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Thai cuisine comes calling

`Tis not original, but Thai cuisine wows you at this food fest

THERE IS no hazy glow of decorative Thai lanterns to set the ambience for this Thai festival.

But, the management assures you that the food will leave you asking for more. After you systematically eat your way through an entire meal, you tend to agree with them.

Agreed, this is not pedigreed Thai food.

They have mixed and matched flavours to suit the local palate. But, who cares for originality when the fusion version leaves you licking your fingers?

Thai dishes have a peculiar balance of hot, sour and sweet flavours. But, most interesting, they can be amended to suit individual taste.

At Super Cook, Rathna Inn, which is playing host to the Thai food festival till May 2, one gets to sample certain trademark dishes from this South-East Asian nation.

But, bowing to local sentiments, the organisers have refrained from using pork and beef in their preparations, as is wont in Thailand.

Starting off the meal (Vegetarians, start pulling a long face - 80 per cent of the dishes are for non-veggies) with the spicy Chilly kumara vegetable soup (Rs. 50), you go on to sample spiced baby corn fritters and rice and noodles.

The soup, with carved vegetable chunks, baby corn and spinach, was sprinkled with coriander. The individual flavours come through well, but this soup is strictly for those who love spice. The chicken and coconut soup (boiled and shredded chicken in coconut milk) is heavy on coconut, another trademark of Thai dishes. However, the celery stalks used as garnish stop you from thinking you are partaking of South Indian aracha kootu.

Ask Food and Beverage Manager Kishore about what went into the dishes, and he says: "Thai food is flavoured by a variety of curry pastes, prepared and stored in bulk. We've used green and red curry pastes, imported from Sri Lanka."

Since rice is the staple food in Thailand, it is usually eaten during every meal, with soups and fried vegetables, he explains.

The spiced baby corn fritters (Rs. 70), served with spicy Thai salsa, is a must-try for vegetarians.

Spiced coconut mushrooms (Rs. 70), goes well with rice. The succulent mushrooms, drenched in a creamy coconut gravy and red chilli paste, are heavy on calories, but don't stop yourself from indulging. Don't be put off by the name; the end product is not all that spicy.

The regular course is a trifle unadventurous for vegetarians, since you are forced to go with the staple Thai fried veg noodles (Rs. 90) and Fried rice (Rs. 70). The rice and noodles have been seasoned using green chilly paste.

But, both are a tad heavy on oil. After a couple of spoonfuls, you sport a temporarily permanent lip gloss.

In the non-veg section, choose from seafood, chicken and lamb, which find place in soups, curries, rice, noodles and everything in between.

"To suit the Indian palate, we have played around with the green curry paste, introducing spring onions and spinach," adds Kishore.

Only after tasting the popular Thai chicken curry (Rs. 90) do you understand the difference. Usually bland and watery, this curry, flavoured with tamarind and coconut milk and lemon grass, is thick and has a moderate amount of spice.

The dish jells well with the plain basmati rice.

If you still have some place left, try their delectable Wonton twist with ice cream (Rs. 50). Crispy fried wontons topped with three layers of vanilla ice cream, makes your happiness complete. Apple and pineapple stir fry (fried fruits served with a mixture of honey, orange squash and sugar syrup), was heavy on orange.

The same was the case with the Thai sweet rolls (pancake stuffed with fresh fruits) and drizzled with coolie sauce. The sauce is made by combining fresh orange juice, honey and sugar and reducing it. If you don't mind the slightly sour taste of the orange seeping in, tuck in with gusto. Contact 2214041, 2213099 for reservations.


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