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Thai Street Goes High Street at Spices, Marriott

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Even by a Thai gourmet chef’s admission, the best Thai food is found on the city streets. Perhaps to replicate the experience, Spices at JW Marriott has turned its expansive restaurant floor into a Thai street food joint, replete with a Thai barbeque station, Pad Thai station, pork belly station, Thai curry station and rice station. All this executed under the supervision of Suriya Phusirimongkhonchai, a shy but able Thai dessert chef who has only recently come to Mumbai.

On till December 1, the festival is an over-the-top showcase of what the team can execute. And once the festival comes to an end, some of the most popular dishes will become permanent features in the restaurant’s menu, Executive Chef Himanshu Taneja informed us.

You’ll find here a great variety of Thai cuisine -- broths, salads, crispy appetizers, Thai breads, curries, popular national dish Pad Thai, barbeques, salads… the works!

Possibly the most exciting part of this food festival are the Thai desserts. Chef Suriya’s specialty, the dessert menu consists of delicious, unexpected flavors and textures, just full of surprises. I highly recommend the Pumpkin Pudding and Tako (hear chef Suriya talk about it in the video). Tako is made with water chestnut and coconut cream and is mildly sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy - an absolute must try.

In between counter-hopping, we caught up with Chef Suriya, very curious to know more. Watch the video for what he had to say. Read the rest of the interview below.

Chef Suriya at Spices, JW MArriott

What is the one major piece of advice you would give people about eating Thai food?

Thai food is about a harmony of tastes – sweet, sour, spicy and salt beautifully married to the flavor of herbs.

While eating Thai food, enjoy one dish at a time and not try to eat everything together. This way you will begin to appreciate complex individual flavours. So with spicy, you combine less spicy dish like sticky rice or noodles. Finish that first and then move to the other.

We always hear about Thai curries but never about Thai desserts. What would you like to tell people about Thai desserts?

The two main ingredients in most Thai desserts are palm sugar and coconut milk. A classic Thai dessert is called Foi Thong. Thong means gold. It is made with egg yolks and is like Gulab Jamun. It’s a difficult dessert and employs a lot of technique. We put a little salt in everything, including desserts, for more flavour.

Three ingredients that can give anything a Thai twist?

It is very difficult to zero in on only three. Thai cuisine is a combination of many ingredients that bring out the flavours of Thai cuisine. However, the essential ones are:

  • Lemon grass
  • Coconut
  • Fresh turmeric
  • Kaffir Lime leaves
  • Galangal
  • Chillies

 A tip on how to cut chicken breast for tenderly cooked chicken?

Other than the gravy and cooking time, it is also important to know how you cut the chicken breast as it determines how well it will cook. See the grain line of the chicken and cut horizontally to it. It should form a T (the grain line and the cut).

Six dishes you must try at the festival: 

  • Yellow Curry with Sticky Rice
  • Pad Thai with Prawns
  • Fried Banana
  • Lemon Grass Chicken
  • Chicken Wings from the barbeque station
  • Tako in desserts

Where: Spices, JW Marriott, Juhu
When: 7 pm onwards. On till Dec 1
Cost: Rs.1,900, all-inclusive with a complimentary bottle of beer, and Rs.2,300 all-inclusive, with unlimited beer.
Call for reservations: 91 22 66933344

 

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Guest Thursday, 13 December 2018
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