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New chef at 137 Pillars

By Shana Kongmun
The boutique hotel 137 Pillars House is known for its high teas and great happy hours on the lawn in front of the beautiful old teak house that gives the hotel its name. However, the arrival of Executive Chef Amporn, at the hotel’s restaurant brings fine dining to the Wat Ket area.
I was given the great pleasure to meet with Chef Amporn who introduced himself along with his delicious food. The meal started with a delicious lobster dumpling soup, the dumplings were tender and a bit chewy, cooked just right; a difficult thing to do with dumplings as I learned for myself when I tried to make them myself one time. This was followed by a foie gras dish and a sorbet to clear the palate. The sorbet was perfect, a delicious orange juice sorbet with a hint of Thai holy basil that gave it a pepper flavor.

So, suitably cleansed I was ready for my duck confit which was perfectly cooked. It was accompanied by apple soaked in beetroot juice. I am not a lover of beetroot and so was a bit concerned by the apple was crisp and not soft like beetroot so often is, and the taste of beetroot was light and not overwhelming.
My dining companion had the duck, which she enjoyed greatly, noting that the caviar topping the salmon added a nice salty touch to the tender Norwegian salmon. We both dug into the dessert that followed; an exquisite strawberry mousse wrapped by a crispy ribbon of dark chocolate. The scoop of ice cream on the side was good but the combination of creamy mousse, sweet strawberry and dark chocolate was sublime. I still have a sweet tooth and love my desserts and this dessert has just made my top five favorite desserts.
Palette is the name of the restaurant at 137 Pillars House and it is an appropriate name for my dinner delighted my palate. 137 Pillars House is located in the Wat Ket area, on Soi 1 Nawatgate.

RECIPES BY NOI: Tom Som Kha Moo Yod Som Poi

(Sour pork leg soup with Som Poi )

Continuing from the previous issue, I still have 2 more stories to tell about Som Poi plus a recipe called Tom Som Kha Moo which means Sour Pork Leg Soup with Som Poi.
We only eat the young leaves as the pod isn’t for eating. As we know that it is the main ingredient to make holy water to wash away all the bad things.
Torapi was the one who discovered this use; once upon a time there was a king of the buffalo named Torrapa. He was a proud buffalo and liked to fight and kill other male buffaloes so there were many that disliked him. They started a rumor that he will be killed by his own son so after that he killed all of his newborn sons but there was a female buffalo hiding from Torrapa and she went to give birth alone. It came out that she gave birth to her lovely son. She raised her son in a cave far away from Torrapa’s sight and named him Torapi.
Torapi grew up to become a young healthy buffalo and wondered why his mother kept him only in the cave. When he learned about his father, he got really mad and went out to fight. They fought for 7 days and 7 nights. Torapi was exhausted and starting to lose, he stepped back against a Som Poi tree. A pod fell onto his head (some said it was a dewdrop from the leaf) and suddenly he had his strength back. He fought back his father and his father retreated again a tree called Makham Pom (Indian gooseberry). The fruit fell onto his head and it suddenly exhausted him and the son was able to kill his father. Since then we use the word Torapi to call a son who is ungrateful to his parents.
There is also a story about a Naga king and his son. The Naga son wanted to be human so his father gave him a golden bowl to fill with holy water which contained 7 Som Poi Pods that have 7 nodes and seeds, water from 7 rivers and wells. Then pray 7 mantras for 7 times. When everything was ready he bathed with the holy water to become a human.
Here’s the recipe for today;
The ingredients are, quick grilled pork legs, a bunch of young Som Poi leaves, chili, galangal, lemongrass, tomato, onion, lime juice, salt, coriander and spring onions.
First we boil water, add mashed chili, galangal, lemongrass and then pork. At this step, we add Som Poi, salt and lime juice. Tomatoes and onion will be the last ingredients to add into the soup before we take it off the fire.
Before serving sprinkle with chopped coriander and spring onion. Easy peasy!

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