Earlier this week at Malai Thai-Vietnamese Kitchen, owners Yasmin and Braden Wages hosted another great off-menu dinner with guest chef Paul Singhapong.
Many of the spices used were bought by Chef Singhapong on a recent trip to Thailand. Chef Wages told guests that the menu for this 5-course meal was in the planning stages since May. The food was plentiful, flavorful, and perfectly suited for a hot August evening in Texas.
Grilled Pork Sausage with Roasted Peanuts, Ginger and Lime. This is something of an “afternoon snack” with a Chang Thai Beer.
The rice was perfectly sticky for eating with hands.
Yasmin suggested grabbing the components you want, cupping them in your hand and throwing it back as is customary with this type of meal. Utensils were available, but it’s too much fun to eat with your hands, and personal bowls of orange essence water were available for washing.
Larb Nua made with minced beef and liver, sawtooth coriander, mint, cilantro and toasted rice powder. Served with butter lettuce, whole Thai chili peppers and fresh green beans.
Using Mekhong Thai Rum, this cocktail was only slightly sweet and very refreshing with the rich meat in the larb nua.
The slow braised pork curry was roasted for over 24 hours and was supple to the touch. It was served in a cast iron pot with a plate of figs, herbs and fresh green beans. Chef Wages told the guests to play with the food and make their own flavor combinations with sticky rice.
Muddled Grouper and Peppers with Green Beans, Thai Eggplant and Pumpkin. This was a personal favorite because it was fiery hot, yet the heat was tamped down by the Perrin et Fils, Cotes du Rhone and pork rinds.
Bananas in Sweet Coconut Cream with Coconut Gelato.
This pretty dessert was paired with a Bergman Riesling Spatlese.
Chef Wages explained that fruit in Thailand is often eaten before it would be considered ripe here in the U.S. This results in having desserts with a subtle, earthy flavor that isn’t cloying.
Ivan Nava, Paul Singhapong, Braden Wages
This was a unique dinner with flavors and drink pairings that ran the gamut from rich and comforting to light and refreshing. Here’s to hoping for another impressive Malai dinner in the coming months.