I was invited to the launching of Amazing Tastes of Thailand Fest 2013 at Dusit Thani last Monday. I love Thai cuisine, so it was an event I couldn't afford to miss. I was looking forward to it, but was a little bothered when I realized that I had no one to go with. Events are fun, but it's always better when I have someone to share the happiness with! My husband comes home from work at 8 and my constant companion during morning events 'J' was working on the late shift. Good thing, a friend who was here for a very short vacation took a break from his travel itinerary and agreed to be my +1/foodie buddy/partner-in-crime aka companion to the event. :)
The Amazing Tastes of Thailand Fest is an annual week-long festival hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This year, from October 4 to 12, thirteen participating restaurants all over United Arab Emirates will be having special promotions, which simply means we will get to savor the finest Thai dishes in a cheaper price! Yay!
I had the best Thai cuisine when Ed and I had the South East Asian buffet at Dusit Thani's The Californian restaurant last year. I feel so blessed to be back at the hotel, this time for the grand launching of the Thai food festival.
My friend and I were warmly welcomed with a Wai, a traditional Thai greeting with the palms in a prayer-like gesture and a bow. The event venue, Al Wasl Ballroom, was filled with friendly smiles and vibrant festival colors. The event showcased not just Thai delicacies, but the culture and traditions as well. There were ladies making colorful paper flowers and intricate fruit carvings. We were also entertained with Thailand's cultural dances and live cooking shows on stage.
|decorative paper flowers|
|Food Art: flower carvings on Melons|
|Thai dancers during the Umbrella Dance presentation|
Each of the 13 participating restaurants had a food stall with live cooking stations wherein guests can observe the food preparation and get to try exquisite Thai dishes. We jumped from one stall to another and I had a little bit of everything. I had my old favorites (pad thai and sticky rice) and discovered new ones (Phuek Thord, rice cakes and crispy rice noodles). I found Thai food really amusing! Take the crispy rice noodles for example, I was expecting it to be spicy, yet it was surprisingly sweet! Thai dishes have distinctive flavors with the exact blend of ingredients; very complex and unique. Amazing, indeed!
|crispy rice noodles from Silk and Spice|
|my all-time favorite Thai dessert: sticky rice with mango and coconut milk from Sukothai|
|colorful sweets from Thai Chi|
|pineapple topped with peanuts and chili from The Kitchen of Thai|
|My favorite Thai restaurant in Dubai never fails! I had a classic non-spicy Pad Thai from The Thai Kitchen.|
|I had four of these crunchy and delicious rice cakes from The Thai Kitchen. :)|
|my new love: deep fried taro with tofu, served with peanut and chili sauce from Benjarong Abu Dhabi|
|Roti minced chicken with yellow curry paste from Benjarong Dubai|
|another dish from Benjarong Dubai's stall: Thai Fish Cake|
|spicy shrimp appetizer from Blue Elephant|
|red tapioca pearls with coconut milk from Lemongrass|
|Sai Ua (Chiang Mai beef and chicken sausage) from The Royal Buddha|
|multicolored jelly in a cup from Royal Orchid|
In line with the festival's special promotions, there are Buy1 Get1 vouchers inside Time Out Dubai's October 2nd and 9th issues, and in Time Out Abu Dhabi's October 2nd issue. With 13 amazing restaurants to choose from, I honesty still can't decide where to go during this week-long festival. Anyhow, my vouchers are ready, you should have yours too!