Thai Pavilion Dragon Boat Festival: Pleasant and Familiar Tastes
22nd July 2016

Observed on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar, the Dragon Boat festival, symbolized by the colourful Dragon Boat races that take place all over East Asia, is celebrated. To commemorate the legendary festival, Thai Pavilion Chef Prajuab Shoosridam has come out with a range of ‘Bak Chang’, traditional Jasmine-scented rice dumplings, delicately wrapped in bamboo leaves and steamed, that are fondly devoured during the colourful boat-racing festival. 

I am here for a tasting session to preview the menu of this food festival being held from July 22-31, 2016 in an a la carte menu. Tasting portions are prepared and the kitchen works in a clockwork fashion for a slick tasting. I start with the appetisers.

Kai Hoi Bai Toey (Rs 650) are pandan-wrapped chicken morsels. Som Tam Koong Sod (Rs 650) is a typically Thai shrimp and young papaya salad and is competent with well-seasoned albeit somewhat missing the natural crispness of the prawns. Sam Sa Hai (Rs 650) has pandan-wrapped palm hearts, sweet corn and tofu cooked with fresh Thai herbs and is a nice and tasty vegetarian starter. Yam Som Ao (Rs 650) or pomelo salad with spicy chili coriander dressing is refreshing and a familiar taste.

Bak Chang or Bamboo Leaf Wrapped Steamed Jasmine Rice is the highlight in the main course. Many of you must have tasted it in any dim sum restaurant, where it is called glutinous rice in banana leaf. Bak Chang Thaley (Rs 850) has glutinous rice steamed with seafood, pickled ginger, fresh turmeric, spring onion, and is flavourful.

Bak Chang Pe (Rs 850) with lamb mince tastes meaty though not as balanced as the prawn one, since it has a bit of a one-dimensional taste.

Desserts come next. Woon Mapraow Orn (Rs 400) or tender coconut jelly has a lovely texture.

The highlight of the whole meal is of course Tako (Rs 400), the classical pandan-flavoured coconut and rice pudding. Think of this as a lighter and creamier sandesh. This dish is moreish and addictive. It is difficult to stop at one.

The food at this festival is interesting though familiar, apart from Tako, which for me is a discovery. The Dragon Boat Festival is on from July 22 to 31, 2016 for lunch and dinner.  

Preview by Aalok Wadhwa.                                                                

Please note: This preview was done on an invitation from the restaurant to taste their food, and no bill was presented to the author. While the author assures you of objectivity, the review may be influenced by the personalized attention the author got.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Value: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for two: Rs.4000 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Wheel chair friendly: Yes

Address: Vivanta by Taj, Near HUDA City Center Metro Station, Sector 44, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 6671234

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