If you like authentic Thai food, this is something that you would not want to miss.
Mango Tree, a world-class Thai restaurant with nine stores in the Philippines including Mango Tree and Mango Tree Cafe, is featuring dishes from Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand, until November 15, 2023.
Trevor MacKenzie, Mango Tree Managing Partner, pointed out that the dishes were the result of the retraining the Mango Tree chefs from the Global City branch, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Dubai underwent in Chiang Mai.
“When the chefs come to start working with us, they only go to Bangkok. And what we want them to do is to feel the same passion that I and my staff have about Thai food in Thailand,” MacKenzie said in an interview prior to the launch of the Chiang Mai dishes.
THAILAND has 76 provinces and MacKenzie has been to about 60 of them. What he has learned is that each of the provinces had something unique about them and that he wanted to share this experience with the chefs.
“It was a great bonding opportunity for all the chefs to be together and share some ideas. It also helped them embrace real Thai culture so that they understand what the are the origins of the various Thai dishes and why it is so. In fact, we had a very high retention rate when we started to do these trips,” he said.
MacKenzie said he chose Chiang Mai for this trip because he had already brought his team to the southern, northeastern and central regions.
THE Mango Tree Chefs Trip took place rom July 16 to 22, 2023 where the teams also visited the original Mango Tree restaurant in Surawong, Bangkok. In Chiang Mai, the teams spent three days learning how to use traditional ingredients and recipes and participated in cooking workshops with the local Northern Thai communities including the hill tribes of Lanna, Lisu, Tai Yai and the Akha people.
“The dishes that we will be showcasing during the food tasting are primarily from the Chiang Mai region. You could say that that area is the origin of Thai food because that is where it all started,” MacKenzie said.
Guests at the food tasting event at the Mango Tree branch in Global City were treated to a welcome drink of Thai Basil Cucumber Cooler and it truly lived up to its name. The first dish that guests tried was the Miang Kham. It is a traditional one-bite snack filled with an array of Thai flavors including coconut flakes, peanuts, dried shrimps, galangai, onion, lemon, chili and a sweet savory miang kham sauce that is all wrapped up in an aromatic sesame leaf.
The dish offers you a symphony of flavors that will keep you wanting more. That’s because you are trying to figure out what makes this dish so tasty. The good thing about it is that you can control the amount of chili that you put in it.
Thai style chicharon
THIS was followed by Nam Prik Noom. Originating from northern Thailand, this dip consists of roast green chilies pounded with flavorful herbs and served with pork cracklings or what is more commonly known as chicharon.
Those who love spicy Thai style salads would want to try Chiang Mai Laarb Khua or Northern Minced Pork Salad with Makwan Pepper. This spicy minced pork salad is made with makwan peppers which are similar to Szechuan peppers but “with only a hint of the numbing feeling” as MacKenzie described it.
Guests were then treated to four main dishes. For starters, there was the Chiang Mai Sausage which is a grilled sausage made with minced pork, herbs and spices. Guests also sampled the Hill Tribe Aeb Pia or Spicy Fish in Banana Leaf. Originating from the hill tribes around Chiang Mai, this filleted fish is marinated in a unique northern herb mixture, wrapped and grilled in banana leaf.
A Thai food tasting event would not be complete without a curry dish. The Kaeng Hang Le or Chiang Mai Curry, is a savory and sweet curry made with pork belly, fermented bamboo shoots, and a selection of herbs and spices. Guest were also treated to Khao Soi or Chiang Mai Noddle Soup. This is a traditional curry noddle topped with crispy egg noodles, chicken, lime wedges, and pickled vegetables.
AFTER the appetizers and the main dishes, there will always be room for dessert. For dessert, guests got to sample Banana Fritters with Pandan Sauce and Thai inspired Bonbons. The Bonbons are a chocolate confection created with Mango Tree in mind featuring the flavors of Coconut Pandan, Thai Milk Tea and Passion Fruit Mango.
“While we are having this promotion, we will see what dishes the market likes the best. If everything works well, those dishes will eventually make it to our menu. So it’s going to be customers who will be telling us if they like the dishes,” MacKenzie said.
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