The planet’s tastiest game bird is the star of downtown Bangkok’s Taste It All food festival
NOW BACK for its 12th edition, the annual Taste It All @Ratchaprasong is once again taking gourmets on a culinary voyage of the specially created dishes created by eight chefs at luxury restaurants in the high-end area of downtown Bangkok.
The event continues all through October.
As tipped in this year’s theme, “Pheasant Festival”, pheasant from the Royal Project is the main ingredient, a tribute to the success of the Royal Project Foundation initiated by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The Royal Project in the northern highlands has been raising the French breed of pheasant for several years, though the supply remains insufficient to meet demand beyond the needs of restaurant-clients.
Kevin Kristensen wows with “Pheasant in My Herb Garden”.
Danish chef Kevin Kristensen of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok is offering the marvellously named “Pheasant in My Herb Garden”, the fresh meat of the bird simply prepared to preserve its natural taste. You can try it at Tables Grill any day from 6.30 to 10pm for Bt900.
Kristensen evenly cooks the breast sous vide first to tenderise the meat, then pan-grills it to bring out the aroma, and finally smokes it among herbs and seasons with a sauce of Royal Project lemon thyme, lemon balm, dong quai and sweet basil.
Nico Merten’s wondrous “Royal Pheasant Breast”.
Nico Merten of the Anantara Siam Bangkok loved eating pheasant as a child growing up in Germany and, for “Royal Pheasant Breast”, employs both Eastern and Western cooking techniques, including frying, searing and sous vide.
The breast is simmered with thyme and rosemary, then seared to a golden yellow. Drumsticks are rolled in salt, pepper, chopped carrot and onion and juniper fruit and oven-cooked. The meat falls from the bone and is mixed with carrot, onion and star anise and shaped into balls, refrigerated, and coated with breadcrumbs for frying.
You can get the breast and drumstick balls with celeriac root mash, pak choy, cranberries and sauces of cranberry and star anise at Madison for Bt950.
Christian Ham entices with “Pheasant and Foie Gras Pie with Pheasant Soup”.
At Red Sky at the Centara Grand at CentralWorld, Christian Ham’s “Pheasant and Foie Gras Pie with Pheasant Soup” is a double marvel for Bt1,100 a-la-carte or Bt2,955 as part of a five-course feast.
Chef Ham stir-fries diced foie gras with Portobello mushrooms and boils his bird with onion, carrot and coriander seeds and wraps it in pastry to be baked.
“The foie gras keeps the pheasant meat moist, and their tastes go perfectly together,” he says. “The mushrooms absorb the excess water and fat from both, so the overall taste of the pie is nicely balanced.”
Decorated with sliced beetroot and topped with red-wine sauce, the dish arrives with soup of long-simmered pheasant thigh.
Sebastian Reischer turns heads with “Royal Project Pheasant Roulade”.
Sebastian Reischer of the InterContinental Bangkok brings Austrian kitchen know-how to “Royal Project Pheasant Roulade” at the Fireplace Grill and Bar.
The meat is rolled around Italian chipolata that’s been spiced with thyme, sage and rosemary. The roll is then cooked sous vide, stir-fried with sage and butter, and served with smoked foie gras foam, truffle oil and Austrian spinach, along with crisp-fried sage leaf and fennel salad topping. It costs Bt1,500, or Bt3,000 in a three-course set.
Sorachart Monkolsiri has exceeded with “Roast Pheasant with Spiced Apple Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce”
Sorachart Monkolsiri of the Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam has “Roast Pheasant with Spiced Apple Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce” that’s as healthy as it is inspired and inspiring.
Sorachart was thinking of both his father and the late King when he conceived the idea of marinating pheasant meat in salt, pepper and rosemary, immersing it in olive oil and stuffing it with a stir-fry of green and red apples, chillies, almonds, raisins in three colours and red wine.
The stuffed meat is then roasted and presented with cherry tomato, baby carrot, beetroot and zucchini, all butter-fried to perfectly complement the taste of the pheasant. A nice topping of cranberry sauce and pansy petals adds visual appeal. It’s at The Square restaurant for Bt450.
Matthias Mittnacht tempts with “Fagiano alla Cacciatora”.
Matthias Mittnacht of the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel was inspired by travels in Italy when creating “Fagiano alla Cacciatora”.
A whole pheasant is marinated with thyme and rosemary, an herb widely used in southern Italy. A stuffing of stir-fried green apple, celery and onion is prepared and (here’s the secret) allowed to cool before putting it inside the bird. This prevents the pheasant from starting to cook prematurely.
Once stuffed, the bird is bound in bacon and oven-cooked. It arrives at the table with baby carrots and Brussels sprouts stir-fried in butter-garlic sauce with bacon, cranberry sauce and creme de cassis – a liqueur made from blackcurrants – as well as authentic Italian ciabatta bread.
The queue forms outside La Tavola & Wine Bar and the price is Bt950.
Lak Preeprem presents “St Regis Siam Pheasant”.
At the St Regis Bangkok restaurant Viu, Lak Preeprem took his cues from a winter’s hunt in old-time England. “St Regis Siam Pheasant” is a game-bird success and also costs Bt950.
Lak cooks the meat with herbs sous vide to retain the nutritional benefits of both. The pheasant is wrapped in Italian ham, then again in a lace of fat ready for the oven. High temperature melts the fat to moisten the meat.
Accompanying the dish is a pheasant sausage of ground, seasoned thigh meat in sheep intestine, first stir-fried and then oven-cooked. Also presented are boiled, mashed Japanese pumpkin, parboiled green asparagus, French fries and fried foie gras with a sauce produced from a whole pheasant, “to heighten the taste and aroma of pheasant in every bite”, as Lak says.
Bongkoch Satongun serves “Northern Larb Pheasant Salad”.
The restaurant Paste at Gaysorn Village, participating in the festival for the first time, has had Bongkoch Satongun come up with “Northern Larb Pheasant Salad”. It’s a well-balanced mix of meat and Thai-grown herbs like Indian ivy-rue and long pepper. Priced at Bt700, it’s a nod to the North, original home to the Royal Project.
“Northern Thai dishes usually have minimal seasoning so the ingredients can really express themselves,” Bongkoch says. “In this dish, the pleasing smell of northern parsley and young olive leaf add much to the taste.”
She pounds the herbs into a curry paste, mixes in chopped pheasant meat and additional spices, and roasts it all in a pot. It’s terrific with jasmine rice and northern vegetable condiments, and beautifully adorned with edible flowers from the Royal Project.
BANGKOK’S BEST BANQUET
These amazing dishes are being served through October 31.
During the food festival, holders of Kasikornbank credit cards can get 20-per-cent discounts on all of the signature dishes listed in this article and up to 50 per cent off the price of other menu items at participating hotels and restaurants.
Learn more about what’s on offer at www.BkkDowntown.com and the “We love Ratchaprasong” Facebook page.