Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Indulge in the exquisite taste of Orchid Thai

Published:Thursday | June 6, 2024 | 11:44 AMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter
Nanda Dukharan, co-owner of Orchid Thai Restaurant located in Orchid Village Plaza in Kingston.
Nanda Dukharan, co-owner of Orchid Thai Restaurant located in Orchid Village Plaza in Kingston.
Curry lovers may grab a hold of the Southern Thai Chickpea Curry.
Curry lovers may grab a hold of the Southern Thai Chickpea Curry.
When soulful food beckons, try the Pork Belly Bao Buns.
When soulful food beckons, try the Pork Belly Bao Buns.
David Quilen, restaurant Manager at Orchid Thai presents a glass of the The Nanda Bird.
David Quilen, restaurant Manager at Orchid Thai presents a glass of the The Nanda Bird.
Nothing quite hits the spot like Orchid Thai’s Tom Ka coconut soup!
Nothing quite hits the spot like Orchid Thai’s Tom Ka coconut soup!
With great pride and joy, Chef Prem Prathueangsswat happily presents his culinary masterpiece: the Orchid Thai’s Shrimp Pad Thai.
With great pride and joy, Chef Prem Prathueangsswat happily presents his culinary masterpiece: the Orchid Thai’s Shrimp Pad Thai.
The Lychee Martini Cocktail in all its glory.The Lychee Martini Cocktail in all its glory.
The Lychee Martini Cocktail in all its glory.The Lychee Martini Cocktail in all its glory.
Thai Beer-Rita Cocktail.
Thai Beer-Rita Cocktail.
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For many, travelling is an opportunity to unleash your inner adventure seeker. But, it also provides a taste of those magical munching moments. On her journey around the world, Nanda Dukharan was pleasantly surprised by a savoury stop she made in southeast Asia. The enchanting experience inspired the food aficionado and culinary entrepreneur to provide that same exquisite indulgence for the Jamaican palate with Orchid Thai.

“On our travels, my partner and I fell in love with the vibrant flavours and their unique culinary techniques of Thailand. The warmth and hospitality of the Thai people also left a lasting impression on us. We wanted to bring that same experience back home and share the rich, diverse flavours of Thai cuisine which inspired us to open Orchid Thai,” Dukharan told Food.

Growing up, cooking was a central part of Dukharan’s culture. She learned to appreciate the art and science behind gastronomic delights and the early exposure instilled a deep love for culinary arts, which only strengthened as time progressed.

Since opening the restaurant’s doors 18 months ago, the reception, she explained, has been overwhelmingly positive. “Our customers appreciate the authenticity and quality of our food, and many have become regulars.”

Some of the signature dishes that await include the Orchid Thai pad Thai, bao buns with pork belly, southern Thai chickpea curry, green Thai curry chicken, roast barbecued pork as well as Chef Nan’s curry and Thai pineapple fried rice.

“Each dish is crafted with a balance of flavours: sweet, sour, salty, and spicy, that is a characteristic of Thai cuisine,” Dukharan said, adding, “Having chefs from Thailand ensures the authenticity of our dishes. They bring with them traditional recipes, techniques, and a deep understanding of Thai culinary culture to share with our local team as well. This authenticity is crucial in providing our guests with a genuine taste of Thailand, which cannot be replicated without true expertise and experience.”

One of her favourite dishes is the lamb shank in massaman curry. “I love its rich, creamy texture and the harmonious blend of spices and herbs.” Also among her list of Orchid Thai must-haves is som tum, the green papaya salad. “Som tum is very refreshing. Its zesty flavour, combined with a hint of spiciness, makes it incredibly tasty. We also offer special unique Thai dishes that are not currently on the menu, just ask.”

But this sophisticated taste isn’t limited to the plate. Sipping pleasures can be found in cocktails, like the Thai whiskey sour, spicy siam margaritas and Thai basil mojito, which incorporates unique Thai ingredients and locally house made infusions.

Maintaining consistency and quality is paramount and the restaurant achieves this through the provision of rigorous training and the preservation of high standards in the kitchen and bar operations.

“Providing an authentic Thai dining experience allows our customers to fully appreciate the depth and richness of Thai culture and cuisine. It’s important to us that our guests not only enjoy their meals but also gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for Thai culinary traditions,” she revealed.

The goal for Orchid Thai is to create a culinary destination where people can experience the best of Thai cuisine. And present a savoury haven for those who appreciate quality, authenticity, and the artistry involved in Thai cooking. “Ultimately, we hope to become a mainstay in our local dining scene.”

For those who have yet to visit the restaurant, Dukharan shares that diners can expect to be transported to the heart of Thailand, where the energy and the atmosphere showcase the best of its cuisine.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com