Thanying, Bangkok

Visiting Thailand during the summer would meant that we would have to face the summer heat, thankfully at Thanying they serve a classic summer cooling dish – khao chae. This dish is said to be the one dish which was really created in a royal kitchen, and it means “rice soaked in cool water”.

The boiled rice is soaked in jasmine-scented water and one can add crushed ice into it before eating. It is served with a variety of side dishes, the largest piece (in the centre) is young green peppers stuffed with minced pork, which are then drizzled in egg and fried (prik yuak yud sai moo) The Chinese radish (chai pow pad khai) is also my favourite side dish. Other sides include deep-fried shrimp paste (luk kapi) balls, shredded sweet meat (neua wan – this tasted like our pork floss; and other fresh vegetables such as cucumber, spring onions with strips of raw mango.

I really liked this refreshing dish which is akin to a chilled porridge served with savoury side dishes. Almost everyone we saw in the dining hall were eating the khao chae.  It should also be noted that the etiquette requires that we never mix our rice and side dishes together in the bowl. One should take small bites of the sides and then have a spoonful of the chilled porridge. The crunchy vegetables serves as palate cleansers between bites of deep fried sides.

We also tried other more traditional Thai cuisines such as the Gra Tong Thong Minced shrimp and green peas with sweet corn in pastry shell, classic Tom Yum Goong and Nuer Poo Pad Phong Ga Hree Crab Meat stir fried with curry powder, egg milk, roasted chilli oil and celery.

While many of the high end restaurants also offer the khao chae during the summer, we decided to visit this restaurant with rich history as the kitchen is now supervised by Princess Sulabh‘s son. His mother was once the head cook in the Sukhothai Palace kitchen.

This restaurant was also awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand in the inaugural Bangkok Michelin Guide 2018.

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