Quick Bytes: InAzia at Sheraton Hyderabad Celebrates Songkran, the Thai New Year

The first fortnight of April sees many of the Indian regions celebrating new year – Maharashtra, Andhra, Punjab and Bengal to name a few.  Thailand also celebrates Songkran, the Thai New Year day in the second week of April. Festivities include the water festival where people splash water on each other, and offer it to the Gods. The ritual represents purification of the body and soul and washing away the sins.

Steamed Sea Bass
Steamed Sea Bass in Thai Green Curry

InAzia the Pan-Asian restaurant at Sheraton Hyderabad is organizing a food promotion to celebrate Songkran. Chef Ninja Suksamai recollects that during Songkran, people usually congregate together with their relatives and enjoy a meal together. The meal is usually home cooked and not ordered in. So she has put together a special set menu for the occasion, incorporating traditional Thai delicacies and stressing on a blend of flavours that Thai cuisine is known for. The menu has a range of appetizers, salads, soup, main courses and desserts to suit a wide range of palate preferences.

Appetizer Inazia
Appetizer Platter

Invited for a preview of the festival, we were first treated to an appetizer platter. Shrimp with Bread Crumbs garnished with a potato (Sa Kun Na) looked so cute, that I was hesitant to bite into it. The rice crackers served tasted delicious with the Chicken and Coconut relish (Ka Tang Nha Tang). I loved the crunchy fried Vermicelli with Tofus (Mee Krob) too.

Raw Mango and Shrimp Salad
Raw Mango and Shrimp Salad

Deep Fried Mushrooms
Deep Fried Mushrooms

Among the salads, the Raw Mango and Shrimp Salad (Yum Ma Moong Goong Sod) looked very inviting, as is the case with presentation of many of Chef Ninja’s dishes. The Deep Fried Mushroom fritters (Yum Hed Thod) was the other dish with a cashew nut and delicate sweet chili dressing. As part of the festive menu, cashew nuts has been used instead of regular peanuts in many preparations.

Seaweed and Tofu Soup
Seaweed and Tofu Soup

I love the flavours of seaweed based soups and the Seaweed and Tofu Clear Soup (Gaeng Jeud Tao Hu) had that in abundance. The other one which had prawns, squids and other varieties of Seafood in a Hot and Sour soup (Phor Teak) tasted quite a bit like the well-known Tom Yum.

Wok Fried Chicken with Mushrooms
Wok Fried Chicken with Mushrooms

There were five main courses served. Of these, I absolutely loved the taste of the green curry served with Steamed Sea Bass (Gaeng Kiew Waan Pla). The Wok Fried Chicken with Mushroom (Gai Phad Nham Prik Pao) was prepared in an awesome chilli paste – which had ingredients such as dry shrimp, galangal, and tamarind apart from red chillies. At InAzia, all the pastes are prepared in-house from fresh ingredients.

Prawn in Tamarind Sauce
Prawn in Tamarind Sauce

The Prawn in Tamarind Sauce (Goong Sauce Ma Kram) had a tangy note. I tried it with the Pineapple based Fried Rice (Kao Phad Sab Ba Ros) which complemented well with its sweetish taste.

Green Vegetables in Tomato Sauce
Green Vegetables in Tomato Sauce


Among the vegetarian items there were two dishes - Green Vegetables in Tomato Sauce (Phad Phak Sam Sa Hai) and Stir Fried Potato in Red Curry Paste (Man Prad Prik Gaeng). The first went well with the Stir Fried Flat Noodles with Prawns (Pad Thai Goong).

Stir Fried Flat Noodles
Stir Fried Flat Noodles


Our meal came to an end with the coconut milk and water chestnut based Tub Tim Grob, which has quickly become the signature dessert at InAzia.

Tub Tim Grob
Tub Tim Grob
What appealed to me about the set menu was how carefully it has been planned – no two dishes tasted remotely similar. The diverse aspects of Thai cuisine have been presented through the dishes, and as always the preparations at InAzia were top class. The festival is on from 9th to 16th April for both lunch and dinner, and the set menu is priced at Rs 1800 plus taxes.

Location:
Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel
ISB Road, Financial District
Gachibowli, Hyderabad
Telephone: 33165811

Disclaimer: The review is based on an invite from the restaurant. However, the opinion expressed in the post are honest and unbiased.

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