Ex­clu­sive ‘Adults-Only’ Kah, A Thai In­spired Bar, Res­tau­rant

Fiji Sun - - Food And Beverage -

WAISEA NASOKIA

Cui­sine cul­ture is alive and well on Wailoaloa Beach, with the stun­ning new Pull­man Nadi Bay Re­sort & Spa serv­ing up an eclec­tic din­ing scene that blends in­ter­na­tional food trends on a laid­back re­sort life­style.

For some­thing truly spe­cial, Pull­man has cre­ated an ex­clu­sive ‘adults-only’ bar and res­tau­rant ex­pe­ri­ence, Kah.

El­e­gant, but not for­mal. Mod­ern, yet mag­i­cal. An ex­pe­ri­ence at Kah is where Fi­jian me­mories are made.

Kah is an authen­tic, Thai-in­spired bar and res­tau­rant boast­ing a spec­tac­u­lar beach­front deck with views over Wailoaloa Beach in one di­rec­tion, and a sleek palm-lined pool scene in the other.

Whether din­ing in and watch­ing the view through Kah’s floor to ceil­ing win­dows, en­joy­ing a cock­tail on the deck, or stand­ing with your toes in the sand di­rect on Kah’s pri­vate beach­front, this is the ul­ti­mate place to perch and watch the sun sink over the ocean at Nadi Bay in style.

In fact, fac­ing north-west, cap­tures one of the best sun­set views in all of Fiji ev­ery day of the week.

The menu – like the res­tau­rant space it­self - is mod­ern and fresh, in­spired by Kah’s very own ded­i­cated Thai chef, Pra­pai Patthamang.

A re­cent ad­di­tion to the Pull­man re­sort team, chef Pra­pai works un­der the guid­ance of the ex­ec­u­tive chef, Jeremy Al­lan, in­spir­ing his team to cre­ate sim­ple yet sub­lime Thai meals, avail­able for lunch and din­ner.

Served ei­ther in­doors in air-con­di­tioned com­fort or out­side on Kah’s ex­pan­sive ocean-fac­ing deck, it is an ex­pe­ri­ence not to be missed.

Some of the new dishes launched in­clude:

- Kah tast­ing plate

- Crisp fried fish, three fla­vor sauce. - Grilled lo­cal prawns, tamarind and chilli.

- Mas­saman curry beef short rib

KEY FEA­TURES

Adults only venue, com­plete with beach­front deck – an ideal place to catch the sun­set over Wailoaloa Beach at dusk

Authen­tic Thai Res­tau­rant & Bar, lo­cated on the beach­front

Lunch opens 12pm un­til 3pm Din­ner opens from 6pm un­til 10pm Bar ser­vice is avail­able all day.

Catching up with Kah chef, Pra­pai Patthamang:

Who was the big­gest in­flu­ence in your life in terms of cook­ing?

When I was young my mother used to cook for the fam­ily and I was al­ways in­ter­ested in what she cooks while I as­sisted with the prepa­ra­tion of the fam­ily meal.

The knowl­edge of in­gre­di­ents and tra­di­tional Thai meth­ods that my grand­mother passed down to her cap­tured my in­ter­est and I’ve been drawn to recre­at­ing those tra­di­tional flavours ever since.

Where do you get your pro­fes­sional in­spi­ra­tion from?

In Thai­land I worked with a chef named Somdej K who re­ally in­spired me to cre­ate orig­i­nal dishes that are not only mem­o­rable, but have that in­trin­sic Thai flavour to them. This re­ally drove me to

fo­cus and per­fect my Thai cook­ing.

After work­ing in sev­eral restau­rants in Thai­land, I moved into hotels in 1999 and pur­sued a ca­reer as a chef at The Em­press ho­tel in Bangkok, The Amari Water­gate ho­tel in Bangkok and sev­eral other es­tab­lish­ments.

From there I de­cided to ex­pand my ca­reer abroad and headed off to Dubai where I landed my first po­si­tion as demi chef at The Park Hy­att, be­fore mov­ing to Ho­tel JAL Fu­jairah as the prop­erty’s Thai-Asian chef de cui­sine.

All of th­ese ca­reer mo­ments have given me con­fi­dent and helped me per­fect my craft.

As a new­comer to Fiji, what do you think of the pro­duce and lo­cal in­gre­di­ents we have on of­fer here, in re­gards to your Thai menu?

Con­sid­er­ing we are look­ing for pre­dom­i­nately Thai in­gre­di­ents for Kah res­tau­rant – and most of them are in plen­ti­ful sup­ply in beau­ti­ful Fiji - there have been lit­tle is­sues with sourc­ing fab­u­lous, fresh prod­uct for our cur­ries and other creations. It’s been won­der­ful.

Many of the lo­cal pro­duc­ers are al­ready grow­ing most of what we need so we have sourced all the in­gre­di­ents we need to cre­ate all the dishes on the Kah menu as much as pos­si­ble.

Thai cui­sine is famous for its flavour­some cur­ries and you fa­mously make your own curry pastes from scratch… tell us about that process.

I take cer­tain flavours that have been passed down through gen­er­a­tions of my fam­ily, but then try to cre­ate my own style and twists so that it rep­re­sents me.

There is re­ally no com­par­i­son to a freshly made paste and the depth of flavour it has!

What three in­gre­di­ents can’t you live without?

Fish sauce, salt and chilli. But of course there are lots of other essentials that I need in the kitchen that keep me cre­at­ing new dishes.

What makes Thai food so dis­tinc­tive and pop­u­lar, around the world, do you think?

It is the dis­tinc­tive flavours, in­gre­di­ents and the use of fresh pro­duce. There is also the health ben­e­fits of the in­gre­di­ents used in this cui­sine to con­sider, and this is def­i­nitely some­thing that the Thai cul­ture takes into ac­count. Since be­ing here in Fiji,

I have no­ticed that there are some sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Thai and Indo Fi­jian cook­ing, as some of the in­gre­di­ents are sim­i­lar.

How­ever I have also no­ticed that they are in fact used in vastly dif­fer­ent ways to cre­ate to­tally dif­fer­ent recipes and flavours.

You are train­ing the lo­cal chefs in your kitchen in the ways of Thai cook­ing. How has this process been? Are they ea­ger learn­ers?

Yes, we are! We are train­ing the lo­cal Fi­jian chefs at Kah to un­der­stand the sweet, salt and chili com­bi­na­tion of what is es­sen­tially Thai cui­sine.

It such a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one.

We’re also teach­ing them how to dif­fer­en­ti­ate cer­tain meth­ods and styles of cook­ing from the many dif­fer­ent re­gions of Thai­land, as each has its own par­tic­u­lar style and spe­cial­ties.

What is your fa­vorite dish on the menu at Kah?

The green cur­ries that we pro­duce chicken and veg­e­tar­ian, and the laksa but then again I like all the food in Kah be­cause it rep­re­sents who I am. What has proven to be your most pop­u­lar dish at Kah to date with lo­cal din­ers? And what is the most un­der­rated dish (in your per­sonal opin­ion)? We have just changed the menu and the beef short rib mas­saman seems to be very pop­u­lar, now there is not re­ally any­thing that stands out as the “least pop­u­lar” so we are happy with this.

How does Fiji’s food and cul­ture com­pare so far to your ex­pe­ri­ences in the other places you have lived and worked? i.e Thai­land, Dubai, Jordan…

I think the Fiji food cul­ture is still “raw” and needs to be defined but has come a long way and has def­i­nitely has a great fu­ture ahead.

What at­tracted you to come and work in Fiji?

To take on a new chal­lenge in a dif­fer­ent cul­ture al­ways cre­ates in­spi­ra­tion! Some­thing I seek out.

How have you en­joyed work­ing with Chef Jeremy to date? Do you share a sim­i­lar cook­ing phi­los­o­phy?

Chef Jeremy’s phi­los­o­phy cre­ates an own­er­ship of prod­uct that is refreshing; cre­at­ing our own pastes is just the start to the Pull­man ex­pe­ri­ence.

Have you had an op­por­tu­nity to get out and explore Fiji since you ar­rived? What has been your fa­vorite part of your ex­pat ex­pe­ri­ence here to date?

Not a great deal but will try in the fu­ture as things are start­ing to calm down since we’ve opened

Has any­thing sur­prised you about Fiji – in a good way?!

Yes, the in­gre­di­ents that I thought we wouldn’t be able to pro­cure are here.

What do you think about the idea to have an authen­tic Thai res­tau­rant in a Fi­jian re­sort? Do you think the con­cept has been well re­ceived?

Yes it has been well re­ceived and slowly build­ing a fol­low­ing that loves what we are do­ing with our prod­uct of­fer­ing

How have you ad­justed your authen­tic Thai food/menu to meet Pull­man’s con­tem­po­rary yet ca­sual re­sort style?

I have dis­cussed this with our ex­ec­u­tive chef Jeremy and he is adamant that I cre­ate ac­cord­ing to what I be­lieve the flavours should be.

We have cre­ated an authen­tic Thai cui­sine with a con­tem­po­rary look and feel to it without com­pro­mis­ing au­then­tic­ity

What is your fa­vorite time of day in Fiji? Does your kitchen have a win­dow let­ting you catch the sun­set?!

Yes it does and I reg­u­larly watch the sun go down… spec­tac­u­lar.

What would you eat for your last sup­per?

Very hard ques­tion to answer but I think stir fried lob­ster yel­low curry comes to mind.

What do you think you might in­tro­duce in the fu­ture to the menu, once you’ve es­tab­lished your­self – any ideas now you are lo­cated here and can gauge guest’s feed­back?

Well we have just changed the menu and the Mas­saman short rib seems to be very pop­u­lar along with the taste of Kah but only time will tell what the guest’s favourites will be.

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