Baan Thai is a fine-dining outlet located in a city who has great taste of food and urge to explore for new tastes. This and may be the only fine dining Thai restaurant of the city located at The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata. Decor of the outlet will awestruck one with its architecture and the detailing done towards Thai architecture. Though looks like dated Thai royal home but still its a class apart. Their in-house chef Klae Somsuay, who himself is from Thailand brings with him the authentic Thai taste.
We were there on a valentines day afternoon and feels great to be greeted with Sawatdee-kah. The feel of luxury dining can be felt the moment we stepped in. While we were settling down at our table and appreciating the ambiance, the stewardess got for us Prawn Crackers and glasses of Bellini. The attentive and personal touch of the stewardess impressed me like anything. The sparking Bellini was a perfect concoction of elderflower syrup and ginger ale topped with rose syrup and petals. The perfect elixir to emphasize the love in air. Accompanied with Prawn Crackers were not like those one gets in the market shop but the authentic sun-dried one made with by mixing prawns, tapioca flour and water.
To mark the beginning, what could be better than Tom Kha and their famous Chicken Satay. Tom Kha is a classic aromatic chicken and coconut soup gets its rich and dynamic flavor from fresh ingredients like galangal, coconut milk, lemongrass, fresh ginger, lime juice, chilli paste and basil. Best enjoyed piping hot but this dish wont make you stop with just one bowl.
Chicken Satay on the other hand is a dish of skewered and grilled meat with special secret seasoning, served with home made peanut sauce to compliment each other. IT would be a grave sin to compare these satays one can get at the street sides or carts. Those vendors have spoiled the reputation of this Southeast Asian wonder.
We were still intoxicated with flavors and aroma and as about to get back to our senses then it comes the Kaeng Kiew Wan and Kai Krapaw. Kaeng Kiew Wan is the Thai green curry with chicken is an epitome of Thai cuisine with the explosion of taste from chili pepper, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, pea eggplant and topped with sprigs of Thai basil. This is served with aromatic steam rice within traditional Thai bamboo vessel. Wow! so much towards detailing.
Kai Krapaw is the legendary fiery hot chicken dish stir fired in chili oil, chills and basil. The twist in the tale was the usage of minced chicken instead of chicken cubes and the smoky flavor in the chicken made this the winning dish of the day. Can be combined with steam rice also. A must try for those who can handle this.
At this stage I was imagining myself enjoying my romantic cruise on Chao Phraya River and relishing the aftertaste of the dishes. But this journey would not be complete without us digging the desserts in their kitchen. As per recommendation from the stewardess we went for Tab Tim Samsee and Kluay Thod. Tab Tim Samsee is a chilled coconut milk dessert topped with jellied water chestnuts. Those water chestnuts looked like little gems served in a martini glass. Its a challenge to stop at one portion. By the time you fell in love with this the dessert, it will be over.
Kluay Thod is one of a unique dessert I ever had. We had fried ice creams but never had batter fired banana. This is drizzled with honey and sesame and topped with vanilla ice cream. Batter Fried Banana is really unique but I found that the presentation of the dish can be improved to be at par with other dishes in the menu.
Food portion was good for 2-3 people to share based on one’s appetite except the desserts. Also more options under dessert section will be such a lovely addition. Price will burn hole in your wallet but as I always say “quality doesn’t come cheap”. Aside from the mouthful of taste, the hearty meals are satisfying yet aromatic and light. However the true image of luxury dining is the immaculate service by the attentive and courteous staff.
My journey to the Thai wonderland will remain incomplete without meeting the legend behind these creations. You guessed it right, its chef Klae Somsuay. It was nice from him to come, meet and greet us. Such a humble person in reaction when we were praising his creations.
Chef Klae embodies values of cooking he learnt at his roots back home or passed down through the generations. There is no processed or ready-made pastes are used in dishes, and meals are cooked fresh, using traditional techniques. Will come back again and again and again…