Exploring Thai food on its own terms is one of the great joys of living in Bangkok. This bold, vibrant cuisine is also striking in its adaptability. It’s possible, for example, to develop a degree of familiarity with Thai flavours exclusively through the prism of street food, of portions dished out for B100 or less. Where it gets interesting for foodies, though, is when these flavours can be traced up the pecking order and identified in top-drawer restaurants, where a different level of produce and technique are brought to bear.
It’s for these reasons that the recently opened Siam Wisdom will appeal to anyone interested in developing a greater appreciation of Thai food because flavours are expertly refined, separated more elegantly and delivered with brio. Here Chef Chumpol Jangprai gives a crash course in deliciousness without compromising on authenticity.
The menu is split into thirds – Ancient, Classical and Innovative. Each category has a set menu that goes for B1800 at dinner time. The challenge, then, is choosing which category to explore because each has its own distinctive highlights.
On the Ancient set menu, which taps into the rarified traditions of palace cuisine, start with crispy pancakes with crab meat and kaffir lime leaves before savoring the grilled marinated sea bass with herbs in banana leaves. And the curry, served with a choice of beef or pork, gives off the unforgettable perfume of cassia flowers.
The Classical menu, which is essentially Chompul’s excellent take on contemporary Thai food, throws up a fresh pomelo salad with prawns, crispy shallots and sweet tamarind sauce. It is one of the real stand-out dishes. That said, there’s also an exceptional beef massaman featuring the usual combination of coconut milk, onion and baby potatoes. However, what sets Chompul’s version apart is that it retains an unusually high-heat spice. It’s gorgeous.
On the Innovative menu, where convention gets well and truly tweaked, the som tum takes young muskmelon salad and pairs it with organic caviar from the Royal Project. Following that, try the crab meat with ant eggs and boiled duck eggs with a mangosteen sauce before finishing off with the spicy, sour river prawns and crispy fish soup seasoned with drumstick seeds.
Ultimately, as the name suggests, Siam Wisdom delivers the best kind of culinary education.
66 Sukhumvit Soi 31 | 02-260-7811
siamwisdomcuisine.com | Noon-2.30pm, 8pm-10.30pm
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