Phuket Food: Danish chef delivers all the delectables

PHUKET: With a reputation that precedes them as being one of the finest dining establishments on the island, Mom Tri’s have nearly outdone themselves this time.

On January 25, Mom Tri’s Villa Royale showcased a six-course set menu by Danish Chef Per Hallundbaek. After vacationing in Phuket every year since 2000, Chef Hallundbaek finally gave in to the urge to tease us with a taste of flavors from his restaurant in Denmark, Falsled Kro.

Mom Tri’s marketing manager says they only host about three guest chef dinners a year, limited to 40 reservations which always fill quickly.

To complete the package, Mom Tri’s own in-house Wine Director Georges Ciret carefully selected a different wine from the restaurant’s 750 labels selection to accompany each course.

The first course was beef tartare with horseradish sauce topped with caviar. The smooth texture and umami taste of the beef was well-balanced with the surprising cucumber-crispness of the mild horseradish sauce.

Following the beef, Chef Hallundbaek turned to the sea with oysters served on spring onions, deep-fried pig’s trotter, parsley puree and apple vinaigrette washed down with an Australian, dry sparkling wine.

The next two courses kept the sea theme going with a ruby-red, raw tuna filet with mushrooms variation. The flavors were elemental with the heady, earthy mushrooms playing off the salt water tuna. This paired with a 2010 New Zealand Riesling made for a perfect combination.

Upon the first morsel of the baked sea bass with mussel cream, cauliflower and tarragon oil hitting the taste buds, it was apparent we had reached the zenith of flavor for the evening. The cauliflower’s mild nuttiness intertwined with the creamy mussel sauce was culinary chemistry at its finest.

One could imagine the chef back in the kitchen peering through a microscope arranging the flavor particles one by one into perfection. The crispy chicken egg (think breaded and deep fried over-medium egg) on cabbage with morel sauce and foie gras stuffed quail cutlet were nothing to scoff at either. And of course, no meal of such grandeur would be complete without the sweets – a luscious chocolate mousse with berries and Danish quince in this case paired with a French Muscat.

Truly fit for a king, the dinner cements Mom Tri’s ongoing culinary reputation as a haven where the discerning diner can indulge in the finest of delicacies.

— Jeremie Schatz


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