Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Rang Mahal: The Best Indian Cuisine in Bangkok

Perched on the top floor of the Rembrandt Hotel with spectacular views over Bangkok, Rang Mahal is considered by many to be the best Indian restaurant in the city, specializing in authentic Northern Indian cuisine as it was once prepared in the Mughal courts, with dishes characterized by the use of rich ingredients such as expensive dried fruits and nuts, nut pastes, saffron, fragrant spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and lots of heavy cream and yogurt. Rang Mahal means ‘palace of colours’ and there is definitely a courtly air about the restaurant, including a group of Indian musicians who fill the air each night with old Hindi songs and ghazals. With elegant finishings and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows along the length of the restaurant, we were seated at one of the tables described as the "Honeymoon Table", located where two seamless windows form a corner with a view that is probably the most spectacular offered at any restaurant in Bangkok. The epitome of fine Indian cuisine, Rang Mahal was outstanding from start to finish, and among the best meals we enjoyed throughout our travels. 

The embossed regally red Rang Mahal menu features North Indian cuisine 

A Hendricks dry martini with olives 

Wrapped in a starched linen napkin in a filagree silver basket the papadam were warm, 
delicate and wafer thin 

A trio of condiments for the papadam: coriander many chutney, pickled baby onions and candied mango

The "Honeymoon Table" at Rang Mahal is located where two seamless windows form a corner,
 with a view that is probably the most spectacular offered at any restaurant in Bangkok

Punjabi Samosa - deep fried puff pastry stuffed with potatoes and green peas

Tamarind sauce for the samosa

Paneer Tikka

Monsoon Valley Thai white wine blended from Chenin Blanc, Colombard and Malaga Blanc grapes

Monsoon Valley blended red wine is a made from Shiraz and indigenous Thai Pokdum grapes

 'Lahsooni Naan' with garlic

Absolutely exquisite 'Dal Marang Mahal' - black lentils cooked with asafoetida, garlic and tomatoes, simmered overnight on a charcoal fire, enriched with butter and cream; and in the background 'Baingan Bharta' - minced eggplant combined with onions, tomatoes and chilies

Cucumber Raita

Mutton Vindaloo

'Murgh Makhanwala' - succulent chicken simmered in a creamy fenugreek flavoured tomato gravy

Saffron Pulao with caramelized onions

Our Indian feast at 'The Honeymoon Table': Murgh Yikka Masala, Mutton Vindaloo, Baingan Bharta, Dal Marang Mahaland Naan

The finest Indian cuisine we enjoyed in Bangkok and the best we've had aside from the Suvarna Mahal at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur India

A silver water bowl of lime-scented hot water and white napkin

Frozen chocolates arrive on a dome covered silver tureen of dry ice, and once at the table the dome is removed and pillowy clouds of dry ice flow across the table — stunning!

A quartet of Indian musicians perform each night playing old Hindi songs and ghazals

The lady singer dressed in a beautiful sari, sang throughout the evening

Chef Rajan Misra, Head Indian Chef at Rang Mahal Bangkok

One of Chef Misra's signature recipes — Tandoori Murgh — marinated in yoghurt and oriental spices and cooked in a Tandoor

Tandoori Prawns
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy Chef Rajan Misra, Rang Mahal Bangkok

4 colossal prawns, about 10-12 per pound
5 g ajwain
10 ml cream
15 g garlic
15 g ginger
10 ml lemon juice
60 g yogurt
10 g yellow chili
3 g turmeric powder
5 g garam masala 
5 g salt
10 g butter or ghee, melted
5 g vegetable oil
5 g chat masala

Peel the prawns, leaving the tail on, devein and wash. Sprinkle with half of the lemon juice, salt and ajwain and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Prepare the marinade with the remaining ingredients except the remains lemon juice, butter and chat masala. Cover the prawns with the marinade then cover and chill for 3 hours. Thread a wooden skewer through each prawn from head to tail to prevent them from curling while cooking. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 10-15 minutes until the prawns are golden and just cooked through. To serve, remove the skewers and arrange the prawns on a decorative platter and sprinkle with the remaining lemon juice, melted ghee and chat masala.