Eschewing the clichés and celebrating Thai food from the entire country
Atmospherics: Light coloured wood and bright yellow table runners overlook a large open kitchen headed by a diminutive lady chef. It sets the tone for the meal. Neung Roi has many firsts: It features each region of Thailand on a menu: North, South, Central and East. You can have a meal of salads, soups, appetizers, main courses and desserts from any one of these regions, because the choice for each region is vast, or you can mix and match. You can even go completely quirky as my dining companion did and order ten different salads as her entire meal. Each was completely different from the next and I found myself dipping into what I loftily imagined would be ‘ghas-phoos’. It is the first time in the NCR that a menu is viewed on an iPad. It has no fewer than 153 items on it but the manager is completely clued on to not only the menu and the cuisine.
Table Talk: It has become fashionable to want light, low-cal food. The salads at Neung Roi fit that bill perfectly, though they may have not been made with that aim in mind. They are also packed with flavour and the texture of each is markedly different. My dining companion ordered raw mango salad (Rs 300) whose appeal lay in the mildly crisp, tangy mango juliennes counterpointed with the crunch of cashew nuts. It was completely different from the steamed peanut salad with tomato, celery and palm sugar dressing (Rs 300) that a nutty texture contrasted with a hint of fresh celery. And the lotus stem salad with shallot, chilli and palm sugar (Rs 300) featured not the commonly seen lotus root but a smaller, more delicate part of the plant.
Rhurm (Rs 500) is a great appetizer because of the taste as much as the visual appeal: small ‘net’ parcels with a delicious filling. Their version of tom kha koong (Rs 350) is smooth, thick and flavourful. There are many dishes without any coconut at all, but do be warned that some of them are more home-style than typically restaurant food, like my chicken turmeric soup (Rs 350) that features fresh turmeric. Jackfruit with dill leaves (Rs 450) is an unusual curry that leaves red/green curry out from a packet light years behind.
Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi, NH 8
Tel: 011- 26779191
Open from 12 noon to 3.30 and 7 pm to 11.30 pm
Alcohol served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 3,000