Benjarong, one of the city’s most popular stand alone Thai restaurants, celebrated Loi Krathong earlier this week at their restaurant on TTK Road, Alwarpet. This was a traditional Thai festival, indigenous to Thailand, that marked the end of a good year and indicated new beginnings.
A little bit about the festival, as we learned from the head Chef, was that Loi Krathong originally meant floating rafts. A traditional krathong is made with leaves and incense, and is set to float away in water with a candle lit on top. Chef tells us that in modern times today, the festival is celebrated with floating lanterns, lit and lifted to the sky. It is believed that the krathong carries away one’s bad luck and signifies a new beginning as the lantern or raft drifts away. Traditionally, the festival is celebrated in November on a full moon day, witnessing people coming together to bring in a fresh start to their future.
The menu for the festival had a good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, all of which are traditionally served during the festival in Thailand. Browsing through the menu, we coudln’t help drooling over some Thai favourites like wok tossed prawns, brussels sprouts and sweet basil), lotus root and pepper corn, and more. The menu also carried an authentic Thai mocktail of dragon fruit blended with assorted berries, and the famous Thai noodle soup.
What we had:
Tender Coconut Mojito
This mojito was quite the refreshing way to start a meal. We loved the little bits of tender coconut in the drink, and the soft flavour of lime.
We had a delicious bunch of Thai skewers, served on a platter with some chilli sauces and peanut sauce to go on the side. We started with Goong Ping, a crispy portion of grilled prawn skewers. A light touch of basil made gave it it’s unique Thai flavour, and this went great with the raw mango salad. We had the Peek Gai Khamin next, which were winglets cooked in skewers. These were sweet and juicy as ever. Next we had the Satay Neau, a popular and traditional Thai treat of tenderloin skewers, cooked to perfection. We then had a Satay Je which was a vegetarian skewer of tofu and vegetables.
Guaytiew Naam Sai
Soup is commonly consumed in Thai cuisine, and the Thai noodle soup is one of the most popular varieties. This clear soup with noodles and prawns is absolutely hear-warming, flavoured with lots of lemongrass.
Moving on to salads, this one is made for the summer. We loved this guava salad with fresh vegetables, giving your palate a burst of flavours!
Penang Naawng Gai
This warm chicken drumstick in peanut curry won our hearts over this meal. Served with a bowl of hot, steamed rice, there is nothing more you can ask for.
Tohu Yad Sai Hed Pahd Rad Prik
We enjoyed this simple, yet strong-flavoured dish of tofu wrapped in wonton sheet, served in Thai sweet basil sauce.
For dessert, we tried the Khao Niew Dahm which was sweetened Thai black sticky rice with litchis and a coconut cream sauce. This was so enjoyable, we gobbled it up in seconds! We also tried the Nung Khek Kluey Crystal, which was a steamed banana cake served with tender coconut, ice cream and a sweet sauce. The desserts were so rich in texture and very filling. The sweet sauce was an element we really enjoyed and we’re sure to never miss another festival at Benjarong for more Thai goodness!