The spice of lifeFlavour, Passion, Discovery | 23 June 2016
Thai cuisine is taking the world by storm. As one of the world’s fastest-growing global food phenomenons, it seems our penchant for panang and pad see ew knows no bounds. Exploring the homeland of these delicacies, it’s easy to see why - you’re sure to discover an endless amount of fresh, flavourful and irresistible food.
Nowhere is this more evident than Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, where Chef Pitak Srichan goes to extraordinary lengths to produce mouth-watering and eye-catching dishes at the resort’s authentic Thai restaurant, Dee Plee. “I still maintain all the taste is a Thai taste - no changes to the flavour.”
Set atop a hill with a picturesque view of the resort and the private stretch of Phuket coastline it occupies, the restaurant itself offers the perfect backdrop for a delectable dining experience. Each meal begins with miang kham (which translates as “one bite wrap”), a traditional Thai appetiser where fried sea bass, coconut, lime, shallots, chili, ginger and peanuts are carefully wrapped in vine leaves to create a delicious snack. From here, the culinary journey is of your own choosing: from the north of Thailand, Chef Pitak’s khao soi gai - a chicken curry with egg noodles - is both delicious and exquisite. If you’re in the mood for a stir fried dish, be it Black Angus beef or local lobster, you’ll be offered three varieties of accompanying rice.
Early one morning, I was invited by Chef Pitak to join him on a shopping trip. Venturing a short distance from the resort to Thalang Market, the chef imparted some of his culinary secrets as we roamed the rows of stalls. His expansive knowledge of the local ingredients ensures each Thai dish he creates is so irresistible. He selects only the most vibrant vegetables and colourful curries to use in his meals, carefully hand-picking the freshest regional produce, meats, herbs and spices. Still, Chef Pitak insists the real magic comes down to the essential ingredients, and a Thai kitchen couldn’t function without garlic, chili, curry and fish sauce. “Fish sauce is the main ingredient for Thai food - like in Western food, it’s the salt and pepper.”
For a man whose motto is “No chili is no happy,” Chef Pitak has made food the spice of life. Blending an authentic Thai taste with his passion for cooking culminates in a uniquely enjoyable dining affair, ensuring every meal at Dee Plee is an unforgettable experience.