Cool Down This Summer With The Royal Cuisine: Khao Chae
Thailand’s weather can be quite hard to handle especially on the hottest month of the year: April. With Songkran, Thai New Year, arriving soon, you cannot miss the fun of soaking in cool water—and includes your rice.
Khao chae is a menu Thais adopted from the Mon tribe that gained popularity in the era of King Rama IV. Centred on steamed rice immersed with fragrant flower-infused water, Khao chae is enjoyed with a variety of side dishes such as deep-fried shrimp paste balls, sweetened dried turnip, deep-fried shallots with shredded pork and sweet shredded fish.
A culinary tradition once reserved for only members of royalty, today it is a widely accessible dish in Thailand, loved by diners and inventive chefs alike. To get the royal treatment this summer, here are a few recommended places around town that are serving the best khao chae.
Abode to celebrity chef Chumpon Jangprai, RHAAN on Sukhumvit 53 prides itself as a high-end authentic Thai cuisine fine-dine, and with one of the most important Thai festivals practically here, you cannot miss what chef Chumpon has to offer. RHAAN is offering delicious, cooling khao chae as a lunch set on weekends from 11am until 2:30pm. Or, if you prefer it during dinner, it's available daily from 6 to 11pm until June 9.
095-141-5524, 02-059-0433-4, r-haan.com
Erawan Tea Room, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
Chef Archara of Erawan Tea Room brings back the hotel's traditional khao chae menu this summer but hurry, because the promotion lasts only until April 16. Served daily from 10am to 10pm, one khao chae set is priced 599++ baht per person.
02-254 6250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Spice Market, Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel
Inviting you to taste the tradition of Thai summer, Spice Market Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel presents its seasonal khao chae menu by chef Warinthorn Sumrithphon. Available daily from 11:30am-2:30pm until April 19, the special meal is priced 720++ baht per set.
02-126-8866 ext 1232, email@example.com
You have the change of only seven days to savour Shangrila’s khao chae at the hotel's NEXT2 restaurant. Made from top grade jasmine rice and smoked with herbal candle, NEXT2’s khao chae is made with great details as traditionally done in the past. Have this salivating menu from 10 to 16 April. The price is 1,200 baht per person.
Thara Thong and Lobby Lounge, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers
Cool off the extreme heat at Thara Thong and Lobby Lounge at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers with their lovely khao chae. The jasmine water immersed rice and its accompanying condiments are served refreshingly cold daily at Lobby Lounge from noon to 6pm and in the evening at Thara Thong from 6 to 10pm. Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel is offering this seasonal delight for a little longer than most places, until the end of June. TOne set is priced 550++ baht.
Up & Above Restaurant, Okura Prestige Bangkok
Up & Above Restaurant chimes in with their delicious rendition of khao chae, served in beautiful celadon chinaware. Order yours from today until the end of April daily from noon to 5pm. The set is priced 590++ baht with a complementary herbal drink served in a giveaway traditional Thai water cup.
(See also: The Okura Prestige Bangkok's Tea Set Will Transport You To Sakura Season, Japan)