Monday, April 23, 2007
Cuisine of the Great Snake
Mahanaga, the God of the Great Snake. The name is Hindu, the decoration is a mix of Asian and Moroccan, the fare is Thai served in Western style; thus, MahaNaga Thai Fusion Restaurant itself is fusion and the food is fusion.
Upon arrival the oriental-colonial style house in yellow caught my immediate attention. I was greeted by a pleasant Thai lady in Moroccan outfit, who guided me through the foyer to the bar which is inspirited in Moroccan style, is probably the most stylist bar in the Sukhumvit area. I took a rest and sip in the colorful bar while waiting for my friends to arrive. The bar offered panorama view of the beautiful European style courtyard where customers could dine under moonlight in a romantic evening (or sunlight if one needs a good tan). I chose to be entertained indoors where decorated in exciting Thai, North African and Asian accents. Before I went on to the menu, I already agreed that MagaNaga Thai Fusion Restaurant is very fusion.
Together with friends who ate with me, we tried our best to order Thai fare even some ingredients may be atypical with the menu, such as rib eye steak with Thai sauce (please imagine). First we picked goong-see-thong (deep-fried prawn rolls on a bed of crispy vermicelli), poo-hoh (deep-fried crab meat, and shrimp wrapped in a tofu sheet), and poh-piah-ped-grob (deep-fried spring rolls wrapped with duck breast, glass noodle, bean sprout, jelly mushroom served with jujube sauce), they all turned out delicious.
After a round of all deep-fried appetizers we proceeded to a menu sounded more fusion included poo-nim-nam-makham (deep-fried soft shell crab in tamarind sauce), hoy-shell-phad-cha (stir-fried scallop with yellow chili and green peppercorn), phad-kaeh-makhuea-on (grilled NZ lamb racks and spiced young eggplant salad with herbal sauce), and chu-chee-pla-salmon (pan-fried salmon in red curry paste served with jasmine and red rice). Stars of the meal were poo-hoh and hoy-shell-phad-cha. Both mingled well in between Thai, Chinese, and Western culinary accents brought out great taste and made my friends' felt that it was well worth to spend their holiday in Bangkok for some Thai cuisine even it was fusion. The sauce for chu-chee-pla-salmon was not bad either; however, I prefer that they serve chu-chee dish with fresh water fish or river prawn.
We voted not to order desserts since we were pretty full after sampling seven dishes of exotic creation by the daring young chef. (Actually we went to Cherubin on Soi Sawasdee for the warm chocolate cake later.) So we concluded our delightful lunch with a visit to the Naga's restroom, colorful and fusion again!
During lunch I also ordered lemongrass juice, and chardonnay for my dear friends. When came to wine there couldn't be fusion. Luckily at MahaNaga they have extensive labels of wines and champagnes from all over the world for wine and dine lovers to sip sip. Wine started from THB 220 ($6.5) a glass or THB 1,400 ($42) a bottle. Dining in this trendy eatery we had to pay a handsome price of around THB 3,500 ($105) for three during lunch, that was included food, drinks and wine.
MahaNaga Thai Fusion Restaurant ***1/2
2 Sukhumvit Soi 29
Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Open daily : lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm, dinner 5:30 - 11 pm
Pay (food only for two): around THB 1,500