Why Thai Isaan ?



Isaan is an agricultural area with many paddy fields. Rice fields upon rice fields, all flat for miles and miles around, spotted with trees, communities and farm houses. That is where we, and our restaurant's cuisine come from.


The Isaan people are Lao descendents and live in northern Thailand. The Isaan region is considered one of the poorest in Thailand, with the majority of the population involved in rice farming. As with many Thai people, the Isaan believe that "to be Thai is to be Buddhist." The Isaan people speak the Isaan language, which is basically the Lao language with a few minor changes. In fact, Lao people understand 100 percent of the Isaan language.

The first people came to Thailand from southern China, forming a federation of city-states known as Lanna, with Chiang Mai as its center. Chiang Mai remained remote from the rest of the country until the railroad was built in 1921.Therefore the north still retains much of its native culture, including its crafts and its food. Anthropologists believe that rice may have originated in northern Thailand, but even the rice here is different: northerners prefer steamed, glutinous rice, rolled into small balls and dipped into delicious sauces.In a true Isaan style at a traditional kantoke dinner, you would sit on the floor around a bamboo table and help yourself to a selection of continuously replenished dishes. The menu might feature naem (pork sausage that can be eaten plain or mixed into various dishes), also called sai oua; khao soy (egg noodles with chicken, coconut cream, and crispy garlic) and gaeng hang lay (spicy curry with pork and tamarind flesh) from neighboring Burma,now called Myanmar; and steamed baby prawns.


The meal might be accompanied by nam prik noom (chili-lime sauce) from Laos, rice wafers encrusted in sesame seeds and black mushrooms; and succulent longan fruit which grows everywhere. Of course it is not possible for us to offer such a dining experience here but we keep as close as possible to the flavour disciplines as we possibly can.


The Philosophy of Thai Food


One of the challenges to cooking Thai food away from Thailand is having the right ingredients. The majority of the ingredients are not common to Westerners and tough to find. Just knowing the name of the ingredient sometimes is not enough. You have to know what to look for too.


4 Flavors + Heat - In Thai cooking heat sits on top of the palate's four principal taste elements-sweet (sugar, fruits, sweet peppers), hot (chilies), sour (vinegar, lime juice, tamarind) and salty (soy sauce, fish sauce)-usually simultaneously.

This assault on the entirety of one' s tasting faculties, that we find so irresistible.


There is literally no rest from enjoyment when indulging in Thai cuisine..."

Copyright © 2012 Thaiisaan Restaurant Power by Krataihai