June 19, 2023

Fishy Thai food

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My original plan with Gastronaut was to try some place new for both of us, and Plaa happens to fit the bill. I did offer up another brand new Parisien import but all I heard were crickets...

Richie Lin is, of course, someone we've known for quite a few years, while I did enjoy my meals at Ian Kittichai's Issaya Siamese Club both in Hong Kong and Bangkok. So I was curious about what the two of them - both physically based outside Hong Kong - could come up with.

Crab kra thong (กระทงทอง) - with crab meat, lime juice, and pea sauce. Definitely tasted the kaffir lime chiffonade.

Truffle kanom krok (ขนมครก) - obviously the Italian truffle flavors dominated, but the sweet coconut inside the kanom krok (ขนมครก) was also there, along with some mushroom flavors which were more noticeable than Comté.

Yum: shima aji / green chilli / celtuce - the striped jack (縞鯵) came with pickled celtuce, green chili oil, finely diced cucumber, shallots, and chili, along with slices of round, green Thai eggplants (มะเขือเปราะ). Along with fish sauce, of course. The fish was fatty, and the flavors were pretty standard. Not bad.

Larb (ลาบ) : scallop / blade coriander / yellow capsicum - instead of the usual minced pork or other meat, we've got slices of raw Hokkaido scallops to accompany the salad, which comes with coriander, basil, mint, and Malabar spinach flowers - the latter providing some earthy, green flavors. The sauce made of yellow capsicums came with a little spicy kick.

Nam prik noom (น้ำพริกหนุ่ม) : razor clam, noodles / green pepper - always love it when I've got bottarga, and the razor clams were decent. Unfortunately, the chilled noodles were on the soggy side. And being completely honest... the nam prik noom sauce here tasted more like Italian pesto to me...

Gai tod (ไก่ทอด) : chicken wing / shrimp / plum sauce - this was an add-on that Gastronaut and I shared, as both of us love fried chicken. Unfortunately the batter turned out to be too thick, and it was too greasy at the wing tip.

The wing was deboned and stuffed with a prawn cake made of prawn paste, diced water chestnuts, Thai chili paste, and coriander.

Gaeng keow wan (แกงเขียวหวาน) : abalone / green liver curry / gourd - the slow-cooked South African abalone was certainly very tender, and came with a big chunk of zucchini on top. It's meant to go with the green curry. Lots of green herbs on top, with pea tendrils delivering very green and earthy flavors.

Brioche / chilli butter - the brioche on the side came with some pistachio, meant to be used to scoop up some of the gaeng keow wan (แกงเขียวหวาน) left in the bowl, or with the chili butter on the side. Unfortunately I thought the brioche was a little too greasy, especially on the top. That butter also wasn't all that interesting, and certainly a far cry from the one I enjoyed at JL Studio.

Tao jiew plaa (เต้าเจี้ยวปลา) : cod / Thai long bean / coconut - Tao jiew (เต้าเจี้ย) is a Thai fermented bean paste. No wonder, then, that this dish tasted a lot like miso cod that many of us have had time and again... with crunchy string beans and finger lime underneath and surrounded by some coconut foam.

Nok pi rap (นกพิราบ) : pigeon / nam jim jaew / bell pepper - the pigeon tasted fine, and came with a red wine sauce with bell pepper, which was just slightly bitter. On the side there were blackberries, figs, and okra glazed with nam jim jaew (น้ำจิ้มแจ่ว) - the latter providing the only Thai flavors in the dish.

A little surprised by this claw... I know kitchens nowadays like to show us the pigeon claws, but I wasn't expecting Freddy Kreuger or Wolverine!

Wan yen (หวานเย็น) : pomegranate granita / almond / mangosteen - the mangosteens were OK, but somehow the combination of the almond pudding with the coconut oil made the whole thing taste off and almost vile. None of us wanted more than a couple of spoonfuls. Blegh!

Lam yai (ลำไย) : longan cake / coconut ice cream / Whisky caramel - this was much, much better. The cake came with chunks of longans (龍眼) on top, and was a little savory. This matched very well with the savory coconut ice cream on top.

Chocolate ganache ball - with Thai milk tea (ชาเย็น) inside.

Pineapple pâté de fruit - with kaffir lime.

I don't think the three of us are the target audience for this place, but I'm glad to see many others who seem to be...

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