The first thought that comes to mind when hearing the name Miss Siam is perhaps of a beauty pageant, but in fact, Miss Siam is a Thai variety of water lily. For the fine dining Thai restaurant at Hua Chang Heritage, however, it has a straightforward meaning: the traditional charms of Thai ladies blending with the character of modern Thai women.
Executive Chef Pairos Prapairak, or Chef Bomb, is a veteran chef with considerable experience working in five-star hotels. He has recreated the traditional Thai dishes served at Miss Siam with modern appeal. The menu features two “sumrups” (sets), Champa and Chaba. The dishes in each are classic Thai fair but are not based on ancient recipes or those from the royal kitchen. Nevertheless, they are guaranteed not to disappoint diners.
“I don’t cook palatial dishes since we don’t use any of those recipes and our dishes are not from the ancient times, before I was born. The menu at Miss Siam is made up of genuine contemporary Thai dishes that I grew up with and reflects authentic Thai flavours, without compromising just to please the western palate,” he said.
Chef Bomb explained that surprisingly the most important element of his creations is not delicious flavours but cleanliness. “I start with selecting premium organic ingredients and concentrate on hygiene. The tastes are personal preferences. I cannot guarantee that our food will taste good for everybody because each person enjoys different tastes, but I can guarantee that our food is clean, safe and healthy.”
The two sumrups are served on compact plates with a base called “choeng”, showing respect to visitors and adding flair to the meals.
Sumrup Champa reflects the gentle fragrance of the Champaka flower, similar to a sweet, entrancing young lady. This sumrup features dishes that are not too strong, and prepared with coconut milk, such as gaeng kiew warn gai (green chicken curry), tom kha gai (coconut soup with chicken and galangal), puffy rice, poo lon (crab dip) served with fresh vegetables, phad phak boong (stir fried water spinach), moo warn (sweet pork), and pla goong takrai sod (spicy prawn and fresh lemongrass salad) (700+Baht)
Chaba, or Hibiscus, is a sumrup of fiery dishes inspired by the colour of this flower. The set is like a colourful, joyful and rousing lady; so are the dishes. It features mussaman gai (mussaman chicken curry), somtum thai (central region somtum), tom yum goong (spicy, sour shrimp soup) gai yang (grilled chicken), mee kloog (spicy noodle salad), and tod mun pla (fish cakes). These are accompanied by some milder dishes, such as phad woon sen (stir-fried noodles) and phad hed kone (stir-fried termite mushroom) (800+ Baht)
Both sumrups are served with steaming-hot jasmine rice and come with accompaniments like Chinese sausage, salted eggs, toong thong (deep-fried dumpling) and seasonal fruits. There are two choices of dessert, khao niew mamuang (sticky rice served with ripe mango) or coconut-milk ice cream.
Miss Siam also features Sri Tong, or Thai style afternoon Tea, between 1.30pm and 5pm. A selection of sweet and savoury dishes with tea or coffee. (850+ Baht)
Besides the two appetizing sets, Miss Siam also offers a menu of single dishes, such as fried rice with lychees, chili dip fried rice and many more, served either in an air-conditioned room or the shady garden nestled in the heart of the city.
Miss Siam, Ground Floor, Hua Chang Heritage, Phayathai Road, Khaeng Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok.
Getting there: 300 metres from National Stadium BTS Station, 350 metres from Ratchathewi BTS Station
Open every day, 10.30am to 10.30pm (Champa and Chaba Sets until 9pm)
For more information: Tel. 0-2217-0777 www.huachangheritagehotel.com