Taking care of an allergy can be exasperating if you don’t have people like Chef Nikhil Kanwar looking after your meal. Trained at Cordon Bleu, not only does he get authenticity and individuality to the table. But he would also succeed in providing a satisfactory meal to you(if not one that pleases your palate). “Beyond the curry” at Kylin premier was one such experience for me and my non vegetarian counterpart who usually accompanies me for culinary encounters.
What onion is to north Indian, lemon grass is to Thai cuisine. Now being allergic to lemon grass was a big constraint for me before I attended the festival that’s going to go on till 20th May. But Chef Nikhil generously handled it well. The menu is curated with extravagance for an event that is supposed to last for ten days. With 28 dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, one can easily catch a heartwarming glimpse of the cuisine that is commonly limited to just – curry in this part of the world.
To start with, there are few refreshing drinks that have been created in accord with the theme. There’s Sly Thai which is a vodka based drink with lychee and kafir lime and Curry Cocktail that is prepared by blending thai herbs with coconut milk and gin. Coming to salads, among which the table found a unanimous favourite: Yum Sumo (Pomelo Salad). If we had to choose one item from the menu, it’d be this. Som Tum Thai (Papaya Salad) , Larb Gai (Minced chicken Thai Salad) and Yum Kung Yang are the other options we explored in order to settle for our personal favourite. Tom Yum Jey (Hot n sour clear vegetable) and Tom Kha Gai (Chicken in coconut milk and galangal broth) are two soups that we relished and would recommend. Now Thai is a very complex cuisine with penetrative bold and distinct flavours. Flavours that are compiled and presented at Kylin, to ensure a short trip to Thailand while you’re seated in the decorous ambience of one of the popular pan-asian restaurants in Delhi. Hence, it is advisable to be as experimental as possible and remember that the practiced is always different from the authentic. So when the team claims to present authenticity, it is bound to play with your palate. Satay Gai (Lemongrass infused chicken satay) and Ngob Gung (Grilled prawn parcels) would belong to the aforementioned category where the latter celebrates the historical technique of cooking in a banana leaf. Another item which is a street favourite of the residents of Thailand, Moo Ping could be a little chewy because it consists of pork collar threaded onto wooden skewers. Where on one hand the chewy pork could be exciting for a fascinating lot, it could be troublesome for the other. Escaping from meat, focussing on the better half of the mains available; Phad Fak Thong (Stir fried Pumpkin with Thai Basil) and Yodma-ra waan fai daeng (Stir fried greens with chilli and garlic) taste excellent with brown rice. And the last mention (not least) would be Miang Sod Mang Sa Wi Rad (Rice Wrapper Vegetarian Rolls) which are upright healthy yet incredibly delicious.
Despite of two barriers of being a vegetarian and being allergic to lemongrass, I thoroughly enjoyed the conceptualisation and would wish that people acknowledge, experiment and explore the same; at Kylin Premier, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj.