipei had more than 16,000 likes.

You’d think so much feedback would be stressful. But he says he’s used to it – even when people on the street recognise him from Instagram (he posts the occasional picture of himself).

Leung is less concerned with her audience, albeit hers is much smaller, and more local. She sees photography, instead, as a way to document the food she eats. But she doesn’t photograph every meal. At the hole-in-the-wall café where we met in Causeway Bay, a busy shopping district, she ordered eggs and toast.
The lighting wasn’t great, and although she finished her eggs, they were nothing special, so no photo.

“I don’t take pictures of all the foods I’ve eaten,” she says. “If it’s not incredibly interesting, or if I didn’t have something to say in addition to the picture…”

Her feed is well curated. But many foodographers don’t agree with her retisence – or so a random search of Instagram would suggest. So how far is too far?

“It depends,” says Kan, of @thatfoodcray.

“I think we go pretty far with it,” Fung cut in.

“I don’t think so,” Kan says. “I think we’re okay. I don’t think Nicole’s Instagram is spammy, where she’s eating a 12-course meal and taking 24 photos. She’s got a pretty good pace to it.”

Ainsworth, the photography instructor, says many foodographers don’t put a great deal of aesthetic consideration into their pictures.

“People don’t really appreciate how to really bring out the essence of the food,” he says, though he understands the preoccupation with pictures of food. If you take a picture of your dish, you might be able to recreate it later.

To make a good picture, he says, the plate has to look nice. (“You can’t make a silk purse
out of a pig’s ear, eh?” he says.) Food should be shot as you’d see it from your seat. You don’t need flash or lighting equipment to take a nice picture – just natural light from a window. Some foods are difficult to photograph, he says, like ice cream and many types of Chinese food. Ainsworth prefers Japanese and Thai food, with their vibrant colours and limited oils.

But for foodies like Fung and Leung, it’s still the eating that matters. The photograph has just become part of the ritual.

“The photos help me keep a record,” Leung says, “but I’m not so much about the aesthetics of the photo.”

Lau read something online recently that sums it up: People no longer pray before they eat, he says.

“They take photos of their food.”

Amen.

This article first appeared in Asia Eater issue 1  

On our radar: Malaysian food festival

Sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, this year’s KK Food Fest will be held at KK Time Square from 18 – 20 April. With the intent to showcase Kota Kinabalu food and beverage establishments, the festival provides the public with a variety of activities during the two days including cooking competitions, fruit carving and different food displays. The 2014 Guest of Honor is YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun. For more information, please visit kkfoodfest.com or call 012 889 5113

Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants 2014 launch

Thailand Tatler launched its annual restaurant guide for Thailand last night at the Zen Event Gallery at CentralWorld. Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants 2014 is a comprehensive guide to the country’s best restaurants and bars, including 150 listings for Bangkok alone, as well as venues in Phuket, Samui, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. 

The event was hosted by Nigel Oakins, chairman of Blue Mango Publishing Co, Ltd, and Naphalai Areesorn, editor in chief of Thailand Tatler, who presented certificates to the restaurants that participated in the event in the form of stalls serving snacks and signature dishes. 

The restaurants in Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants 2014 were chosen by the editors of Thailand Tatler based on suggestions from readers. The restaurants are then visited by food writers who identify themselves at the end of the meal in order to get a comprehensive, objective description of each establishment. 

Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants 2014 is available at Asia Books and Kinokuniya.

Raspberry and lychee macaroons from L’Appart

A bartender prepares an Aperol beverage at The St. Regis Bangkok table

Blue Elephant’s Thai dim sum, with chicken and peanuts.

A foie gras dish from W Hotel’s The Kitchen Table

Between a Wat and a busy place: SALA Rattanakosin

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Soon celebrating its one-year anniversary, SALA Rattanakosin has been patroned by locals and expats alike.  So how does British Chef Tony Wrigley cater to both parties?

He attributes his knowledge and taste for Thai food to his mentor from Bangtao, a predominantly Muslim area in Phuket. During his first year in the country, he worked with a woman he refers to as his Thai auntie.

“For my first job in Thailand I couldn’t have chosen to work with anyone better,” Wrigley said. “She didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak Thai, but our common denominator was food.”

Spending five years in Bangkok’s Grand Royal Palace, Wrigley’s mentor instilled him with a profound appreciation for ingredients, which numerous dishes at SALA demonstrate.

The twice-cooked crispy pork belly is cooked in a Western style but the tamarind glaze and accompanying pad pak bung (stir-fried morning glory) deliver Asian flavors for all to enjoy.

Below are the recipes for two of SALA’s signature dishes; the aforementioned twice-cooked crispy pork belly and yam puu nim tord mamuang (soft shell crab in spicy salad). Click here to see the video from the restaurant. 

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TWICE COOKED PORK BELLY WITH ROAST PUMPKIN PUREE AND APPLE MARMALADE 

INGREDIENTS – 4 portions
1kg piece of good quality pork belly
10g fresh Thyme
20g sea salt
5g white pepper
100g unsalted butter
20g garlic
30g olive oil
500g mix of carrots, onions and leeks(use as a bed to roast the pork on)

For the pumpkin puree
750g pumpkin cut into large wedges
50ml olive oil
10g fresh Thyme
5g salt
5g white pepper
150ml chicken stock
15g finely chopped spring onions
30g unsalted butter

For the apple marmalade
200g diced Granny Smith apples
100ml apple juice
40g brown sugar
10g grated young ginger
1 Kaffir lime leaf
½ Thai red chili
½ stick lemongrass

For the pork jus reduction
The roasting from the belly pork
200ml red wine
50g sugar
10g thyme
2g white pepper
2g salt

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YAM PUU NIM TOD MAMUANG 
Tempura of soft shell crab and green mango salad with roasted cashews, Thai herbs, chili and lime dressing

INGREDIENTS
1 x 120g piece soft shell crab
50g tempura batter
good quality oil for frying 

For the salad
80g slightly sour green mango cut into very thin strips
15g shallots or red onion – thinly sliced
30g tomato – quartered and sliced
15g roasted cashew nuts
10g Asian celery leaves – substitute with normal celery leaves if you cannot find
15g spring onions

For the dressing
10ml fish sauce
20ml lemon juice
5g coriander stalks
3g Thai bird eye chili
10g palm sugar

To decorate
1 sprig coriander
2g finely sliced red chili
¼ piece of lemongrass, cut lengthways

Preparation 

  1. Firstly prepare the dressing by blending all the ingredients together in a food blender to a smooth consistency. This can be made in advance and be kept chilled for up to 4 days.
  2. Heat the oil to 180’c, coat the soft shell crab in tempura batter and fry until golden and crispy, it normally should take about 3-4 minutes
  3. Prepare the salad by mixing all of the ingredients together and add the as much dressing as you desire, if you like more spicy then add more dressing.
  4. Assemble the salad onto a chilled plate or bowl and put the fried soft shell crab on top.
  5. Decorate with lemongrass, coriander and finely sliced chili.