Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bangkok Comes to Manila with Tastefully Thai at The Peninsula Manila

Experience the rich culinary heritage of Thailand with a lavish spread of authentic dishes based on recipes passed down over the centuries by the noted chefs of the Thai Royal Palace...only at The Peninsula Manila.

From May 20 to 26, 2015, The Peninsula Manila offers a true and authentic taste of Thailand with Tastefully Thai, a week-long festival showcasing elegant Thai dishes prepared by Chef Chamnan Thepchana at Spices.

A customary smile from the famed "Land of Smiles" greeted guests at the official launch of the Tastefully Thai festival, with the freshest orchids adding both color and elegance to the evening's festivities. Thailand's captivating culture, ancient traditions, and sublime cuisine, recreated at The Peninsula Manila's Spices.

The evening's festivities kicked off with a cultural performance, with dancers garbed in traditional Thai costumes. Each element of the experience, from the minute you entered Spices, to the performance and the rich flavors of the cuisine, combined for a truly memorable evening.

The Peninsula Manila's management then introduced Chef Chamnan Thepchana from The Peninsula Bangkok, alongside The Peninsula Manila's own culinary team and guests from the Thai Embassy and Thai Airways International, and the Thai feast began...

Several stations were set-up around the elegant interiors of Spices, each offering the familiar and diverse range of flavors Thai cuisine is known for, with sweet, sour, salty, and spicy notes blending in a rich tapestry of flavors.

Tasty bites of fresh seafood with herbs and spices (L) opened up your palate with its bold and upfront notes, complemented by the savory notes of Chicken and Beef Satay (R) draped in thick peanut sauce with just a whisper of heat from the chili.

The classic Pad Thai, soft and chewy rice noodles topped with crushed peanuts, crunchy tofu, scallions, chili and plump prawns drizzled with fish sauce, added comforting and familiar flavors to the evening's authentic Thai feast. The iconic dish best captures the very heart and essence of Thai cuisine, using the freshest ingredients for a medley of diverse flavors and textures, all in one plate.

The sweet, sour, and spicy Som Tam, a refreshing papaya salad with tomatoes, fiery chili, and cashew nuts, is yet another flavor experience from the "Land of Smiles", with its clean flavors punctuated by a layer of soothing heat from the spices and red chili. The salad is served with sticky rice to complete the flavors.

Other savory dishes included delicately Grilled Chicken and Pork rubbed with Thai spices and served with a fiery vinegar dip for balanced flavors. At Spices, one can enjoy all these and more, including Laab Moo Nai Taeng Kwa (spicy minced pork salad with cucumber), Tom Som Salmon (sweet and sour soup with salmin and ginger), Pla Hima Sam Rod (black cod with sweet and sour sauce), Gaeng Massam Nua (Massaman curry with beef tenderloin and potatoes), Sang Kha Ya Fak Thong (steamed custard in pumpkin), and Khao Niew Ma Muang (mango with sticky rice).  

In one corner of Spices, a master chef displays his skill and artistry with elaborate fruit carvings. Each piece is intricately carved, with each cut and groove revealing colors and depth. A papaya, pumpkin, and watermelon are quickly transformed into pieces of edible art.

The masterfully carved watermelon mimics the vibrant colors of exotic flowers and orchids Thailand is known for, adding yet another elegant touch to the launch of Tastefully Thai.

A plateful of unique and distinct Thai flavors completes my experience at the Tastefully Thai launch.

Enjoy your authentic taste of Thailand with a soothing Thai State of Mind cocktail (L), a tropical blend with a subtle kick. Cap your feast with another Thai classic, the Thab Thim Krup (R), ruby water chestnut with coconut milk over crushed ice, almost like a Thai version of Halo-Halo.

The Peninsula Bangkok's Chef Chamnan will also conduct a one-day only cooking class on May 23, 2015, inclusive of a three-course lunch. Cost per person is pegged at P 2,500, with seats limited to 15 slots only. Diners at the week-long Tastefully Thai festival at Spices and the special one-day cooking class by Chef Chamnan also get a chance to win round-trip business class tickets for two to Bangkok, courtesy of Thai Airways International, and a three-night stay for two in a Grand Deluxe Room at The Peninsula Bangkok. That's definitely more than enough reason to smile and experience the flavors from the famed "Land of Smiles."

Spices is located at The Peninsula Manila, corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, 1226 Makati City or call 887-2888, extension 2168 and 2956 (Spices) and 2205 (Restaurant Reservations) for inquiries and reservations.

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