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.  Their ala carte dishes never disappoint – 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 🙂

What is it? 

A dining-style common in northern Thailand (Chiang Mai) is 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 😉

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

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  chicken (kai-yang) was served satay-style, tastily grilled 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 beef 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 – 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 😉 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 🙂

The Flaming Rickshaw Cocktail!

Overall thoughts – For 230 AED per person for food only on a Monday night, it would be perfect 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 the Angry Bird… or the Flaming Rickshaw 😉

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

Posted by

Dubai resident. Stays most of the time in the marina as she can't be bothered going anywhere else after work and in the weekends. Originally from the land of the orang utans, spent the latter half of her life in the land down under. Always on the look out for deals, loves organising get-togethers, and occasionally steals some time for a sip of wine or four at ladies nights.

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