After years at prominent French and American spots in trendy Thong Lor, chef Chalee Kader has changed both ’hoods and cuisines at his new 100 Mahaseth in the Charoen Krung quarter. The menu riffs off the cuisine of northeastern Thailand, especially its use of the whole animal. One top dish, the grilled hearts salad, highlights Chalee’s creativity, commitment to local produce and delicious flavors.
Pig’s aorta. “It’s an ingredient that’s hard to come by because people simply throw it away. When we have it, we score it a little before grilling it. The outcome gives the salad an extra crunch.”
Pig’s heart. “We get our hearts from Sloan’s, a local, sustainable butcher and charcuterie. We marinate them overnight in fish sauce and palm sugar and then dry them for a day in a dry-aging fridge to obtain a specific texture that lends well to grilling.”
The greens. “We use three varieties: pak chi (coriander), pak chi farang (sawtooth coriander) and pak chi lao (dill). Together they make the dish quite refreshing.”
Fish sauce. “We use the Chuan Choen brand of fish sauce — it carries a less pungent smell and is also less salty. The sauce helps make the eventual flavors subtle and balanced.”
Ground dried shrimp. “The salad is topped with ground dried shrimp that comes from the southern provinces of Trang and Chumphon. They have better texture and aren’t overly salty.”
Longan and eucalyptus charcoal. “Longan charcoal is used in grilling to give the dish an additional layer in the aroma. It’s also a local wood. We add eucalyptus charcoal to the mix because longan charcoal is smoky and often gets too hot to control.”
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Looking for good tipples? Hop to these bars while you’re in Charoen Krung
For creative spins on tropical flavors, head to this rum-focused cocktail bar that’s headed by two of Bangkok’s top bartenders. fb.com/tropiccitybkk
Founded by the same people behind gin bar Teens of Thailand, on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, this new spot puts rum and hard-to-find Thai ingredients to good use. fb.com/asiatodaybar
For drinks and live soul and funk acts from Thailand and abroad, look no further than this Charoen Krung institution. fb.com/livesoulbarbangkok
This article first appeared in the April 2018 issue of Smile magazine.