Sala Rim Nam at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has recently launched the first Thai chef’s table and I had the pleasure to enjoy the culinary experience with Chef Vichit Mukura, Sala Rim Nam’s Executive chef. The concept of Chef’s table here is Chef Vichit will go to the market in the morning before the dinner to shop for the best available ingredients that day and create a menu for you. While the ambience in the kitchen may not be as romantic or as comfortable as in the normal dining area, it is a rare opportunity for customers to see the chef cooking and have conversation with the chef. On the day that I visited, Chef Vichit served a truly satisfying nine course menu.
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Arriving at the Sala Rim Nam in evening is always a treat; to see the views across the river and the boats passing by. We were seated at the lounge. While waiting for all the guest. We were serve some canapés and a tomyum drink. When everyone arrived chef Vichit invited us to his kitchen. We had to walk through stairs, and narrow walk ways. The chef’s table is a room in the kitchen of Sala Rim Nam. In the room a 7 seat stainless steel table and a kitchen. The seats were pretty high like a bar stool so everyone can see what the chef was doing. The chef talked to us about what he will be making. Everything sounds nice.
He started on the first dish for only a short while it was right in front of us. Deep fried shrimp with tamarind sauce and crispy rice, a fried shrimp with a burst of flavor from tamarind sauce. I have to admit, it was very fast, how he made this dish with one other chef helping him.
Pawn Todman, a comon Thai appetizer which consist of pawn and Thai herb and spices rolled into a ball, deep fried.
Roasted duck served with multi grain and stir fried baby clams with Thai holy basil. This is a strange but it is a nice creative combination. Usually we would see each served individually. The crispy duck skin is to die for. I’m a fan of untreated rice with the multi grain mixture make it even more interesting and healthier.
Tom yum fish and shrimp (pla and koong in Thai) made of the freshest catch from the market. This tom yum has a very balanced taste, not too spicy not too mild.
Fried river prawn is served with peppercorn and chef’s special sauce, another great dish with aroma of Thai herbs.
Grilled lamb chop with Sadao and nam pla wan (sweet fish sauce dressing) served with stir fried sugar snap peas. The bitter flower of Sadao is usually served with grilled catfish and nam pla wan but it worked great with grilled lamb chop as well, a playful interpretation of Thai food by Chef Vichit.
Snow fish with rice in rice milk served with tao jiew (fermented soy bean sauce with ginger) or Kao Tom Pla. For a big meal; Thais with Chinese ancestors will end with this dish before dessert. Chef’s Vichit version is a little different, usually it is white rice and small pieces of fish. This version is out of this world. The snow fish was perfectly cook, soft moist and flavorful with tao jiew sauce made it even tastier.
To end a perfect meal, Chef Vichit made Bua Loy in coconut milk (Thai dumpling in sweet and salty coconut milk) from scratch. Homemade rice milk ice cream mixed with crispy rice. Both the dumplings and the ice cream are to die for.
I really enjoyed seeing and actually interact with the chef. It was a really good experience. Chef Vichit’s cooking style and his concept about Thai food is not only about hot and spicy. He blends salty, sweet, sour and even bitter to entertain my palette throughout the evening. I would not say that chef’s table will be an automatic success for every restaurant but I think chef’s table at Sala Rim Nam will be successful because of Chef Vichit’s charm and ability to articulate about food. For those who love Thai food and Thai cooking, you will enjoy the dining experience and learn a great deal from Chef Vichit.
The chef’s table is limited up to six people. For 6 courses 2900 ++ and 8 courses 3900++. Wine pairing is also available.
For more information call +66 (2) 659 9000
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s own wine label was serve that evening.
Welcome snacks before heading to the Chef’s kitchen area.