Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin might just be one of the most unique restaurants in Bangkok, or even Thailand. This is Thai food like you’ve never tasted or seen before, and to be honest eating here is as much an adventure as a dining experience. Located at The Siam Kempinski, Sra Bua (which translates to Lotus Pond in Thai) recreates some of the familiar flavors of Thai cuisine using techniques of molecular gastronomy.
Masterminded by chef Henrik Yde-Andersen of Michelin-starred Thai restaurant Kiin Kiin (The Copenhagen restaurant was the second Thai restaurant in the world – after the London branch of Nahm — to receive a Michelin star) and Thai gastronomist Lertchai Treetawatchaiwong, Sra Bua plays with textures, flavors, and presentation to achieve results that at times nothing short of astounding.
One of the restaurant’s more popular dishes is the frozen red curry with lobster and coriander. Forget classic Thai cuisine, this is red curry ice cream, which has all the spiciness and sweetness of its popular counterpart. Other treats on offer include quail in coconut milk with galangal and mushrooms, with crispy chicken skin and galangal-like broth; red snapper in green coconut curry and beetroot; and for those with a sweet tooth pistachio cake with pandan ice cream and coconut foam.
The menu is set and you can pick either a seven- or 11-course dinner (the restaurant is also open for a three-course lunch); the presentation is impressive and unique; and guessing what it is that just arrived on your table is half the fun. Most of the delicacies come in bite-size treats or small portions so there is no danger that you won’t be able to get through what’s on offer.
We recently chatted with Sra Bua’s Danish Chef de Cuisine Morten Nielson about Thai cuisine and pushing gastronomical boundaries.
What makes Sra Bua unique? What is it all about?
Sra Bua is different to the traditional Thai restaurant. We serve modern Thai food that has Thai flavors but is presented in a very different and exciting way. I call what comes out of our kitchen, “deconstructed fashion.”
How does Sra Bua take Thai cuisine to a different level?
Sra Bua is not restricted by the realm of conventional Thai food. It pushes the boundaries (by using different ingredients, techniques, and presentation) and offers not just the great tasting food, but a memorable experience that engages all five senses.
How have Thai people reacted to your take on Thai cuisine? Have you encountered any opposition?
We have had two types of feedback from Thai guests. One group loves the fact that we make a cuisine familiar to them different. The experience is always fresh and exciting. Having said that, there are some who prefer authentic Thai food, compared to our version as they have a fixed idea of what Thai food should be.