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Image 1: It was a shocking news, for Bo and for the whole culinary world, that she was named the Asia's Best Female chef during the inaugural launch of San Pellegrino Asia's 50 Best in 2013. She suddenly joined the elite group of world's top female chefs overnight and the phone was ringing non-stop for the next few days either for a booking or for a press interview.
Image 2: Being the first customer to arrive that day, I went straight into the kitchen to disturb the couple, Bo and Dylan (hence the restaurant name Bo.Lan). They first met each other in the kitchen of David Thompson's Nahm in London before it got relocated to Bangkok. The couple also moved to Bangkok, Bo's hometown, and started their own restaurant in 2011.
Image 3: This was my second visit to the restaurant and from my painful previous lesson, this time I avoided the few tables at the patio. My previous meal was somewhat spoiled by the hot and humid environment, not to mention the mosquitos who were keen to find victims.
Image 4: The dining room inside was much more comfortable with air conditioning and paintings of food markets in the old days. Cooking fancy food wasn't that appealing to the couple, but instead, they simply wanted to cook delicious and authentic food based on traditional Thai recipe incorporating their own interpretations.
Image 5: A small bowl of crispy rice shortly arrived after we ordered a few items from the à-la-carte menu. As expected, traditional food should be eaten the traditional way and hence all dishes were placed in the middle and were meant to be shared.
Image 6: A set of amuse bouche followed - a sweet coated coconut, tapioca with minced pork and pineapple, medium spicy Thai salad with nuts, sunflower salad, and rice cake with chicken and crunchy base. A good mix of exotic flavours to start!
Image 7: First course up was Muslim style oxtail soup and don't expect Wagyu beef here, Bo is a big supporter of local ingredient and Ku is the breed she always used for beef. I have never enjoyed Thai soup and this one was no exception as it again had heavy doses of vinegar and spices! Almost left untouched.
Image 8: Grilled quail with local vegetable and creamy dipping made from tiny shrimps. Very tasty sauce that I finished the remaining with my rice!
Image 9: Tried both the white and brown rice.
Image 10: Deep fried fish where the fish was a bit dry so sauce was necessary. It was again the sauce that I loved the most that had a nice interplay of sweet, savoury, and spicy. Also enjoyed the crispy fried herb garnish.
Image 11: It was a wise decision that I requested for little chilli since this mild version of Panang curry chicken was spicy enough for me! Tender and juicy chicken, and once again, the sauce was packed with flavours but it was a shame that I couldn't handle that hot spice! At least I finished all the meat, with an accompanying glass of ice water of course!
Image 12: I picked a traditional dessert. A mixture of taro, sweet potato, glass dumpling, and the warm coconut soup was the key element in bringing everything together. It also came with a crunchy piece of traditional rice cake on the side. Delightful dessert with an awesome combination of textures. Excellent finish to an authentic meal!
Image 13: It was a quick dinner, nothing too fancy but a great place to taste local flavours. One thing they needed to invest in is a few English speaking staff. Half of the restaurant was filled with foreign guests that night but most of the service team seemed to still have trouble in understanding basic food orders. This issue has improved during our revisit.