TAAN: Delicious and authentic dining - a modern take on the roots of Thai cuisine.
A major change is taking place at the upscale restaurant on the 25th floor of [email protected] Design Hotel , where Montep Kamonsilp (Chef Tep) has decided to switch from Western to Thai cuisine, even though he has never served Thai food before. This has made TAAN one of the most anticipated Thai restaurants in Bangkok.
Chef Tep told us that the name "TAAN" came from the Thai word for ‘eating’ but there are more aspects to the name.
“Thai food can be such a graceful asset, but we have rarely looked at its roots. My inspiration, therefore, is to bring back the local wisdom, an often abandoned asset, and use it in creating the food.”
Chef Tep spoke about his desire to examine the Thai society. “Some local people are not proud of their Thai identity. Thainess is often a subject of ridicule. How do we change that attitude? We have to interpret what being Thai means; what is authentic Thai and what is authentic Thai food,” he added.
Taan also derives from the word ‘thai-ya-taan’ which means offering. "I won't say no to anything- be it food, people, places, habits, identities, ingredients, wisdom, techniques or anything that inspires Thai people to be who we are. The result will be a taste of Thailand that will always remain in our customers’ memories," he said.
The word Taan also refers to the word "Prataan", meaning a president or chairperson, which to Chef Tep signifies an important aspect of taking charge of cooking. "I was once a French cuisine chef who focused on the importance of ingredients and sustainability. Now that I am a Thai food chef, I would like to concentrate on hyper-local, innovative Thai cuisine, methods in which old wisdom is being adjusted with modern approaches. The more I venture into this, the more I see the significance of this methodology.
TAAN's ingredients come from small-scale farmers. The moment you step into the restaurant, you can see photos of farmers from different provinces. It is hoped that they will form a supply chain for different ingredients than those available from established suppliers, and food that tastes different. For example, the ingredients and recipe of a dish called Tom Som Samut Songkhram will come from Samut Songkhram Province. Your tongue will definitely recognize the local authentic flavours, once you try it.
“It’s arguably more fun to not know in advance the ingredients of a dish or how it is cooked because you can have fun guessing and pondering the creation process,” says Chef Tep. “We serve a southern Thai inspired dish called Pla-Tawd-Kamin or fried fish with turmeric. When you have this in the south of Thailand, you get the whole fish freshly caught and thrown directly into a frying pan. We create a recipe based on that but with a few adjustments - removing the bones and making it bite-size. We also take off the skin and fry it separately before blending it with rice to create a cracker-like crust. It looks like a new creation, but it is still Southern Thailand’s fried fish with turmeric.”
"My cooking style is all about thinking differently. For example, in Thai cuisine, people usually have plain rice with other dishes. We actually use rice itself as part of creating a menu. "
A whole set of TAAN's delicious drinks called Ya-Dong, AKA Thai herbal liquor that combines grain alcohol with local pickled herbs, vegetables, and fruits.
25th Fl. [email protected] Design Hotel Bangkok
865 Rama I Road, Patumwan, Wang Mai
BTS – National Stadium
M +66 (0) 65 328 7374
OPEN DAILY 18.00 - 23.00 Hrs. (last orders 22.30 Hrs.)