Note: This was an invite.
My first stint with Benjarong (I’ve not told this even to the Chef) was when they were a year old, I think. I was very young (back then😁) and was all excited to try Thai food. I remember it was a Netted Egg kinda dish that put me off completely and I literally ran out of the place. Then, I started exploring and reading about the cuisine. Couple of years later, I travelled to Thailand and having experienced the food there returned to Benjarong (At that point of time this was the only Thai Restaurant in the city I knew of). Never looked at any other Restaurant in the City (when I don’t want to experiment) for my Thai cravings till now.
Benjarong turned 20, recently (On 10th February) making a benchmark in the industry. It’s no mean feet to achieve this. To survive 20 years and still stand tall and strong and continue being one of the most sought after Thai Restaurants in the city is such a great achievement. The restaurant must have seen so many changes – trends, marketing techniques, competitors, etc. Surviving it all to become one of the city’s heritage point now is such a proud moment to the team. Luckily for me, I know the Chef of this place very well and he’s a person who’s knowledge and expertise, I admire. He’s been associated with this place for more than a decade, now.
To celebrate the 20 years achievement, Benjarong is running a special menu curated by the visiting Chef. Waipop Saepueng. Chef Waipop is closely associated with the Thai Consulate and represents his country’s cuisine in different parts of the world as a visiting chef. His food speaks for him and his ideas of presenting Thai food by incorporating new ingredients is just brilliant.
The Menu is absolutely drool worthy. The presentation and taste is exceptional. The attached pictures are quiet self explanatory.
1. Lui Suan: Stuffed Rice Rolls. The Roll had fresh veggies (uncooked except for the boiled Shrimps). One dip into the strong Basil Sauce it came with, the taste becomes heavenly.
3. Ka Nom Pang Na Kai – Ground Chicken on Toast. Hands down my favorite 😁
4. Larb Tod – This is such a brilliant idea. For those who know the Larb salad. This is the croquettes version of the same.
5. Poh Pai Ped – Roasted Duck stuffed Spring Roll. Yummy!
6. Tom Jued – Spicy Clear Soup with Sweet Potatoes, Shallots and Sweet Basil. This was a revelation for me because the broth of the soup had Tamarind in it. And, after what the Chef mentioned, I realised how close this soup is to our own Rasam.
7. Khao Pad Kaeng Massaman – Rice Tossed in Massaman Curry. A bit dry for my liking.
8. Woonsen Bai Horappa – Thai Flat Bean Sheet cooked in Sweet Basil Sauce. I liked this Chunky Dish loaded with Minced Chicken and Egg.
9. Na Nam Man Hoy – True representative of Modern Thai Cuisine. Wok tossed Kale leaves and Prawns in Oyster Sauce. Slurp!
10. Goong Pla – Shrimp Salad rich with Onions and Herbs. Excellent!
11. Desserts – All 5 desserts in the menu looked tempting. I have a weakness for jelly textured dishes. So, I’ll be partial to Kanom Chan, the Pandan and Coconut Layered Dessert. But, creation wise Ka Nom Mor Kaeng, was impressive. It carried subtle flavours of Onions that’s added in this Dessert Dish. Ta Ko Heaw, the Water Chestnuts and Coconut Pudding for sure will be liked by all.
The Celebration Menu is on till this month end.
Address and Location:
146, TT Krishnamachari Rd,
Sri Ram Nagar,
Chennai – 600018