For more than 27 years, Vichit Mukura was the Executive Thai Chef at the Oriental, Thailand’s world renowned five-star hotel. Having worked in an established hotel for so long, he wanted a change in life and did what he is best at – cooking. He opened Khao Thai restaurant, which was recently awarded a Michelin Star 2020.
“It was at the right time; my child had just graduated and got a job and I’d been working in a fixed framework for around 27 years. I wanted to try doing my own thing,” the chef said.
‘Khao’ or rice is not just a plant or food. Rice has for so long been a main staple for Thais that it is inextricably tied in with the life of the Thai people. The restaurant reflects this concept very well.
In the beginning Khao presented itself in Chef’s Table style and later also catered to general customers. It features premium Thai cuisine, prepared with top-grade ingredients; Khao’s dishes are known to be ‘clean food’.
“The phrase ‘clean food’ is not our marketing catchword but it is the compliment given by our customers because they can taste the natural flavours of our ingredients. Many ingredients I use are harvested from my garden at home, such as limes, lemon grass and galangal. I don’t buy raw ingredients from suppliers but choose them myself so that I can control their quality and price to make sure they are most beneficial to my customers.”
Chef Mukura realised that Thai culinary art has a long history and is among the world’s top five, due to the harmonious blending of a variety of flavours. “The Michelin Star awarded to Khao Restaurant is good news that will gain Thai cuisine even further recognition.”
“As for the cooking concept at Khao, I avoid adding too many ingredients, which is very challenging since our dishes are common and are available everywhere. Consequently, they must be tasty and allow our guests to be able to identify which raw ingredients create the tasty flavours when they savour our food”.
The Chef says “With the Michelin Star comes expectation, so we and everybody involved have to put more effort into our work and take care of everybody more. The aim of Khao is to provide our customers with satisfaction.
“Once we make our customers happy, success will follow. My concept is to prepare simple dishes but with quality. At present, Thai people make up 60% of our patrons. I regard it a success for a Thai restaurant to have a high percentage of Thai customers.”
Khao offers Thai dishes using pesticide-free, native rice varieties from Burirum, such as the fragrant Red Jasmine Rice and Jasmine rice. They are suitable for any of the Thai dishes offered on Khao’s comprehensive menu.
The restaurant’s popular choices of ‘yum’ (spicy salad) and ‘curries’ are varieties such as yum white turmeric with deep-fried prawn, yum crispy-fried butterfly pea blossom with crispy shredded pork and prawn, yum grilled Australian beef with seedless red grapes, yum grilled river prawn and long eggplant, Thai basil with minced pork and mung bean noodle soup, and tender and aromatic New Zealand lamb shank in mussaman curry.
Other, simpler dishes are also packed with quality and flavour, such as omelette with chunky pieces of crab meat that is crispy outside and fluffy inside, world famous river prawn tom yum and green curry with pork, chicken or beef.
For a quick meal Khao also features plates such as pad Thai, all sorts of fried rice, khao klook kapi and stir-fried rice noodles with chicken at 200-300 baht a serving.
Cocktails here are of Thai themes: their names derive from the emotions of young people felt while dining at the restaurant, such as sod chuen ruen arom (fresh and joyful), saneh ha (affection), Chaun hom (enticing), sob ta (locking eyes) and tuen toom (panic).
Another of Khao’s highly palatable offerings are desserts to complete the perfect dining experience. There are more than 10 desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth, leading with the world famous khao niew mamaung – sticky rice served with ripe mango, ploy grob – crunchy water chestnut in sweet coconut milk , and sungkhaya namtarn mai served with chilled Sainamphung orange - caramelised Thai custard and mandarin sorbet, kanom leb mue nang – Thai Lady Fingers served with sesame ice cream and the rare kanom inthanin and yokmanee bai toey - pandan dumpling in coconut milk and pandan tapioca flour pearls.
Chef Mukura explained that Khao has a regular menu with a long list of dishes for diners to choose from and a monthly menu that uses seasonal ingredients.
Khao is one of the one Michelin Star Thai restaurants 2020
Sukhumwit 63, Soi Charoenmitr (Ekkamai 10 Alley), Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea,
Wattana, Bangkok Thailand
Open: every day, 12-2pm, 6pm – 10pm.
Prices start at 200+ (plate)