Bangkok Street Style Food, in its most flavourful avatar in Delhi
Pop Thai makes waves, delivering bang with every bite!
Thai cuisine has a clever and inventive way of balancing all five flavours. Spice doesn’t overwhelm, sour is appetizing, sweetness is in moderation, bitterness balances the flavours and salty binds them all together and increases the flavour quotient.
The usage of that signature Thai trinity of lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime produces that invigorating flavour to the dish. It's all about balancing. The pungent herbs tone down overpowering spices and salty sauces are tempered with sugars and offset by acids from ingredients like lime and lemon. While Bangkok is bustling on one hand with The World’s 50 best restaurants and equally eloquent must-have street food in traditional shophouses, Pop Thai is one restaurant in Delhi that simply excels in the art of bringing the cultural culinary wonders of Bangkok to the plate.
Pratinav Pratap Singh, the founder, explored the smorgasbord before narrowing down to serving this classic sumptuous Thai cuisine resplendent with flavours in a pop avatar. His ethos - ‘food should stay true to the heart of Thai cooking with the freshest of ingredients but with a twist’.
If you look at the menu, it is a tasteful travelogue into the cuisines of Thailand, with a mix of authenticity and contemporary modernity traversing taste buds on a tour of the 1970s Bangkok. The menu is very innovative with a deconstructed approach, twisting the regular som tam - raw papaya salad with a chili lime dressing or chicken sliders with the pop of their Thai chili peanut dressing plated with fresh basil. Also, the real art lies in plating and getting the packing for delivery perfect, which in my opinion Pop Thai has mastered. The presentation of each dish is with vibrant colours, drizzles of sauces and new interpretations of the freshest produce. The burnt garlic pink rice is a twist on the classic fried rice where natural beet is used to turn the rice into a vibrant pink colour that provides a visual pop. The rice is served with crispy garlic shavings and baby snow peas for a textural delight too. Pop Prawn Donuts, a never-seen-before avatar of prawns in the form of donuts! This appetiser pretty much defines Pop Thai’s vision for its dishes, a contemporary and fun take on classic fish cakes. Minced prawns are marinated and shaped into mini donuts and flavoured with a hint of kaffir lime, accompanied by a hot truffle sauce for that added kick.
Re-mentioning the Pop Chicken Sliders as it delivers a bang with each bite. The succulent grilled chicken patty is stuffed into mini buns layered with basil leaf, barbeque sauce on one side and the in-house Thai chilli peanut dressing on the other, hands-down the star of the menu, to top it all, lotus stem fries are added at the end for the perfect crunch. Pop money bags are traditionally referred to as fortune bags, the pouch-like shape of the dish resembles a money bag, hence the name and is a symbol of prosperity and luck. These parcels of flavour are a crispy delight made with the in-house red curry paste minced with mushrooms and cream cheese that melts on the tongue. A vegetarian’s delight, their Pop Red Curry Mushroom and Water Chestnut Dumplings are for pure indulgence. The crimson skin of the dim sum is reduced beet filled with shiitake, black fungus mushroom and water chestnut tossed in handmade red curry paste.
A dish that truly evokes the far-flung flavours of Thailand is the Pop holy basil soba noodle. The buckwheat soba noodles are tossed in a wok with the fiery in-house Thai Chilli Paste adds a delicious kick of spice. The noodles are then tossed with Thai basil which provides that zing. The dessert was a dream, like a pop of swoosh that transcends to heaven. The Nutella and Coconut Pillows, these soft and moist rice flour balls are oozing with gooey Nutella filling. Sin to glory.
The name truly justifies what the brand puts on the menu and delivers on the plate. Kudos to the team to put together such a re-inventive, decorative and absolute scrumptious cuisine to everyone’s palate. Here’s hoping they ‘Pop’ in other cities too beyond Delhi soon.