Thai Dining, Khan Tok Style @ Mekong, Anantara The Palm Dubai

I’ve been to Mekong at Anantara The Palm a couple of times now. Not as many times as I’ve been to Thailand – just enough to recommend to friends if they were to ask for a good Thai spot.Β  Their ala carte dishes never disappointΒ – though we were not blown away with their Sam Yan Market night which used to be held every Monday. Asian food buffet-style don’t always work. So when Mekong launched a new dining concept which coincidentally will fall every Monday as well (to replace Sam Yan?) – it was to be called Khan Tok (raised-dining?), we were happy to accept the invitation to review the new menu πŸ™‚

What is it?Β 

A dining-style common in northern Thailand (Chiang Mai) isΒ Khan Tok, where dishes are served in a raised tray and guests sat on the floor around it to share. I would have loved to sit on the floor, though this would meant a complete re-organising of the furniture within Mekong, so we were happy enough to be put in their private dining room. More privacy for the sleeping baby as well! What a gorgeous private room it was – with traditional thai oil-paper umbrellas placed ceiling to wall, creating a cosy ambience – and had mum and I taking a million photos.

Here’s one that didn’t have my big face in it :

Mekong’s private dining room

If you were planning a private party for about 25 people, here’s one to consider πŸ˜‰

What is served, and what did we think of it?Β 

Appetisers, Khan-tok style

From the appetisers selection that were served to table, we loved the spicy prawns salad with thai herbs (plaa-kong) – prawns were not over-cooked, just-right, and as we had requested – spicy. The Β chicken (kai-yang) was served satay-style, tastily grilledΒ with a hint of lemon-grass. The beef (nee-yang) was not our favourite – we both thought it was too tough – not too sure if that’s the way it’s supposed to be as it’s sun-dried. It’s been awhile since we’ve had thai fish cakes (thod mann pla) and I’ll say Mekong does a pretty good fish cake, served with their home-made peanut sweet chilli sauce. With so much flavour, it’s a smart move for them to introduce a simple mixed green salad (num-phik) to even things out.

Tom Kar Kai

We took a break before having their next dish – a coconut chicken cream soup with mushroom – with just the right amount of tanginess to it.

Mains

And for the main deal, our favourite would have to be the duck with tamarind sauce – tender, tangy, and flavoursome. Again, the beefΒ was not a winner – much too tough, eventhough this a curry dish (Kaeng hung-le Nee), cooked with tomatoes, potatoes and bamboo shoot. We eat sea bass a lot at home and like it steamed, so having it deep fried with three flavour chilli sauce was a nice change. The grilled mince chicken curry wrapped in banana leaves however didn’t quite work for us –Β mince and curry and then wrapped – I don’t know … maybe we should have had it when it was warmer? All this, served with sticky rice, and wok fried vegetables.

Dessert

Much used in a lot of restaurants nowadays – dessert served with liquid nitrogen for the wow effect πŸ˜‰ This was coconut ice cream with mango, served in a coconut with surprisingly fresh coconut flesh inside… which I so miss, and was so happy to scrape it all out to where it belongs – my tummy πŸ™‚

The Flaming Rickshaw Cocktail!

Overall thoughts – For 230 AED per person for food only on a Monday night, it would be perfectΒ I’ll say to include at least one drink. A few dishes that need a bit of improvement, otherwise great for those craving for some good Thai on a schoolnight. Pick a seat out in the terrace on the rickshaw before it gets too hot – and if you want to have a few cocktails, I recommend trying out theΒ Angry Bird… or the Flaming Rickshaw πŸ˜‰

Disclaimer :Β We were guests of Mekong at Anantara The PalmΒ to review Khan Tok.Β Thoughts are our own, though it is entirely up to you to judge.


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