Food is a powerful thing; it can serve us memories of the past, act as a storyteller, and also ignite the strongest feelings in us. Speaking of strong, good foods can single-handedly teleport us to a completely different place which is exactly the kind of experience felt at Dashanzi, JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu. I visited the progressive modern Asian cuisine restaurant that is instrumental in recreating the magic and milieu of JW Marriott Phuket right here in Mumbai. To begin with I couldn’t be happier about the immediate advantages of ditching the hassle of actually traveling in these troubled times, immigration woes, and a 4 hour flight and instead enjoyed being in a safe, sanitized space followed by savoring some authentic Thai cuisine at Dashanzi in the heart of the city. My Thai luncheon at Dashanzi began with very warm Indian hospitality and care (temp checks and sanitization at every entry level), bright smiles and courteous staff members who brought just the thing I needed after a hot commute- Thai iced coffee.
Nothing spells refreshing like a mix of coffee, Thai cardamom, some condensed milk, with some desiccated coconut topped with all the ice in the world! The drink was followed by a plethora of dishes that truly put my otherwise large appetite to test.
I started my meal with Yum woon sen i.e. glass noodle salad with shrimp and minced chicken; an absolutely simple yet flavorsome mix of ingredients. The first few bites were a battle with the never-ending glass noodles till I figured my way around and the rest was a breeze. This was followed by Yam yai that’s butterfly pea rice salad which could very well be the hottest dish of the day. To be precise the beautiful dish looked like a garden on my plate and it wouldn’t be surprising if an actual butterfly gravitated towards it. Couple it with an extra dose of the zingiest chilli sauce ever and every bite turns into a wakeup call. I would not recommend it to those with low spice tolerance while stressing its futile to have Yam yai without the sauce.
I wasn’t expecting to eat any chicken during the meal but am I glad I did? Certainly not a fan of fried chicken, my mind was truly blown on having the first bite of the Southern Thai style deep fried chicken coupled with the chilli peanut sauce that left me wanting more (and i did ask for a refill). Anyone who thinks they like fried chicken need to come to Dashanzi to try the real deal. That wonderfully sums up my affair with tantalizing Thai appetizers. The break between courses was enjoyed by another Thai beverage called ‘Drops of Vowels’ a heady mix of Thai bird chilli-infused Jameson, lime juice, and pineapple juice. It would be safe to say with ‘Drops of Vowels’, Thai food converted into liquid form in a drink that can best be termed ‘exhilarating’.
Main course took centre-stage with Khao phad nam prik pao je (Spicy fried rice with Thai chili paste) served with Phad phak boong (Stir fried morning glory), Phad kai bai ka prao (Minced chicken with holy basil), and Pla nueng manao (Steamed sea bass in spicy lemon broth). The fried rice was pleasant but what emerged as unexpected surprise packages was the stir fried morning glory and Phad Thai Je (Stir fried rice noodles); perfectly packed with flavors, freshness and completely well balanced dishes. The minced chicken with holy basil didn’t do much for my taste buds and the same can be said for the steamed sea bass.
The hearty meal left my appetite and soul completely satiated which is why I had no interest in Tub tim grob (Diced water chestnut with coconut milk) which I found underwhelming and lacking a smack. A trip to Dashanzi should be on the bucket list of everyone who loves Thai food, Thai locales and Indian hospitality.
Where: JW Marriott, Juhu Rd, Juhu Tara, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400049
Phone: 022 6693 3000