An Amuse Bouche is the term we use for a small Appetizer, before the proper starter. Not only does it whet the appetite, it gives our guests time to mellow/chill over their first glass of Wine. Most restaurants offer a small appetizer nowadays, it also gives the kitchen time to get your starters (and main courses) going.
I like to change our Amuse Bouches depending on what you have ordered, that way, not everyone gets the same thing. Sometimes I like to offer two or even more small nibbles per person. I can do this because of our special All Inclusive System allows our guests to freely choose from the menu and sample Asiatic cuisine as good as we can prepare it. That means that the effort put in to our “Simple” dishes is lovingly the same as the effort put in to our “Signature” dishes. Because I do not need to make a margin profit on the food, I am free to prepare the dishes using the best available ingredients, which means a higher quality dish, whether it is Foie Gras or a simple Laotian Beef Salad.
Above (from left to right) a very cold Tum Mak Deng “Soup” Shot, King Prawns and Sesame on Toasts and New Style Goong Che Nam Pla. The Tum Mak Deng Soup Shot is a pulverised version of the classic Laotian Tum, with Anchovies blended in to replace the Padek (which we keep for other dishes). It is refreshingly Garlicy and lightly Spicy. Its taste is reminiscent of Spanish “Gazpacho“, a chilled summer soup that has its roots in Andalucia. The King Prawn & Sesame on Toasts have been Deep-fried twice to make them more crispy. We Deep-fry them at 150ºC for a few minutes until pale gold in colour and then fry them at 180ºC before serving, you have to be careful not to over cook the Sesame seeds otherwise they will become bitter. The New Style Goong Che Nam Pla is one of our favourite pieces.
As the evening wore on, I changed one of the appetisers to our remake of a Bloody Geisha, which is a Bloody Mary with Sake in place of Vodka, I added a twist in the tail by omitting the Tabasco and adding a dollop of Sriracha!… Nice…
The reason why the King Prawns & Sesame Toasts are served in a cone is because I was missing England´s good old Fish n´Chips, which the latter are sometimes served encased in a Newspaper cone…
(If any of you are wondering, it is freshly cut Cucumber that is wrapped around the shot glass. It is cut, wrapped around the glass and placed in the freezer for a few minutes, that way the glass is very chilled and the Cucumber is a little “Crunchy”)
With the appetisers out of the way, its time for the hot action to start.
Saki at the Flames…
Kham joins in to ensure that all our dishes arrive cooked and hot at the same time.
Above, our Beef with Orange Vinegar which is now in its third evolution and is one of our “Test Dishes“. A Test Dish basically means that it is not ordered but given to the guest to see their reaction, if the reaction is positive, it stays on the menu, if otherwise, the recipe is retried with different combinations until, we think it has the right to be a part of the actual menu. Its always a case of “Quality” over “Quantity”.