Luke Farrell’s ‘living library’ at Ryewater Nursery highlights seasonal produce through an array of flavours, from Mussel and coconut curry with wild betel leaves to Deep-fried mackerel with crispy holy basil and jungle herbs

This summer, Plaza Khao Gaeng, Luke Farrell’s debut restaurant, is unveiling an array of brand new dishes, including a new snack menu, an unmissable ice cream dessert, and the return of beloved favourites that captures the essence of southern Thai cuisine

Faithfully recreating a Southern Thai raan khao gaeng—broadly meaning ‘curry over rice’— the cuisine blends coastal and jungle flavours rarely found outside Thailand. Luke has curated a menu that offers the full experience, centered around hyper-seasonal produce from his very own greenhouses at Ryewater Nursery. Reflecting the Thai seasons, dishes feature ingredients available primarily during the summer months: bitter gourd, chaiya stems, Chinese cabbage, miner’s cress, pink peppercorn leaf, and cashew leaf.

KHAO GAENG

The hero addition, perfect for the warmer months, Itim Khanom Pang, is a classic Thai-style ice cream sandwich often sold in carts outside khao gaengs. Coconut ice cream from Angie’s Ice Cream is scooped into a sugary bun with pandan-scented sticky rice, roasted peanuts, and lashings of condensed milk. Icy cool, soft, syrupy and crunchy – it is a textural delight and a welcome treat after the heat of a fiery curry. Further new menu highlights include:

Gaeng Keow Wan Gai Phak Tai  | Green chicken curry with coconut tips, pandan leaf and pea aubergine

Taking over a year to develop, the custom-made green paste from Phattalung makes for a green curry spicier than the usual fare with coconut tips to give added sweetness and body.

Mussel Gaeng Gati with Bai Cha Pluu  | Mussel and coconut curry with wild betel leaves

Curries like this are typically savoured along the coast in Thailand – filled with locally raised oysters, blue swimmer crab meat, or tiny whelks and clams. Here, aromatic Cha pluu leaf is shredded and sunk into this rich coconut-based curry, along with plump native mussels.

Pla Pad Prik Gaeng | Deep-fried mackerel with chilli, makrut lime leaves and jungle herbs

Originally served in two different ways, the fish is fried into crisps, then stir-fried with the sauce to combine into a crunchy pile glistening in crimson oil and adorned with jungle herbs.

SNACK MENU

A vital part of the entire khao gaeng experience – enjoyed both before and throughout a meal – these new snacks at Plaza also pair perfectly with a Singha Beer Tower or two. The snack menu includes:

Muu Tord Nam Pla | Fried pork belly with sriracha chilli sauce

Chunks of crispy, fish sauce-soused pork belly are fried and served with sriracha sauce for dipping creating an ideal drinking snack or accompaniment to a Thai omelette.

Tord Mun Pla | Fish cakes with a cucumber and chilli relish

These crispy fish cakes are puffed up like mini souffles, and take inspiration from a vendor selling this famous Thai snack opposite Wat Chakkrawat in Bangkok.

Giew Tord Khai Nok Krata | Crispy quail egg wontons with a spicy tamarind sauce

Quail egg wrapped wontons are covered in a sweet tamarind sauce – a sticky treat to start the meal.

Now available at Plaza Khao Gaeng for lunch and dinner throughout the week.

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Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

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