It’s a play on words: come to the alfresco poolside Pinang Bar at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, and have one (or more) of their yummy cocktails whilst watching the gorgeous sunset in the horizon. And indulge in a few of their new Penang and Thai-style tapas dishes at the same time.
Chef Kam explaining about Thaipas
Although they have only recently been introduced, the idea has apparently taken off, appealing to both local walk-ins and in-house guests. “We started with 7 types of local and Thai favourites,” explained Executive Chef Kam Kok Wai, “and they have proven so popular that we have gradually introduced a few more.”
As he used to work with Thai chefs, Chef Kam has gleaned a lot about Thai food, so it’s pretty authentic. Start off with a their spicy Som Tam, julienned green papaya tossed in a tangy lime and chilli sauce, or Mien Kham, a traditional Thai appetiser with different dried ingredients including desiccated coconut and dried shrimp wrapped in a musky wild pepper leaf. Topped with a dollop of sweet home-made sauce, the exotic salad produces a wonderful melange of flavours when chewed together – goes brilliantly with an ice-cold glass of Chardonnay.
Follow this with a traditional Tom Yam Goong, spicy tart soup presented with a large, juicy prawn and a twist: it’s dribbled with truffle oil. You might also consider the Tod Man Pla, deep-fried fish cakes served with a sweet chilli sauce.
However, it’s not all about Thai flavours; being Penang, we have one or two of our own to boast about too, so our spicy and sour Assam Laksa is available, or there are deep-fried prawn and vegetable spring rolls. There’s even Chicken Pie Tee, chicken and julienned vegetables piled into a crispy inverted ‘top hat’.
No meal in Penang, whether it’s just a taster or not, is complete without a sweet, so there’s Chef Tang’s Mango ‘Rock ‘n Roll’, a modern take on the traditional Thai glutinous rice in a mango coulis, or Sago Gula Melaka, sago pearls with coconut milk and palm sugar syrup.
Everything is served in elegant dinky little bowls or, in the case of the soups, shooter-style teacups. Even if you’re just popping in for a sundowner, it takes the edge off any hunger pangs, and is also a great way to sample regional dishes without overindulging, and as each type comes in sets of four, is perfect for sharing between friends … or not, as the case may be!
Enjoy a drink and Thaipas whilst watching the sun set in the horizon
As you’d expect of the Rasa Sayang, everything is perfect, from the impeccable service, to the luxurious surroundings – it’s alfresco snacking at its best, under the boughs of the giant, ancient, rain trees and the waves splashing onto the beach just a few feet away.
Pinang Thaipas at the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa’s Pinang Bar is available daily from 10am to 10pm. For details or reservations, call +604 888 8788.