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Thai delicacies deliciously done...

The pleasure of eating good food is heightened by an agreeable ambience. Trying out the recently opened Ego Thai that brings to Delhi the authentic flavours and fragrances of Thailand through the expertise of some of the best chefs of that country, in an environment revved up by paintings and memorabilia, MADHUR TANKHA finds it a meal to remember... .

NON-INDIAN cuisine served in restaurants tends to be modified so as to satisfy the local palate. Not any longer, it would seem. New Delhi's Ego Thai, which opened up shutters on December 9, serves you authentic dishes from Thailand. The woman behind the venture is Bina Modi, who has been successfully running Ego Italian for over six years in the Capital. A food connoisseur, she says, "Basically I love food, and Thai food has always been my biggest weakness, but here in Delhi we don't have many places where I get the traditional Thai food."

She wants to pass on her passion to Delhiites and assures that the pricing has been done in a manner not to pinch the pocket of the middle class, with the cost coming to approximately Rs. 200 per person. A glance at the menu card however does indicate that if you want to eat a hearty Thai meal that includes different kinds of dishes, it would be exorbitant. The restaurant has an ambience that appeals to the refined senses of those who truly relish an exquisite dining experience.

Kai means chicken and Phak means vegetables in Thai. Kai/Phak Hor Bai Toey is made by deep frying chunks of chicken or vegetables wrapped in pandana leaves and served with soya sauce. Telling us about the preparation of this special Thai recipe is Apiradee Tevit, the Thai consultant. She says, "We marinate chicken with garlic and pepper, add sauce and then keep it overnight wrapped in pandana leaves. Then deep fry it and serve it with black soya sauce."

There is also a sleek noodle bar - the first of its kind in the Capital - with an assortment of rice noodles and vegetable yellow noodles. The unique concept of the noodle bar allows patrons to choose their soup from an array of lamb, chicken, pork, fish, prawn and vegetables. The noodle bar churns out noodles 12 hours a day.

In any non-vegetarian Thai dish whether you want fish, chicken or prawns the chefs are ready to oblige. One tries Tom Kha Kai, an appetiser. It is a dish in which chicken is prepared with coconut milk and then garnished with galangal root, lemon grass and limejuice. One tries Som Tum, which is raw shredded papaya salad. It tastes like Indian salad. In the end you can wash down your meal with Thai iced tea or ice coffee.

If you are interested in the culinary arts of the world, `Ego' is the name to keep tabs on. To introduce people to food from different lands, Bina Modi's future plans include opening Chinese and Lebanese restaurants too.

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