The chef who has served faultless Thai cuisine to Thailand’s Royal Family on many occasions draws upon her culinary experiences in central Thailand. But it was her brother’s move to Brussels which allowed her to meet her business partner and launch the brand as we know it.
We spoke to Noroor about her inspirations and menu ideas.
25 years after opening its doors on Fulham Road, Blue Elephant moves to Imperial Wharf; what is the idea behind the move?
The reason is because this restaurant belongs to the Blue Elephant group, and the atmosphere is far more beautiful and elegant. We also have a view of the river Thames, and that makes you feel like you are in Thailand on the Choapraya River in Bangkok. We are indeed lucky to have this place. The decoration inside is like a more luxurious ancient Thai house.
Is there also a completely new menu?
Dishes are now divided into three distant sections. Thai Cooking of the Past is based on ancient recipes, some with their own fascinating legend or history and many inspired by the Chinese, Portuguese and Indian influences that have helped shape the country. Here you will find delicacies such as Ma Auan, steamed minced chicken with crab and foie gras, and Tom Jew Kai, a free range chicken soup, both popular during the reign of King Rama V.
Thai Cuisine of Today features classic Thai dishes such as green curry with free range chicken in coconut milk and steamed sea bass with organic lemongrass and fresh lime juice.
Finally, Thai Kitchen of Tomorrow – including Isaan Carpaccio, spicy raw slices of Angus beef served with fiery papaya salad, rock sea salt, a hint of olive oil and parmesan cheese – gives a contemporary twist to the traditional. But we still keep our customers’ favorite dishes.
I hear that the move is complemented with the addition of a cookery school, why did you choose London to host your first cookery school in Europe?
We opened the first cooking school in Bangkok, where all the students can learn Thai cooking from scratch which includes going to the food market to choose the ingredients and herbs. We also we have a second cooking school in Phuket.
We have a lot of customers coming in (from) the UK, so we thought of opening a cooking class and sharing some of our experience with our customers in London.
We teach vegetable and fruit carving, and the basics of how to make a curry paste, salad dressing and traditional Thai dipping sauce, and how to use Thai ingredients and herbs.
For a more professional approach to Thai cookery and for an in depth knowledge of Thai herbs and ingredients, you are very welcome to visit our cooking school in Bangkok or Phuket and visit a traditional Thai food market and our grocery line production in Bangkok.
How does it feel to be one of the few female chefs to win the Hospitality Asia Platinum Award?
After 30 years of experience in cooking and making our own products, we try to refine Thai cuisine to a more sophisticated level of fine dining, along with Thai Tapas for catering and events. After all this I am very proud to get the Hospitality Asia Platinum Award. Last month I was also selected to be one of the top five female chefs in Thailand.
Who or what has inspired your cooking the most?
My mother and sister are my gurus of ancient Thai cuisine and culture. Sisamon Kongpan, who is one of Thailand’s most famous authorities on Thai cuisine, has also been my inspiration.