This hotel Thai restaurant aims to bring back a forgotten kitchen classic.
Gai Ob Phu Kao Fai might be familiar to anyone who was in Bangkok during the 1980s. It’s a whole spit-roast chicken, doused in Mekhong whiskey and set alight tableside—basically the tomahawk steak of its day.
It’s also the signature at the new Marriott Surawongse hotel’s Praya Kitchen (priced at B298), where head chef Attapol “X” Naito Thangthong aims to bring back the forgotten kitsch classic.
His other creations include fried oyster fritters with chili sauce (B158) and a crabmeat-loaded Southern tumeric curry (B258), served in a vast, open-kitchen space that far surpasses the hotel-all-day-dining benchmark with its huge, original art motifs replicated from temple murals.
The buzz: Surawong Road’s new Marriott hotel is banking on the talents of a young, local chef, Attapol “X” Naito Thangthong, to boost their Praya kitchen all-day dining restaurant into a hub of forgotten Thai recipes.
The decor: You’d be forgiven for thinking the well-worn, wooden Thai art motifs that take up entire walls were the genuine article. In fact, they’re recreations taken from temple murals, but still lend the vast open space a genuine sense of occasion. It’s all comfortable and relaxed, with friendly staff and easy-flowing music on in the background. A vast open-kitchen shows off the cooking preparation.
The food: Chef X goes in for both ancient old family recipes—taken, he says, from his grandmother’s cooking—as well as more recent-but-forgotten kitsch classics. Take, for example, the Gai Ob Phu Kao Fai, or “Chicken Volcano” (B298). This whole spit-roast chicken gets doused in Mekhong whiskey and set alight tableside in a display that’ll be familiar to anyone who remembers Thai fine dining of yesteryear. Also on the menu is a crabmeat-loaded Southern tumeric curry (B258)—rich, creamy and perfect with a plate of jasmine rice—and beef-shank massaman curry (B238). The golden-fried oyster fritters dipped in chili sauce (B158) are another good shout. The hotel buffet costs B750 for lunch and B950 for dinner, or B1,200 on seafood buffet nights (Thu-Sun).
The drinks: Cocktails make the most of tropical Thai fruits. The Asia Pacific Cooler (B325) sees vodka mixed with lychee liqueur, lychee puree and jasmine water. The Pa-N Da-N (B305) combines silver cachaca flavors of coconut, pineapple and honey. Bottled beers will set you back B125 while wine by the glass starts from 280.
Why we’d go back: Because we didn’t get to try the seafood buffet night, which promises lobsters, sea crabs, river prawns and Hokkaido scallops for your B1,200. Kankanok Wichiantanon
|Praya Kitchen, 3/F, Marriott Surawongse, 262 Surawong Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
|daily 5-10am, 11am-1:30pm, 4:30-9:30pm
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