Chef Kuan Lai is one of the passionate chefs whose exuberance and masterful culinary skills come out via conversations about food.  Nevertheless, I got to meet him again as he is again in Hyderabad in collaboration with Olive Tree Trading to promote “Bowl of Jasmine”  at Golden Dragon, Taj Krishna. A group of food bloggers was invited for another perfect fine dining experience which was named as “Pan Asian Inspiration.”

The center of discussion was “Thai Hom Mali” or “Jasmine rice”. We were introduced to the astounding flavors and aroma of Jasmine rice which was perfectly complemented with curries.

There were an astounding number of choices but I had a few favorites out of those:-

The Grill lemongrass spring chicken was perfectly cooked chicken topped with a crunchy crust which was served on lettuce bed along with sauce(s) and rice cakes. Pho Ga or chicken noodle soup had the perfect blend of distinct flavors with chicken in three forms and the broth was heavenly. Nasi Goreng or rather Indonesian stir-fried rice was flavorful with every element cooked to perfection and accompanied with homemade peanut sauce and crunchy peanuts on top elevated the taste. Basil Stir Fry Chicken with Bowl of Jasmine rice was the perfect match. The super crunchy curry leaves were the ideal companion to the spicy chicken.

The fine dining experience could never end without desserts hence we were introduced to some irresistible desserts. My favorite was the Ruby water chestnut with sago coconut cream which as delicious and yummy. Though it looks simple the contrasting flavor profile is heavenly.  I can’t resist but have to talk about the Eight Treasure Coconut Jelly which Chef calls as “Wellness dessert.” It’s a story on its own, but you have to taste it to feel it and understand its complex but yet so distinct flavors.

The showstopper of the night for me was Sesame peanut dumpling with Red bean cream. The soft dumpling was drenched in red bean cream with a dollop of peanut sauce which was had astounding flavors and was delectable.

Special mention to the chef’s Beef Rendang Curry and the aromatic Jasmine Tea were perfect additions to the dinner.

It was a perfect evening filled with some amazing food and Chef Kuan Lai.


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