In Thailand there is a saying, “Gan gin gan yu” which means “As you eat, so you are.” It’s an expression that perfectly summarizes the intimate and important role food has in Thai culture. Being foodies ourselves it was easy to relate to this idea, and it was this deep connection to food that helped inspire the theme and menu for September’s Full Moon Dinner, Thai One On Again!
Chef Mathayom, who designed the menu for the Thai One On Again! dinner, has deep ties to Thailand where his paternal family hails from. Having visited the region and being well acquainted with the spices and flavors he designed the menu so that island diners would feel like they had been swept away to Southeast Asia for the night. The dishes he created for the Full Moon Dinner balanced the four main flavors in Thai cuisine (salty, sweet, sour and spicy) and also honored the different regions and influences in Thai food.
The meal began with a classic Thai soup from northern Thailand, Tom Kha Gai. This chicken coconut soup was served at the Full Moon Dinner with a lager for diners enjoying the dinner and drink pairing. The soup course was followed by a salad course when Chef Mathayom presented a Thai Spicy Beef Salad for the second course made with lemongrass, chili, tomato, cucumber and topped with a perfectly fried quail egg.
The third course of the four course meal was a dish that showcased the Indian influence in Thai cuisine, Seared Salmon with Red Curry Sauce. The seafood dish was served over sticky rice with grilled vegetables and a crispy basil leaf (see video of Chef Mathayom making the crispy basil leaves below). The third course was paired with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc to balance the spiciness of the curry and richness of the seared salmon.
For the final course of the Thai One On Again! Full Moon Dinner diners enjoyed a bowl of Coconut Custard topped with cold smoked mango. The drink paired with the dessert course was an alcoholic sweet Thai iced tea, made from brewed black tea, condensed milk and vodka.