Jazz music and Indian food may not be a common match, but Jazz Mahal proves that the two can be heavenly together. Thawatchai “Kong” Champhio, the owner of Jazz Mahal explains, “Everything in the world can be mixed and matched. Jazz is a distinctive music and India is a country with a unique culinary culture. The mix makes a pleasant and unusual alternative to what’s out there.”
Set in a two-story building, Jazz Mahal dazzles visitors with its sophisticated décor. Sofas, curtains and chandeliers deliver a sense of multicolored exoticism. You can even dine outside by a lovely pond, but the air-con dining room with its high ceilings is just as nice.
The restaurant is not situated where most people flock for Indian chow (Sukhumvit). So Jazz Mahal serves Indian dishes that Thais are familiar with: samosas, chicken or lamb served crisp and stuffed with potatoes and peas or ground with spices (B80-160), and the inevitable tandoori (with chicken, prawn or lamb, B300-380).
The recipes hail from Delhi and the northern part of India, and Kong guarantees that the food is as authentic as can be, with no compromising on the spices. Still, for less adventurous diners, there’s a small offering of Thai dishes.
The Trio jazz band plays live 9-11pm, Thu-Sun. If you prefer to do the singing, head to the private karaoke room that seats 12.
Jazz Mahal. 60/11 Wipawadee Soi 42, 02-558-0050. Open daily 6pm-1am.
|Red hot dishes|
Without looking at the menu, you might not know that Red even serves Indian food. Contagiously enthusiastic 29-year-old chef, Gagan Anand, is here to remind us that India has given rise to a new generation interested in combining old-world traditions with a modern sexy flair. Gone are the old-style northern Indian eateries with faded Taj Mahal posters—principles of Feng Shui governed design decisions in the three dining areas, while Indian house music wafts through the garden.
Linger here with friends and sip one of Red’s 16 creative cocktails—plus a daily “Red Zone Drink” that changes with the whim of the bartender but always promises to be red. Strawberry, raspberry and blueberry lassis (B90) served in cool Thai terra cotta mugs are further evidence of Red’s efforts to break the mold.
Hot and spicy home-style potatoes (masala dusted French fries) are served as soon as you sit down, along with the standard trifecta of Indian chutneys—bye bye pappadams! Don’t miss the melt-in-your-mouth adraki boti lamb kebabs (B450), marinated and slowly braised for over six hours and served on a hot slate that keeps things warm. Anand’s innovative hybrids are also a hit. Try the pasta in makhani and mutton kebab sauce (B350) and the gucchi aur khumb risotto (B350) that combines morels and three other mushrooms with creamy Arborio rice. Fish paturi, a staple at any Bengali wedding, substitutes salmon for traditional super-boney Bengali varieties (B600).
This is not fusion: it’s dressing your grandmother up in a miniskirt, heels, and a billowy Pucci shirt. Red is for anyone who appreciates well thought out cuisine and is interested in tryingsomething new—even if you think you’ve tried it all.Red. 124 Thonglor Soi 9, 02-259-7590. Open daily 11:30-2:30pm, 6pm-12am.
Set on the new Balcony on 3rd of CentralWorld, EGS (pronounced e-g-s) appeals to the five senses.
Sight: The hanging lamps and colorful paintings spruce up the otherwise typical mall restaurant, while the floor-to-ceiling glass partition makes EGS a good place for people-watching. Also pleasing to the eyes is the colorful food—each dish is whipped up with various ingredients of five different colors. “It’s good to add a variety of bright ingredients to your meal because each has different beneficial effects to your health,” explains owner Kino Byun Sang Yub. “Red food helps strengthen memory function, lower cancer risks and cleans blood. Yellow ingredients give a boost to our body’s immune system, while green items battle fatigue and stress. White food is to build up body resistance, and black ingredients improve the body’s basic functions.”
Hearing: Pop Korean soundtrack fills the air. On the TV screen are music videos of such Korean eye candies as boy band Dong Bang Shin Ki and pop princess Boa.
Smell: The menu is a mix of authentic Korean recipes and fusion specialties. EGS’ Sizzle Sizzle Beef Bibimbup (B190) is fragrant with hot Korean chili paste and spices, while Japanese-inspired rice omelet topped with spicy and sweet shrimps (B140) is subtly aromatic.
Touch: Keep your hands off the brass bowl used to serve the bibimbap. It’s hot! While it might hurt your hands, the brassware helps maintain the temperature of the food at the preferable level. EGS also believes the brass bowl helps get rid of the bacteria that may cause food poisoning.
Taste: Staying true to its roots, EGS makes sure that the authentic recipes like the sizzling Korean-style pork that should be fiery are truly fiery. Those who prefer something milder to the palette should try its fusion menus like Japanese bibimbap (B150). The must-have is Best of Best Bibimbap (B200), which is rice topped with sautéed greens, seafood, beef, egg slices and chili paste.Initials for Everyday Great Smile, EGS’ wait staff serves up a big broad one along with the food. “Hopefully, the customers will leave here with a smile, too,” beams the Korean owner.
|Kinnaree Gourmet Thai|
Kinnaree is a mythical half-bird-half-woman, residing in Himmaphan Forest. But now diners can think of an entirely different sort of Kinnaree tucked in Sukhumvit Soi 8 and serving up a delightful combination of authentic Thai flavors with western presentation. Set in a spacious two-storey house, Kinnaree Gourmet Thai evokes the mystical Anodard Pond with its cozy contemporary Thai décor and lotus plates and napkin rings. The outdoor bar is enveloped in a small garden, enhanced at night by hundreds of fairy lights. The restaurant is planning to open an al fresco BBQ area on the terrace and a full-scale bar on the second floor by the end of this year. Itâ€™s hard not to be dubious about upscale Thai restaurants since they usually trim down the flavors for tourists and farang diners, who they believe canâ€™t take spicy food. But Kinnaree is breaking the mold. Owner Wanasnan Kanokpattanangkul, though opting for western presentation, is intent on never compromising on authentic Thai tastes. To kick off the meal, the highly recommended starters are mee krob (crispy noodles in sweet and sour tamarind sauce, B100) and yam som o (spicy pomelo salad, B120), which blends the refreshing tang of lime with the sweetness of coconut milk. Nua pun saparot (grilled marinated beef strips wrapped on pinapple sticks, B120) is another must-try starter, thanks to its zesty sauce and tender meat. Yellow curry with shrimp (B350) makes an impressive entrance to the table with big, juicy prawns evenly spaced on a pond of yellow curry. On the sweet side, there are two signature desserts, Kinnaree custard apple ice cream (B90/scoop) and Kinnaree fresh young coconut cake (B90). Dinner is usually bustling with foreign diners who frequent the restaurant for a nice lingering dinner and after work drinks. Book the table in the garden if you bring a date.Kinnaree Gourmet Thai. 43 Sukhumvit Soi 8, 02-256-0328. Open daily 11am-3pm, 6pm-midnight. MC, V.
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