We have been fans of Coriander Leaf since its early days at Clarke Quay. Since then, its dishes have evolved at Chijmes to include Chef Samia’s modern and innovative take on classic Asian dishes from India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam dishes.
The dishes are small sharing plates presented under five distinct flavours: fresh, spicy, familiar, umami and sweet. What distinguishes it from many other Pan-Asian restaurants, is that there is not too much compromise on original authentic flavours. There is still a piquant “kick” to many of the dishes.
The restaurant, on the second floor of Chijmes, has several dining areas. Sadly, we walked through the attractive main dining room which has an open kitchen concept and an attractive bar area and counter dining, to our table in the cooking studios at the back. The latter was a bit lacking in atmosphere. It was reminiscent of an airport business class lounge complete with TV screen showing our departure timings (if only!).
We were provided with a complimentary starter of the ultimate Thai finger food: Miang Kham. A traditional snack from Thailand, introduced to the Siamese court of King Rama V by Princess Dara Rasmi of Chiang Mai (thank you Princess Dara Rasmi of Chiangmai!).
“Miang Kham” translates into a “one bite wrap” where a wild betel leaf is filled with an array of hot, sour, salty and sweet ingredients. This includes shallots, hot bird’s eye chilli, ginger, lime, roasted coconut, peanuts, dried shrimp and tamarind. These are then wrapped in a little parcel and popped into your mouth in a refreshing, hot, piquant bite. Historically, Miang Kham was part of a Thai welcome ritual, offered as a gesture of hospitality to visitors. Coriander Leaf’s Miang Kham was delicious and we were delighted to receive such an exotic starter.
From the ‘Fresh’ menu we ordered three vegetarian dishes: Muhamarra, labne and pita chips ($16), Watermelon, mint, pomegranate and Turkish white cheese ($14) and Pomelo, watercress, roasted shallot chilli dressing, fresh herbs, peanuts ($15). The Labne (a thick and creamy yogurt dip), and the Muhamarra (a walnut and roasted red pepper dip) went very well with the crispy pita chips. The watermelon dish was tasty and extremely refreshing and the pomelo dish had good strong, appetising, Thai flavours.