Chef Kroongtana Nimnu seems at ease in the Hotel kitchen, even though he has arrived recently. As the new Chef De Cuisine at Ocean, Sahara Star, he is in command. Authentic Thai recipes and traditional Chinese dishes is what he has come armed with. He explains, “The menu focuses on Thai & Chinese and will have sprinkling of other Pan Asian Cuisines also. But you know, the two nations are inseparable. Thai cuisine blends the two cultures of China and India.”
Thai cuisine, according to him, encompasses, all flavours in one dish, sour, sweet, salty, spicy and bitter. Other cuisines salt their food with salt, but the Thai food is salty from fish sauce. He is aware that “most of our major customers are Indians. The new menu has many dishes which have a touch of Indian foods such as curry. Though, I would like to keep the original taste & flavour. However, I am willing to meet guest preferences,” avers Chef Nimnu.
Originally, from Thailand, he learnt cooking at an early age from his mother, owing to his keen interest in the kitchen.
He is aware of the challenges of catering to Indians, especially Mumbaikars, who are foodies and have a discerning palate. With the variety he has introduced in the new menu, he promises his guests a gastronomical journey, like never before.
He has seen a bit of Mumbai and the traffic intimidates him, yet eh loves the city and its people. Beneath that calm persona and quiet smile, is a confident chef, who deftly prepares food and wooes his guests.
His food struck me as very simple and authentic and yet, tuned to the Indian palate. He is obviously particular about his presentation, as each dish was uniquely and painstakingly presented. The flavours were distinct and the aroma filled the nostrils even before one sampled the dish. Even a Thai green curry which I have been eating all my life tasted so different. Perhaps, the real one at last? Simply loved it. Am already yearning for more.