Talk about taking your taste buds on a journey - The Thai Experience in Koh Samui was nothing short from fantastic. This innovative dining experience ensures its guests a flavorful combination of 16 dishes that entertain Thai flavors with a modern twist for meat lovers and vegetarians alike.
Our evening took place in a custom built dining room, that has a 21 guest maximum to keep the setting intimate and allow you to get to know your fellow table mates and travelers from all over the world. Upon arrival, you’re given a welcome drink in coconut wood champagne flute (to keep you hydrated) a chef’s hat (to keep you feeling chef chic), a chef’s apron (to keep you looking fresh and clean) and a pin to mark where you are from on a gigantic wall map bordering the room. It’s amazing to see how so many people from all over the world are brought under one roof, in one room, for one night, to share a unique dining experience together filled with laughter, travel stories, and an anticipation to test their palette with mouth watering delights.
Before the courses began we embarked on our favorite part … cocktails!!! Here we got to test our bartending abilities by making our very own tropical cocktails. The only twist was it had to be for your neighbor to the left so an extra strong drink for them, would be an entertaining night for you! The crowd favorite by far was the cucumber gin and tonic with a hint of chili. Talk about a kick in the mouth, refreshing with just the right amount of spice. Let’s just say our table kept the refills a comin’.
Once drinks were underway we began on the starters. This flavor trio was filled with bright colors, fresh ingredients and fantastic presentation. Each person was given a pork salad, south american style ceviche (which the locals like to call Thaiviche), and our favorite by far, the fresh crab and prawn salad with wonton cracker. Mixed with lime, lemongrass and ginger these dishes shared the commonality of being light and refreshing with the perfect amount of acidity. A fantastic way to awaken our senses for the courses to come.
Next up was the street food portion to the night. Here were all of the types of street food you would expect to see from Thailand’s various street vendors. From chicken hearts to livers to bbq pork, we got the rundown on what’s what in the street world. For our tasting journey however we just tried the marinated pork collar and chicken cashew nut skewers. This left the more intense options to the imagination...
Before feverishly devouring our street food skewers, we were given the chance to make our very own nahm, which is a classic Thai dressing made with fish sauce, lime juice, chili and sugar. Make it as sweet or as spicy as you like, let yourself be the judge. But when that nahm sauce is done, we found it to be the perfect pairing to pour over our pork collar skewers for one mouth watering bite after another.
Then we had what I like to call our food intermission. While we waited for our “main courses” the ever enchanting and animated Claire took us through a brief tutorial on Thai etiquette: the do’s and don'ts of being a visitor in Thai culture. From footwear to greetings, massages to bum guns … we learned it all in a brief yet comically descriptive and artistic manner.
Shortly thereafter, our main courses were ready to be served. We kick started round two with tom kha gai, a Thailand soup staple of coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass, mushroom and lime. Let’s just say this soup is and will always be a game changer. Such a unique blend of flavors leaving you wanting more. Post soup we were officially off to the main course races, enjoying a Thai-style lunch box filled with pork belly, stir fried shrimp and prawns with mushrooms and pork.
As if that wasn’t enough, we were then showered with three takes on white snapper: steamed, pan fried and beer battered with accompanying sauces of course. Let’s just say our bellies were filled to the brim but who says no to dessert? Definitely not us.
For the grand finale we were given a dessert trio of ginger and passionfruit semi freddo, coconut panna cotta with mango coulis, and thai tea tres leche. The semi freddo was a cross between ice cream and sorbet giving it an airy texture that was very refreshing and light. The panna cotta was a modern fusion of coconut and mango flavors. And the thai tres leche (by far the most unique) takes the meaning Thai tea to a whole new level. Let’s just say no crumb was spared from the dessert party in our mouths.
The Thai Experience delivered on its promise. The night was filled with fantastic food, incredible service and lots of laughter. Hands down the highlight to our trip and will be a memorable dinner we’ll never forget!