Progressive Thai food
Beautiful interiors and modern Thai is a winning combination
Atmospherics: On the ground floor of Sangam Courtyard, tucked away in a corner, is Delhi’s latest Thai restaurant, with a difference. It is not just straight Thai food but has unique twists to each dish. The chef-owner is at the range every day during meal times and it is he who has made the menu after having worked in Thailand and elsewhere overseas. He is clearly a man of talent: a few years ago, when employed in Leela Palace New Delhi, his Thai food was of a very high quality. After working in Nobu and other internationally known restaurants across the globe, young Chef Gurmehar Sethi has become even better: able to visualize what dishes work in their traditional form and what could do with a bit of tweaking. The interiors, though dimly lit, are extremely tasteful and give a foretaste of the food: a skilful blend of tradition and modern.
Table talk: No matter which starter you choose, it will be tasty, artistically presented and have enough of the original in it, while keeping the tweaking to the minimum. Kanom krok (Rs 355/295 for chicken/vegetarian) are dainty egg-sized cups that you pop whole into your mouth so that the full medley of flavours and textures flood your palate. It is not easy to get the exact proportions of chilli jam, galangal, kaffir lime, shredded chicken/tofu in relation to the coconut ‘crème brulee’ cups but it was the finest appetizer of our meal. Khao tang gai yang (Rs 325/295) was another take on a standard Thai recipe that is always served on rice crackers. This one was shredded roast chicken napped in curry paste that had been flavoured subtly with nutmeg and cilantro – an unusual enough combination. In the interests of non-messy eating, most of the sauce had been evaporated: a pity. Miang pla tuna krathong thong (Rs 395) was tuna tartar the Thai way. I had no idea that there was such a thing or whether it was a figment of Chef Gurmehar Sethi’s imagination, but the uncooked tuna combined with fish sauce and shredded betel leaf together with crushed peanuts could only have come from Thailand. My main course: hor mok pla (Rs 595) certainly stood the conventional version on its head, being served in banana leaf cups.
Plus and minus: the chef cum owner is great news for Delhi and the service team is actually knowledgeable! Beware of the too-sweet mocktails.
Must try: Pomelo salad, banana blossom salad, steamed fish with spicy lime sauce
Food: 3.50; Service: 3.50; Décor: 3.50
Sangam Courtyard, Ground Floor, Major Somnath Marg, RK Puram
Open from 12-3 and 7-11.30
Meal for two: Rs 2,500
Alcohol served; credit cards accepted