Thailand is possibly one of my favorite holiday destinations and one of the most important reasons is the absolutely splendid food you get there. I don’t know if it’s the warmth of the people, the delicious food or the holiday mood but I have very happy memories of all my visits there. There are very few places in Kolkata that serve up good Thai food and Ban Thai certainly tops that list in my opinion. The décor is exquisite and you feel transported to Thailand as soon as you enter. The service as with Oberoi Hotels is exemplary and the staff always go out of their way to make you feel cherished and pampered. Naturally when I was invited as one of the bloggers for their Öodles of Noodles” Festival I was rather delighted.
Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatics and a spicy edge. It is known for its complex interplay of at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. Good Thai food is like a symphony in your mouth by a maestro. It’s always good to meet fellow food enthusiasts and all were familiar faces so with lots of banter to and fro we settled down to a fabulous meal.
We began our repast with the Appetizers. Deep Fried Prawns wrapped in Glass Noodles, Stir Fried Fish Dumplings with Thai Chilli on Crispy Noodles and for the vegetarians there was a Tofu version of the Fish Dumplings. Loved the starters the Prawns had great texture, crisp and golden on the outside and beautifully succulent on the inside they tasted as good as they looked. The Fish Dumplings were very good, loved the flavor of the Stir Fried Dumplings and the crispy noodles with the hint of thai chilli … the Tofu Dumplings were wonderful and our meal was off to a great start. The soup followed and for me it was one of the highlights of our meal, it was Cucumber Stuffed with Chicken and Glass Noodles in a Clear Broth which was sublime. Probably one of the nicest soups I can recall having in a long time and I would go back simply for the soup alone. Loved it!
For the main course we were served three kinds of noodles. Stir fried Glass Noodles with Vegetables in Chilli Garlic Sauce which was very good, really enjoyed it and love the gentle heart of the chilli garlic sauce. The Green Curry with Chicken and Rice Noodles was outstanding and the best I have had in recent times ….. a medley of flavors perfectly blended to tantalize your taste buds. I decided to save the best for the last, the Stir Fried Seafood and Soba Noodles with Chilli Garlic and Hot Basil stole the show for me. The spice was like a wave which began gently and then delivered quite a punch , the sea food used was an assortment of Calamari , Prawn and Fish all superbly fresh and cooked to perfection , the hints of garlic and basil added great dimensions to the flavor and complexity of the dish. I would be content to go back simply to eat this and nothing else.
Along with all this delicious food we were delighted to sample their Indie Spirit Menu as well which showcased six unique and specially created Cocktails made of various sprits like Vodka, Gin, White Rum and Dark Rum paired with unique ingredients and beverages that are rather shall we say “desi” like chai, lassi , coriander , ginger , tamarind , betel and gulkand among others. I was rather fascinated and found some of the combinations really good. Special mention to the quirky names which I was quite tickled with Chaitini, Vodka Shikanji , Sharabi Lassi , The Herbal Way , Southern Somras and Mojito Banaraswala. They all tasted great but my pick of the lot would be the Southern Somras which was made with Dark Rum, Apple Juice, Tamarind and Jaggery which was brilliant and the majority of us singled it out as our favorite cocktail.
It was quite an afternoon, great conversation, wonderful food and some delightful cocktails. We really could not ask for more. Thank you to the wonderful Team at Ban Thai headed by Chef Clae and the Management of The Oberoi Grand for hosting us. The fantastic “Oodles of Noodles” Festival is on till month end. If you like Thai food I suggest you don’t miss out on this one.
Picture Credits : Suneha Saha
DISCLAIMER : The Culinary Commentator dined as a guest of The Managenent.