The aroma of basil and lemongrass wafted through Beach Luxury’s Jasmine Hall on Friday — the first night of the Thai Food Festival.
It was like taking a stroll down Bangkok’s delicious food street with wantons, spring rolls, Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong soup and green curry available everywhere.
The food festival was organised by the Royal Thai consulate and Thai Airways International in collaboration with Avari Hotels. It is set to go on till April 28 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The event kicked off after 8pm with a short introduction by the Thai Consul General Thatree Chauvachata.
“I’ve only been here five months. I contacted my senior who was CG before me. He is now a chef and I told him what I wanted to do and he helped us make this happen. I knew that the food festival last year was a great hit so we decided to hold it again this year,” he told Dawn.
His vision for creating a little Thailand in the heart of Karachi was quite successful. The hall was full of bright colours such as yellow and orange, the waiting staff wore silk patterned shirts while cutouts of the Buddha and elephants adorned the ceiling.
Besides the spicy local food, there were also salad and dessert bars.
It was like taking a stroll down Bangkok’s delicious food street with wantons, spring rolls, Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong soup and green curry available everywhere
The guest list was top notch with consuls general of China, Russia, Vietnam, Germany, Japan, Bangladesh and Turkey in attendance along with Citizens Police Liaison Committee’s Jameel Yousuf, the Thai Airways team, engineers from Toyota-Daihatsu, members of the Pak-Thai Friendship Forum and many others in attendance.
The star of the evening, however, was Chef Monchai Phatchanee who was busy running the kitchen like a tight ship. With his chef hat in place, he spoke to Dawn about the menu.
“We have green curry with beef and eggplant, fish cakes, stir fry chicken with cashew nuts, Pad Thai with tamarind sauce, Tom Yum Goong, stir fry chicken with tulsi,” he said.
“The curries and fish cake take the longest to make as it is all about technique which has been passed down for generations. For cakes it is all about kneading it till it reaches the right consistency,” he added.
Along with the mouth-watering delicacies of the East, special dance performances by a group from Thailand are scheduled on the first three days of the festival. The dance troupe includes four women — Suchira Inthachote, Artitaya Ngerngang, Nattanan Janninwong and Sirada Panichamnoy, who are also dance teachers.
Originally published in Dawn, April 7th, 2019