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It's up your street

At Oriental Pearl, GRT Grand, one can sample street food from Thailand


"AN EVENING in Bangkok", "Everybody knows it's a sensual experience," goes the flier. The moral police do not need to get worked up.It is innocuous fun at the Oriental Pearl, GRT Grand, Sir Thyagaraya Road, T. Nagar, where Thai street food fest is on till November 23.

The chef, Pianjai of Oriental Foods, a veteran of many a Thai food fest in the city, has dished out a few aces this time. Remember, the key word here is street food, which translates to the standard fare barring a few exceptions. There is no exotica, but some heart-warming home-style cooking.

Ironically, sampling all the appetisers could potentially ruin one's appetite for the main courses. The satays (lamb, chicken and prawn and tofu-mushroom and paneer-capsicum) and salads can be a meal by themselves. Kanom krok with the squishy coconut milk heart dotted with spring onion won the starters' show, hands down. A cross between appam and paniyaram, this is a Thai dish that resembles something South Indian.

The fried banana too struck a familiar chord. Though reminiscent of Mallu pazham pori and Chinese banana fritters, this one had a distinct flavour.


Coming to the very familiar papaya salad, the Pianjai version was a cheery one.

Good news for vegetarians, the chef has some yummy treats. In fact, the vegetarian selection, right from the Tofu and spinach soup, was far more attractive than the non-veg. The green curry with our sundakkai and ash gourd was a treat. Another gem was the brinjal sautéed with basil. The magic of basil turned the ordinary kathrikkai into an exotic dish. It was not that the meats weren't nice. They simply couldn't match the greens.

Rice noodles with curry sauce (veg and non-veg versions) was the Thai twist to the long noodle story. A very enjoyable one at that. A complete meal in itself, it is just the thing a tired nine-to-fiver will grab from a roadside stall to fortify himself before tackling the infamous Bangkok traffic.

Ice kachang at the end was very different from the syrupy local varieties.

The Thai treat comes at Rs.350 per person. The electricity and the crackle of the Bangkok streets may be missing here, but there is a good old solid feel to this fest that makes one feel comfortable.

Thai Street Food Fest
Oriental Pearl, GRT Grand,
Sir Thyagaraya Road, T. Nagar,
Price Rs. 350
On till November 23
For reservation:28150500

MARIEN MATHEW

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