Blurb: A fresh look at Thai food by an Indian chef
Atmospherics: In the stylish Greater Kailash N Block Market, next to one of the many branches of Fabindia, this brand new restaurant by a seasoned restaurateur concentrates on a single cuisine. Because the chef – young Nikhil Kanwar – studied Thai food all over Thailand, and knows the food preferences of the market here, he has put together standard favourites as well as lesser-known dishes. Few Thai nationals are aware of the North Indian aversion to coconut milk as Kanwar is, so while coconut-based curries are the norm, there is an intriguing orange flavoured curry on this menu with not a trace of coconut. The restaurant is situated on the first and second floors; the latter is an open terrace (perfect in this weather).
Table talk: The menu is written in transliterated Thai and English. Coconut crème brulee (soya/chicken Rs 345/395) is a bite-sized morsel of rice flour and grated coconut ‘mini idlis’ topped with a partially set coconut cream. Do not miss ngop gai (Rs 445) large chunks of boneless chicken taken from the thigh for optimum texture, spiced and wrapped in a banana leaf before grilling. It is grilled to the extent that the leaf is charred in parts, adding smokiness to the chicken meat. The chilli paste and the juliennes of kaffir lime leaf add a further dimension to it. It is a street food staple in Thailand and it is the first time I have seen it on a restaurant menu. Sour orange curry of prawns and watercress (Rs 695) is another first-time curry in Delhi and it is to get around the common Delhi dislike of coconut. Consequently, the curry is spicy and sour yet fruity with the faint touch of oranges that contrasts well with the prawns.
Plus and minus: As in any brand new restaurant, mistakes occur: our khanom krob came completely charred and had to be replaced. But while that will change with a few weeks’ experience, the so-called catfish is unrecognisable as the soft, crispy Thai ingredient that pairs to such great effect in yum pla duk fu (Rs 495): fresh catfish has been bought and fried in the kitchen, which is not at all the same thing. Fortunately, there are plenty of vegetarian, tenderloin, chicken, seafood and pork choices for diners on this menu.
Must try: sweet and sour corn patties; assorted mushroom salad; pumpkin with chilli and basil
Food: 3.50; Service: 3.00; Décor: 3.50
N 6, Greater Kailash N Block Market
Open from 12 to 12 midnight
Credit cards; alcohol licence expected