EATING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
Des Gourmet is not too far
By Shana Kongmun
I confess to finding anything out beyond the city
limits to be fairly far out, a trait I share with several
good friends. However, when my friend Peter van Loo invited
me out to his new restaurant, Des Gourmet, on Canal Road
near the Night Safari Intersection (directly across from the
Ban Nai Fun 2 gate) I gathered together a few friends and we
all made the drive. Which wasn’t so far after all. It is
easy to get city bound and put on blinkers for everything
outside the city limits, which is, of course, clearly a
Peter is an affable and amiable host whose restaurant offers
a casual atmosphere, we sat inside the cozy wooden cabin for
dinner but there is plenty of garden dining and with the
cool season coming, many may prefer that instead.
I had a pork dish in a hot pot with fantastically creamy
gravy of some kind. I don’t know if this is a Dutch dish,
Peter is, after all, Dutch and often has many Dutch dishes
on his menu including a rijsttafel offered on Fridays, I
believe. A very popular special Peter noted. The Indonesian
rijsttafel or rice table, is a meal adapted by the Dutch
during the colonial days in West Sumatra and consists of
many small dishes served in small portions with rice
prepared in several different ways. One quiet Friday night,
I will have to give a try because if the pork dish I had is
any indication of Peter’s skills with special menus, it is
going to be good.
Peter has a small set menu and then recommended specialty
dishes, which is what I had. Pork loin in gravy was how he
described it and it was delicious. I admit to cleaning the
hot pot out. Another friend had a more traditional steak
meal, and as asked, the meat was cooked medium rare. Or as
Peter points out, American style where the steak is cooked
on a higher heat and seared on the outside rather than Thai
style which is cooked more slowly. I didn’t realize there
were different styles to cooking steak and Peter’s
descriptions certainly explained many disappointing steaks I
have had in Thailand over the years as I am American and I
do love my steak medium rare as well.
My companion was pleased with the steak, and although he
said it was a bit more medium rare than he was used to he
ate it all and enjoyed it. It was accompanied by a small
salad, some fries and steamed vegetables. My pork loin dish
came with a small salad as well.
We then moved on to dessert and my friends opted for the
apple pie. However, this wasn’t your traditional apple pie,
more of a cake/crumble concoction, very Dutch according to
Peter. The general opinion was that the apple pie was
superb, unexpectedly different but delicious nonetheless. We
enjoyed our dessert with some delicious Illy coffee to end
Between wine, dinner and dessert our dinners came out to a
very reasonable 400 baht each although I must confess we had
a fair amount of wine. Non-drinkers would find their bills
Des Gourmet is open 7 days a week and is easily found headed
towards Hang Dong on Canal Road, the turn off is well marked
by big yellow signs and is just before the Night Safari
RECIPES BY NOI
knows Sai Oua (Northern sausage) but only a few people know
that Ab Jin is related to Sai Oua. Even though they look
totally different I can confirm they are brothers.
Ab Jin is minced pork with spices wrapped in banana leaf and
grilled until it’s well done. The recipe is the same as the
pork in Sai Oua. Next time when you see a burned banana leaf
bundle on cooking stove in a market please don’t walk away,
but try it!
You should ask the vendor if it is pork inside because
sometimes they will make the same recipe but with pork
brains which is called “Ab Ong Or”. So, if you are concerned
about eating brains, double check!
To make Ab Jin
500g. of roughly minced pork mixed together with chili
paste. Remember, we have made this before, it is with dried
chili, shallot, garlic, lemon grass, curcuma and salt
Add chopped kaffir lime leaves and 2 eggs, stirring until
its mixed well into the pork mince. Put about 100g of pork
mince into a banana leaf, wrap and grill on a coal cooking
stove using low heat for about 20 minutes. Keep turning the
packet so it doesn’t burn.
Make sure it’s well cooked. Have a good dinner!
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