The New Year is always a great opportunity to learn new skills and embrace a better, healthier way of living. As we enter 2022, The Slate, the whimsical art-inspired beachfront resort on Phuket’s secluded northwest coast, is giving its guests – past, present and future – the opportunity to learn the art of Thai cuisine and reproduce some of its chefs’ most delicious and nutritious dishes in the comfort of their own home!
To kickstart the year, epicurean enthusiasts are invited to craft pollamai ruam buat chi, a heavenly and healthy dessert that is fun, fresh and filled with the taste of the tropics. It is also easy to prepare, making it a great introduction 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 in 2022, 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.
Pollamai ruam buat chi – braised bananas in coconut milk with seasonal fresh fruits – is 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.
“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. It’s also really healthy, which makes it great for anyone who wants to make a salubrious start to 2022,” said Chef Piak.
“Many budding chefs love the flavours and fragrances of Thai cuisine, and want to learn its secrets. But some people also believe it is complicated and requires lots of special ingredients. As we enter the New Year, The Slate wants to give everyone the chance to experience great Thai food in their own homes. We hope that people 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-