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Innovative Thai

One of the delicacies on offer at Ziu

One of the delicacies on offer at Ziu   | Photo Credit: 27dmc rahul4

Going beyond the usual recipes , Ziu, laces the dining experience with plenty of fun

The wife was away in Thailand, and I was moping in Delhi all by myself when I got a phone call. A new restaurant had opened in the city, and would I be interested in trying out the cuisine? What kind, I asked? Innovative Thai, was the reply. That, I thought, was serendipity. And off I went for lunch at Ziu.

The restaurant is in the Sangam Courtyard, which I rather like. It’s not far from the centre of town and has good parking space. Quite a few eating places have opened up there in recent times, including my favourite Fatty Bao and Marut Sikka’s Delhi Club House.

Ziu, which means “cultivated” (phone no: 011-26180711), is on the ground floor. I was escorted to a cosy table next to an open kitchen and was greeted by the manager, whom I had met many moons ago at ITC Maurya, where he then worked.

The menu was comprehensive and interesting. What makes it innovative, I asked the owner-cum-chef Gurmehar Sethi, who worked in places such as Nobu Dubai and Mayfair London before he set this up. The fact that it goes beyond the usual recipes, he replied.

I realised that when I had my first dish –– khao tang gai yang, or roasted chicken. It had been cooked with curry paste and coriander, but there was a very nice flavour of nutmeg in the dish which I really enjoyed. And the dish itself was hot and tasty, and went well with the rice crackers that it came with.

Likewise, the kanom krok was a delicious mix of flavours and textures. The original pancake recipe had been turned around –– it now came as a crème brûlée, filled with chicken, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and a chilli jam dressing. I thought it was outstanding.

The pla neung manao, steamed fish with fresh lime, spicy seafood sauce and morning glory was again excellent. I became a card-holding member of the morning glory fan club during a visit to Thailand this summer, so I attacked the crunchy leaves with suitable fervour. They complemented the soft texture of the fish, and the lime and spicy sauce added their own piquant flavours to it.

The final course –– gaeng kwio wan gai –– was a tasty dish of slow cooked chicken with mustard cress cooked with Thai basil and homemade green curry sauce. I had all this with phad Thai, noodles which had been spiced up with tamarind sauce.

Gurmehar tells me that a meal for two with drinks (Ziu has a bar licence) would come to Rs.2500 and without liquor for Rs.1700. And that’s not bad at all for a fine dining restaurant in the heart of town. The owner-chef, however, calls it a fun dining restaurant. I must say it was a lot of fun.

(Rahul Verma is a seasoned street food connoisseur)

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:19:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/innovative-thai/article7924172.ece

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