A taste of Ayutthaya

Veteran cooks at Chorsnow are serving up homestyle Thai cuisine prepared using ancient recipes

Just as the popularity of Ayutthaya-style Thai cuisine is reaching its peak and food delivery services have become common, Chorsnow, this week’s subject of review, has emerged onto the scene.

Chorsnow’s food arrives in neat paper containers.

It all began recently with charitable cooking for monastery monks during the Covid-19 lockdown.

For over two months, Napatsawan Punchareonworakul, a real estate entrepreneur, made daily food offerings to hundreds of monks across Bangkok.

The kitchen team, made up of veteran cooks from Napatsawan’s hometown in Ayutthaya, used recipes that have been passed on in her family for generations.

The altruistic venture sparked an idea about a potential new business. Hence, the brand Chorsnow (pronounced chor sano, which means “stalk of sesbania”, a provincial flower of Ayutthaya) was born.

Chorsnow serves up homestyle Thai cuisine prepared using ancient recipes from the Ayutthaya kingdom. Fresh seasonal ingredients, scrupulous processes and wood fire are the key to this cooking style. The feature taste of this cuisine is a subtle combination of sweet, sour, salty and fiery flavours.

Chorsnow’s menu has approximately 40 dishes which are all available through delivery service.

Seasonal cassia curry with grilled pork.

The best-selling items which I tried and was highly satisfied with are nam phrik kapi, or spicy shrimp paste relish (195 baht); gaeng moo the-pho, or kaffir lime-infused pork curry (210 baht); hom daeng khua pla khem, or wok-tossed shallots with salt-cured fish (220 baht); and mara phad khai, or sautéed bitter gourd with egg (165 baht).

The spicy shrimp paste relish, which comes with pan-fried Thai mackerel and assorted vegetables, was freshly cooked and boasted a zesty blend of fine shrimp paste, garlic, shallot, fresh bird’s-eye chillies, jaggery and lime juice.

Chorsnow’s rendition of gaeng moo the-pho proved to be one of the most admirable. In the mildly sweet, sour, salty and spicy curry were tender slices of pork belly and crunchy stems of morning glory. A touch of tamarind paste and kaffir lime juice added to the coconut milk-based curry a sour zest and characteristic fragrance.

Providing a perfect balance to the spicy meal was the hom daeng khua pla khem. The natural sweetness of the shallots and the briny taste of the cured Spanish mackerel from Samut Songkhram province also helped soothe the palate while stimulating your appetite.

Normally I am not a fan of mara phad khai. It’s not because of the tartness of the bitter gourd, which I don’t really mind, but it’s the fact that I had never found a rendition of the dish that was palatable enough.

The sweet, sour, salty and spicy gaeng moo the-pho.

However, Chorsnow’s version is different, to the level that it is addictive and pleasingly memorable. It’s a unification of slight-bitter gourd and egg, wok-fried, until the dish develops a tempting wok-burnt aroma but still retains its fresh crunch, enhanced by honey-cured pearl garlic.

Another dish worth ordering is the kradook on phad phed, or chopped young pork spare ribs with herbs and chillies (250 baht). I recommend that you pair this fiery dish, which went great with rice, with kai phalo, or slow-cooked duck egg and pork belly in savoury-sweet brown gravy (185 baht).

These days, the cassia, aka khi lek, a local medicinal plant that helps prevent the common cold is in season.

In the dish gaeng khi lek moo yang (175 baht), which was as delicious as it was healthy, young cassia leaves are simmered in coconut milk-based curry until very soft before being topped with succulent slices of grilled pork.

A selection of personal-sized dishes are also on offer at 99 baht. Fried rice with pla ra (fermented fish) and grilled pork; and fried rice with sweet roasted chilli paste and deep-fried salid fish sound interesting.

For those who want to avoid meat, there are vegetarian options as well. I was relatively impressed by the tasty, vegan version of phak boong fai daeng, or wok-tossed morning glory (120 baht). The vegetable, julienned into thin strips, offered a brisk crunch while exhibited a pleasant flame-touched fragrance.

Other meat-free choices included red curry tofu, tom kha hed soup and sour and spicy grilled eggplant salad.

Desserts, though sounding run-of-the-mill, are also professionally prepared and very delectable. Try the tako pheuak, or steamed taro and coconut cream pudding (40 baht) and sakhu piak khao phod, or tapioca pearls and sweetcorn in coconut cream (48 baht).

Food delivered from Chorsnow arrived in neat paper containers embellished with Thai flowers.

By : VANNIYA SRIANGURA – BANGKOK POST

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