South East Asia flavors return to Panama to satisfy my fellow addicts

 
156Views 0Comments Posted 18/06/2011

 

 Dining and Wining

 with Dra. Lourdes Quijada

I often get emails from readers with a taste for Thai and South East Asian food.

 They have, in the past  lamented  Panama's lack  of those uniquely  flavored dishes. 

  Now, a charming tale of serendipity has led to the fulfillment of their needs.

It all started when a young Scotsman from Aberdeen, Robert  Lamont, met   a talented and chaming Panamanian, Alessandra Barria, when they were attending  an hotel school in Switzerland . They were there because …  where better to study the hotel and restaurant business?  Only serendipity added the bonus of romance.

Cooking created the bond for Robert and Alessandra

After completing their courses,  they moved to London and worked together, expanding their culinary skills  before arriving in Panama. There, with family support, they  opened a Panamanian gem that within days of opening built up a valuable  base of regular customers for lunch time and evening dining.

If you head to Sukhi,  in the Edificio America,  just a few meters from the Hotel Marriott Casino in the Edificio America, and just around the corner from another favored restaurant of mine, Roma Antica,  glance behind the cash register and you will see the young entrepreneurs at work with their team of kitchen staff, busy  producing flavorsome meals for those familiar with South East Asian food, and those ready to experiment and broaden their taste bud horizons. {jathumbnail off}

The 20-choice menu with starters, salads, wok preparations and curries will  tempt your taste buds without the need for your to break into your piggy bank.

You might want to start your feast with a chicken satay accompanied by a peanut dipping sauce, a mushroom and chicken gyroza with a sesame seed sauce, or Thai “moneybags”. That may be as near as you’ll ever get to being filthy rich, but you will enrich your dining experience.  Moneybags are wantons filled with pork, prawn and water chestnuts.

If you are one who skirts the borders of vegetarianism, and includes fish in your diet, you will savor the Thai fishcakes. If you are a true veggie believer, the Vietnamese summer rolls with vegetables, herbs and  tofu,  or lettuce wraps will sharpen your taste buds for your main  course.

Those who prefer a salad to start   or even as a main course,  can select from Thai, served with beef or prawns, or a toasted sesame salad.

Sukhi ramen soup,   with ramen noodles, pak choi, fish slice , pork shoulder boiled egg and herbs, could be the answer to a complete meal  if you are not planning  to over expand the waist line in one sitting. Miso ramen soup with ramen noodles, chicken, pork choi, egg and fresh herbs, is another tasty snack, or filler, depending on your appetite.

Look behind the counter and you will see the chefs at work.

You can’t expect to visit a restaurant serving Thai foods without discovering the joys of dishes speed cooked in a wok. Choose from, Pad Thai, teriyaki noodles, cashew chicken  or Thai basil stir fry . If there’s a group of you, mix and match, and return later to go the whole hog alone with your partner.

For curry addicts, and I am one of them, you can choose green or red curry and your choice of prawn, chicken or beef ot 100 percent vegetable. You will be suitably impressed.

The menu is due for further expansion in the near future, and will include more tofu for the growing vegetarian market.

Don’t be put off by the contemporary bright colored furnishings. The fun is in the dining and if you want to impress your guests at home, you can order take out.

Your appetite can be satisfied for as little as $7 or $8, and if you want a blow out, for less than$30.

If you are smart enough to belong to the CanadaPLUS Club, www.canadaplusclub.com and produce your membership card, you will get a free glass of wine with your meal.



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