The Slate, the whimsical art-inspired beachfront resort on Phuket’s secluded northwest coast, has unveiled the latest edition of its popular recipe series which gives guests – past, present and future – the opportunity to reproduce some of its chefs’ most acclaimed culinary creations in the comfort of their own home.
This month, epicurean enthusiasts are invited to embark on a journey of discovery to the pure shores and palm groves of Southeast Asia, with a delicious dessert that is fun, fresh and filled with the taste of the tropics. It is also super-healthy and easy to prepare, making it an excellent way to introduce children to the wonders of Thai cuisine.
The Slate is home to one of the world’s finest Thai restaurants, Black Ginger, which appears like an ancient Thai village floating above a tranquil lagoon and is only accessible by raft. In this enchanting setting, a talented team led by Chef Anongrat “Piak” Meklai uses locally-sourced ingredients and contemporary cooking techniques to reimagine ancient and highly authentic recipes. The results are simply sensational and it is no surprise that this breath-taking dining destination was recommended by the Michelin Guide in 2020 and 2021. Now, Chef Piak is inviting The Slate’s fans and followers, and all lovers of Thai food, to recreate her favourite dishes in their own kitchens.
The latest recipe in this home cooking series is pollamai ruam buat chi – braised bananas in coconut milk with seasonal fresh fruits. Inspired by one of the region’s most traditional desserts, kluai buat chi, a favourite of families across Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and beyond, this reinvented sweet is simple to make and showcases the quintessential flavours of this exotic region.
Two ripe bananas are gently simmered in coconut milk for 10 minutes with palm sugar, a pinch of salt and one pandan leaf, allowing the aromas to infuse. Chef Piak then breaks with tradition by serving this exotic concoction on a bed of crushed ice and garnishing it with a selection of vibrant local fruit, including papaya, rose apple, green cantaloupe melon, rambutan, lychee and pineapple. Warm yet cool, soft yet crisp, this contrasting dish transports the diner’s taste buds straight to the shores of Asia’s southern seas.
Chef Piak understands that people may find it difficult to source some of ingredients in their local shops, so she recommends that pandan leaves can be swapped with cinnamon or vanilla pods, and the tropical fruit can be replaced with any other varieties that may be in season, such as strawberries, plums, peaches or pears.
“For many budding chefs, Thai cuisine is exciting but it can be intimidating. People love the flavours and fragrances, but they believe that they are complicated to recreate and require lots of special ingredients and technical processes. My aim is to show that the beauty of great Thai cookery lies in its simplicity. World-class dishes depend on sourcing local and seasonal ingredients and preparing them with love and care. This is the secret of pollamai ruam buat chi – we reinvented this classic dessert for all, whatever their cooking level, their homeland and the season,” said Chef Piak.
“The Slate prides itself on presenting the finest Thai cuisine to the world. Through our recipe series, we want to bring the joy of gastronomy into our guests’ homes. We hope that our fans and followers will try to cook this delectable dessert and send us photos of their efforts. Then, they can experience Chef Piak’s original dishes when they return to Phuket in 2022,” added the resort’s co-founder and owner, Krystal Prakaikaew Na-Ranong (known to her friends as Khun Moo).
For more information about Black Ginger, the unique Michelin-recommended Thai restaurant at The Slate, please visit www.theslatephuket.com/black-ginger.