Frogs Legs, Giant Catfish Roe & Stink Bean: TAAN Takes Rural Cuisine to the Next Level With New Tasting Menu | Bangkok Foodies
TAAN Reopens With a Tasting Menu to Welcome the Rainy Season and Adapts Menu to Diners Tastes and Demands Post COVID 19 Lockdown
The team of TAAN ‘Modern Thai Fine Dining Restaurant’, located at Siam at Siam Design Hotel Bangkok ( BTS National Stadium ) launched a new tasting menu after a month’s hiatus of dine-in closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wassan Ruduu 6 Courses (1,600 THB++) and 9 Courses (2,500 THB++) tasting menu, welcome in Thailand’s rainy season and inspired by the riches of rural Thailand.
Much has changed since their last tasting menu, both in terms of weather and the habits and emotional responses of diners but Chef Monthep “Thep” Kamolsilp, the head chef at TAAN has a positive outlook when it comes to dealing with an otherwise very difficult situation. He expresses,“Good news to see all borders have been automatically closed, local products will have more focus. It might elevate an alternative food chain or at least be very helpful to local farmers.” In terms of the diner’s habits, Chef Monthep acknowledges that people are willing to eat earlier, go home earlier, and thus shortened the courses as well.
Although Chef Monthep and the kitchen team still take an exceptional amount of preparation and detail to curate these tasting menus, they have taken a more ‘grass-roots’ and approachable response with the current Wassan Ruduu Tasting Menu. Comfort and humbling food seems to be the universal approach since COVID-19 affected the industry, but this would not be any ordinary pedestrian Thai food.
Do expect Thai frogs legs and rice porridge but taken-up a few hundred notches. Chef Monthep explains, “We really respect all food cultures, for us none of the dishes or ingredients are as poor or richer than other cultures. Any elements which could offer a full mouth feel is the real purpose. Frog legs for example, are proteins which hardly find any protein to beat the charming rubbery texture of frog. It would be a totally new experience for a rich city person.”
Inspired by natural ingredients with high humidity and colder weather, Chef Mothep plays with food nutrition and properties to adjust body and balance temperature to enhance senses of meal experience. What does this mean? Well, there’s more ‘heat’. Chef Monthep expresses, “I found a lot of feedback on spices and heat levels, which affected people very much even though it changed their perception on that dish. That’s why we rolled out these flavours in a season of raining temperature; humidity, and atmosphere.”
Bangkok Foodies most highly favoured dishes of the tasting menu were the “Yala Scaled Goby”, which is something the chef has progressively mastered over the last 2 seasonal menus and its appearance on this menu was consequential. Most impressive at first is the plating of the bamboo salad which leaks an oil slick of muddy-coloured mushroom sauce like a bloody murder scene.
The potent aroma is what will hit you next, with a familiar fermented scent similar to Southern Thailand’s “gaeng dtai pla”, a curry made of fish entails, although Chef confirms that is the burnt bamboo combined with fermented fish is what give this impression. He explains, “Bamboo is definitely a rainy season ingredient, so I combined the darkness of burnt bamboo and the lightness from goby and connected them with sticky rice umami “yanang” coulis, and lime acid made this dish light as a starter.”
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The other stand-out bit less assuming dish was the Garcinia Broth & Smoked Duck, simply but lovingly presented, the watery soup with its rich, red Garcinia heat and spice, combined with the tender and smoky duck were in synchronisation is an amalgamation of two dishes from the ‘East’ region, which are “Tom Som Ra-gum” and “Kang Chamuang”.
And lastly, the other famously low-key dish given a hefty facelift and tastelift was the rice porridge. A ubiquitous meal mostly eaten by Thais roadside at streetfood shophouses or vendors during the mornings, eaten with a runny or salted egg, along with spicy condiments and spring onion. Chef Monthep said of his inspiration, “Another aspect of heat level from spices is real temperature balancing, so congee popped in my head, it is a very good heat carrier and lightens the meal when compared to steamed rice. Especially good for drunken diners who choose a wine pairing also.”
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Wasan Ruduu Testing Menu
– 6 Courses 1,600 THB++
– 9 Courses 2,500 THB++
25th Fl. Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok
865 Rama I Road, Wangmai, Patumwan, Bangkok
BTS – National Stadium
Tel: 065 328 7374
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 6pm to 10.30pm
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