It’s been awhile since I last dined at Sra Bua. It is evident that Sra Bua has gained popularity and a huge fan base over the years. Unlike my previous meal, this time, the restaurant is packed.
The host welcomed my friend and I with chilled lemon grass and pandan tea. This tea is sweet and infused with a light pandan leaves aroma. It is indeed a great way to kick off the gastronomic experience with Sra Bua. Both my friend and I ordered the Sra Bua Mini Set Menu, which consists of 6 courses – the Nibblings, the Street Cooking, the Sticks, a starter, a main course with rice and a dessert.
chilled lemon grass and pandan tea
The Nibblings consists of a trilogy of bite-size nibbles – Soy Roasted Cashew Nut Meringue, Kaffir Lime Leaf Scented Lotus Root, and Prawn Cracker with Chili Tomato Dip. Since I’m allergic to crustaceans, the chef changed the prawn cracker to an onion cracker. The nibbles are really addictive and outrageously good. I enjoyed the savoury cashew nut meringue which has a slightly salty flavour from soy sauce.
Tuna Tatar with Lemon Grass, Miang Kham Cornette, Yam Mamuang, and Salmon with Horseradish and Salmon Roe
For the Street Cooking and Sticks, the chef draws inspiration from the street food in Thailand. The Tuna Tatar with Lemon Grass, Miang Kham Cornette, Yam Mamuang, and Salmon with Horseradish and Salmon Roe make up the Street Cooking. I particularly like the presentation of Miang Kham Cornette. The cornette is inserted into a tiny pot of jasmine rice. Since dried shrimps are used in the original version, the chef swop mine with pomelo salad. The Sticks include Grilled Pork, Prawn Bread with Sesame (mine’s Vegetable Samosa), Smoked Sausage and Chicken Meatball. I love the Smoked Sausage and Chicken Meatball. The chicken meatball is extremely juicy and tender. Due to hygiene concern, I don’t usually buy food off the street. And I’m glad that chefs are giving these street food a “makeover” and presenting them in a different light.
Snow Flaked Coconut Milk with Pickled Mushrooms and Coriander
For the Starter, I had the Snow Flaked Coconut Milk with Pickled Mushrooms and Coriander. I was over the moon when I ate it. The frozen coconut milk has a smooth silky texture and a slight spicy taste. Every spoon of the “snow flake” is pure bliss. I love this dish the most out of all the six courses. My friend had the Spicy Tom Yum Broth with Prawn Dim Sum. The broth is really scorching spicy and hence, I wouldn’t recommend it to those who have low tolerance for spicy food.
Spicy Tom Yum Broth with Prawn Dim Sum
The culinary journey had been great and every course surpassed the previous. Just when I was expecting a great main course, I had to be disappointed by the lacklustre Slow Cooked Flat Iron with Aubergine, Leek and Oyster Sauce. The beef is overdone and tough. I chose brown rice for the accompanied starch dish and it did not go well with the tough beef. My friend had the Fried Red Mullet with Curried Peanuts and Turmeric Cauliflower, and he chose Fried Rice. The fish is mediocre but the fried rice is really good.
Slow Cooked Flat Iron with Aubergine, Leek and Oyster Sauce
Fried Red Mullet with Curried Peanuts and Turmeric Cauliflower
Fortunately, the dessert managed to redeem the poor performance of the main course. The chef presented the Mango Sticky Rice in the most unusual fashion. Instead of sliced mango, the mango is mashed into a paste and wrapped round a sticker. The Pineapple and Ginger Sorbet with Fresh Pineapple and Lemon Meringue is refreshing and light. The tiny lemon meringue gives the standard dessert a different texture.
Mango Sticky Rice
Pineapple and Ginger Sorbet with Fresh Pineapple and Lemon Meringue
At THB1,800, the mini set menu is good value for money. If not for the disappointing performance of the main course, the dining experience would have been spectacular.
Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
991/9 Rama I Road Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand