Author: Alexius Chua
I had my first Baan Ying experience at Central World Bangkok five years ago, and it’s a good one. So I was reeked with anticipation for its latest thai set menu, the ‘One Meal Around Thailand’, which had the support of the Tourism Authority of Singapore, a mark of endorsement for its featuring of elevated Thai cuisines around the country region.
The promotion will last till end September, with three set menus. The Superior ($58.80) is meant for two, the Deluxe is for four ($128.80), and if you have a party of eight, its Grand Tour menu is at $298.80. The set menu also comes with four types of nam prik (or Thai chilli dip), som tum (green papaya salad), and desserts and herbal tea.
Starting off with the Nam Prik from the 4 regions (North Eastern Thai, Central Thai, Southern Thai, and Northern Thai). The Soup Makuer (Spicy Thai Eggplant Dip) deserves two thumbs up. The eggplant is boiled till tender, and blended with Thai anchovy paste and chilli powder to result in a mildly spicy savoury dip to accompany the fresh seasonal vegetables.
There are lots of ingredients in the Som Tom Tad (Green Papaya Salad Platter), with special mention on the pork belly and salted vegetable – they are especially good. There is a lingering tart, sweet and spicy sauce over it. In the end, you may not even get to the papaya with such an appetising pile of ingredients.
After the appetiser comes the palate cleanser – Frozen Butterfly Pea Tea and Coconut Shot. Its so refreshing and cooling I would buy it for a second or third time as a refreshing drink. Too bad its just a shot and I am supposed to down it in one gulp.
Coming to the mains. The dishes from all over Thailand starts to appear, and I loved the two from the South. The Sator Pad Goong (Stir-fried Bitter Bean with Shrimp) is basically petai with shrimps. Milder but just as bitter as the beans in Singapore. This version is fried in shrimp paste and chilli (so basically a sambal) and the spices do not overwhelm.
The must-try for me is from the Grand Tour menu, the Gai Tom Kamin (Chicken in Turmeric Broth). It is slightly tart and savoury, with a tasty hint of herbs.
Overall, I believe it’s timely for an experienced restauranteur to feature such an elevated Thai dining experience to educate diners that Thai cuisine is more than just spicy Tom Yum Gong or Pad Thai.