My endless love towards Thai food started with a soup and the list of beloved dishes gradually grew with time. There’s a very simple reason for this: the harmony of flavors. That is, the harmony of the five basic flavors: sweet, savory, sour, bitter and hot. As the curry, chili, coriander, ginger or lemon balm explode in your mouth and leave an unspeakably exciting mixture behind... Of course, it’s much simpler written down than in reality, if it wasn’t this way, we’d find better and better Thai restaurants in the capital. The quality ingredients and expertise are essential without doubt but there’s a secret included: the love for the Thai world and flavors.
Attila Kiss and his Thai wife, Su, conceptualized this restaurant to provide traditional Thai courses on Andrássy út as an alternative for people who would otherwise have to browse among last minute offers to Thailand.
Everything for the eyes
You encounter the first surprise as soon as you enter the door. An open kitchen separated by a glass wall is what will catch your eyes. There are no hidden or suspicious ingredients and chefs lurking in the dim lights. Here everything goes on in front of customers’ eyes. And it’s the way we like it! And we also look with awe as the five cooks make do with the cramped place that the kitchen is. But as the Hungarian saying goes, good people fit into small places, too. And good people they are, or at least it seems so by the smiles upon their faces.
Fortunately, a more generous allocation of room is provided for guests. One can sit at a table either on the ground floor, the mezzanine or a separate bigger hall. The interior is delicate, it could be classified as minimal. Anyway, the atmosphere is really pleasant and friendly. Even more so as the chatting of guests and the Thai music fills up the room. What’s more, if you’re ambitious enough or had enough to drink, you might as well ask for the mic. You’ll definitely be fond of karaoke.
At the end of your chopsticks...
Let’s have some words about the dishes, too. If you’ve tried Thai before, you know that love for spices is a must. We had also prepared our taste buds as well as our stomachs for this. The “Golden bag” (pork spring roll) served as an appetizer was a good course to arouse our interests with its modest flavors.
Next came the soup called Kaeng Sum Tom Yum, the specialty of the house. And I could go on about the merits of the soup for long hours but I’ll just skip that for now. But you absolutely have to taste this powerful, hot soup with lemon balm. Even more so if you’ve caught a cold. Of course, we weren’t satisfied with this much, we went on trying out other dishes, as well: The Phad Thai with shrimp, the sweet and sour fish, the pork with ginger and the Thai jasmine rice with chicken and green curry. Phad Thai noodles can really be recommended to anyone. It’s a flavorful combination of noodles, chicken, nuts, tofu and bean sprouts. It was just as great an experience to try the vegetables prepared in wok and we also had the chance to marvel at the perfectly cooked jasmine rice. And thanks to the open kitchen you can freely inquire about the methods involved in the preparation of the dishes. The chicken with green curry was a little too thin and the sweet and sour sauce came also somewhat short of our expectations.
Sweet life Thai-style
And what if you’d like to have a dessert? Well, don’t expect to find Spongecake Somló-style on the menu. Special delicacies are there for the daring, though. There’s, for instance, the Tapioca gel with dragon’s eye, which, with its texture similar to jellybeans, the light layer of coconut cream and a lychee on top is quite an experience to taste. And as cherry on top it’s not only perfect for satisfying your lust for sweets but it’s healthy, as well, as tapioca is righ in proteins and vitamins.
All in all, it’s absolutely worth paying a visit to Kaeng Som Tom Yum whether you’re a fan of characteristic Thai flavors or only an adventurer in the exotic lands thereof. Anyhow, you’ll stay.