My first Khao Chae was enjoyed at Celadon at The Sukhothai Bangkok. As a foreigner who was quite ignorant of Khao Chae’s origin, history and culture, the experience of having my first Khao Chae was quite unforgettable. It was a dining experience of Thai history and culture.
What is Khao Chae?
Presented in front of me is a set of Khao Chae. It’s simple – a platter of savoury and sweet side dishes, a plate of rice and a bowl of jasmine-scented water. It looks very simple, but the process for making just the jasmine-scented water may take a couple of days already, not to mention all those sophisticated processes for making delicate, tasty side dishes.
Khao Chae, which literally means “rice soaked in cool water”, was introduced to Thailand during the reign of King Rama II. It was considered “royal cuisine” and was meant to be made and consumed in the hot season from mid-March to the end of April. At that time, ice was not available in Thailand, so the water was kept cool during hot season by putting it in an earthenware vessel. It’s for relieving the heat and soothe the boring appetite affected by the hot weather.
Khao Chae at Celadon
Traditional Chilled Steamed Jasmine Rice with Jasmine Water
Look Kapi (Fried Shrimp Paste Balls)
Prik Yoak Sod Sai Goong (Steamed Stuffed Bell Pepper with Minced Shrimp)
Pla Yeesok (Sweet Shredded Fish)
Hom Sod Sai Pla Thod (Fried Stuffed Shallots with Ground Catfish)
Moofoi / Nueafoi (Crispy Pork/Beef Threads)
Huachaipow Wan (Sweet Preserved Radish)
Tang Mo Pla Haeng (Watermelon with Sweet Ground Fish and Shallot)
Mayongchid Loy Kaew (Homemade Marian Plum in Syrup)
Price: THB 1,250++
The side dishes in this set of Khao Chae was amazingly tasty. I especially like the mildly-sweetened Pla Yeesok which tasted so delicate, as well as Prik Yoak Sod Sai Goong. The jasmine-scented water was, of course, the star of this set. Natural jasmine aroma and flavour fully permeated the cool water. It was a unique experience of Khao Chae.
How to eat Khao Chae
Eating Khao chae is an art, so don’t put everything in the jasmine-scented water. Add just a few spoons of rice into the cool jasmine water. Don’t ever mix the side dishes into the bowl of rice. Have a little bite of a side dish of your choice, chew a bit, then follow with a spoonful of the icy rice. Don’t forget to nibble on those fresh vegetables between each side to give your tongue a break from those sugar-overloaded bites.
Dessert – Mayongchid Loy Kaew (Homemade Marian Plum in Syrup)
This Maroan Plum in syrup was beyond words. The syrup was not too sweet, the natural sweetness of marian plum was enhanced by a very mild sour flavour, making the dessert very enticing.
Special organic tea – Saro
This organic, caffeine free tea tasted smooth and delicate. It has an elegant character that matches the aftertaste of Khao Chae very well! It’s the kind of tea that I really like!
Who in Gourmet Bangkok team experienced the seasonal tasting menu at Celadon?
Chelsea Chan ~ A food lover, golfer, fun lover, and adventurer Chelsea was born in Hong Kong and is a genuine food lover. Her palate is especially sharp on Cantonese food, delicacies from Hong Kong and meat (especially beef, chicken and lamb). She is able to taste how the food is cooked and prepared. Besides, she is also a pro buffet gourmet because of her unlimited appetite. When she says ‘too sweet’, it may not be sweet for you as her preference for chocolate is 72++ dark chocolate.
Neng Srichaisak ~ A pro golfer, travel lover and photographer Neng was born in Bangkok and is an enthusiastic photographer. Ever since joining the Gourmet Bangkok Team, he has developed an intense interest in food and food photography. He is good at searching the best angle for a dish. He likes spicy food and is able to tell the exotic spices used in Asian cuisine. He also acts as the Thai-Cantonese interpreter for Chelsea when reviewing restaurants in Bangkok. As he is a pro golfer, he reviews all golf courses for Gourmet International Team.
Will Gourmet Bangkok recommend the Khao Chae served at Celadon?
Definitely! You will definitely love this taste of history. Pick the hottest day to try it, let Celadon’s Khao Chae to cool you down.
Let Celadon lead you to an authentic Thai cuisine journey! ~ Chelsea
Where is Celadon?
Celadon Address: 13/3 South Sathorn Rd, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120 Phone: +662 344 8888 Opening Hours: Lunch from 12:00 to 15:00 hrs. Dinner from 18:30 to 23:00 hrs.
Classical Thai dancing is performed daily at 20:00 hrs. and 21:00 hrs.