Happy Songkran! 13th April marks the beginning of the 3-day celebration ringing in the Thai new year. Lucky for us, we really don’t have to go buy a ticket to Thailand just yet – Sukhothai, the beautifully decorated Thai fine-dining restaurant located on the 5-star property of Le Meridien (Airport Road, Dubai) is setting up a lavish Bangkok Bazaar, complete with live entertainment and family fun.
Sukhothai’s Bangkok Bazaar is a 3-day event running from 13th – 15th April, and starts from AED 199 per person. I had the pleasure of being invited for a sneak preview of the Sukhothai Songkran menu, and enjoyed every festive bite!
To begin with, the decor at Sukhothai is absolutely stunning. Although we have been fortunate enough to have a prolonged spell of breezy evenings, we declined the option of alfresco dining and chose a table indoors. The interiors are haloed and magical, the dim lighting lends an auspicious, exotic vibe to the beautiful polished-wood interiors. A row of somber monks take precedence on a wall, a revered Buddha statue lights up another. The hand-carved architecture of Thailand has been beautifully showcased across the restaurant.
Sukhothai’s Chef Chitlada has whipped up an extensive menu featuring over 50 Thai festive favorites for the Songkran Bangkok Bazaar festival.
After being greeted with very affectionate ‘Swadeekas’, we were shown to our table, and offered a plate of complimentary prawn crackers while we made our selections from Sukhothai’s Songkran Bangkok Bazaar Menu.
Here is what we had for our round of appetizers:
Sang wa Goong: A flavorful salad featuring a toss-up of pump, juicy prawns, fresh Thai herbs and crunchy roasted peanuts.
Cho Muang: A steamed chicken dumpling that has been artistically shaped to look like an exotic flower.
Kai Sate: A Thai take on satay chicken skewers accompanied by a deliciously nutty, spiced sauce.
Roasted Marinated Beef with Garlic & Pepper: These strips of beef have been cooked a perfect medium-rare, and is served with a very tantalizing Thai chili dip.
By the time we were hitting the main-course, we had quite a long chat with the very knowledgable Mr.Chaowalit Limsaksri, Restaurant Manager to Sukhothai and a Thai national himself. He shared interesting anecdotes on Songkran in Thailand; about how Day 1 of Songkran is spent in the temple, Day 2 is for socializing, and Day 3 is spent with the family. Throughout the three days, people feast on special treats, and we are fortunate enough to get a taste of it at Sukhothai.
My husband expressed his love for Paad Kee Mao, a popular Thai stir-fried noodle dish who’s very name translates to ‘Drunken Noodles’. Legend has it that the dish got its name for being so exceedingly spicy, that it works wonders at sobering up drunkards. Paad Kee Mao is not on Sukhothai’s Songkran menu, yet Chaowalit obliged us with a plate of it.
Both Hubby and I loved Sukhothai’s Paad Kee Mao. If you’ve read one of my very first posts, you can see how critical we are of this particular dish (click here to read it). This platter ticked all the right boxes for me; it was brimming with chili heat without overshadowing the delicate flavours of fish and soya sauce.
Back to the actual Songkran Bangkok Market Menu, we had the Panang Lobster from their selection of main courses.
This decadently creamy coconut-based red curry with succulent chunks of meaty lobster was an absolute treat, and we had it over steaming hot spoonfuls of Thai Jasmine Rice.
At Sukhothai, they use absolutely fresh lobster. We even met a few in their oxygenated water cabinet!
I love how every table at Sukhothai has the little pots of Thai seasoning. Not every Thai restaurant I’ve been to in Dubai does this. My favorite Thai condiment is the Thai seafood sauce (a rather salty, spicy sauce consisting of very finely chopped Thai chilies and garlic floating in a fish sauce and vinegar mixture).
For our desserts round, we had two of the best known Thai desserts; Mango & Sticky Rice Pudding and Tab Tim Krob (water chestnut in sweetened coconut cream).
Tab Tim Krob is one of my all-time favorite Thai desserts, and the one at Sukhothai did not disappoint. I love their simple yet elegant presentation, and that it wasn’t watered down with too much ice.
Sukhothai’s Mango & Sticky Rice Pudding is divinely rich and moreish. The rice itself is loaded with creamy coconut goodness, and I love how it has just a subtle hint of saltiness to go with the sweet.
It’s Songkran, the perfect excuse to indulge in a gastronomic Thai feast! Head to Sukhothai’s Bangkok Night Bazaar.
Sukhothai is located in Meridien Village Terrace at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Center (Airport Road – Garhoud) Dubai.
The Songkran Night Bazaar runs from 13th – 15th April, between 7 pm to 11pm and starts from AED 199 per person (AED 249 will give you access to unlimited house beverages).
Reservations are highly recommended, call 04 7022455 for details, and visit the Sukhothai website for updates.