A Culinary Journey Through Time: Baan Phraya's Ode to Thai Summer

April 18, 2024

Baan Phraya's Summer Menu

Having spent years exploring the rich tapestry of Thai cuisine, I’ve encountered countless regional specialities and hidden gems. Yet, Baan Phraya’s Summer Menu (Mandarin Oriental Bangkok) unveiled dishes I’ve only ever experienced in the intimate setting of private homes. From the intriguing amuse-bouche of candied pineapple sheet over pickled turnip to the unexpected delight of the Thai honeycomb biscuit with crab roe, Chef Pom Phatchara’s menu offers a glimpse into the lesser-known corners of Thailand’s culinary heritage, a revelation for even the most seasoned Thai food enthusiast.

In this multi-course menu, Chef Pom resurrects forgotten dishes, drawing inspiration from her family recipes and the annals of The Oriental Thai Cooking School, once housed within Baan Phraya itself.

The experience begins with a finger root and mulberry honey concoction, a delightful introduction to the focus on regional and seasonal ingredients. Each course that follows adds another layer to the experience. Crispy wild kale leaf is served with garcinia powder, Vietnamese rice paper and fresh garden herbs, a Songkran staple of stir-fried young jackfruit has a rice berry tart casing, the honeycomb cookie with crab roe, shallots, tamarind, coconut cream and crab roe powder hits it out of the field, showcasing Chef Pom’s playful creativity.

A familiar favourite, Yum Tha Wai salad, gets a makeover with organic sunchokes and wing beans in a coconut dressing. The highlight for me was the coal-roasted red snapper – a symphony of textures and smoke, a testament to Chef Pom’s masterful touch.

Baan Phraya's Summer Menu

The soup course, features smoked Andaman scallop, wild mushroom, and young galangal in a fragrant Tom Yum broth, infused with lemongrass and kaffir lime oil – comforting and invigorating.

The main course showcases Chef Pom’s heritage: mangrove red snapper roasted with garden herbs and charred coconut flakes, served with smoked dried fish and young chilli relish. The flavours are bold and smoky.

A delightful contrast arrives with fermented rice noodles in fresh coconut milk, roasted dried shrimps, Homsuwan pineapple, coriander oil, and fish sauce. The sweetness of the pineappleis offset by the he tanginess of the fish sauce. The dish served cold is a summer favourite but I have never seen it on restaurant menus. This dish is a perfect match for hot summer afternoons.

Next is grilled Surat Thani river prawn presented with tomalley, young tamarind. The culinary journey culminates with marinated Wagyu beef in red curry, cayratia trifolia fruit, and sweet basil. The curry is rich and fragrant, while the cayratia trifolia fruit adds complexity. To conclude this decadent exploration, a dessert trolley laden with ten classic Thai sweets beckons.

As the menu meanders through Thailand’s culinary landscape, Baan Phraya stands as a revelation with its focus on seasonality, regionality, and historical culinary techniques; a place where the past is deliciously brought to life on your plate. For reservations, click HERE.

Details: Open for dinner only; Pre-dinner Drink:5 - 6pm (Outdoor Terrace); Dinner: 6 - 11pm (Friday - Tuesday); Call: +66 (0) 2 659 9000; Email: mobkk-baanphraya@mohg.com

The dessert trolley laden with ten classic Thai sweets

Chef Pom Phatchara

Neetinder Dhillon
With over two and half decades in the media, The Front Row founder Neetinder Dhillon has plenty of stories to tell. As the former editor of several lifestyle, travel, inflight and B2B magazines, she has been in the front row keeping a close eye on news, trends and all things luxe. She subscribes to Pico Iyer’s concept of luxury: In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.

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