Review: TANTRA

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Jains and vegetarians,  looking for a swish ambiance  with decent traditional regional food (and booze)? Not too fussed about gourmet and modern versions? This way please. Tantra is your new mantra.

Read my full review on whatshot.in

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At the new vegetarian Tantra: Raageshwari Loomba, Sunil sheth and Mythily Katsaris.

 

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Recipe: Som Tam Vegan

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REJUVENATION PARADISE

Yoga and Thai salad? What does our very own yogic tree pose (Vrikshansana) have in common with the my most favorite spicy, sweet, sour Thai “Som Tam” (raw papaya salad)?  I’m getting a taste of both  inside a stunningly beautiful restaurant (Yes! You read that right). That’s only for starters,  not only did I get the most authentic and delicious recipe for “Som tam” , the correct way to do the  Vrikashana, but also learnt more about rejuvenation and  the deep and abiding connection between food and health. I ve been writing about food and wellness for over three decades (including a weekly health column for 15 years and 52 episodes of a TV show on Health) but the “Asaya” experience here, in the stunningly beautiful Rosewood, Phuket is incomparable. It’s a  hands on specially curated unique concept. It is  rooted in self-discovery. Along with it Im feasting on Rosewood’s  “Sense of Place” philosophy  and delicious food too. And getting re-energised too!

SOM TAM AND THEN SOME

Ive dined at the finest Thai restaurants of the world (including Michelin starred ones) but none comes close to the experience here at Ta khai which sprawls under ancient trees beside the shimmering Emerald bay . Here aunty Yai and uncle Nun, the most lovable accomplished chef couple cook to authentic recipes..

And they cook here in this alfresco restaurant with it’s

open kitchens and live cooking stations. Ta Khai, which means “fishing net”  has not only the most beautiful setting under trees bust also the most authentic food that ricochets in a myriad flavors and textures on my palate.A kitchen-to-table herb and vegetable garden and live fish pond  adds to the magic. Many an authentic Thai dish such as Poh Pia Sod (fresh Phuket spring rolls) to  KhanomTuay (steamed pandanus and coconut milk custard). They are generous enough to share the authentic vegan version of the Som tam and  Yam som tam (Pomelo salad) too.

Screenshot_2018-01-24-16-38-34-104_com.miui.gallerySom Tam Vegan

Quantity   Lts 1 portion

Ingredients

180gr Papaya

10gr Salt

40ml Lime juice

60gr Tomatoes

60gr long bean

15gr Chilli

40gr palm sugar

40gr peanuts

30gr Garlic

30gr Carrot

Method

(Dressing )Mixed sugar ,lime and salt well in the mixing bowl

Pound chili and garlic in the mortar then put tomatoes and long bean and pound again

Add papaya ,dressing and peanut and mixed well

Yam Som O

Quantity   Lts 1 portion

Ingredients

200gr Pomelo

10gr Salt

40gr White sugar

30gr Roasted grated coconut

40gr Peanuts

20gr Deep fried shallot (Sliced)

30ml Coconut Cream

2gr Chilli powder

50gr Shallot sliced

5gr Coriander leave

10gr Birds chili sliced

4gr Deep fried dried chilli

30gr Tamarind juice

60gr Sugar

50gr Cashew nut

Method

Shred the Pomelo and set aside

Place the lemon juice,salt,Chilli powder and sugar in a bowl,Mix well

Add thegrated coconut,peanuts, cashew nut and coconut cream.Continue to stir

Add the Pomelo and toss

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with fried shallots

HEALTH & FOOD

The knowledgable resident wellness practitioner, holistic wellness expert Steve Harvey  has his own reason for making me eat “Som Tam”. This is the first time that I learn what food helps me  when I travel a lot. “Sweet and spicy food will keep you grounded” explains Steve Harvey. This is just the beginning of my self-discovery journey. It truly is very exciting. And eye-opening. I experience  their  first Asaya, an innovative concept in holistic and integrative wellness journeys. It begins  at Asaya’s beautiful “Wellness Atelier” with a consult with Steve Harvey.   Here, the garden’s red and sweet basil, kaffir lime, lemon balm,murraya koenigii (Thai curry leaf) and pandanusingredients are crushed and blended into individual recipes for use in customized scrubs, wraps, masks and herbal compresses. The fresh Thai healing herbs are also incorporated into powerful aromatic oils used in Asaya Atelier Body Path rituals of therapeutic massages that give me deep relaxation, energy, mental clarity and relaxation.  And then energy rebalancing  with Himalayan singing bowls ritual follows.

Not only is my energy being rebalanced through food and therapies but even the  environmentally sensitive architectural style that blends organically with the natural surroundings soothes. Through it all Im rejuvenating. And celebrating!

 

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At the stunning Ta Khai: Andrew Turner with Chef couple Yai and Nun.
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 Dynamic and dapper Andrew turner, Jodie Clark, , Rogert Gibson, Steve Harvey do the Vrikshasana…

ASTRONOMY WEDS GASTRONOMY

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Im tasting stars! Here in this remote and sensationally beautiful Thai island, many a magnificent  dinner based on cosmic cycles and Biodynamic viticulture  is redefining gastronomy. Do you see the huge telescope in the photograph? visiting astronomer and well-known scientist, Dr. Massimo Tarenghi used it to explain the relationship between the Cosmic/Lunar cycles and the pattern of water, earth, air and fire on our planet.  Brilliant chef Kengo Tomita’ creates  food  to match these rhythmic cycles and the knowledgable beverage maestro Melroy Fernandes pairs it with  unique biodyanamic and organic wines. As we dine on the lunar deck, time stands still in this magnificent back to nature Soneva Kiri surrounded by the shimmering Andaman sea. Love their philosophy of S.L.O.W.(  Sustainable Local Organic and Wellness) life. Its not just about serving up delicious experiences but also educating about the philosophy of Bio-dynamism and Sustainability. Holistic, barefoot luxury gets redefined.And my learning continues!

FOR THE BOX
Cosmic gastronomy: Chef Kengo Tomito flanked by astronomer scientist Dr Massimo Tarenghi and Beverage maestro Melory Fernandes.

Review: BOMBAY BRASSERIE

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Open all day. Lunch, dinner and high-chai. Fun dining takes centre-stage in this recent rollicking reincarnation of the old Bombay Brasserie.

Read my full review on whatshot.in

Bombay Brasserie
Celebrating the new Bombay Brasserie: Nina and PK Vasa.

 

AWESOME ASAYA

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Please take a look at the photograph: the knowledgable holistic wellness expert Steve Harvey  is flanked by two chefs in Phuket’s most amazing  Takhai, Thai restaurant by the shimmering waters of Emerald bay. The husband wife chef team are making pomelo salad. And there’s a reason why they’re specially making this delicious sweet, spicy salad for me. This is the first time that I learn what food helps me  when I travel a lot. “Sweet and spicy food will keep you grounded” explains Steve Harvey. This is just the beginning of my self-discovery journey. It truly is very exciting. And eye-opening. I ve been writing about food and wellness for over three decades (including a weekly health column for 15 years) but the “Asaya” experience here, a  hands on specially curated unique concept is truly unique. It is  rooted in self-discovery. I’m not only experiencing alternative therapies, (singing bowls ritual) learning “Darnaveda” meditation but doing so in magnificently natural spaces. And feasting on Rosewood’s  “Sense of Place” philosophy  and delicious food too.

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Holistc wellness expert Steve Harvey flanked by chef coupleNoon and Yai.

Review: TALAIVA

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It’s not just about the Talaibagh (read Talaiva) palace food here. It’s about drinking…..dining,,,,,and dancing!  Disco lights, DJ music and entertainment in the nights (I went back a second night only to check this and Talaiva was packed). Plenty of innovative cocktails too.

Read my full review on whatshot.in

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Talaiva’s Rajasthani and continental fare.

Talaiva 2

BREAKING FOODIE NEWS

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Foodies please note, a few weeks ago, the prestigious Michelin guide has made its entry into Bangkok. And while Im here Im determined to eat my way through the Michelin starred restaurants. Starting at the very top two-starred Michelin and right up to the street food Jay Fei who has been conferred a Michelin star.

 

FRENCH FINESSE

Dish after dish has visual and gustatory starbursts. And wow! there is vegetarian caviar too, sublime in taste and texture: a vegetarian’s dream come true. Here  the brilliant chef Arnaud Dunand Sauthier dazzles.  

My sparkling starry meals in Bangkok begin  at the legendary epitome of French fine dining, the best  in Thailand (since 1958) Le Normandie. It is truly a connoisseur’s fantasy of splendid cuisine, impeccable service and elegant ambiance.

The tiny gem like amuse bouches implode with flavour and texture. I love the fact that the distinction of many dishes is a judicious intricacy, the strength of others is their focus: how intensely they taste of their central ingredient, like the seabass. And the airy and light Grand Marnier mousse is easily the best in Thailand. It elevates my Michelin starred meal even higher. From the starred French fine dine I go to my other favorites, the British High tea and the Thai Restaurant in the 141 year old historic Mandarin Oriental, But before I do that I request the chef for the recipe of the  vegetarian caviar.He sets it in an empty caviar tin. If you cant find one, then any small tin will do. You need cauliflower, spring onion, veg gelatin and a little mayonnaise. No quantities are being given as it depends on the size of the tins you use to set it.Peel the extremity of the cauliflower then chopped finely. Blanched for 1min then refresh in ice bath.

Mix with the chopped truffle ( if not available, use mushrooms), sliced spring onion. Let mixture macerate for 4hrs.

Make the jelly with

cauliflower

and veget gelatin

Roast the cauliflwer until brown color then add water to cover it. Cooked for 2 hrs.

Pass the liquid through a cloth then put the gelatin

Put the cauliflwer couscous inside the box then cover with the jelly.Let it set and finish with some mayonnaise

BRITISH HIGH TEA

It is here in it’s  elegant and historic “Authors Lounge” that I sip (literally too) over a century of legendary literary history.   I enjoy the classic British High tea. It is here, in Le Grand Dame  that the world renowned authors (Somerset Maughm, Noel Coward ) have lived and immortalised it. Dapper dynamic Australian Gregg Lidell who continues to helm this landmark orchestrates everything to perfection, everhelpful  Karn Puntohong epitomises best of Thai hospitality. It is here, that the very gifted Patisseur  Christophe Sapy constructs (the only suitable word for his amazing work) cakes. Each one a work of art. And his pastries seduce, Through it all we nibble on superlative finger sandwiches (cucumber,chicken, ham). Outstanding pastries, tarts, madelienes and a meltingly, rich, chocolate cake. And the most delightful scones with clotted cream and  rose petal and pomelo jams.

And oh! That amazing sourdough bread, freshlybaked and crusty on the exterior and soft and warm inside has me asking for more. The gifted young Danierl Texter not only takes me to the amazing treasure trove of freshly baked bread, cakes and pastries but also shares the recipe of an easy to make bread at home. Should you need it, please email me rashmiudaysingh18@gmail.com

HIGH ON THAI

It is here too, that Bangkok’s finest Thai restaurant beckons. Time is standing still as I gently glide down the gleaming “River of Kings”. We do so in a beautiful wooden-carved long tail boat. At the other end of the bank  Sala Rim Nam, an exquisite restaurant serving authentic Thai food awaits me. But that is yet another story. A delicious one too!

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At Michelin starred Le Normandie Chef Arnaud and karn Puntohong and the vegetarian caviar.

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Give us this day our daily bread: Chef Daniel Texter.
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The art and craft of cake making: chef Christophe Sapy.

MEMORABLE MICHELIN MAGIC

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My sparkling starry meals in Bangkok begin at the top. Michelin guide’s inaugural foray into Bangkok has conferred two stars, fittingly enough on the legendary epitome of French fine dining, the best  in Thailand (since 1958) Le Normandie.  Perched in the 141 year old historic Mandarin Oriental, it is a connoisseur’s fantasy of splendid cuisine, impeccable service and elegant ambiance. Here  the brilliant chef Arnaud Dunand Sauthier dazzles. Dapper dynamic Australian Gregg Lidell who helms this landmark orchestrates everything to perfection, everhelpful  Karn Puntohong epitomises best of Thai hospitality. . Musical, gastronomic metaphors morph seamlessly into delicious melodies here. From French fine dine, I now go to the streetfood vendor Jay Fay  who has been awarded a Michelin star. Starry starry night!

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Feasting on masterpieces with Arnaud Dunand Sauthier  Gregg Lidell and Karn Puntohong.

Review: O PEDRO

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How do you distil the spirit of Goa (in the midst of BKC’s  steel and glass buildings), without resorting to tired, overcute clichés? O Pedro rocks seamlessly from  being relaxed at lunches and brunches and buzzing at night.

Read my full review on whatshot.in

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Super fun at O Pedro with Dr Jamuna Pai and Suchi Kalia.