When the Chef pings you inviting you over to check out the new addition to the menu , you dont say No.. Especially not when it is Chef Ramkumar of Benjarong [Oriental Cuisines]. I love their food and I cannot say it enough.
Have lost track of the number of times I have visited the restaurant, introduced friends to the amazing food or recommended the place to others visiting the city/ love Thai food. This time around, I was to savour the Salad, Steam and Grill Menu – Aroy Mak Mak as it is called. Even though their regular menu has plenty of salads and steamed items, this is a menu exclusively for those who wish to only these dishes. Going healthy, eating light- call it whatever you wish, but the food is divine!!
The dishes I tried were all vegetarian, and many were made with Tofu.. The one stand out dish was a brinjal grilled dish that I couldn’t stop going back for… Chef shared that it was cooked on a satay grill with minimal spices and served with the spicy Sriracha sauce… During the course of the conversation, we spoke about Thai curry being so versatile, and how it used Thai Brinjal, which is our South Indian Sundakka.. He also spoke about a dip/chutney of sorts made with this bitter Thai brinjal, and how he was keen to know the response when served here in Chennai.. Among other things, we discussed food across countries, how spices and vegetables were used across dishes, mind set of people when it comes to trying new dishes and ofcourse Benjarong’s constant journey to discovering new flavours while keeping the traditional cooking/taste intact. The meal began with a glass of Vietnamese cold coffee and ended with the familiar flavours of Tub Tim Krob [Red rubies in coconut milk…]
Makeau Yang- Brinjal Marinated with roasted chilli and grilled..
Tohu Yang – Spicy tofu satay in coriander root & fresh red chilly marinade
Larb bed tohu- assorted mushrooms and tofu served in spicy chilli dressing with mint & peanuts
Yum bed hoo noo – black fungus, cucumber, celery, carrots topped with sesame seeds
Sweet & sour veg .
Steamed Tofu topped with sauteed veggie served with the sauce from the sautee…
Vermicelli tossed with spring onions
Thai green curry rice