Food in Bangkok: Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin


Before we headed to Los Angeles last month, Tawn and I were invited to a special foodie dinner held at Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin restaurant.  Sra Bua is known for its molecular gastronomy take on Thai food.   Organized by, a Thai lifestyle website, and WorldFoods, I was invited to attend because of the writing I do for CatAndNat.


Dinner was held at the beautiful Siam Kempinski Hotel, tucked away right behind the Siam Paragon mall.


Opened less than a year ago, the Siam Kempinski is a beautiful 5-star hotel.  Their fresh flower arrangements in the lobby make it worth a visit just to “stop and smell the roses”.


The building also features gorgeous architecture and decorations throughout.  I enjoy visiting nice hotels like this just for the ambiance.


By coincidence, fellow blogger Angel and his partner were on holiday in Bangkok, staying at the same hotel.  We were able to meet them for a late afternoon tea before proceeding across the hall to our dinner.


Our host didn’t have Tawn’s full name handy so used my surname for his place card.  Tawn was very excited as this is the first (and only) time after our wedding that he’s had my surname!


Each dish was made with a WorldFoods sauce and was paired with a wine from Monsoon Valley Wines, a local Thai winery. 

WorldFoods is a Malaysian based maker of high quality Asian-inspired sauces, marinades, chutneys, and pastes that previously has given me samples of their products and invited me to try and, if I like, to write about them.  While I’ve been given no compensation, Tawn and I were invited to this very nice complimentary dinner.

The restaurant,Sra Bua, is the sister restaurant of Henrik Yde-Andersen’s Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen, the second Thai restaurant in the world to receive a Michelin star (which I understand has since been lost). 


Appetizer – Yum Som O, which is a traditional salad made with pomelo.  Pomelo is basically a large, less sour grapefruit.  Here, the chef added frisée and fish roe, which was meant to have a similar texture to the individuals pulp sacs of the pomelo.


Close up of the pomelo salad.  This wasn’t much of a success, in my opinion, with too little pomelo and too much roe, which overpowered the flavor of the salad.  The pairing wine was a Monsoon Valley Colombard, a fruity white.


Next dish was a Laksa Soup, which used the Singaporean Nyonya Laksa Paste.  This was a very pleasant, curry-type soup that was flavorful but not too spicy.  It was paired with a Monsoon Valley Cuvee de Siam, another white wine from grapes grown in the hills above Hua Hin, a beach town about three hours south of Bangkok.


The fish course was a pan-seared white fish (bass, I believe) with fish mousse and red curry.  This used the Red Curry Sauce and is actually based on a classic Thai dish called haw mok, in which fish is pureed, mixed with a red curry paste, and steamed in banana leaves.  I really enjoyed this course.  It was paired with a Monsoon Valley Shiraz that was pleasant, although not very complex.


The highlight of the meal was this beef with basil curry sauce.  The chunks of beef couldn’t have been more tender and it was served in a lightly fried pastry shell that is balance (although you can’t see it) on a small mound of jasmine rice.  This dish was so good that Tawn, who rarely eats beef, had the whole thing.  It was paired with a Monsoon Valley Cuvee de Siam Rouge, which was also the highlight wine of the evening.  It is a blend of 70% Shiraz and 30% Sangiovese grapes and has nice fruity flavors without too many tannins. 


Dessert was a jasmine ice cream served wrapped in phyllo dough and a jasmine rice panna cotta served with mixed tropical fruits, wrapped in a banana leaf.  These were really nice as the flavors were very delicate and refreshing.  The wine was a Monsoon Valley Muscat Dessert, which was sweet and syrupy.


After dessert a variety of hand-rolled truffles were set out.  If you like chocolate, you’d like these!


What the room felt like after the dinner.  Ha ha…


Me and Tawn with our friend Linda, who was able to join us at the last minute for dinner.  Conclusion: the menu, which was specially prepared for the event, worked very well in some areas and less well in others.  Attention to detail in the preparation was very high, though, as was the quality.  Service was also very attentive, which of course can be a challenge when you have some 30-40 diners.  Kudos to the chef and staff of Sra Bua for pulling this off.

Malaysian Roasted Root Vegetables with WORLDFOODS Chilli Coconut Marinade

Malaysian Chilli Coconut Marinade Recently, I was invited to attend a dinner sponsored by WORLDFOODS, a Malaysian based maker of high quality Asian-inspired sauces, marinades, chutneys, and pastes.  I walked away with a bag of several of their 51 different products and a challenge: come up with and blog about new and creative ways to cook with their products. 

The first product I used was their Malaysian Chilli Coconut Marinade.  It was a weeknight and I needed to prepare a quick meal.  One chicken breast and thirty minutes later, I had a tasty protein ready to cook and add to a salad.  There were two things that caught my attention about the marinade:

First, one reason I cook a lot is that I want to know what I’m putting in my body.  Looking at the ingredient list, I was pleased to see familiar, pronounceable words.  No artificial colors, preservatives, flavorings, MSG, or gluten.

Second, the flavor was remarkably good and remarkably authentic.  Unlike a lot of “Asian” products that are watered down versions of popular sauces, the WORLDFOODS products have the same ingredients (and the same amount of chilies!) that you find when eating these foods in their home country.  While available worldwide, you won’t find any “Americanization” of the flavors.

Wanting to find ways to use the marinade differently than its traditional use, I put the right side of my brain to work.  The idea I settled on was to do roasted root vegetables, something I associate more with olive oil and rosemary, and use the Chilli Coconut Marinade as a glaze.


I decided on a combination of yams and beets (about 1.5 pounds or 750 grams total), with two yellow onions and a handful of garlic cloves.  These were scrubbed and, except for the yams, peeled.  Then I sliced them into approximately 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.


When I cut open the yams I was surprised to discover that they did not have the orange-colored interiors I am familiar with.  Instead, they are purple.  In the end, the flavor wasn’t that different, although it did lead to a slightly more monochromatic dish than I had anticipated.


Once the root vegetables, onion, and garlic were combined, I coated them with about 1 cup (200 ml) of WORLDFOODS Malaysian Chilli Coconut Marinade and 1/2 cup (100 ml) of chicken broth.  You can substitute water or vegetable broth, if you wish to keep the dish vegetarian.

The vegetables were poured in an ovenproof dish and then placed in a preheated 350 F (180 C) oven for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to keep the vegetables coated with marinade.  There is enough marinade that it forms a bit of a pool at the bottom of the dish, helping cook the vegetables by steam as well as direct heat.


Once the yams and beets were getting soft but not yet fully cooked through, I stirred in about 4 cups (90 dl) of kale, washed and cut into wide strips.  The dish returned to the oven for about ten more minutes, enough time to finish cooking the root vegetables while still leaving the kale a little crunchy.  You can cook the dish for longer if you prefer your vegetables softer.


Uncommitted to the idea of this being a fully vegetarian meal, I also pan fried a plate of Northeastern Thai style sausage called Sai Oua, sliced it, and served it on the side.


The end result was very nice.  The marinade had thickened into a nice glaze, coating the vegetables with a sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce which countered the natural sugars in the yams and beets.  The kale provided a fresh contrast that made for a very satisfying meal.

All in all, I’m very pleased with the WORLDFOODS Malaysian Chilli Coconut Marinade and look forward to trying it in other dishes, as well as to trying their other products.

While WORLDFOODS is based in Malaysia, its products are available in major countries across the world including Australia, the UK, the United States, and Canada, as well as most Southeast Asian countries.  To locate a store which carriers their products near you, use this store locator.  In the United States, you can also order WORLDFOODS products for home delivery through

Full disclosure: While I am not being paid or otherwise compensated to write this entry, I did receive the products for free and dinner that night was paid for by WORLDFOODS.  It’s important to me that you know that the opinions expressed in this blog are my own and are not bought or paid for by others.