December 6, 2015

Not your usual Thai

Pin It

I had turned down an invitation to join a lunch featuring a guest chef from a 3-star restaurant, and was gonna take it pretty easy for lunch today.  So I was a little taken aback when Hello Kitty suggested that we check out Issaya Siamese Club.  The Hong Kong branch of the Thai fine dining restaurant - currently at No. 39 of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - has been on my hit list for a little while, so I was only too happy to oblige.

We were hit with the delicious smell coming from the open kitchen as soon as the doors of the elevators opened, and I eagerly flipped through the menu to look for dishes to try.  In the end we decided to pick a few starters followed by some desserts.  We were, after all, trying to keep things light...

Kradook moo aob sauce : Spice rubbed pork baby back ribs glazed with Issaya house-blended chili paste - well, I wasn't expecting an appetizer to be this big... but I wasn't gonna complain.  These baby back ribs were sooo tender the meat really did fall off the bone.  There was a ton of the chili paste, and it was a little too salty for my taste.  There was tamarind and kaffir lime in the paste, giving a slight tangy flavor followed by a hint of a kick from the chili.  A good way to start our lunch.

Yum hua plee : Banana blossom and heart of palm salad, crispy shallots and roasted peanuts in a chili jam dressing - banana flower salad is a pretty famous Thai dish, and I was curious to see how it would be done here.  The presentation was certainly very pretty.  I could taste the banana flower as well as chunks and flakes of the heart of palm.  There was also the distinct flavors of coconut, which I thought came from the desiccated coconut.  The crispy shallots on top were nice and crunchy.  Overall there was a good mix of textures and flavors.

Kanom burng : Crispy rice pancake stuffed with pulled turmeric chicken, bean sprouts and coconut - these looked like tacos to us.  The shells carried pulled chicken flavored with turmeric, plus bean sprouts, chives, and strands of dried coconut.  Pretty tasty without the sweet chili sauce on the side.  Hello Kitty said that this reminded her of Singapore fried noodles (星洲炒米粉), and I could definitely see that.  Very delicious and enjoyable.

Kluay-kaek : Grilled banana éclair - this was supposed to be the restaurant's take on the banana fritters found as street food.

Inside the sesame-encrusted crispy shell was banana-flavored cream.  This was pretty good.  The coconut ice cream on the side was pretty tasty, as well the sesame tuile.

Kanom dok mali : Jasmine flower panna cotta served with jasmine rice ice cream and jasmine rice tuile - the panna cotta delivered the intense fragrance of jasmine flowers, and my eyes lit up immediately.  I love the clean and refreshing fragrance of jasmine, so I happily gobbled up the panna cotta.  The little dollops of ice cream were pretty interesting, too, as they contained grains of jasmine rice inside.

We had just the right amount of food for a lazy Sunday lunch, and both of us were surprised by the creativity of the menu as well as the flavors.  I've been looking for a place that serves up Thai food beyond the usual curries and grilled chicken that we seem to always end up with, and it looks like I've found just the place.  Now I'll need to come back and do those tasting menus...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map