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I always wanted to visit the exclusive Thai restaurant Benjarong in Bangalore. I had heard some really good reviews about the place and as I had got addicted to Thai food when I went to Thailand for my honeymoon, I wanted to check out Benjarong soon. So it was great to get a chance to review the food at Benjarong as part of the burrp Chef’s Table presented by Yes Bank in association with VH1. It was meant to be an evening in the company of Chefs, some great food and like-minded foodies.

Benjarong restaurant with the tagline ‘The lingering taste of Thailand’ was very inviting and decked up for a special event with the bloggers and a food festival happening there too. It is located on Ulsoor road which is parallel to MG road near Trinity circle.

If you are wondering what Benjarong means, it literally means ‘Five Colors’ and is very similar to the Hindi word for the same ‘Panch Rang’! In this particular context, it means the unique kind of Thai porcelain which is renowned for its intricate and exquisitely executed patterns. Read on to find out more about Benjarong!

Benjarong was nicely decked up for the ‘Loi Krathong’ festival which literally means the ‘Festival of Lights’. This is similar to our Diwali festival and was from 26th November 2012 to 9th December 2012. Soon it was time to indulge in a splendid range of Thai delicacies and be overwhelmed by the experience!

Our welcome drink at the Chef’s table was the Siam sparkle which was a sweet drink but had flavors of ginger and chillies. It was a nice drink to refresh us after a long day at work and prepare our palate for the Thai food feast that lay ahead of us!

First starter we tried was the Miang Kham which is a traditional snack from Thailand and Laos. It means “eating many things in one bite”. It has many flavors like ginger, lemon, chillies, peanuts and onions. It is similar to Paan that we have in India but is an appetizer and the burst of flavors in your mouth is amazing!

Next on the list of appetizers were Grathong thong je and Tod mun pla. Grathong thong je was water chestnuts, mixed peppers, corn and peas with minced chicken tossed in a delicate sauce served in rice tartlets. Tod mun pla were Thai fish cakes served with cucumber and peanut relish. There was also Salad in form of Larb Gai which is minced chicken salad with mint and makrut leaves in a spicey dressing. These appetizers were relished by us and we asked for a second helping to enjoy the wonderful taste!

If you thought only non-vegetarians had access to the best food at Benjarong, you are mistaken! Even the vegetarians were spoilt for a choice as they enjoyed not just Grathong thong je for appetizers, but also Tung Tong which was crispy fried golden bags with water chestnut filling. These were really yummy and even non-vegetarians asked for multiple servings of this!

In the meanwhile as we waited for the main course to arrive, we had a glimpse of the different spices which are used in the Thai cooking at Benjarong. These are specially sourced from Thailand itself if they are not available in India. These included basil leaves, pepper, chillies among others. We were really fascinated to hear about the commitment to authentic Thai cooking which the chefs at Benjarong have. They have made multiple trips to Thailand to learn the tricks of the trade and also adopted some of the home cooking from Thailand in their menus here which is not available anywhere in the world!

The non-vegetarians had a surprise in store for them as we got our soup in a very traditional Thai style which I had seen in Thailand where Thai curry is served in the same style too! We got the Tom Kati goong soup which is Thai coconut cream soup with prawn, lemon grass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves served in tender coconut shell! I loved this soup and it definitely was one of the best highlights of the day!

Main course for non-vegetarians was Pahd thai goong (wrapped in egg omelette) which is thai rice sticks cooked in a sweet and tangy sauce with prawns. I wasn’t really excited with this but what impressed me more was the Hormok Talay which was steamed seafood mousse – I loved the delicate tastes in this! To wrap up the main course we had Gai tod nam prik pow which was chicken tossed in a roasted chilli paste.

After tasting such wonderful food, we were really full but the chefs at Benjarong told us to wait for the dessert which was a trio of surprise! We had Sakoo piak maprow on, which is Thai sago pudding with young coconut and corn along with Water chestnut in coconut milk and Lemon grass ice cream! To say I was pleasantly amazed would be an understatement!

I was blown away by this wonderful Dessert to complete an outstanding meal! This definitely was one of the best food experiences of all time. I was really thankful to Benjarong and Burrp for such a wonderful evening!

Swapnil Midha, Assistant Manager & Aji Joseph, Corporate Chef- FD at Oriental Cuisines, which manages Benjarong along with many other wonderful restaurants like Ente Keralam and The French Loaf; took a bow for this wonderful feast along with the chefs of Benjarong who created a wonderful experience for us!

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