The second Chef's Table event was held at Tanya's Homemade Eatery on Saturday 8th September and featured a 7 course menu of very traditional family Thai dishes, skilfully executed.
Chef Tai from Tanya's, along with mentor and friend, Chef Nhoom from Samuay & Sons in Udon Thani, collaborated to present guests with home-style dishes using ingredients sourced locally from throughout the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan.
To bring our palates to life was a trio of Thai appetisers; A cube of pandan flavoured jelly with a mixture of fruits like mango, dragon fruit and water melon. This was topped with finely shredded crispy fish. Next to that was a dollop of a mixture of lemongrass and palm sugar sitting astride a thin slice of sugar palm head. The final of the trio was Maa Hor, which is a pork and peanut sphere on a wedge of succulent Prachuap Khiri Khan pineapple. There is no doubt we could have devoured many more of these, as they were full of flavour, but we knew we had more treats still to come.
The Thai feast then began in earnest, with five dishes being served at the same time, just as you would if dining with your family. A Thai feast will usually consist of a variety of dishes; a soup, a curry, a salad, a stir fry and vegetables. This is about achieving a balance in textures, flavours and levels of spice.
The first plate was a relish surrounded by fresh green vegetables and herbs. The relish was made of Gra-thon, aka Santol or Cotton Fruit. It had an almost sweet 'n' sour effect in the mouth and worked perfectly with the fresh vegetables and herbs. For an added protein, the dish was served with some sea prawns which were baked in their shells covered in salt; they were absolutely moist and delicious. We'd had this dish before at Tanya’s, though the produce changes depending on the season and what is able to be sourced in and around Hua Hin. Chef Tai was on hand to talk through each of the vegetables and herbs.
The soup arrived and we each had a bowl of smoked mackerel, tomato, mushrooms, thinly sliced spring onions and a large, yet so far unidentified grain. A teapot of the delicately aromatic, yet flavoursome broth was brought to the table to anoint each of the bowls. This added an element of theatre to the dish.
A stir fry of crispy noodles was next. These were coloured with sweet squid ink and accompanied by black squid topped with strips of thinly sliced egg. This dish was a crispy, crunchy flavour sensation; the addition of fresh chilli slices and coriander made this a real star of the meal so far.
The salad was a variation on the famous Thai dish, Som Dtam. This was a true flavour explosion with ingredients that were very unexpected in a Dtam, with tiny morsels of shellfish and crispy crab. The balance between the tanginess of the dressing and the sweetness of the shellfish and crab was sublime.
Lastly was the green curry of Thai cassia with roasted organic pork. The pork was succulent and the Thai cassia was an ingredient we'd not experienced before, making this dish simply sensational.
Every dish in the feast complimented each other without dominating. A combination of delicate flavours and seasonal ingredients had us going back for more and trying to pick our favourite dish.
To end the meal was a duo of desserts; Roasted Pineapple & Honey ice Cream with Egg Custard along with a more old-school dessert of Kra-thong Thong, a thin, crispy pastry cup filled with sweet gooey pumpkin and topped with a thick coconut cream mousse.
We will definitely be back to the magnificent Tanya's!
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Chef Tai and Chef Nhoom, for making the evening a delight. The staff were very attentive and helped make the evening a rousing success.
Whilst we were guests of Tanya's Homemade Eatery and worked closely with the founders of the Hua Hin Chef's Table concept, all opinions are our own. We only write and comment on what we truly see, feel and experience based on what we like to taste. This review is based on our taste levels and our experiences of eating at these levels.
You can find Tanya’s at SeenSpace in Hua Hin. If you are in town, this is must visit if you are wanting to have a more refined, yet homestyle Thai dining experience. Tanya’s is not licensed, but the staff can get you a winelist from a neighbouring venue if you wish to have a wine with your dinner