Combat the sweltering heat
text size

Combat the sweltering heat

Khao chae, the refreshing cold rice dish, makes its annual appearance

Combat the sweltering heat

Originating from the Mon people, khao chae is rice flavoured with jasmine-scented water, a Thai summer staple, often served from March to May.

The rice is traditionally enjoyed with an assortment of side dishes, which vary. Introduced to the Thai royal family during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, the dish became a favourite in the palace and by 1910, the Thai delicacy was being enjoyed throughout the country. Here are a few places to try it. 

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok  

Welcome the summer with the traditional Khao chae, which will be served at The Mandarin Oriental Shops at Siam Paragon, The Emporium and Gaysorn Village, and in the hotel lobby. For chef Patchara "Pom" Pirapak, the dish is a labour of love and she pays great attention to the finest details of the accompanying condiments, which are cooked according to traditional Thai methods. This summer delicacy uses the finest jasmine rice from Yasothorn, which is steeped in water with Thai bread flowers, from the hotel's garden, rose petals and jasmine. The rice is traditionally enjoyed with an assortment of side dishes, of which chef Pom offers seven. These include Stuffed long green peppers with minced prawn and pork in an egg net, Deep-fried battered salted eggs, Stuffed shallots with grilled river fish, Fried shrimp paste, Fried shredded pork, Stir-fried shredded pickled turnips and Stir-fried dried Eagle Ray fish. Khao chae is available for takeaway and dining-in. Visit the hotel's website. 

Anantara Siam Bangkok

Khao chae, a cherished Thai delicacy steeped in cultural tradition and flavour, makes it return to Spice Market until April 30. At Spice Market, the dish is served in the traditional manner, complete with an array of condiments, including spicy shrimp paste balls and pork-stuffed peppers. Transport back in time, to dine as kings and queens once did this summer season. Visit the hotel’s website. 

Banyan Tree Bangkok 

As the temperature continues to rise, Banyan Tree Bangkok will be offering the cooling khao chae at Romsai and Saffron restaurants from April 7-30. The seasonal dish comprises a selection of traditional sweet and savoury condiments like Shredded pork jerky, Sweet radish, Stuffed shallots and Stuffed bell pepper served with jasmine rice in chilled jasmine-infused water. To top off on a sweet note, Water chestnuts in coconut milk (tub tim krob) and Pandan flavoured ice cream will also be served. Visit the hotel’s website. 

InterContinental Bangkok

Throughout April, the InterContinental Bangkok is serving the chilled delicacy of khao chae in the serene Balcony Lounge. Enjoy cool, refreshing jasmine rice in fragrant chilled water, served with contrasting savoury condiments, including Stuffed shallots with fish, Shredded sweetened pork and Deep-fried shrimp paste ball. The khao chae set being served daily from April 1-30. Visit the hotel’s website.

The Siam Tea Room, Asiatique The Riverfront

The waterside Thai dining destination is celebrating the start of summer in Thailand with a khao chae promotion. Until May 31, experience the fragrant flavours of chilled jasmine rice with traditional condiments. With the set menus, diners can expect a welcome drink of lychee, winter solstice, salted bitter orange and young ginger syrup, topped with grilled shallots and peanuts, and an appetiser of ma-hor, which are fresh, seasonal sour fruits topped with peanuts. The aromatic jasmine rice in fragrant water is accompanied Fried young pepper stuffed with pork and shrimp in fluffy egg, Fried dried chilies stuffed with sweet fish, Fried marinated shrimp paste bun, Sweet shredded fish, Marinated pork with steamed salted fish topped with egg yolk, Roasted coconut mango salad, Sweet pickled turnip, Sweet shredded pork, Fried butterfly pea stuffed with chicken, Fried frangipani flowers stuffed with shrimp, Deep-fried shallot stuffed with chicken, Deep-fried salted egg and fresh mixed vegetables. The meal ends with Sugar palm, rose water and fruit jelly on ice. The full Khao Chae Chao Phraya à la carte experience includes Sweet shredded beef with coriander seeds, Sweet and crispy fish in spicy sweet and sour sauce, Sweet and crispy dried shrimp, Sweet and crispy dried squid and Crispy-fried golden beans. Visit the tea rooms’ website.

Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park

The Siam Tea Room, the casual café and authentic Thai restaurant at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, is celebrating the start of summer with a khao chae promotion. The chilled rice comes with a seasonal specialty of Snowy santol shaved ice with dried pork and bitter orange, followed by a khao chae feast, featuring rice in chilled jasmine-infused water, served with a wide range of accompaniments such as Fried herbal fish and shrimp paste, Green pepper stuffed with shrimp and minced pork in fluffy fried egg, Sweetened shredded sun-dried ray fish, Sweetened shredded pork, fresh mixed vegetables and more, accompanied by a refreshing drink of watermelon and lime soda. Available until May 31. Visit the hotel’s website.

JW Marriott Bangkok

Experience a century-old cooling remedy served with 10 condiments at the Bangkok Baking Company (BBCO), JW Marriott Bangkok. Crafted by chef Pornticha "Ploy" Jansavang, the khao chae set will include condiments like Green chili peppers stuffed with minced pork and shrimp, Fried shrimp paste balls, Stir-fried sweet eagle ray, Fried salted egg yolk, Shredded sweet beef, Shredded sweet pork, Fried sweet gourami fish, Shallot stuffed fish, Grounded chicken with salted fish and Caramelised pickled turnips. All sets are served with a traditional fruit dessert, Sohm choon and refreshing butterfly pea flower tea with lime. The set will be available until April 30, while the takeaway set will be encased in an eco-friendly Thai woven bag. Visit the hotel's website. 

Capella Bangkok

Throughout April, chef de cuisine Kannika Jitsangworm will serve a khao chae set at Phra Nakhon. The set will come with a range of savoury and sweet condiments, including Luk krapi tord (deep-fried shrimp paste balls), Prik yuak sod sai moo sup (stuffed chilli pepper with minced pork), Moo foi (sweet shredded pork), Stir-fried sweetened radish and pickles. With sustainability in mind, Phra Nakhon’s take on khao chae eschews the traditional “yi-son” fish side dish, made from endangered stingray, for a sustainably-caught alternative. Visit the hotel's website. 

Centara Grand at Centralworld

Ventisi restaurant at Centara Grand at Centralworld is offering khao chae, alongside it's international lunch and dinner buffet. The delicacy comprises steamed rice steeped in iced jasmine-scented water, accompanied by savoury sides like Shrimp paste balls, Stuffed sweet peppers with pork and shrimp, Sweet shredded pork, Sweet shredded fish, Deep-fried shallots and Stir fried sweet radish. It is being offered until April 21. Visit the hotel's website.

Do you like the content of this article?