Saawaan

Saawaan [sà-wăn] สวรรค์ [ สะ-หฺวัน ] means ‘Heaven’ in Thai, which is the goal of Chef de cuisine and owner Sujira ‘Aom’ Pongmorn to elevate Thai cuisine through different techniques from grilling, steaming, stir-frying and fermentation. Using local ingredients sourced from all over Thailand.

Amuse bouche starts with JOK (congee) consisting of rice puree, grilled pork, and quail egg, deep fried shrimp packed with an explosion of satisfying taste, then cleansed with a twist of “Tang Mo Pla Hang” substituting watermelon with pineapple.

RAW – Ama Ebi/Cucumber/Coconut/Kaffir Lime Oil

Sweet and juicy Ama Ebi are one of my favorite ingredients all around due to their distinct flavor and texture. Normally found in Omakase course which makes it so exciting to try out a twist of Raw Ama Ebi in Thai style appetizer.

Packed with a flavorful soft and sweetness Ama Ebi texture with creamy coconut and spice blended underneath plus herbs on top. A pleasant way to start my Thai twist culinary experience.

DIP – Rice Paddy Crab/Somsaa/Red Curry Paste/Sicky Rice

Presentation wise, an exotic view of rice paddy crab apart from typical street food Som tum style. Rice Paddy Crab are creamy and contains a spark of sweetness which goes perfectly with Aromatic sticky rice. plus they provide extra sticky rice just in case you still craving for more.

STIR – FRIED – Frog/Lesser Ginger/Holy Basil/River Weeds

First of all, hands on presentation of frog on lotus leaf with hydrophobic lotus effect and first time I have seen frog sausage. A twist of spiciness and distinct aroma of Holy Basil leaf and chunk of soft texture. Crispy frog skin are just phenomenal crunch. Frog sausage was a good snacking bite.

FERMENTED – Fermented Noodle/Peanut/Mung bean/Organic Vegetables

This is a part where sour & spicy and sweet tooth persons part ways. The sauce are peanut packed flavor with strong sweetness flavor so if you are a sweet person, this one will probably make your day. I personally like a twist of good fermented noodle and delicious fried veggies.

BOILED – Ranong Barracuda/Snake Fruit/Tumeric/Acacia Leaves

First of all, no that was not pan-seared scallops. If you ever tried Thai yellow curry then you know about their distinct and strong aroma. Adding a sizzling and our snake fruit sourness elevated this dish to a more enjoyable level with tender and fresh Ranong Barracuda texture. Extra point for peeled snake fruit by the way.

MIANG – Chamuang/Thai Kumquat/Riceberry/Young coconut

Flavor explosion in your mouth! Normally, Miang are not even my thing and most newer generation. This one was simple and enjoyable with Thai Kumquat or Somjeed sourness with crispy Riceberry supported by Chamuang hebal aroma and Young coconut sweetness.

CHARCOAL – Nakhon Pathom Quail/Papaya/Prickly-Ash/Sida Tomato

When the staff are preparing a huge pot, your excitement just keep on increasing. Quail are served with sweet sauce which stand as an opposite spectrum to fine sliced papaya on sour with herbal scent.

CURRY – Beef Tongue/ Homemade Massaman Paste/Almond/Grape

A refreshing take on Massaman curry. Just learned that Massaman curry are originated from Persian empire during a spice trade boom. As expected, Massaman curry starts with strong sweetness. Fortunately, there are roti and rice cracker to balance things out.

Somzaa as a palette cleanser. *Extreme sourness explosion*

DESSERT – Chocolate from Chanthaburi/Chumpon/Chiang Mai

Thai cocoa trend have been booming for a while now. It was a good opportunity to taste and compare chocolate from each areas in the same dessert. Choux pastry was definitely enjoyable with a moderate balance sweetness and bitterness. With a brief moment, this whole plate was gone *Poof*

Petit four are comprised of “Khanom Beung “, toddy palm meringue and sweet basil; “Dhara Thong”, made of mango, passion fruit and watermelon seed; “Khanom Krock”, a coconut brulee tart.⁠ All of these little treats are at excellent quality. I could see myself buying these as a gift for a special occasion. I had numerous modern twist of Thai desserts which I am glad to see all of these are going in a not too sweet way yet elevating each ingredients.

100 Mahaseth

Bangkok has reached hot and arid summer season which could be easily cured with a sour and spicy packed flavor of Thai north-eastern (Isaan) cuisine. I already had a reservation at 100 Mahaseth before Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants expected revealed on Thursday, 25th March 2021 from 4.30pm (HK/Sing). Alongside Kyoto’s legendary Soba restaurant since 1465 Honke Owariya, 100 Mahaseth has been nominated as root-to-fruit, nose-to-tail and farm-to-table restaurant with 100 Smile Meals initiative to help farmers and suppliers during the pandemic.

100 Mahaseth are packed around lunchtime, the staff informed me that all guest have an advance booking so make sure to reserve before visiting. The ambiance seems to be rustic and simple with an imitation of Isaan vibe. Overall atmosphere seems to be a bit more relaxed than normal fine dining vibe.

Starting with a complimentary starters, crispy pork rind served with fresh vegetables and herbs. Accompanied with Thai Chimichurri, Jaew (Chili sauce with tamarind juice) and Jeaw Pla-ra with moderate spiciness.

Pineapple and Blood Cockle – A Spicy salad of pineapple and blood cockle with Pla-ra (Thai fermented fish sauce)

Blood cockle are famous for their metallic flavor and excessive blood when cooked which I try to stay away from as far as possible. In this particular case, the presentation was well-executed. Combination of sweet and sourness from pineapple with blood cockle and crunchiness from peanuts does blend together.

Som Tam Kai Yang – Marinated grilled chicken with papaya compressed in a seasoned fermented fish sauce with lime and chili

You think you have seen every form of Som Tam? A break from expected Somtum image we normally found in Thailand. Chicken are juicy and the seasoning does blend well too. I wish it would be stronger in the sour and spicy taste though.

Bone Marrow – Bone marrow roasted and buried in charcoal served with toasted perilla seeds, scallion, palm sugar, lime and lemongrass

Bone marrow have a fatty gelatinous texture which felt like a oily custard. One combination bite with toasted perilla seeds felt like a light herbal yummy treat. For the wow factors, this menu definitely got it and majority of the tables ordered Bone marrow.

Grilled sticky rice patties – Sticky rice from Khonkaen rolled into patties glazed with eggs and grilled

A gorgeous presentation of sticky rice apart from our common sight. Be wary of fermented fish on top though since it was extremely salty.

Grilled Braised Ox Tongue – Served with dry Bittergound relish

A generous portion of Ox tongue with a tender texture. Bittergound would be each individual preference due to their strong bitter flavor. Still a strong recommendation as simple and satisfying pick.

Grilled pork Chitlins (Sai-On Yang)

Simple and odorless with a enjoyable chewiness texture

Green Mango Sorbet – served with Naam Plawaan sugar shards with salt and chili marshmallow

Emulating simple green mango with Thai’s snack Naam Plawaan (Sweet fermented fish sauce). Green Mango Sorbet are balanced in sourness and sweetness supported by solidified Naam Plawaan just gave a new twist. Chili marshmallow resides more on a salty side which I would not mind have a full bag as a snack.

Coconut ice cream – in a brioche bun served with sticky rice and roasted peanuts

Packed with creamy and satisfying coconut milk flavor and shred golden thread which was originated from Portuguese Fios de ovos.

In conclusion, 100 Mahaseth offer a lot of twist to Isaan food which still retains enjoyable original taste. The staff are very friendly and informative yet a little bit overwhelmed with full table capacity though. I could see myself revisit this place again in the future.

What is your favorite Thai restaurant around you areas? Please feel free to share your favorite dishes and story.

Medici

Medici is one of the fine dining restaurant in my list from Tatler event. with Neo Industrial decorations. First impression the hotel muse gave you a calm and vibrant feeling. The scent of hotel are quite strong and unique compare to others hotel in Bangkok. I personally like the vibe of tranquility and stylish vibrant at a moderate degree.

Visited in lunch period which they serves 2-courses or 3-courses lunch set from appetizer, main course and desserts. Starting off with complimentary bread serves with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Complimentary bread basket – Also tiny tomato hiding in the bread too :3

Followed by Local mud crab & Tomato Cannelloni – Sturgeon Caviar, Avocado mousse and Fried Lasagna. Fried Lasagna is actually a menu they provide in exclusively in catering menu that I got a chance to tried and love it! They prepare the meal per request so make sure you request for it before appointment to avoid disappointment.

Fried Lasagna – Profiterole, Parmesan Panna cotta, Sun dried tomato, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce.

I had mistaken thought that the cheese would be coarse in my first encounter which turns out that this Lasagna could be so amazing in alternative form as the cheese are smooth and enjoyable with sourness and sweetness from other components.

Local mud crab & Tomato Cannelloni – Sturgeon Caviar, Avocado mousse
The harmony of this plate are just perfectly executed as fantastic and colorful way to start a meal.
Happy pig in the garden & Stuffed Chicken Breast
Happy pig in the garden – Joe Sloane’s pork tenderloin, grilled pork belly, cumin jus

Grilled pork belly are perfectly executed with a little sear on top to give a touch of crispiness followed by juicy texture of inner part. Tenderloin, baby potato and cumin jus are good. however, the best thing in the plate is still that Grilled pork belly. Probably the best aspect of the meal.

Stuffed chicken breast – Chicken leg confit. foie gras ravioli, truffle cream

Chicken breast are wrapped with bacon and the size is fillings and tender for a breast. Ravioli are delicate but the fillings are still a bit lacking of flavor.

Chocolate Brownie – brownie, roasted white chocolate.

There is a playful detail in this dessert that they included popping components in the chocolate so your desserts will end with a real popping which is quite fun for me. The chocolate are well balanced between bitterness and sweetness.

Tiramisu – fantastic cream texture