fter crossing all the confusing roadsof Gurgaon, we ﬁnally reached ourdestination – Courtyard by Marriott,Gurgaon, a serene property locatedat the business hub of Delhi-NCR.The hotel is comparatively young and caters tobusiness class people from around the world. Thisproperty is unlike the other properties under theMarriott like JW and others. This is essentially abusiness hotel.
Staffs attending were extremely polite andfriendly but when it came to greeting the chef,it was anything but homely, friendly andwarm. It is sometimesdifﬁcult to write down your thoughts (Yes! I knowI am a writer! But it is difﬁcult at times evenfor me! Trust me!) about a person whom youmeet and who is as humble as
Chef Piyawat,the Expat Chef of Red Zen.
He greets youwith a big smile on his face, palms folded intoa
and then a brisk handshake. Hispositive aura is infectious indeed. With a slowbut understandable English, Chef informs that hehas been working with The Marriott Hotels aroundIndia and staying in the country for 9 years now.“I cook with love and not hesitant when it comesto making the dish custom made according to theguests. Everybody’s taste varies and I love to cookaccording to their palate. If a guest likes spicy orbland, I make the dish according to their request,”grins the adorable chef in his Thai accent andthen he leaves the table to get us kick startedwith the dishes.
The Culinary Adventure Begins!
After soaking in the dainty details, I was eagerto get a taste what this pretty restaurant had tooffer. First up in the vibrant red serving plates(completely in coordination with the ambience ofRed Zen which is also red!) was
araw papaya salad with crushed peanuts, birdeye chillis and citrus lime. This beautiful andfresh ‘sweet and hot’ salad disappeared as soonas it was served. Next in line were the starters.Chef chose -
Crispy Lotus Stem with Honey Chilli
. Okay, the time to let a familysecret out– It is a hard task to feed me LotusStem, ha ha! But to my ignorance I have nevertried Crispy Lotus Stem with Honey Chilli as Iam not the biggest fan of the stem but nowlet me tell you that I am in love with this dish.Tasteful, crispy and truly yummy! And for theTofu Dumplings which were crispy outside andsoft from inside, they tasted best with spicyThai Curry.
starter was blissful formy partner; succulent, juicy and soft. Soon itwas time for the soup and steaming hot
om Kha Kai
(chicken)were presented. A traditional Thai preparation ofcreamy coconut broth delicately infused with freshgalangal root, fresh ginger, mushroom, tomatoes,lemongrass, kafﬁr lime leaves, and many otherexotic ingredients. Oh yes, the soup was hotand nice! The feast was far from being over. Forthe
, we had
Phad Thai Jee
, atraditional Thai noodles with vegetables (aromaticand delicious with the perfect balance of palmsugar),
stir fried vegetables with redchilli and Thai basil served with rice (The veggieswere cooked just right and lightly seasoned, a
Tab Tim Grob