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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Issaya Siamese Club - Thai Restaurant, Bangkok (English)

Issaya Siamese Club - Thai Restaurant, Bangkok, Chef Ian Kittichai

Overall Score  9/10
Taste   5/5
Ambiance  4/5
Service  4/5
Value   3/5

Issaya Siamese Club by Chef Ian on www.BumRes.com

The Issaya – Siamese Club is another creation of an excellent culinary experience by Chef Ian Kittichai.  This is the Iron Chef Thailand’s third restaurant in Bangkok (full service restaurants).  Each places has different concept expressing its unique character.  For example; Hyde & Seek offers international foods, 99 Rest has Thai and European, and lastly the Issaya is an All Thai with a fusion touch.  The menu of Issaya is called Issaya Childhood Menu: Favorite dishes from Chef Ian’s childhood.  I really want to know if Chef Ian was eating these menus as a child.  If he did, his mother has got to be a great chef too, lol (just wanted to pick on him).

The Issaya – Thai Restaurant is located in an awkward location.  I mean, if you weren’t trying to find this place, you will probably never run into this place by accident.  Issaya resides in a renovated old Thai House on Soi Sri-Aksorn, accessible from the Chuea Ploeng Road on the Rama III or Rama IV Road.  You can take a look on the map in the tab info for more your convenience.  Menu concentrates on a few top-pick dishes, which is similar to Chef Ian’s other restaurants.  You can see details of the menu in the tab menu as usual, I have already input for all of you to view.  Lunch separates from the dinner menu.  I believe at lunch time you can order from the dinner menu.   

We ordered a lot of food.  First dish served was the – Baked rice with Num-Liab in Claypot (Chinese influenced menu) - Asian multigrain, Chiang Mai mushrooms and garlic sprinkled with mushroom scented oil (280 Baht).  This pick was my friend’s favorite from his last visit.  I was stunned when I first saw this dish; it was the best looking Kao Pad Num Liab on the face of this planet.  About the flavor, I like the normal looking ones at Chinese Restaurant more.  I am not saying that it was not delicious.  The Num-Liam rice was good in its westernized way.  Second dish was the best of best presented by Issaya.  The Mussamun Lamb Shank (690 Baht) is a well known menu among Bangkok restaurateurs.  One of my friends that went together this time wanted to go to Issaya again because of this menu.  I heard that the Dessert Chef had to get a taste of the broth every single day and there wasn’t a day that Mussamun gravy lacked savory and delectableness.   Last year CNNGO rated Mussamun to be the Number One, best menu in the world.  Could it be that they had come to taste Chef Ian’s Mussamun? 

The third dish was the Tom Yum Seafood Sausage, one of the creative choices in the childhood menu.  Western style seafood sausage, along with fresh shrimp and fish fillet in the famous Thai soup was extremely to die for.  Tom Yum broth wasn’t too spicy for customers with mild palates.  All intense flavors were together in harmony; all of us were slurping this soup like there was no tomorrow.  A comment on the fish sausage, it was new to all of us; blended well with whole dish.  The fourth dish was the Kurobuta Pork Loin Salad (450 Baht), presentation was delightful but the taste wasn’t so impressive.  It was kind of dry and had a weird taste from the excessive topping on top of the thin pork slices.  This one was the worst dish in the meal.  Fifth dish was the Salted yellow bean Augergine (200 Baht), my first sight of the dish was a surprise; like what the hell was this long chunk (see photo).  To be honest, the taste was good.  Eggplant was baked to a soft texture and it was so sweet like a dessert.  Actually it almost failed as a main dish and would definitely be better off served as a dessert (in my opinion).

The last of the main dish was the Grilled Sankaburee Chicken (550 Baht), which was the highlight of the meal.  Issaya Siamese Club’s technique was to collect several parts of the chicken to cut into cubes and marinated with Cumin and other Thai herbs to where it became so tender off the grill.  At first, the chicken tasted like the Satay found in food stalls, but an amazing one.  Juiciness and tenderness of the Chicken meat offered the feel of biting into a fatty part.  Sankaburee chicken was so excellent; I wonder what the secret to preparing this yummy Thai dish is.  We also had three choices of desserts but I won’t talk too much about them.  They were Jackfruit Ice-cream and cake sandwich, Coconut Ice-cream, and  Issaya Sweet Nothings (180 Baht).  All of them were Thai desserts, fusion with western style.  Since I am not a dessert person, I can’t really be the judge.  

Our serious lunch at the Issaya Siamese Club was overall impressive.  My actual experience of Chef Ian’s expertise on Thai dishes was great, just as I had expected.  All of the dishes were authentic with a twist, to create a more attractive presentation and to adjust to a proper spiciness for the international customers.  But, not overly twisted in order to touch the hearts of local Thais as well.   Atmosphere and service were not to worry about.  This high end restaurant is promising to give you the classy experience in an extraordinary way.  I guarantee you and your party will be satisfied just like I was. 

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