An Evening at Basil, Sheraton Grande, Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand
Thai food owes its popularity to its use of significant spices and essential herbs and their unique blend with Meat, Seafood or Soya and staples like Sticky / Jasmine Rice. But Thailand as a country has diverse tastes and culinary styles along its four corners namely the Central, Northern, Northeast and Southern parts, with each having their unique blends of essential handmade ingredients to render distinct flavours. The Basil at the Sheraton Grande, Sukhumvit, an Avant-garde destination in bespoke Thai Fine Dining captures the essence of these four regions in their menu and provides a unique experience at the centre of Bangkok’s Commercial hub-Sukhumvit.
One of the high notes to my Bangkok trip was a very special invitation via the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to the iconic Basil. As we walked in, the elegance and opulence of this masterpiece of architecture welcomed us with all its glory. We were personally attended to by Yuthika, PR and Marketing and their General Manager-Richard Chapman.
We were briefed about the four regions and their signature dishes that Basil showcase. One by one they started making their appearances starting with the dishes from the Central Region. These dishes use Coconut Milk extensively and are sweeter in taste compared to others. The popular Tom Yum Goong is from here and was served along with a variety of Miang Kum as appetisers. This was followed by the Kung Sarong, Deep Fried Prawns over Vermicelli served with Sweet Chilli Sauce, an absolute relish. The dish that took our breath way was the Pla Neung Manao, fillet of Halibut steamed with Thai Chilli, Garlic and Lemongrass. Its unique tangy taste catered well to our Indian taste buds and I could see happy faces on all corners of the table.
We paired our dishes with some Sparkling Wine. It was the turn for the Northern dishes now. Here the use of Coconut Milk is restricted. We started with the Sai Oua, a Pork and Herb Sausage served with Roasted Chilli Paste. The Gaeng Kare Gai, a spicy curry with Dok Kare, flowers from the Hummingbird tree and the Yum Nua Yang, a traditional Thai Beef Salad were delectable and catered to the spicy palette of ours.
The dishes from south are influenced by the Muslim heritage and Masssaman curry is the most famous among this region. We tasted the Pla Salmon Yang Takrai, a traditional Salmon dish with Lemongrass and Tamarind Ginger sauce which was undoubtedly a sure winner for the evening. The Squid Salad, Yum Tua Poo Pla-Muek and the Gaeng Kua Nu Yang were served up next.
The Northeast region has the spiciest notes and is characterized by its unique pungency. We tasted the Koy Tuna, a signature dish from Basil and undoubtedly the best dish of the evening. This spicy Tuna Tartare is made from Sushi grade Tuna loin and is served on a ring of Shallot with a slither of Lemon on top. This is an award-winning dish by Chef Kesinee and is the most coveted dish in the menu. We had the Mok Pla Trout, a steamed trout curry and the Somtam Ruam Gai Yang, Grilled Chicken and Papaya Salad to add to the plethora of the dishes.
Yuthika had planned to get the entire dessert menu served to us and we were able to taste and savour them all. It was the Mango Sticky Rice and the Lemongrass Ice Cream which took my breath away.
Basil is one of the premier destination for authentic Thai Fine Dining in the heart of Bangkok. My culinary experience here along with their professional and prompt service is definitely one of the best around the many venues I have dined at. A definite visit next time to my trip to Bangkok.