Seafood fanatics in the city can rejoice as one of Chennai’s popular Thai restaurants, Benjarong celebrates a seafood festival, Thai style! Being huge seafood lovers ourselves, we just had to be there to experience it all, and we have to say, it was amazing. The excitement begins when you glance through their menu of fine Thai seafood delicacies, made exclusively just for the festival. The festival is truly promising of an unforgettable voyage to the shores of Thailand fused with the essence of rich flavours, pure spices and rich herbs.
Chef Ram Kumar, head chef of the Benjarong restaurants, has specially designed the menu for this festival. We had a little chat with Chef Vimal who took us through the fabulous array of dishes on the menu. Some delicious appetizers on the menu caught our eye like the Pla kapong dang tod bai makrut krob (Crispy fillets of red snapper tossed with crispy fried makrut leaves, bird’s eye chillies and sweet basil), Pla hor baitaey (Morsels of sear fish delicately marinated, wrapped and deep fried in pandanus leaves), and Prathod lom (Prawn wrapped in wonton sheet and deep fried, served with plum sauce). We were also told a little about the ‘Yang’ which is a unique and special cooking method in Thai cuisine where food is grilled with charcoal over low to medium heat. The mains on the menu have a unique selection of seafood dishes that everyone will enjoy like the Senmee pahd namprik pow (Rice vermicelli cooked with choice of seafood in soya sauce), Khao pahd keow wahn (Jasmine rice tossed with green curry paste), Pla nung tom yum (Whole hamour fish steamed with classic tom yum sauce), and Pla kapong dang pahd khing (Fillets of red snapper topped with ginger sauce). We learnt from Chef Vimal that authentic Thai cuisine consists of mainly rice and many varieties of fish based dishes paired along with several seafood preparations that families enjoy.
What we had:
Pla hor baitaey & Lookchin pla yang
Beautifully wrapped sear fish that will melt in your mouth, this dish is delicately marinated, wrapped, and fried in pandanus leaves and is a real Thai treat.
The grilled fish dumplings on skewers are delicious as well, and they are an authentic delicacy right from the streets of Thailand.
What’s not to love about an appetizer that’s made with shrimp? This is shrimp in wonton wrap that’s deep fried, served with plum sauce. Delicious!
Pla menk tod prik khing
Crispy fried squid for anyone who loves a little spice. This dish is fried and tossed in a red curry sauce with ginger and has a beautiful aroma of Thai flavours.
Kai yard sai goong rue poo
The stuffed omelette presents itself with an excellent Thai makeover, filled with vegetables and prawns. This is something worth trying and it is so, so good.
Goong yai rue plamenk tod gratiem prik tai
A simple dish with great flavour, this appetizer of sautéed squid in a garlic and pepper sauce is a must-try for seafood fans.
Yum pla menk
Yes, we certainly enjoyed our squid overdose and helped ourselves to some delightful squid and vegetable salad filled with authentic Thai flavours.
Pla mung tom yum
This main course of a whole hamour fish steamed in a classic tom yum sauce had us feeling like we were in Thailand already. The flavours were pleasing and was most enjoyable with a helping of Jasmine Rice.
Mien xao cua
Glass noodles have to be one of our favourites. This dish of stir fried glass noodles with crab meat is absolutely enjoyable and we must say, it is an ideal choice for comfort food.
Guaytiew pahd thua daeng
Help yourself to this delicious dish of Thai flat noodles with prawns and fish. We guarantee you’ll love it, especially because of the spicy black bean sauce that adds a unique flavour.
Reservations for the Festival can be made by calling 044 24322640.
Average cost for two: Rs.1,500 – Rs.1,800 + taxes.
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