“Omakase”, A Type Of Japanese Dining Where The Customer Leaves It Up To The Chef To Select And Serve Seasonal Specialities, Is Becoming Popular Among Bangkokians. New Omakase Restaurants Are Opening Around The City, Offering More Choices For Thai, International And Japanese Expats Living In Thailand.
“Omakase”, a type of Japanese dining where the customer leaves it up to the chef to select and serve seasonal specialities, is becoming popular among Bangkokians. New Omakase restaurants are opening around the city, offering more choices for Thai, international and Japanese expats living in Thailand.
The Nation invites you to explore various Omakase dishes and find out how much they will set you back.
Kintsugi Restaurant Ready With Japanese Delights For Autumn
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2022
Kintsugi, A Japanese Restaurant At The Athenee Hotel In Bangkok, Is Celebrating The Arrival Of Autumn With A Selection Of Special Japanese Ingredients.
The restaurant’s Japanese-American celebrity chef Jeff Okada Ramsey has ushered in a new tasting menu to achieve a harmonious balance of complex flavours and textures.
Ramsey’s assistant, Alvin Chew, is ready to welcome visitors with menus that will be made in line with the chef’s recipe in every respect.
The beautiful Dobin Mushi, a delicate soup made with a medley of mushrooms, was inspired by the chef’s love for the humble and mysterious fungi foraged from woods in Japan and Europe.
This dish is made even more special with the breath mint strip-like film made with heavy herbal aromatics in dash’s with a touch of mint, that guests will put in their mouth to prepare their pallets for the mushroom soup.
Other delightful creations include the creamy silky custard-like texture Ankimo — or monfish liver.
Chef Ramsey layers the technique of first steaming the liver with sake and then braising it in a rich sweet soy broth paired with a collagen-rich salmon jelly and lacto-fermented sour red plums.
This dish is perfected by the chef for a heavenly assortment of textures, savoury, sweet and sour tastes.
Another autumnal treasure is the humble “Truffle Kawabon”, a Japanese take on the French combination of chicken and truffles.
The chicken skin is steamed overnight and then moulded into handmade sheets to make ravioli of the chicken tail, or bonjiri.
The delicate parcels are then fried crisp on the outside, then grilled over charcoal, and served with truffle yuzu chicken essence, with shaved truffles over the top.
Chef Ramsey recently won a thrilling kitchen battle in the prestigious “Iron Chef Thailand”, the exciting television culinary competition show, with his creative takes on Japanese ingredients.
He defeated the reigning Iron Chef, Teerapat Teeyasoontranon, with his natto ice-cream dessert which features in all the kaiseki menus at Kintsugi for a limited time.
Mama Index: Are Instant Noodles A Guide To Economic Health?
SUN, SEPTEMBER 11, 2022
Instant Noodles Are Often Talked About As An Index Of Economic Hardship Because Sales Of This Type Of Food Tend To Rise Whenever People Have Less Money.
The Thai government is currently trying to prevent instant noodle manufacturers from raising prices for fear that it will make life for poor people more difficult. However, some have pointed out that instant noodle sales may not be a good measure of the country’s economic health.
Here is a quick look at the world of instant noodles
Vietnam passed South Korea to lead the consumption per capita of instant noodles in the world in 2021, according to the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA).
The rate per person increased from 55 servings in 2019 to 72 servings in 2020 and 87 servings in 2021 for Vietnam, which was 73 servings in South Korea and 55 servings in Nepal, according to Nongshim, a leading noodle maker in South Korea.
Local media said Korea topped the world from 2013 to 2020. The tally was 75 servings in 2019, rising to 80 in 2020 but falling back down to 73 in 2021, while the figure for Vietnam has steadily increased from 55 in 2019 to 72 in 2020 and 87 in 2021, adding Vietnamese instant noodle market was growing rapidly, from US$5 billion in 2019 to $8.6 billion in 2021, reaching third in market size, following China and Indonesia.
A representative from Nongshim told the media: “Vietnam has a high purchasing power with its increasing economic growth rate. Also, people tend to eat at home rather than dining out due to Covid-19.”
Data said after the Covid-19 pandemic, instant noodle consumption in Vietnam skyrocketed. Overcoming India and Japan, in 2020, Vietnam became the third largest country in instant noodle consumption with 7 billion packages, up 29 per cent. In 2021 the country consumed more than 8.5 billion packages of noodles, up 22 per cent. In terms of growth rate, no market in the top 10 has surpassed Vietnam.
Insiders said that about 50 companies are currently producing instant noodles, including domestic and foreign enterprises, adding the market has been in a battle led by Acecook with the Hao Hao noodle brand, Masan Consumer with Omachi, Kokomi and Asia Food with the brand of Red Bear noodles.
When love takes over, the power is in your hands – this simple philosophy is what guides chef Supaksorn “Ice” Jongsiri as he lovingly recreates the childhood memories of his grandma’s cooking.
“Ican’t remember when I began cooking. I just remember helping my grandmother in the kitchen since I was very young,” says the chef, whose fine-dining Thai restaurant has already won two Michelin stars. One of only two Thai chefs to win Michelin stars in 2019, Supaksorn’s restaurant now ranks second in the list of Asia’s 50 Best restaurants and 39th in the world.
“Sorn is my legacy,” the chef declares proudly as he explains the meaning of the name. Sorn, read as “śaraṇa”, was derived from the Sanskrit word meaning a place to rest or a leader who can be counted upon. He said the restaurant is at the centre of his and his staff members’ heart.
The restaurant based in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 26 quickly rose to fame after opening in June 2018. As to why he chose southern cuisine, Supaksorn says with a smile, “because that’s what I know best! My grandma cooked this food to feed the family, and that’s the cuisine I grew up with.”
On the menu are regular southern dishes like khao yam (turmeric rice tossed with vegetables, herbs and fish innards), kan chiang pu (blue swimmer crab leg) and yellow giant sea catfish curry. However, at Sorn, these dishes are turned into culinary works of art. The simple khao yam becomes a colourful “forest”, while the crab leg turns into “gems on a crab stick”. Even the simple yellow curry takes on an innovative twist as fried fish drenched in turmeric and garlic is served along with curried young mangosteen and giant catfish roe.
So what makes his creations so special? “Love,” the chef says simply. “Without love, the food will not be delicious. Food at Sorn is a blend of delicacy and dedication.
“I preserve original flavours and methods used more than 100 years ago. At Sorn, chilli paste is still pounded by hand and rice is still cooked in a clay pot. This delicate work requires dedication, and that’s something I’m proud of. It’s at the root of where I come from – Nakhon Si Thammarat,” he said.
“I want to recreate what my grandmother used to make for us. Here we serve authentic southern Thai cuisine with ingredients sourced from 14 provinces in the South. For instance, seafood is flown in within an hour of the catch arriving, while chillies come from a specific farm. Even the water for cooking rice and coal comes from the South,” the chef said.
As we bid goodbye, the chef takes a long pause as he looks out at the September rain before saying: “I want to keep striving forward and bring southern Thai food to the international stage. That’s why Sorn was born.”
The Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University is successful in replicating mangosteen peel extract! Treatment for Intestinal Inflammation in humans and animals.
The Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University has researched and replicated “Hydroxy-xanthones”, the vital extracts rich in antioxidants found in mangosteen peels that kill germs and halt infections in the intestinal mucosa.
It hopes to expand to include health products for humans and animals in the future.
Not only is “Mangosteen,” the queen of Thai fruits, a delicious and healthy fruit, but its peel is also abundant with beneficial extracts.
In the old days, local wisdom deemed mangosteen peel as a good cure for upset stomachs, inflammation on the skin, and cure wounds in animals.
Today, there have been efforts to apply mangosteen peel extracts to various medicines and products such as plasters, gels, and surgical masks.
The benefits of mangosteen peel are even greater. Associate Professor Dr Suthasinee Poonyachoti of the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University has recently been successful in developing a substance that replicates the chemical structure of mangosteen peel extract that helps stall leakages in the intestine.
Aside from its health benefits, the extract reduces the need for medication for both humans and animals.
Xanthones – a natural substance in the mangosteen peel rich with benefits
Research on mangosteen peel enabled Suthasinee to discover Xanthones, a substance in the Flavanol group that is effective in combatting or halting various types of inflammation with qualities such as anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-malarial and anti-oxidant.
With Xanthones’ ability to reduce inflammation and destroy bacteria, a research project in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University was launched to develop and extract Xanthones in the form of Hydroxy Xanthones or HDX with the highest efficacy for the health of humans and animals.
“Extractions of mangosteen peels have brought about a variety of substances both beneficial and harmful. Moreover, they must go through a rather complicated process and we cannot control the quality of the extracts since it is dependent upon factors such as planting methods, use of fertilizer, climate, care, etc.” Dr Suthasinee enumerated how the research project came about.
“We chose the method of analysis and sought to mimic the chemical structure of Xanthones from mangosteen peels, giving us the desired essential extracts which are easier to apply directly as part of adjuvants in medicines, foods, and other products and to control their efficacy in the best manner possible.”
Leaky Gut Syndrome – a cause of disease in both humans and animals The leaky gut syndrome can lead to many diseases especially septicemia that can be hidden in our bodies. This happens when there is an abnormality in the functions of the intestines and the microvilli.
“If you can imagine how the cells in the microvilli work. They line up next to each other and are responsible for screening and controlling toxic substances, and bacteria that enter the bloodstream. When inflammation occurs, the cells cannot line up next to each other and function like a fortress, which makes it possible for toxic or foreign substances to enter the bloodstream. The condition is dangerous and must be treated before it is too late,” she explained.
A leaky gut does not always show any symptoms or if it does it could affect other physical ailments such as overtiredness, fatigue, headaches, or other body aches without any clear indication of the causes.
“The cause is not clear but hypothesized to be the result of stress. If the symptom occurs in human beings, they can consult physicians right away. However, if this occurs in animals, it is harder to tell if they are sick.”
Developing HDX into health products for humans and animals This research is at the experimental stage to determine the quality of HDX’s performance. It has been used in pig farms first before being experimented on human beings and larger and more diverse types of animals.
As Suthasinee concluded, “In the future, HDX will experiment in adjuvants in a variety of products like medicines and food items to improve the quality of life of both humans and animals.”
The Korean Cultural Center in Bangkok host Korean softpower experience event Cooking ‘Attorney Woo’s Gimbap’ and ‘Dong Geu-Rami Gimbap’
The Korean series ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ ranked high for five weeks since it launched on Netflix last July. The K-series’s popularity in Thailand has continued with various hit series including ‘Squid Game’, ‘King’s Affection’, ‘Hometown Cha Cha Cha’ and ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’.
With this popularity, interest in Gimbap, Korean rice rolls, also has increased in Thailand. It reminds us that another K-series ‘Itawewon Class’ led the trend of ‘Sundubu Jjigae (Soft tofu stew)’ in Thailand in 2020.
Gimbap, the favourite food of Attorney Woo, attract the attention of many viewers during watching the series.
Therefore, the Korean Cultural Center in Thailand hosted a Korean culture experience event, cooking ‘Attorney Woo’s Gimbap’ and ‘Dong Geu-Rami Gimbap(Folded Gimbap)’ in the series on 18th August for around 120 Korean language learners in Thailand.
During the event, the centre provided various activities including wearing Hanbok(Traditional dress) and Korean school uniforms, Handicrafts and K-pop cover dance performances.
At this event, Cho Yong-man, Vice-Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea, delivered his speech. He thanked Thai students who like Korean culture and study the Korean language and said “From last April, the Korean government has continued relaxation of entrance regulation for increasing human interchange between Korea and Thailand. We will do our best to promote friendship and cooperation between the two nations by exchange increasing in many fields, such as Tourism, Culture, Sports and Economy.”
Cho Jae Il, director of the Korean Cultural Center in Thailand said, “I hope Thai students enjoy various Korean cultures through today’s Gimbap cooking event. The centre will continue to host Korean culture experience events related to popular Korean content in Thailand.”
The Center has hosted many Korean cultural events related to popular Korean content, such as the interactive event for Korean games in the series ‘Squid Game’ and the exhibition of the Hanbok from the series ‘The King’s Affection’ and ‘The Red Sleeve’.
Thailand, a long-standing leading producer, and net exporter of food is gearing up to provide the world with volume and nutritive quality in a sustainable manner, and to meet global consumer demand for unique tastes with its food of the future offerings.
The country promotes itself as the “Kitchen of the World’ on account of its strength in the food industry, arising from its abundant natural resources, continuing investment in food innovation and commitment to food safety standards.
In 2021, Thailand ranked 13th largest food exporter in the world, with exports valued at USD30.5 billion.
However, the country is not resting on its laurels and is pushing ahead to meet the growing global demand for healthier food, and the so-called food of the future, such as plant-based proteins and meat alternatives.
Presently, Thailand is the world’s 25th largest exporter of alternative proteins, with USD1.21 billion worth of food of the future in the first quarter of 2022, up 26% on year. Major markets include US, China and Vietnam.
With an increasing number of conglomerates, SMEs and food tech start-ups entering this segment, Thailand’s future food offering is increasing in both quantity and quality.
To compete producers not only aim to create the taste and texture of traditional meat products but also explore the use of new primary ingredients such as chickpea, mushrooms, and barley instead of soy, corn and wheat.
Exotic seasonings from fruits, spices and herbs are inventively added to make future food products from Thailand stand out.
Smith Taweelerdniti, the producer of Let’s Plant Meat said the key to success is to find a balance in the flavour, health and environmental benefits. “Whoever that could skew the consumer demand toward more sustainable and more healthy, I think, is a boon for the planet,” he said in an interview with CNBC Asia. “It’s about creating the flavour and aroma, this is the key.”
Scaling up innovation is part of the Thai government’s plan to promote the sector as a key economic driver. Thaifex, the largest food and beverage trade show in Asia steadily offers food innovators chances to showcase their ideas.
A food tech team from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University won the Asean Food Innovation Challenge 2021 with “The Marble Booster”, plant-based Wagyu-style marbled-meat slices infused with immune-boosters, turmeric and black pepper extracts. The product will soon be sold at convenience stores.
Thailand’s other alternative proteins, namely edible insects, a well-known local delicacy, and protein sourced from insects have long made inroads into markets including US, UK, Germany, and South Korea.
Popular insects like crickets and grasshoppers are used as ingredients in preparations including canned food, pastry and candy.
As growing concerns about food security and sustainability are boosting global demand, Thailand aims to step up sales of edible insects and insect protein powders and its current rank of 17th largest exporter of live insects.
You need a fighting spirit to relish every bit of the longest brunch in Bangkok — from 11am to 3pm — at Zuma Bangkok, St Regis, with unlimited food (except for the main course) and free flow of beverages.
If it’s a hearty brunch you are looking for to share with your favourite date, friends or with family, the elegant contemporary chic Japanese Izakaya could be the place. And if you want to keep to yourself, that is a possibility too.
As you settle into your chair, there is a wide range of drinks to choose from, whether you want to sip non-alcoholic Zuma Signature iced tea and blended mocktails, or the classy bubbly crisp Bottega Prosecco, Bollinger special Cuvée Champagne, refreshing beer and cold sake.
The entree offers 13 mouth-watering dishes to choose from. Even if you are a conservative and would like to stick to something simple yet satisfying, then the chef’s favourite selection of sashimi, nigiri and maki will do its magic! The icy bowl includes freshly caught oysters, Hokigai and Tako.
Although the main course can only be ordered once, here’s a tip from the chef himself: Go for beef tenderloin with sesame, red chilli or sweet soy, or alternatively miso marinated black cod wrapped in hoba leaf — perfect for both beef and seafood lovers! However, at this stage, after rousing your digestive system, surely you’ll have room for the flavours of amuse-bouche, something your stomach wouldn’t mind, having abundantly savoured the goodies from the entree and sashimi!
Satiated after the two courses, now is the time to draw on your fighting spirit and remind yourself that a big bowl of desserts lies in wait. Without that treat, it wouldn’t be able to justify the tag of longest brunch! Get ready for assorted seasonal fruits filled in an icy rock bowl, accompanied by two types of sorbet (mango and yuzu flavour), eclairs, custards and other goodies. Oh, and don’t forget the homemade pink chocolate with the Zuma logo on it.
The Nation would recommend our “gutsy food fighters” to tuck into the sorbet first and then move on to the eclair, but if you’re feeling more adventurous, dip the eclair into the custard next to it, and relish another heavenly combination that is soothing, calming and satisfying. The eclectic combination leaves you with an indescribable feeling.
Finish the course with fresh fruits, a selection of tea or coffee, and you would have truly won the fight!
Thinly sliced sea bass with Yuzu, truffle oil and salmon roe (imported sea bass from France)
Tomato with roasted eggplant and ginger dressing
Spicy beef tenderloin with sesame, red chilli and sweet soy
Miso marinated black cod wrapped in hoba leaf (additional THB650)
Zuma Sunday Brunch
Time: Free flow from 11am until 3pm
Signature THB2,180 per person (food and soft drinks)
Deluxe THB3,180 per person (food, Bottega Prosecco, wine and beer)
Premium THB4,180 per person (food, Bollinger Cuvée champagne, sake, wine and beer)
Children aged 4-10 THB1,080 per person
Children aged below 4 eat for free (one child per paying adult only, main course not included)
A pancake, which is made to be eaten “in 10 minutes,” has attracted sweet lovers nationwide. The unique dessert is available at a cafe in Oenosato Natural Farm, in the Tottori prefectural town of Yazu.
The pancake uses Tenbiran brand eggs laid by hens at the farm. These are used to make meringue to give the dessert light and fluffy texture. Baking powder is not used, so the pancake goes flat quickly, hence the 10-minute time limit. The fluffy dough melts and leaves a rich taste of egg in your mouth.
The popularity of the dessert led to four-hour queues during the Golden Week holidays in May. A cafe spokesperson said, “We want customers to enjoy the texture of freshly made sweets with the rich flavour of Tenbiran while enjoying the natural environment.”
The pancake costs ¥880 and a drink set is ¥1,265.
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Michelin award winning southern Thai restaurant Sorn has been ranked 39th among the world’s best restaurants for 2022, the highest ranking ever achieved by a Thai establishment and the first time a restaurant in the country has made it into the top 50 list.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 award ceremony was held in London on Monday (July 18) by William Reed Business Media. The 50 were decided by voters from around the world.
The fine-dining restaurant already has the distinction of winning not one but two Michelin stars.
Sorn head chef Supaksorn Jongsiri, also known as “Chef Ice”, received the William Reed award at Monday’s event together with 10 staff members, who had helped create exceptional fare inspired by Thailand’s southern traditional cuisine.
“It’s unbelievable that we are the first Thai restaurant to make the top 50 list,” Supaksorn said ecstatically. “Our food has received the highest ranking in the Thai authentic category in the 20-year history of the award,” he pointed out.
“I am overwhelmingly thankful to my team. We would have not made it this far without support from the dedicated team at Sorn restaurant. I am also thankful to Thai farmers and fishermen who have consistently supplied us with top quality ingredients,” the chef said.
“I would also like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who have supported Sorn restaurant over the years. This award is truly a gift for Thailand,” he added.
In recognising Sorn, Michelin had said:
“The team at Sorn delivers an impressive interpretation of Southern Thai cuisine with a focus on long-lost recipes and local culinary wisdom… Cooking is refined and sophisticated and dishes mostly slow-cooked, with even the soup double-boiled for six hours.”
Sorn is located in Soi Sukhumvit 26 (Ari), Khlong Toei, Bangkok.
This year’s Best Restaurant 2022 title went to Danish gourmet restaurant Geranium, with Peru’s Central Restaurante claiming second place and Spain’s Disfrutar coming third.