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What is Thai food?


Every country in the world has its own food profile. It reflects its culture, environment, ingenuity and values. In cases of Thailand, these words come to mind: attention to detail, texture; colour; taste; and use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavour.

We not only pay attention to how a dish tastes; we are also concerned about how it looks, how it smells, and how it fits in with the rest of the meal. We think of all parts of the meal as a whole, "sum rub Thai" (the way Thais eat) is a term we use for the unique components that make up a characteristically Thai meal.

Thai food was traditionally eaten with the right hand while seated on mats or carpets on the floor, customs still found in the more traditional households. Today, however, most Thais eat with a fork and spoon. Tables and chairs were introduced as part of a broader westernisation drive during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. The fork and spoon were introduced by King Chulalongkorn after his return from a tour of Europe in 1897.

Thai meals typically consist of rice with many complementary dishes shared by all. The dishes are served all at the same time, and it is also customary to provide more dishes than there are guest at a table. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavours and textures.

Important to Thai dining is the practice of "kluk" individually tasting the flavours and textures of different dishes one at a time with the rice from one's plate. The food is pushed by the fork, held in the left hand, into the spoon, held in the right hand, which is then brought to the mouth. A traditional ceramic spoon is used for soup, and knives are not generally used at the table.

Chopsticks were foreign utensils to most ethnic groups in Thailand with the exception of the Thai Chinese. Chopsticks are mainly used in Thailand for eating Chinese-style noodles soups, or at Chinese, Japanese, or Korean restaurants. Stir fried noodle dishes such as Pad Thai are also eaten with a fork and spoon.

Here at Pad Thai, Manta and the team do their upmost to adhere to authentic methods in all our dishes. As such we do not offer This glutinous or "Sticky" rice to eat with our curries or any main course as "Sticky" rice originates from North and North Eastern provinces and should only be eaten with a very spicy salad or in a dessert.

Our non-Thai customers should note that some Thai food can be very hot and spicy and should feel free to ask us to adjust to suit, either mild or full Thai heat. To ensure freshness of flavour and to enable individual preferences to be taken into account.

Manta Maythachatchaval - Executive Chef / Proprietor

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