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Pachaylen Sticks to Tradition in a Modern Thai Restaurant Setting
Seeing as one of Bangkok’s most popular and picturesque festivals, Loy Krathong is soon upon us this month (Nov 14), it is fitting that we recently got an invitation to Pachaylen, often touted as Abu Dhabi’s top Thai restaurant. What followed was a dining experience filled with flare and explosive flavour from start to finish.
Teaching the whole table to prepare a light miang kham snack was a delightful way to begin our traditional Thai food immersion. Miang kham translates to “one bite wrap” and consists of loading various spices, nuts and lashings of coconut sauce into betel leaves. The small parcels come packed with a burst of flavours and crunch, it’s beautiful.
They certainly stirred our taste buds to attention in time for the arrival of the outrageously delicious spicy and sour Tom Yum Khung soup with prawns, alongside starters of an equally hot green papaya salad, lemongrass-marinated chicken skewers with peanut dip, and loaded fried vegetable spring rolls.
For mains, the slow cooked lamb shank curry with sweet potatoes and cashews was slide-off-the-bone perfection, but we were surprised to enjoy the tender fried grouper fillet even more. Oh, the secret magic of marrying contrasting flavours – teach us how! (By the way, the restaurant does offer cooking classes).
This particular reviewing pair isn’t really big on desserts, but smooth vanilla ice cream rolling in the sweet, strangely-textured scoops of mung bean cake on our tongues was an exotic, exciting, welcome end to a rich, flawless dinner.
It always impressive how harmoniously the Thai can blend a rainbow of flavours in their dishes, and you will get to experience and savour that in full here – what we’ll call “taste bud gymnastics”.
We don’t truly know if Pachaylen is the best Thai representative in Abu Dhabi, but we certainly felt transported via their food and will be back for repeat “trips” to the Kingdom.
Pachaylen, Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, Eastern Ring Road
Open daily from 7pm-11pm
Reservations: 02 656 1000, firstname.lastname@example.org
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