A few days back when I braved the rains to visit Intercontinental at Marine drive I came away a petulant hungry child. This time around I got romanced, intrigued, allured, loved and satiated. I felt young and excited. My visit to Koh for the Sriracha festival that runs upto 7th September, more than redeemed my earlier experience. Sriracha is a kind of chilli sauce made with chilli, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. This is the fourth year running for the Sriracha festival. It has been so popular every year that they have had requests from patrons to hold one this year too.
My romance began with Thai-NY 10th Gimlet cocktail, which was like the coquettish eye-contact on a first date. The cocktail was a fresh mysterious blend of flavours of the lemongrass, grapefruit and kaffir lime with Tanqueray No. 10 gin with just a hint of chilli. Our next drink was the Watermelon Caipiroska. It was like a first date gone reckless, bursting with the oomph of vodka, the zing of lemon and the coyness of the watermelon!
Then like a corsage on a prom night came the starters, full of fragrance and flavour and promises of the night, the Hun Tun Thord (Fried vegetarian dumpling), Phad Pik Kai Sriracha (chicken wings tossed in honey sriracha sauce) and Hat Yai Yang Koong (lemongrass flavoured grilled prawns). I still can’t make up my mind which was the best. Even the vegetarian one was so flavourful it gave a good race to the chicken and prawns.
Then like the magic of the first touch came my soup. The Geang Jued Phak Bung Chin Kai soup was a magical concoction of water spinach, chicken, mushrooms, spring onions, carrots, bamboo-shoots, silken tofu well balanced with just chillies, pepper and soy. It was one of those soul satisfying dishes and it opened up our palate for more to come.
My romantic evening was just beginning. Our mains were the Pla Rad Prik (crusted fish with sauce) and Phad Moo Sap Yang Sriracha (pork spare ribs). I felt that instant connection like a date turning into a discovery. The fish crusted with cornflour was crisp on the outside with sweet flavourful flesh within. The sauce was a delectable confluence of basil gravy, chillies and onions. The pork ribs with chilli dust and sesame were perfectly cooked with robust flavours. The fried rice was one of the best I had eaten. The noodles in sriracha sauce were a burst of taste without the heat and went well with the Kai Phad Prik Sot Sriracha (Chicken tossed in lemongrass, shallots and sriracha chillies) served with sautéed vegetables like shitake and button mushrooms, bamboo shoots, heart of palm (tender core of a palm tree), carrots and spinach.
We ended our dinner with Kluy Bued Chee (ripe banana simmered in coconut milk) and Takoh (jasmine scented coconut pudding) with icecream. The dessert was for the soul; happy fresh flavours. It was as satisfying as the end of a beautiful first date – with promises to hold for a lifetime. I came away with stars in my eyes and a song on my lips. If stomach was a foodie’s soul – mine was replete!
Ian Kittichai’s legacy makes him proud.
Disclaimer : This review/column was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review; however readers may exercise their own discretion.