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An elegant evening at Le Crystal

By Heather Allen
Le Crystal is a beautiful restaurant with an elegant atmosphere set on the banks of the River Ping just west of the Superhighway. They often host special dinners with astonishing menus such as the monthly World Buffet and their Bastille Day dinner was one I and a few friends could not turn down.

The Foie Gras was like the bad boy you used to date, oh so unhealthy but so worth the cost.

Comprising of a 5 course meal and French wines supported by the Wine Gallery (naturally, what else would one expect in a Bastille Day meal?) the services was excellent, the presentation beautifully done and the music from the live jazz band quite romantic (including a few songs by the very charming owner Riddhi Damrong Diskul).

The first course consisted of beautifully done Frogs Legs Provençale, it has been years since I have eaten frogs legs and indeed, they do not taste like chicken as many say of all things that are different and yet not chicken. This was followed by the always exquisite and yet oh so bad for your cholesterol level, pan fried foie gras artfully displayed on a crunchy Potato Millefuille with wild mushrooms.

There was a consommé followed by a sorbet to clear the palate before the main course. Everyone at our table opted for the Grilled Beef tenderloin which was cooked to medium rare perfection. There was also a choice of Pan Roasted Snow Fish or Rack of Lamb but we all chose the Beef which was as tender as a tenderloin should be.

There was then a tasty cheese plate followed by dessert, I had the delicious strawberry parfait while my friends opted for the tender Tart Tartin made of apples.

A table full of wine glasses serves as a backdrop for the Beef Tenderloin.

Each course was served with French wine, ably and quickly served by our waiter, glasses refilled as needed. And while the meal was pricey by some standards, (2,000 Baht including all wines) we all agreed that when considering the high quality of the food and the wines served, it was more than well worth the cost. We all had a wonderful time and felt terribly civilized toasting our glasses and enjoying a fabulous meal in elegant surroundings. Now to find a date with whom to enjoy the next special dinner Le Crystal will offer!



Tam Ma Pab

The Bonavist bean or Hyacinth bean is known by its scientific name as the Dolichos Bean also, a native of India this legume is widely grown thoughout the world and you can eat the beans, the flowers, the leaves, the seeds and even the large starchy tubers of this easy to grow plant.

The Bonavist bean or Hyacinth Bean is a widely grown easily cultivated plant that yields the tasty Tam Ma Pab.

The Bonavist Bean grows everywhere in your garden and most people let them grow on their fence because it looks nice and it is also easy to pick the bean. But the poor bean really takes a beating for this recipe!

First the bean is picked and boiled, then chopped into small pieces where it is pounded by the mortar and pestle with chili, garlic and onion to taste and then stir fried with pork. A tasty dish from a plant that is easy to grow but hard on the poor bean!

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