I’m taking a rare day off work in the middle of the week, and of course I ended up working most of the day anyway. I did, however, allow myself a leisurely lunch with Hello Kitty – which is something we haven’t enjoyed together much during the work week. I asked her where she wanted to go, and wouldn’t you just know it… she picked some place that was literally across the street from my office!
Aaharn (อาหาร) has been open for a while now, but somehow we never got around to checking it out. It’s not my usual practice to hit places when they’re new, and somehow none of my friends ever talked about this place much. That’s kinda strange, especially considering the chef behind it… and the fact that it has a Michelin star. We came for a late lunch, and got a table on the balcony overlooking the Tai Kwun courtyard.
We each took the 3-course set lunch for our first taste.
Pineapple with popcorn chicken and chilli paste – the chicken/chili paste was pretty sweet, but did pack a reasonable amount of heat.
Chiang Mai chilli relish with steamed quail eggs, herbs and crispy bean curd skins – a pretty interesting dish. Loved the deep-fried tofu skin, and the relish was actually pretty spicy.
Grilled chicken with chilli, fish sauce and tamarind – the chicken was pretty decent, and the fish sauce came with tangy tamarind and a little kick.
This bowl of soup came with our mail courses and rice, and was really comforting. We’ve got loofah and egg drops, and flavored with fish sauce and black pepper. I greedily drank the whole bowl.
Crispy perch and tamarind, chilli and holy basil – the less interesting of the two mains. The deep-fried fish was fine, but the paste tasted more like tomato or ketchup based rather than tamarind. Not much heat here. Lots of deep-fried basil on top.
Jungle curry of beef with tart Thai leaves and green peppercorns – this was pretty damn hot, so I only had a little taste. But flavors were more complex here.
Mango with sticky rice – the mango wasn’t that good, but I liked that they sprinkled crispy mung beans on top.
Coconut dumplings with palm sugar and grated coconut – this was much more interesting than I had expected. The warm dumplings came with very smoky palm sugar, and I loved the shredded coconut strands.
I know that it’s not fair to judge a restaurant by a set lunch, so perhaps one of these days we’ll grab a couple of friends and come back for dinner. Since traveling to Thailand isn’t an option at the moment, this may be our only option for some fine dining Thai.
This content was originally published here.