NATTAPONG SUWANPAKDEE THE FIRST SECRETARY OF ROYAL THAI EMBASSY, H.E EDUARDO MALAYA THE PHILPPINES AMBASSADOR, DATO FARRY CHUA THE OWNER/FOUNDER OF CHAKRI GROUP OF RESTAURANTS, HIS CLEVER DAUGHTER CALEEN CHUA THE DIRECTOR OF CHAKRI RESTAURANTS GROUP, CELEBRITY CHEF MCDANG A MEMBER OF THAI ROYALTY AND HIS EXCELLENCY THE AMBASSADOR OF THAILAND TO MALAYSIA DAMRONG KRAIKRUAN
Few realise Imperial Chakri Palace Thai Restaurant at Suria KLCC is 16 years old---exactly the same age as Suria KLCC!
Well it should be as it opened the same time as KLCC! In fact, it holds the record for being the oldest continuous tenant! There is only 1 other establishment in the same league as Imperial Chakri and by coincidence it is another restaurant Spring Garden a few metres away!
To celebrate their 16th year at KLCC and countless rent increases, Imperial Chakri revealed 16 new dishes, one for each year, last night during a gala dinner themed 'Royal Reimagined'.
Over 120 guests feasted on 7 dishes (16 would be far too many!) and had the opportunity to meet Chef McDang who flew in from Bangkok at 2 pm lugging 10 cookbooks he wrote entitled 'Principles of Thai Cookery' which were given to 10 lucky draw winners.
His real name is Mon Luang Srichalerm Sawadiwat but is spelled as Svasti Vadhana in Wikipedia. Whatever the case, it is infinitely easier to call him Chef McDang!
Chef McDang was raised in a palace and was accustomed to the best food money, love and power could buy.
So when he declared Imperial Chakri restaurant to be worthy of a king, that is solid recommendation indeed!
Infact, Y.A.M Tengku Sulaiman the brother of Sultan Selangor was supposed to attend but could not at the last minute. A 'Mon Luang' or M.L in front of a Thai name means he or she is a member of Thai royalty. Mon Luang Srichalerm's father is a Mon Rajawongse or M.R which is higher than a M.L as such titles prove they can trace their ancestry to a King of Thailand.
CALEEN CHUA, CHEF MCDANG AND NITIN GOENKA, TOP JEWELLER FROM MUMBAI WHO IS ALSO AN ARISTOCRAT WHO HAS OPENED 'EMPEROR'S FINE JEWELS' AT STARHILL GALLERY IN BUKIT BINTANG
Biography of Chef McDang in his own words
"Many years ago – but not too many – I was a young student in England, away from home for the first time. Desperate for a taste of home, I ventured into the kitchen for the first time to make my very first meal: kai pullo, or Chinese-style five-spice-accented pork belly and boiled egg stew. I have always loved Thai food.
"Growing up in the palace, I experienced the traditions and artistry that go with cooking top-flight Thai food first-hand. I was also lucky enough to have as a mentor my father, MR Thanadsri Svasti, who was – and remains – a pioneer in the realm of food education in Thailand.
"He is a brilliant man, able to parse very complicated concepts and ideas about food into language that is readily accessible and engaging for the layman. My love of Thai food (and, hopefully, some of my ability to translate the intricacies of Thai food to a wider audience) come from him.
"But it took me a while before I realized food would be my calling. As a young college student at Georgetown, I was studying to become a diplomat. Then something else happened.
"I saw Julia Child on TV, put an apron on, started cooking, and my life changed. I got a job as a lunch cook at the Back Porch Café in Delaware.
"I began voraciously studying everything food-related that I could get my hands on. It was as if someone had turned the lights on in a very dark room. I never looked back.
"Today, I consider myself a diplomat of sorts; only this time, the medium is food. Whether on television, through my lecture series, or via this website, I have spent a lot of time in many different places showing people exactly why I think Thai food is so special.
"People all over the world are interested in learning about Thai cuisine – its origins, history and ongoing evolution – as well as the fundamentals that make Thai food the marvel that it is.
“I believe our food is our people’s most brilliant invention, and I am privileged to be able to “export” my love of Thai food to people across the globe.”
Vision & Mission
"Because I frequently travel throughout Thailand, demonstrating my my favorite recipes for my television show and writing my food column, I consider myself primarily a teacher. When I travel abroad, lecturing on the principles of Thai cookery to non-Thai audiences, I become a sort of Thai food “ambassador”.
"Both of these pursuits are tremendously fulfilling, and help to sharpen my own perspective on Thai cuisine and how it fits into the rest of the world. What has struck me most about Thai cuisine lately is that few people -- including Thais -- have a concrete grasp of what it really is.
"It seems to me we are at a kind of crossroads for Thai food identity (and possibly Thai identity in general), spurring people to develop their own understanding of what Thai food is like. Unfortunately, that also leads to some pretty confused Thai food.
"There is nothing more disheartening than entering a Thai restaurant abroad, only to be met by an embarrassed-looking Thai owner-chef who apologizes for his food before you have even taken a bite. “Our food is for foreigners,” they invariably say. “You should have told us you were coming earlier.”
"What is left unspoken is that a completely different cuisine is being served to people -- a parallel “Thai food” that has only a glancing acquaintance to the wonderful things we have at home. Don’t get me wrong. I love that more and more people, every day, are tucking into a plate of pad Thai (stir- fried rice noodles in pad Thai sauce)or slurping up a bowl of thom yum goong (spicy prawns soup).
"I believe Thai food is probably the Thai peoples’ greatest invention, and an integral way to share Thai culture with the world. But I want to make sure people to get to know the real McCoy, the Thai food that grew up in Thailand, as well as the cuisine that has evolved over the past few decades, touched by increasing Western influence and a broader perspective of the world.
"In creating this social media website, I hope you will enjoy exploring the fundamentals that make up Thai cuisine, as well as my take on the direction in which Thai food is going. I believe that it is a genuinely exciting moment in time for Thai food, a crossroads that will determine how Thai food will be enjoyed by diners in the years to come.
"It is my hope that this website – as well as our consulting services, international
television productions, and cooking school – will serve as a center of knowledge for all things Thai food: its innovations as well as its fundamentals. So grab your mortars and pestles, and let’s start cooking!
ALL GUESTS WERE ASKED TO SIT ON THESE THRONES TO HAVE THEIR PHOTOS TAKEN WITH THEIR CONCUBINES WHICH WERE GIVEN TO THEM LATER AS SOUVENIRS WHICH ALSO INCLUDED A GOODY BAG CONTAINING RM 50 VOUCHER AND BENCHARONG VASE
DATO GARRY CHUA AND DATO KEE HUA CHEE
FIRST SECRETARY OF ROYAL THAI EMBASSY NATTAPONG SUWAN PAKDEE, HIS EXCELLENCY THE ROYAL THAI AMBASASADOR TO MALAYSIA DAMRONG KRAIKRUAN
NATTAPONG, HIS EXCELLENCY PHILIPPINES AMBASSADOR, DATO GARRY CHUA, CALEEN CHUA, CHEF MCDANG AND THAI AMBASSADOR HIS EXCELLENCY DAMRONG KRAIKRUAN
CHEF MCDANG, THAI AMBASSADOR HIS EXCELLENCY DAMRONG KRAIKRUAN AND PHILIPPINES AMBASSADOR H.E EDUARDO MALAYA
TAN SRI BARRY GOH AND TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE
TAN SRI DATO SRI BARRY GOH AND TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE
NITIN GOENKA OF EMPEROR'S FINE JEWELS AT STARHILL BUKIT BINTANG WITH HAMZA WYNE
CALEEN CHUA, CHEF MCDANG AND NITIN GOENKA WHO OWNS EMPEROR'S FINE JEWELS AT STARHILL BUKIT BINTANG
PHILIPPINES AMBASSADOR, CALEEN CHUA, CHEF MCDANG, NITIN GOENKA AND THAI AMBASSADOR HIS EXCELLENCY DAMRONG KRAIKRUAN