Legend Comes to Town

The Thai Pavilion at Vivanta by Taj provides for a truly rewarding experience.
Anushree Basu-Bhalla        Print Edition: Sep 15, 2013

The Thai Pavilion was perhaps the only 'legendary' restaurant missing from the NCR's dining repertoire. Standing tall for over two decades, it was only a matter of time before the city got a taste of the legend.

While comparisons with its Mumbai and Hyderabad counterparts are inevitable, the third edition of the Thai Pavilion at Vivanta by Taj, Gurgaon, is quite an impressive extension of the franchise. The slick, glassed-in restaurant blends seamlessly with the city. The interiors, which are warm and welcoming, showcase a balance between Oriental aesthetics and European baroque. The well-stocked bar is a separate section where patrons can socialise before tucking into a truly delicious meal.

Crispy fried fish
Crispy fried fish
The kitchen is run by an unassuming and very gifted expat, Chef Prajaub Shoosridam from southern Thailand. He sources most of his ingredients - right from the galangal and makroot leaves to the ubiquitous lemongrass - from home, and insists on making relatively small portions for his phad noodles so that they don't sit on the kitchen table for too long.

My culinary evening began with a crisp glass of fine Chilean Tarapaca Pritas chardonnay and a rather punchy mushroom and tomato salad tossed in lemongrass that aptly set the stage for the vibrant flavours to follow. Up next were slightly starchy corn cakes paired with a honey-chilly dip. Delectable finger food came in the form of marinated and fried chicken morsels wrapped in pandanus leaves. For mains, go for the crispy fried fish that impresses with the requisite crunch in the mouth. The home-style stir fried vegetables with phad phak noodles constitutes a hearty meal in itself.

Staunch meat-lovers will love to tuck into the juicy grilled lamb chops served with mint and cucumber sauce. The conventional red curry, meant to be sampled with the fragrant jasmine rice, is a delight too.

Thai cuisine with its perfectly balanced five verticals of flavour - spicy, sour, sweet, salty, and bitter - puts equal emphasis on ending a meal with a cooling dessert. Exhibit A: a refreshing combination of crunchy diced water chestnut with rose-flavoured coconut milk, presented inside a green coconut shell.

A multi-sensory photo-finish to a fabulous meal!

Recommended
Stir-fried veggies with phad phak noodles
Meal for two (alcohol extra) Rs 3,000
Vivanta by Taj, Sector 44, Gurgaon
(0124) 667 1234

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