At the beginning of the year I headed off to Thailand to meet up with my sister who lives in London. It was a wonderful experience full of new tastes, sounds and experiences. My sister had already been in Thailand for about three weeks by the time I arrived and since I really wanted to visit Chiang Mai in the north I made the venture there by myself, as Julia had already been there.
One of the many things I wanted to do was a Thai cooking course, because I absolutely adore cooking – and eating… And my second day in Chiang Mai this is exactly what I did. It was a fantastic full day out and I learnt a myriad of my favourite Thai dishes to impress friends and family with back at home. You may be wondering why I am telling you all of this … so let me explain. The first dish I made was a traditional Tom Yam Goong, which is a hot and sour (and spicy) soup with prawns. I was surprised by how quick and easy it was to make and impressed at how delicious my own soup tasted. While in Thailand I ate so many new dishes and one of the reasons I was sad to leave at the end of my holiday was because I didn’t think I would find a restaurant at home which matched the food during my holiday.
I am now happy to report that I have found somewhere with authentic, fragrant and delicious Thai dishes which can rival the food I ate in the actual country. Chef Pons Asian Kitchen in Gardens, Cape Town, has a relaxed atmosphere and is a wonderful way to spend a few hours catching up with food and trying different things on the menu. Not only does the menu have Thai food, but as the name suggests the options are from a number of countries i.e. China, Singapore, Vietnam, Mongolia and Japan.
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to compare my Tom Yam Goong from Thailand to the one on this menu. I was not disappointed, the bowl of steaming soup was placed in front of me and although it looked a little bit different (mine was a slightly clearer broth) this soup did not disappoint on taste. It had a delicate balance between sweet and sour and the prawns were juicy and fresh. I would suggest this to anyone who likes food with a bit of a bite.
Since I am up to try most new things and I do like food with a bit of a chilli kick I was instantly drawn to the Duck Jungle Curry (at R87 without rice) which is described as Thailand’s hottest curry. I like to think I can roll with the punches and eat hot food, but was a little bit concerned when I placed my order and the waitress asked if I’d had it before and if I knew how hot it was. I hadn’t so she suggested bringing out a taste of the sauce so I could decide.
Hot, hot, hot is what I will say but not too hot to handle, well for some of us at the table, one of my friends was gasping for a glass of water after she had a try.
I was happy with my choice as the duck was tender and the curry fragrant and flavoursome with a definite bite. I would suggest this if you like spicy food – if you don’t you probably won’t enjoy it.
Chef Pons Asian Kitchen has a wide menu and caters for all tastes and levels of spice, they also comply with the smoking laws and the entire restaurant is smoke free so those who need a ciggie will have to stand outside, don’t forget your jackets if it’s cold! If you’re feeling like some Asian food this should be your first port of call. They also do take always you haven’t managed to book and I would suggest you do.
Chef Pons details:
Opening times: Monday to Saturdays from 17h00 to 22h00
Address: 12 Mill Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Telephone: +27 (0)21 465 5846