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Thai in Mumbai

Female chef promises to dish out some unique recipes to city foodies, reports Naomi Canton.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2009 19:39 IST
Naomi Canton

A new Thai chef has joined the ITC Hotel, the Maratha, the five star hotel close to the international airport.

Chef Aphaimanee Phaprom, known as Chef Manee, is the new Thai chef at Pan Asian, the East Asian restaurant.

The 54-year-old comes from an area that is east of Bangkok, where her family still resides. She previously worked at a five star hotel there and has in the past done a short stint at the Sheraton, Delhi.

The aim is that she settles in and understands the Indian customers needs first, says executive chef Rajdeep Kapoor.
Then in November, he is planning a Thai food promotion for which Phaprom will create some unique recipes she has brought in from Thailand.

In January some of these new dishes are likely to be added to the menu, he adds.

Pan Asian serves Japanese, (Sichuan) Chinese, Thai, Korean and Mongolian food.

“We always have an expat chef in charge of each cuisine, so we have a Chinese chef, a dim sum chef, a Japanese chef and a Thai chef,” Kapoor says.

Phaprom as Thai chef will also be responsible for the Korean cuisine.

Indians tend to opt for Chinese food, but Kapoor says there is an opportunity to increase the consumption of Thai cuisine in Mumbai.

“There are very few Thai restaurants in Mumbai and I think there is an opportunity to expand Thai food here more,” he says.
“Indian and Thai food are quite similar as both are spicy and include curries and rice. In Thailand they use different spices to Indians such as lemon grass, kaffir lime and galanga,” Kapoor says.

“Indian food is spicier than Thai food as the palm sugar and coconut milk in Thai food tends to reduce the spiciness,” he says.

Phaprom, who has been in the city just two weeks, says so far her red prawn and green chicken curries plus her Pad Thai (stir fried Thai noodles) are the most popular dishes with Indian customers, and these are also the favourite dishes in Thailand.

“I want more people in India to eat Thai food,” Phaprom says.