Thursday, May 03, 2007

Authentic Thai fare at Corus' Dondang Sayang Coffee House

THERE will be no water splashed about, but Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur has something planned to commemorate Songkran anyway.

For the first time, the hotel will be partnering Chakri Palace to come up with a spread of Thai delicacies to be served at its Dondang Sayang Coffee House.

Restaurant chefs Nopporn Nutto and Doarin Sonmak from Bangkok and Korat, respectively, will be teaming up with the hotel culinary staff in a smart partnership to tantalise the taste buds.

Thai Starter: The Miengkam is the perennial Thai appetiser.
“We’ll only be dishing out authentic Thai food; the recipes are not altered to cater to the local palate,” said Nopporn, 32, who like Doarin, has been working in Malaysia for the last six years.

“We’ll also have dishes that are not too spicy and ‘child-friendly’.”

Guests can expect Thai dishes generally cooked in Central Thai style on a daily basis throughout the promotion.

“Our Tom Yam, for instance, is cooked in a clear broth. This is a recipe that dates back more than 50 years,” said Nopporn.

Wide selection: Doarin (second from left), Nopporn (third from left) and Corus Hotel head chef Albert Goh (second from right) presenting an array of authenticThai food.
Tom Yam aside, there are other popular Siamese dishes to look forward to.

Start with the perennial Thai appetiser - Miengkam - which, for the uninitiated is traditional hand-rolled daun kadok leaves filled with seven ingredients.

He recommends Crispy Minced Catfish with Mango Salad to begin the meal.

“This dish originates from Southeast Thailand and is a very unique starter that looks simple, but is tedious to prepare,” he said.

Catfish is steamed and cooled down before the flesh is skinned, stripped off the bone and baked until golden brown.

This is then pounded and chopped into crumbs before it is deep-fried into crisps and served with a salad consisting of sliced Chinese celery, Chinese cabbage, young mangoes, Indian shallots, roasted peanuts and bird’s eye chilli - all drizzled with a tangy kerabu sauce.

“The special thing about the catfish is that its sweetness is natural; there is no seasoning,” revealed Nopporn.

He also recommends the Green Curry Prawns to be eaten with rice.

A popular dish from Central Thailand, the curry is made with homemade Thai curry paste, coconut oil, fresh basil leaf, chilli and eggplant.

Tempting: The Crispy Minced Catfish with Mango Salad is a most difficult dish to prepare.
“The prawns are cooked separately and then added into the curry in the later stages of the cooking process together with sugar and fish sauce,” said Nutto.

Another popular favourite is the Pandan Chicken, a Northern Thai dish.

What makes the chicken tasty is the way it is marinated.

“We use 13 ingredients just to marinate the chicken meat. Some of the ingredients are procured locally, but the rest are from Thailand,” he said.

Besides its aroma and flavour, the tenderness of the meat is what makes the dish so popular.

“The secret is to use milk as an ingredient to keep the flesh tender, said Nopporn.

The marinated pieces are wrapped in screwpine leaf, steamed and then fried.

If you have had enough, end the meal with a variety of tempting desserts, including Fresh Mango and Sticky Rice with Salted Coconut Milk Topping or the Homemade Pumpkin Custard.

The Authentic Thai Fete promotion is from May 7 to 31.

  • Dondang Sayang Coffee House, Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Ampang, KL (Tel: 03-2161 8888 ext 123). Business Hrs: Monday to Friday, Lunch (noon - 2.30pm); Dinner (6.30pm - 10.30pm). Weekend, Dinner (6.30pm - 10.30pm).

  • Source : STAR
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