It takes talent and skills to take on a traditional cuisine like Thai and making it contemporary and modern.
Chef Tam, Chudaree Debhakam, obviously has buckets of both. It’s not often that a chef can successfully deliver on a fusion menu without compromising on flavour and stepping on tradition. Chef Tam hosted a couple of nights at Patara Soho, showcasing a menu filled with Thai flavours but delivered in a non-traditional Thai way. She has quite the international following with most the tables filled with a young Thai crowd.
Chef Tam is the winner of Top Chef Thailand and a star on the Thai culinary scene. She also did a stint as sous chef alongside award-winning chef, Dan Barber at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York (World’s 50 Best). Patara brought her to London to host a few events featuring her contemporary Thai cuisine. She brought her style of cooking using French cooking techniques and Thai flavours to put together this delicious tasting menu.
Canapes: Thai popcorn, fish cakes, Shrimps with cashews,
Amuse Bouche: Khan tang sweet coconut rice with dried shrimp using sorrel instead of lime
Thai Royal Style Salad with Blue Swimmer Crab
Poached Monkfish “Khao Tom” with Jasmine Rice, Coriander Root Broth and Soy Bean Sauce
Beef Short Rib “Hong Kong Style” with Pickled Chillies and Ginger Brown Rice
Lemongrass and Toasted Rice Panna Cotta with Lychee and Lime
Starting off with a selection of canapes and glass of champagne, we began our flavour journey with the first few bites. The canapes might be based on the more recognisable Thai dishes but here she concentrates the little morsels with a light touch in seasoning but still with all the fresh zinginess that you expect from Thai cuisine. Each progressive bite was increasingly more delightful on the palate. The last bite was the crispy, crunchy shrimp popcorn, coated with corn, deep fried, lightly spiced and oh so moreish.
The amuse bouch is a play on a popular street food snack, dried shrimps, tempered with chili and spices on a bed of sweet coconut rice. Her dried shrimp recipe was richer than the traditional recipes and balanced with the sweetness from the sticky rice.
Thai Royal Style Salad with Blue Swimmer Crab, an enticing starter with fresh crab meat and a sprinkling of coconut and a light Thai dressing. The deftness of touch here showed the respect of the main ingredient, the crab, which could have been compeltely over powered a heavier dressing.
The highlight of the meal was this poached monkfish in a slowly simmered fish bone broth. I would have loved more of that rich umami broth to go with the meaty monkfish.
A six hour braised short rib in a Hong style sauce was melt in the mouth tender. Rich sauce on this beef was just the thing to go with the ginger rice.
Pudding was a play with different varieties and treatments of rice. Here we have a green rice, a roasted rice and puffed pandan rice. These were used as sprinkles on a lemongrass panna cotta which provided a delightful texture and contrast to the creamy dessert.
Chef Tam was only in London for a short stint but you will find Patara’s fine dining Thai menu at all their regular branches. They are one of the best Thai restaurants in London.
15 Greek St, Soho,
London W1D 4DP
Tel: 020 7437 1071
EatCookExplore was a guest at Patara