Buddha: " Whenever you see things, just see. Whenever you listen, just listen. Whenever you know, just know."
Sala Rim Naam, Maeklong Dinner Menu and Thailand Cultural Show
The Sala Rim Naam is situated within the Oriental Hotel, Bangkok and presents a fixed Thai Menu Dinner
and Cultural Show
The Oriental Hotel Bangkok's Sala Rim Naam pavilion is a traditional Thai or 'Lana' style building with a rich decor influenced by 'Royal' quality.
We were booked to visit Sala Rim Naam in early March 2008, the classic Thai Pavilion that sets the stage for a sumptuous Thai set dinner feast and probably the best daily classical Thai dinner show in Bangkok - with doors opening at 1900 and dance performances commencing at 2030.
There are two styles of seating within the opulent but comfortable Sala Rim Naam Restaurant, western style table settings or traditional Thai low 'axe
pillow' seating (left), both having silver service and giving good views of the stage performances. You should make your preference for style of seating be known when you
Our traditional Thai dining evening started with an appetiser of very tasty roast duck spring rolls or 'po pia ped yaang' accompanied by tangy steamed
curry fish mousse with coconut cream or 'hor mok pla' followed by a starter of spiced salad of banana blossom with shrimps and chicken or 'yaam hua plee'.
There then followed the Thai meal consisting of a spiced sour soup with fish and tamarind or 'tom sab pla', piquant southern-style beef curry with sweet potato and onion or ' mussamun nuea', fried prawns with cashew nuts or 'goong phad med mamuang', stir-fried vegetables with oyster sauce or 'phad phag' served with steamed Hom Mali rice - 'khow Hom Mali', with top-ups as required. The Thai food although known to be spicy were well harmonised in their flavours. The sharpness of the chili and spices in the curry dishes is toned down and balanced with the sweetness of coconut cream and enhancing the subtle flavours and taste of other ingredients.
The desert was an interesting coconut ice cream or 'i-cream gathi' and assorted tropical fresh fruits or 'polamai' all rounded off with tea or coffee - 'cha rue cafe'.
An adequate sufficiency of some very interesting but truly authentic Thai style food.
While we were dining we were entertained by live traditional Thai music played by an ensemble playing the xylophone or 'ranat-ek', bell-gongs or 'khong-wong-yai' and drums or 'taphon' and 'klong-kack', loud enough to listen to but not overpowering conversation. Credit to the musicians and sound mixing and lighting technician.
The meal was concluded just minutes before the entertainment began with traditional Thai dances consisting of the 'Usavadee', celebrating the dawning of the new day, from central Thailand; the 'fan dance' a celebration of fine artistic gestures with origins in southern Thailand and the 'Serng Tab Laan' dance of the long nails performed at festivals and fairs in north-eastern Thailand.
The dances were followed by an episode from an Asian classical drama, 'The Pursuit of Benyakai', with elaborate masks and costumes and graceful mime and movement - an easy plot to follow.
There was a choreographed demonstration of ancient boxing and fighting founded in north-east Thailand, a very athletic interlude followed closely by a demonstration of drumming on the 'Klong Sabud Chai' or ancient great drum, the drum used in the past during wartimes to signify Thai greatness and encourage warriors in battle, showing the three main rhythms of 'Chai Peree' - victory drumming beat, 'Chai Dhitee' - victory day beat and 'Chana Maan' - victory over the enemy beat.
The Thai cultural show finished after about an hour, leaving us with a memory of a wonderful evening all round that will be remembered for ever. Patrons are given the time to take advantage of a photo opportunity.
Some of the photos are courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok - www.mandarinoriental.com