Would you have ever imagined a menu specially crafted around one insanely unique hot sauce? Read on to know how Chef Paul Kinny of Koh – Intercontinental (Marine Drive, Mumbai), went ahead and designed plus experimented with an exclusive pop up menu around sriracha – a hot sauce from Thailand, for the ‘Sriracha Food Festival’.
For those of you who are not aware, this sauce has gained popularity not just in India but worldwide, in recent times. Sriracha is a spicy Thai chilli sauce that can be used as a fantastic add-on for cooking and preparing flavourful delicacies.
The Sriracha Food Festival menu comprises of soups, salads, starters, mains and 1 unusual dessert making sure that the Thai origin sauce has been concocted into the recipe in some way or another.
To my surprise, I absolutely loved how innovative the team at Koh got by presenting a virgin bloody mary spiked with sriracha instead of the usual tobasco. A spicy infusion that definitely got to my taste buds just the way I like it as it tasted great!
The evening began with the chef sending in the first dish, which was the amuse bouche – a standard offering during dinner at Koh. Crispy rice noodles never tasted so good! The condiments were a great add on to an otherwise simple preparation.
Then came the soup – Fire-roasted vegetable chowder. Perfect portion as this was meant to be just a ‘tasting’ evening. With the tangy approach, this one gets your appetite in place and ready for a fierce meal. For a moment, the first sip greatly reminded me of the classic South Indian preparation – ‘rasam’ because of its spicy nature and strong coriander flavour.
We were then served the steamed chicken dumplings topped with spicy sriracha sauce that gave a whole new twist to the otherwise subtly flavoured dumplings.
The steamed basil dumplings were absolutely delicious. I could have made an entire meal out of it! The gorgeous flavour of basil along with cabbage, carrots & long beans along with garlic sriracha bath, made this dish a delectable and healthy treat!
This one’s for the sinners. Perfectly golden fried, sriracha spiced cream cheese wontons with earthy vegetables and infused with Thai herbs was something new to check out and I could sense the enthusiasm in Chef Kinny’s tone when he brought it to our table. He definitely got this one right and has every reason to be happy cuz we loved it more with every bite!
Tofu with sriracha pearls… interesting combination, don’t you think? More so, after I saw the way it was presented to us. Grilled tofu with soy, sake and sriracha pearls – A simple dish but with a distinctive taste. I would think this isn’t meant for the vegetarian who likes to play safe. Chances are the experimental vegetarian on the other hand, will enjoy this particular formulation.
Honey sriracha chicken wings – a bit tedious to eat as it isn’t ever prepared or served boneless, but high on flavour. Barbecued to perfection with a great after taste, the hot and sweet factor comes out beautifully in every way. This one’s a great option for the foodie who doesn’t have issues with bones in his meaty preparations.
I knew I was in for an enticing prawns’ treat even before the Hat Yai Prawns arrived at my table as the aroma of the same, strongly infused and flavoured with lemongrass got to my senses and I knew I was close to attaining foodie nirvana. One of the best appetizers of the evening, the peanut sauce that accompanied the skewered prawns made it even my zestful.
Say hello to Sriracha Mee – a unique variation of wok tossed noodles (flat as well as the regular) with housemade sriracha, cabbage, carrots and long beans, makes this a piquant vegetarian offering at the festival. It can be had as it is or can be accompanied with the richly spiced gravys on the menu.
The Sriracha Nasi was another favourite of the night. Fried rice with a tasteful hint of housemade spicy sauce, served with broccoli, peppers and baby corn skewers. A winner as a stand alone dish where the rice preparation tasted great as it is and also went well with the gravys. I highly recommend this one!
Among the mains, the sweet n sour (and spicy) chicken was tangy in a nice way, not as spicy as expected but heavy on the palate and also in consistency. For those of you who are allergic to pineapples; it is important that you are aware of the fact that this recipe contains the same. I realised it only when I was served and thank God for that (yes, I am allergic to pineapples) and it did somewhat dampen the joy of enjoying this particular dish.
Last but not the least, I noticed there was only one dessert in the offering on the special sriracha menu which kind of disappointed me for a moment, but I am so glad I did not jump to any conclusion because every bite of this dessert was an absolutely beautiful and ambrosial experience!
I highly recommend the mini-sized apple toffee pops served with tiny sriracha pearls alongside a bowl of classic vanilla ice cream. You’re definitely in for a major sugar rush as the sugar coated apples have a distinctively caramelized and sweet flavour of their own and if you’re really looking for a subtle spice factor, then make sure you get a taste of the sriracha pearls.
This was my sriracha experience. The festival was on until a while ago but has been temporarily discontinued as Restaurant Week has begun. As the response has been overwhelming, Koh will renew the Sriracha Food Festival on the 4th to the 13th of October. Make sure you make it then! 🙂