The Zen garden and Oriental umbrellas at the entrance can be a little confusing, but the complimentary starter that partners Ehjas M, Isidore Arun Kumar and Sultan Sickenthar have lined up will confirm beyond all doubt that you are headed in the direction of Thai flavours. Not that Absolute Thai on Cenotaph Road needs this affirmation. The Thai lettering on one of the walls (handiwork of Cartwheel Studios, while the garden with bonsai, bamboo, et all is by Studio Decode) is self explanatory, but waking up your palate by chewing on a palak (spinach) leaf wrapped around onion, lime, Thai red chilli, fried coconut, peanut and jaggery sauce is infinitely more so. I’m still reeling from the fiery first bite, but my companion seems to be on a mission, becoming more efficient at the DIY starter with every new one he makes.
Three in one
This is the team behind Sushi In A Box, the approximately year-old sushi take away / delivery outfit on OMR, that has garnered a healthy following that is waiting for its relaunch as a restaurant right on top of Absolute Thai. While that’s just about 20 days away, you may have to wait a little longer to see what Pondicherry’s Baker Street, which is also opening in the same premises, will have to offer. “The idea is to give you a good variety to keep coming back for more,” says Ehjas, with a big smile.
Try and repeat
Speaking of variety, Absolute Thai provides plenty on its table mats (that double as the menu). But today, we simply leave it to chef Chutipakthimaphong Traithot (everyone calls him Yut), who is from Thailand, to decide what we’ll be eating. He makes us dive into a ‘fire pot’ of seafood soup flavoured with the Thai trinity — lemongrass, galangal and chilli. Then it’s time to unwrap pockets of pandan chicken, done expertly with a good balance of blackened and light meat. Deserving special mention are their sesame and peanut sauces that make the chicken and prawn satay that much more appealing. In between morsels of chicken and prawn, we find ourselves scooping up fork fulls of raw mango salad too.
Our mains turn out to be staples — Thai green curry with steamed rice and pad bai krapao gai (minced chicken in basil leaves) — but the chef makes up with a special off-menu dessert. I’ll just say that the black sticky rice with coconut milk and lychee is a reminder of why we love our job!
Meal for two at approximately Rs 1,200. Details: 9884363333