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Senses Of Thailand Hits Selfridges

London Confidential was on hand to see what all the fuss is about

Written by . Published on July 19th 2011.


Senses Of Thailand Hits Selfridges

THE vibrant colours and flavours of Thailand have taken over Selfridges. The Food Hall has given over to betel leaves and mangosteens, whilst Selfridges’ dinning spaces have given over to well-known names in Thai cuisine.

Last Thursday night saw the launch of Senses of Thailand at Selfridges, a fortnight long programme celebrating authentic Thai cuisine and culture. Running until 30th July, the project will feature events and displays including puppetry, dance and cooking demonstrations. On hand for customers to enjoy while they shop, surely browsing for biscuits has rarely been so culturally enlightening.

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The launch night was livened up with a demonstration by the head chef of the Blue Elephant restaurant. Cooking up a green curry that was thickly creamy, and subtly aromatic, with giant wedges of pea aubergine, the chef took passing shoppers, step by step, through the creation of this classic Thai dish.

Amongst the usual fare in the Foodhall, Selfridges have also introduced a range of Thai products, which include basics like curry paste and fish sauce, to the less familiar such as durian crisps and longan fruit drinks. Several products have not previously been available in the UK, including Pearl Royal coconut water (packaged in reusable coconut shaped cartoons) and gift packs from B-Herbs of several types of jasmine rice, each differently and vibrantly coloured, with natural ingredients. For example, the rich grass green rice is made with pandan and the deep midnight blue, with butterfly pea, a Thai flower. 

Img_2983The Foodhall will also focus on street food, with a handful of stalls from some of London’s best Thai restaurants selling authentic snacks. Patara served up delightful Mieng Kam, an elegantly wrapped little parcel of betel leaf filled with a fresh and lively mixture of shallots, lime, ginger, roasted coconut flakes and cashew nuts. @Siam prepared delicious Som Tam (spicy papaya salad) and a unique variation with sweetly sour and crisp fruits such starfruit and green apple. After @Siam’s spicy salads, cool your palate at Thai Square’s dessert stand, with an unusual array of ice creams including durian, Thai ice tea, red and also green curry.

If street food snacks don’t sate your appetite, Selfridges’ restaurants and bars are playing host to pop-ups from big names in Thai food. Hix Restaurant and Champagne Bar will temporarily take a new direction with internationally acclaimed Thai chef Pongtawat Ian Chalermkittichai creating regional specialities. Gordon’s Café will be home to Thailand’s oldest beer, Singha, serving Thai inspired bar snacks and cocktails. Try a mojito topped up with Singha beer. At the Oyster &Seafood Bar, Nahm will be offering oysters, seafood and champagne cocktails infused with Thai flair.

 

Senses of Thailand is at Selfridges from 14th-30th July.

 

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