What is it about Thai cuisine that sets it apart from other exotic dishes in the region? Perhaps it is the combined influence of the four regions of the country, or the inspiration it draws from the Chinese; perhaps it is the careful balancing act the flavors play, see-sawing between sweet and sour. Whatever it may be, it is a known secret that Thai gastronomy is much more than ‘just food.’ It is about detail and taking those experiencing it on a sensory voyage, delighting with taste, look and aroma.

At Colombo’s popular Thai restaurant Royal Thai, all this is a given. The team, led by Thai Master Chef, Sivanart plays with authentic ingredients to cook up some fantastic dishes that are a treat for guests.

Launching a new and improved menu listing over 100 dishes that are bound to have one craving for more; Royal Thai offers a dining experience fit for royalty.

Meticulously planned and designed by Chef Sivanart, it includes the likes of Laab Gai Neung (steamed spicy chicken balls with tamarind chili sauce), Pla Muek Choob Pang Thod Prik Thai Dum (batter fried black-pepper cuttlefish), Goong Mung Korn Phad Sauce Ma Khaam (spicy tamarind lobster), Pla Ga Phong Saam Rod (chilli pineapple snapper), Moo Phad Prik Gaeng (spicy pork chilli pepper corn), and Gai Phad Kiew Waan (stir fried green chilli paste chicken) among others.

What has influenced these interesting choices? It is the over 20 years of experience Chef Sivanart brings, coupled with her own favorites, from back when she was learning the art of cooking from her mother. Prepared according to age old recipes, only enhanced by a modern flair, her focus is mainly on how the flavors and textures of premium quality ingredients interact together. “It is not just food. It is exotic cuisine,” Chef Sivanart said. “It is about creating an experience. Letting people enjoy the goodness of Thai cuisine in all its elements.”

For her, herbs play an important role when preparing the dishes. Along with the famous fish sauce and bird’s eye chilli that she generously lace her food with, she noted that the use of herbs is an important element in Thai dishes. “This is how we bring out the flavor. We balance the elemental necessities of what is generally considered ‘good food’ – spice, sourness, sweetness, saltiness and bitterness. The use of herbs helps accentuate the taste while adding a healthy and nutritional value to the meal.”

Hoping that the dishes created will appeal to a wider audience, she lists her favorites – pad Thai noodles. “This for me is the ultimate. It helps brings out the four distinctive flavours – sweet, sour, salt and spice.” And this is goes to the menu in a variety of ways, but the most popular so far has been the traditional pad Thai noodles with tamarind sauce and prawns. Among the favorites are also Gai Satay (Thai herb chicken satay with peanut sauce), Thod Mun Pla (fried fish cake with chilli and cucumber sauce), Gai Phad Med Ma Muang Him Ma Pharn (chicken with cashew nut) and the Gaeng Phed Ped Yang (red curry duck with pineapple).

The restaurant open for both lunch (12 noon-2.30 p.m.) and dinner (7.00 p.m.-10.30 p.m. on weekdays and 7.00 p.m.-11.30 p.m. on weekends) can accommodate up to 80 pax, counting both indoor and the outdoor spaces.

At Royal Thai, what you get is the complete experience – exceptional food, commendable service, perfect ambiance and the little touches that separate the great from the good. Cinnamon Lakeside invites all, to join in to celebrate Thai cuisine as it should be honored, with authenticity and gusto.

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