January. Christmas is over and the weather is dull. And cold. So flipping cold. And what better way to warm up a cold, miserable day, than with some warm, soul comforting food. I’ve spoken on the blog before about the restaurant chain Thaikhun and when they asked me to come along and sample their new Thai cookery lesson at the Guildford branch I leapt at the chance. I couldn’t think of a nicer way to banish the winter blues.
We arrived to a delicious Mocktail and a bowl of spicy prawn crackers, while Map, our host, explained the structure of the evening. We would be watching the chef cook a two course menu, before having a go at preparing the same ourselves. All ingredients, equipment and aprons were provided and the chef was set up at a station away from the kitchen so we could all crowd round to watch.
This was fascinating, however I would mention that this course involved a lot of standing and watching. If you go, don’t do what I did and wear heels! Comfy shoes all the way!
Thai Vegetable Spring Rolls
The first course he, and then we, prepared was Thai Vegetable Spring Rolls. I love spring rolls and had no idea they were so simple to prepare! We shredded and cooked the filling, then wrapped the rolls and deep fried them. It was so obvious and the preparation so straightforward, but I would never have considered making them at home had someone not shown me how to do it!
The cooking area was set up with four burners and prep stations. This was based on eight participants (the most the classes usually take), with two to a burner. This would make it a really fun activity for couples or a couple of friends to do. Unfortunately on the night I went I was the only lone participant in a group of nine. This was OK to begin with though as some other friendly bloggers let me muscle in on their rolls!
Once the spring rolls were cooked, we sat to eat them, while the ingredients for the main course were prepared. It was lovely to sit and chat with the others in my group while we ate and it really broke the ice that we’d all just cooked the same thing for the first time!
Thai Green Chicken Curry
The main course was Thai Green Chicken Curry, a real favourite of mine! The chef explained the preparation of a real curry paste. However, due to time constraints (making a real paste from scratch, with a pestle and mortar, can take hours apparently) he was choosing to use a bought one. I was a little disappointed at this. I mean the paste was wonderful and gave a fantastic flavour, but it would have been fabulous to see, and use, a real homemade paste. Even a ” here’s one I made earlier” one.
When it came to cooking the curry, the head chef took over. It was so interesting and fun to watch him work!
Then it was our turn. However, I didn’t feel as comfortable muscling in on another couple’s curry so I just watched.
As I hadn’t helped cook anything I didn’t feel I could ask to eat it either. So, rather cleverly I thought, I asked if the bowl of curry the Head Chef’ had cooked was still around. And it was. I may not have got to cook it, but I did get to eat bowl of Head Chef prepared curry to make up for it. And boy did it! We all sat back down together and were given bowls of rice to go with our curry. Delicious!
At the end of the meal we were given the opportunity to ask any more questions and given, what I thought, was a really thoughtful gift bag, complete with a bottle of Fish Sauce, Palm Sugar and Coconut Milk, along with some vouchers for money off in the restaurant and printed recipes for the dishes we’d prepared. Lovely!
It really was a shame I wasn’t able to get involved in the cooking of the curry. Asking more than two to share a burner is never going to work, even if they were all friends. But as long as the numbers attending the course were kept low, this would be such a fun thing to do.
The restaurant have been these running cookery lessons for a while now. However, the Guildford branch is starting to host theirs from February 2017. They will be running them from 11am-1pm on the 2nd Sunday of every month. The cost is £50 per person and includes everything you could need, including ingredients, expertise and a full meal at the end of it. You can book the course on their website.
The course was so much fun and I learned a lot about Thai flavours. So much so in fact that I’ve been totally inspired and have cooked the spring rolls and curry at home already. The rolls were so good. I may have to knock some up tonight as it goes.
Anyone want to come to dinner?
Thank you to Mapp and everyone at Thaikhun for a lovely evening.
I was invited to the course as a guest, however I was not paid to write this review. As always opinions are my own.