Exquisite Thai Cuisine at Palm Cuisine Thonglor

Being Thai, i have never really felt an affection to “Touristy” Thai food.  See the thing is, i never felt like i needed to pay astronomical amounts of money for a dish that i can pick up on the street for i dunno a few bucks and cooked by a nice old granny but ok.. My mother was watching tv and this restaurant was featured on a show so of course off we went.  This little restaurant is actually a herbal upscale spa, with a little 10 table restaurant on the side.  Palm Herbal Cuisine is the choice for Japanese expats and housewife’s judging from the Japanese menus available.  Each dish was beautifully presented i must admit, although the taste was still rather authentic i preferred a more spicy intense taste.  The only thing that will prevent me from returning to this place is purely pricing.  Thai and Chinese people do not eat food separately, we usually do a sharing thing.  Most of the time we order a plethora of appetizers, entrees or fruits which is placed in the middle of the table.  If we are in a very formal setting the younger ones wait for the older persons to help themselves first, but luckily our family is very informal.

The menu!
The menu!
Pretty!
Pretty!

Tamarind Chilli paste with fried gourami fish and served with fresh veggies.

See the veggies?
See the veggies?

If you look closes, that’s morning glory thats like tied in a bundle, the white stuff i think is galangal, and the little big berries you se on top are different types of eggplants.  The zig zaggy thing on top is thai winged beans, crunchy and tastes kinda like our string beans but alot milder.  Tamarind is extremely sour and this now rather hard to find, it’s part royal cuisine and really traditional thai food.

Family Favorite
Family Favorite

This is really a family favorite, it’s fish cakes, it’s made from pounded fish mean and red curry paste with bits of string bean for color.  Usually they serve it in big patties but at this restaurant they really made it dainty and pretty.  Its usually eaten with a sweet chilli sauce with fresh cucumbers.  For presentation they fried either basil or kale leaves on top for a crunchy veggie taste.  The fishcakes taste rather mild, like fish balls with a more savory curry paste taste of all the herby roots in the paste.  It’s fishy, spicy, chewy taste is a good contrast to the sweet and crunchy dip and eaten with hot rice it’s yummies!

Impressive!
Impressive!

This is called Plaaa Goong, usually when a dish is called a plaaa, it’s served not so cooked.  Like a ceviche, usually this dish uses small prawns or shrimps to make it with a sweet red chilli paste (totally different from the ones used to make curry)  with lemon grass, shallots and winged beans, but they used a giant river prawn (hence the price tag).  The perfectly (Mattoom eggs) Boiled duck eggs with a runny yolk, the giant prawn was a perfect medium rare.  Eaten with the blanced eggplant it was a nice balance of all the flavors.  This shop has amazing presentation!

Mackerel - Everyone's favorite fish!
Mackerel – Everyone’s favorite fish!

Kapi is a thai shrimp paste which is the basis for many of the thai chilli pastes that are used to accompany the dips eaten at the table.  Not the paste for cooking the curries.  Every household would have their own receipe of pounding the paste which would be the pride of the lady of the house.  It is served with both fresh vegetables and veggies fried in an omelet style.  It was always made luxurious with the addition of mackerel fish and mackerel fish only because the flavours complemented each other perfectly.  Now at Palm Cuisine, it was nice but served in a central thai taste, more sweet.  I prefer the fiery taste of the south, so it’s really a perception and preference but all in all it was a homey yummy dish.

Can you imagine not ordering green curry?
Can you imagine not ordering green curry?

Kaeng Kiew Waan Neua – Sweet green beef curry, eat it quick before the beef over cooks!  Flavored with pea sized eggplants, which explodes in a bittery mouthful if you bite into it.  This is was wonderful, creamy, spicy with a coconuty hit with the beef, yummy over hot hot rice.  It is everyone’s dish which is always offered on the streets to thai haute cuisine.  You can not miss this dish!

See the chunks of crab?
See the chunks of crab?

This is really just a dish that screams luxury.  Chunks of crab stir fried with egg and spring onions, nothing else, just let the crab shine.  And wow does the dish shine!!!

Everyone loves tom yam
Everyone loves tom yam

The whole world knows Tom Yam Goong, well this is a traditional recipe.  One that uses tamerind instead of lime so it’s flavor and a more in depth dimensional taste to it, made with free range farm chickens, the only addition to it that scared me were unborn eggs.  See the yolk?  Yeah scary.  I didn’t eat it , just tasted the soup which was WOW btw….

Bakery... Of course!
Bakery… Of course!

They had a choice of desserts in their cake care, so we chose 2.  Notice how i like my strawberry and cream!  Imagine sinking in one of those chairs.  So comfy and cutesy!

Comfy Chairs
Comfy Chairs
Now this is what you call a successful fusion of tradition and modern.
Now this is what you call a successful fusion of tradition and modern.

Imagine, a ripe mango a delicate balance of sweet and sour.  Delicious sticky rick and a freezing coconut cream ice cream.  Wouldn’t you just sigh when you look at it?  OMG right???

Beautiful dessert! Creamy, fatty goodness!
Beautiful dessert! Creamy, fatty goodness!

It was a beautiful meal, if you were going to spend a bunch of money on fancy poncy thai cuisine, i’d say come here, they do serve great traditional thai food.  Service was excellent and chairs comfy and homey.  I would recommend getting a reservation though!

Khao Soi – Northern Thai Curry noodles

On my trip to Chiang Rai – northern part of Thailand, about 2 hours drive from Chiang Mai i stayed in sick during a marketing survey trip.  I wandered about 2 minutes from my hotel i found a quaint little shop selling this Khao Soi…  (Now Curry noodles are my least favorite, i think noodles should stay in a clear broth and coconut cream or milk should belong only in the curry genre and eaten with rice)  I admit, i hate curry noodles…..  Then the sign caught my attention.

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                                Sign in front of store

Since 1929 you say…. Now it’s 2013, that’s 84 years old. They must have something great, i thought. Adjacent to the sign was the pot of boiling broth and the condiments. Since they are Islamic food, there were 2 options of chicken or beef.

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                                      Broth Pot
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Condiments…

I ordered a beef Khao Soy and sat down looking at other customers.  They seemed to be enjoying their noodles which is a good sign. And i admit, it did smell really nice.  Now Khao Soi is an interesting fusion of thai, chinese and indian influences.  Thais and chinese do not  use spices like in indian foods and which taste same way. Thai curries and Indian curries are vastly different  This was the perfect example of how 3 cultures mixed together, curry, noodles and thai chilli paste all in a bowl.  It usually consists of egg noodles, chicken or beef, broth, coconut cream accompanied with lime, pickled vegetables and shallots, topped with fried egg noodles for a crunchy texture.  It used to sound horrific to me, seriously, i’m a purist i’m not a fan of fusion food. But…..

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Beef Khao Soi with condiments – Lime, Shallot and Pickled Mustard Greens

It was beyond delicious, the broth was beefy, the hint of curry and coconut cream balance was just right.  The lime and chilies that i added in help accentuate everything, it was so good i was shocked for a while.  When i regained my composure i ordered 30 sets to bring back to Bangkok for my staff.  Now i had a fever, cold and real bad headache.  I got a foam box, packed in ice, packed in everything and carried it with me and flew back to Bangkok.  It was that damn good.  No wonder they stayed open for so long. And guess what… It costs about 1 usd…. Or well 1.10 usd.