If I have survived this DOUBLE munching to upload last night’s crumbled up Menu, it’s coz of sheer will power and my motto – ‘I SHALL SURVIVE TO EAT’! That had been my Facebook Page update after an evening of back-to-back menu-tasting of two restaurants in The Palace Downtown. I had the opportunity to take a sneak peep (and taste!) into the menu offered by two of their flagship restaurants – Thiptara and Asado, for the Taste of Dubai that is due to take place from 14-16th of March in the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.
Our first halt was the Thai restaurant in the The Palace Downtown – Thiptara. I arrived very late, due to horrendous traffic and joined my other foodie friends as they were about to start on their Main Course. However, I caught up with them very fast – chomping away on my Starters, Main Course and gulping down the Riesling – all simultaneously before dashing off to the Argentinian restaurant, Asado (part 2 of my Double Munching!), to taste what they had to offer in the Taste of Dubai.
Taste of Dubai is one of the most awaited food events in the city. Bringing in an alfresco dining experience, the event features not only internationally renowned chefs (Gary Rhodes, Richard Sandoval, Giorgio Locatelli, Vineet Bhatia and The Food Network’s Jenny Morris and Reza Mahammad) but also 30 of Dubai’s top fine-dining restaurants. This is the first time that the The Palace Downtown is participating in the event. Naturally, Chef Chaiwat Kawikitpraphat, the Head Chef of Thiptara, had designed his Thai Menu with utmost care. As the Chef explained each of his culinary creations in detail, Sarah, the wise Sommelier in The Palace, poured the perfect Riesling or the Bordeaux that complemented each dish in the menu. I say wise, because I have already had the pleasure of having Sarah leading us on a fine evening of Wine tasting in the Asado Wine Club, a long time back.
We tasted some of Thiptara’s speciality dishes that the restaurant will offer at the Taste of Dubai. For Salad, there was Yum Som – O or the Pomelo salad mixed with minced Chicken and Prawns. The salad had a crispy coconut dressing making it’s taste slightly sweet while retaining the sourness of the Pomello, nevertheless refreshing all the way. For the Starters, there was Thod Maan Goong or Thai Prawn Cakes, deep fried and served with Cucumber, Peanuts and a sweet Chilli Sauce. The Chef said that he had added his own style in making the Thai Prawn Cakes, infusing into the taste a lot more Thai herbs than it’s normally done, specially Lemongrass. This extra infusion lent more flavour to the dish without making it actually spicy.
For the Main Course, we first tasted the Ped Nam Ma Kam or Barbequed Duck Breast (the first picture above). It had Tamarind sauce dripping over it and was sitting atop an Onion ring, which too had become succulent from the Duck’s juices. Then came the Geang Kiew Wan Gai or Chicken Green Curry (the second picture above). With the right amount of Thai sweet fragrances of Kaffir Lime, sweet Basil leaves and with the soft baby Eggplants over-drenched with the mildly spicy Green Curry, this dish was perfect.
No meal can be complete without a sweet sign-off, specially for a true-blue Bengali like me. The first Dessert was Tab Tim Grob. This is a very popular Thai dessert. Water Chestnuts are first cut into pieces and a bit of red food colouring is added. Traditionally, red Dragon fruit juice is added. Then they are coated with Tapioca flour and are blanched in boiling hot water. Apparently, the final result is that, these cubes are left looking ravishing in Red, just like Rubies! In the Tab Tim Grob that we tasted, the Red Rubies were served with Jack fruit and Palm seeds, mixed in sweet Coconut Milk and crushed Ice. Did I like the taste? Well, if you have tasted the Filipino dessert Halo-Halo, then Tab Tim Grob comes only second in comparison (I think Halo-Halo’s preparation is quite similar, with an addition of purple Ube or Yam). The other dessert was Sang kha ya or the Thai Custard Cake. Southeast Asian Cuisine has organically incorporated the classic Creme Caramel into their traditional cuisine because of the Colonial legacy that many of the countries in this region may have had. Interestingly, each regional version differs from the other in terms of the ingredients. The Thai version of the Custard Cake uses Coconut Milk instead of Cream, probably making it much lower in fat than the regular Creme Caramel. The sweetened, fried whizzy of Egg yolk on top of the Thai Custard Cake added to its unusual taste.
Thai fine-dining restaurant in The Palace DownTown
Taste of Dubai: The Palace Downtown Dubai will highlight the signature tastes of Thailand and Argentina through its flagship restaurants, Thiptara and Asado, at Taste of Dubai Festival 2013, to be held from March 14 to 16. All items on the Menu will be priced between AED 15/ – AED 30/. Chef Noberto, the Executive Sous Chef of The Palace, will host a session at the Philips Chefs’ Theatre on Saturday, March 16, at 8pm. Visitors stand a chance to win Barbeque classes with Chef Norberto, for eight people from Asado and dinner for four at the Chef’s Table at Thiptara. You can also register at the Thiptara and Asado’s stalls at Taste of Dubai.
Dining with blogger friends is always such a pleasure. It’s very comforting. Nobody jumps on the food before it’s photographed properly. One holds the flashlight, somebody else holds the fork. From smart phones to Nikons – different versions and different angles of a dish can be captured and shared. In this episode of food munching, I was accompanied by Sarah – The Hedonista (@the_hedonista), Samantha – the FooDiva (@FooDivaWorld), Jasmine of Pear Tree Diaries (@peartreediaries), Saba Wahid of Culinary Delights by Saba Wahid (@saba_wahid), Nina of Acoustic Chef (@CookNPlayGeetar) and Jerry (@bugipogi).
Thiptara means ‘Magic at the Water’. And probably that magic lends itself into the Thiptara kitchen as well. I scuffled into the elegant dining hall of the restaurant, arriving very late. I also managed to finish off my meals before finishing off my greetings with my fellow foodie friends. We had to go for the next Menu tasting at Asado. As I was going to rush out, the Dubai Fountains in front of the Burj Khalifa started to dance and whip up in a twirling frenzy. I stood frozen – transfixed as the majestic dancing fountains formed a brilliant backdrop to the wall to wall glass windows of Thiptara. The dining room was right there on the water and the many Oriental artifacts in bronze shone in the glowing torches and the reflections of the fountain on the lake. A shame that I realised the beauty of the decor only now, just before leaving the place (as I was busy catching up on the food earlier on). I am a great fan of Thai Cuisine and I think Thiptara has just touched a soft spot in my food radar. You can taste all of these in the Taste of Dubai. What’s next? I dash into Asado for their Menu tasting… that’s the Part 2 of my gluttonous double munching – all in one single evening!
Unblogging it all… Ishita
Disclaimer: I was invited for Thiptara’s special Menu-tasting for the Taste of Dubai 2013. Only the visuals of the Chef, Thai Crab Cakes and the Pomello Salad are not clicked by me and belong to The Palace Downtown. While you enjoy reading a post with lot of visuals, please don’t use them, as some of them may have been taken from our personal albums just to make your reading experience more pleasurable. You can see more pictures of my travel and food journey here.
- Taste Of Dubai Menu Tasting At Asado | Part 2 Of My Gluttonous Double Munching! (ishitaunblogged.com)