Chef Naphaphak Prompaksa, the maestro who helms the kitchen at Rim Naam by The Oberoi Bangalore, is at Amara this week to treat Hyderabad to the wholesome flavours of Thai cuisine. Amara is known for its buffet, and as you might expect, several Thai dishes will be available on the buffet. However, it is also offering a four-course prix fixe menu and a full-fledged a la carte menu curated by Chef Prompaksa, who is better known her nickname of ‘Tam’.
I was invited by Trident to experience the set menu, which is split across soup, salad, main course, and dessert. The menu reads like a greatest hits collection of Thai dishes. We began with the aromatic and rejuvenating coconut-milk loaded Tom Kha Phak soup and quickly moved onto the zesty and fiery Som Tam (raw papaya and peanut salad). There are two options in the main course – stir fried Tofu/Chicken/Prawn in basil sauce with flat rice noodles and Thai Red Curry with Jasmine Rice. Thai curries need little introduction; a host of bold aromas and flavours sing in unison to create something magical. Give me even a mediocre Thai Red Curry and Jasmine Rice, and I’m still going to be quite happy. But this wasn’t mediocre; far from it. The fragrant, silky curry was absolutely divine and was devoured with joy. The dessert on offer was Rohm Mit, a close cousin of the more well-known Tub Tim Krob that substitutes the coconut milk with Carnation milk and the water chestnuts with assorted dry nuts and syrup.
The set menu is priced at Rs. 2100 (plus taxes) per person, while the buffet is priced at Rs. 1638 all-inclusive. Chef Tam is undeniably skilled, and the food she dished out for us was sublime. My only criticism would be that the prix fixe menu is conservative and fails to go beyond the ubiquitous Thai dishes. The buffet would be the ideal medium to showcase the universally loved dishes, while the set menu with its higher pricing and fewer choices should aspire to dive deeper and showcase lesser known gems from Chef Tam’s treasure trove.