August 6, 2020 – Persevering with our sequence on Zagreb’s worldwide meals supply and the tales behind these cuisines and companies. This time, the spicy however gentle takeaway lunches of Khaos Thai.
Rinrampai Lateja and Saralee Madnui standing outdoors the Khaos Thai kiosk, subsequent to Importanne Gallery on Vlaška ulica © Mateo Henec
Saralee Madnui: We’re each from Thailand. I’m from the south of Thailand, near the border with Malaysia.
Rinrampai Lateja: I’m from Bangkok, the capital metropolis. It’s within the centre.
Saralee: I’ve been right here for 5 years, her for ten. We’re each right here for a similar cause; we’re married to Croatians. I met my husband when he was visiting Thailand. She met her’s whereas she was engaged on a cruise ship.
Saralee: Each area of Thailand has a unique style. Within the north, the meals is slightly bit delicate, however nonetheless spicy from curry paste. Within the northeast, their flavours are actually robust, spicy and bitter, however they use a lot much less fats. The land in that area is just not so wealthy and the meals is quick and easy, cooked shortly on the grill or in a pan. Within the south, the place I’m from, we now have all of the meals; coconut, fish from the ocean. The local weather is sweet and something can develop there. It’s a really wealthy delicacies. In central Thailand, the style is extra clean, however flavoursome from robust seasoning.
© Mateo Henec
Saralee: The meals right here is extra like central Thai delicacies. We make a few of the most well-known dishes from Thailand. Though, we additionally make Larb, which is from the northeast. It’s meat, recent herbs, chilli, lime juice and rice. Salad is certainly one of our hottest dishes right here. Ours is salty, bitter, crunchy and spicy, with dried shrimps, peanuts, inexperienced papaya, lengthy beans, purple tomato and chilli. It’s a really vibrant dish. That is very typical of Thai delicacies; a lot of completely different textures, flavours and colors. Like with Thai curry – the meat is cooked till it’s delicate, however we additionally add bamboo, for texture. The dish from this area that the majority jogs my memory of Thai meals is goulash. It’s not the identical, however it seems similar to Massaman curry; purple and with oil floating on the highest. Goulash is spicy from paprika, whereas Massaman is spicy from herbs, slightly extra bitter and it additionally has coconut.
Saralee: The primary meals that impressed me once I got here to Croatia was cevapi. However, now I like extra sarma. It has that bitter style that Thai individuals like, from the pickled cabbage. I additionally prefer it made with the inexperienced leaf (blitva). Attention-grabbing.
Saralee: When we’re not working, we each very very similar to biking. Biking modified our lives.
Rinrampai: You can not cycle in Bangkok. You’ll most likely die. There’s a lot site visitors. And folks simply drive how they need. By no means thoughts the foundations. However, right here it’s really easy to make use of a bicycle. You may get anyplace in Zagreb in 5 or 10 minutes on a bicycle. In Thailand, it’s essential to use a bike or a automotive.
Saralee: We love our bicycles right here. We journey to work every single day on bicycles. Once we’re not at work we’re all the time using our bicycles. I trip with my husband. I’ve ridden to Velika Gorica, Rakitje, Samobor and throughout Zagreb.
TCN: You went all the way in which to Samobor on a bicycle?
Saralee: Sure. With my poor husband. However, he is aware of the methods. He stated “OK, we go Samobor for kremnšita. Then I’ll have energy for the journey.” Ha! He was the identical after we went to Velika Gorica. Once we arrived, he stated, “Ooh, do you do not forget that restaurant that’s right here..?”
Pad Thai, certainly one of Thailand’s most well-known dishes © Mateo Henec
Saralee: The dish individuals come again essentially the most for right here is Pad Thai. Once we first opened, I believed possibly this could be too candy for them. However, they actually prefer it. They just like the Thai Inexperienced Curry too. A few of our prospects have been to Bangkok or different locations in Thailand and so they like to come back right here as a result of our meals reminds them of their go to. Individuals are likely to get the curry in the event that they suppose Pad Thai is just too delicate for them in spiciness, or too gentle.
Within the first week we labored, we opened at 12 noon till 8pm. There have been queues across the nook. We couldn’t end earlier than 9pm. It was an excessive amount of. There’s solely the 2 of us. No one else could make this meals. So, we needed to cut back the hours. Now, we solely work within the afternoons; noon till 5pm. However, that works very effectively.
Thai meals is ideal for lunch; it’s multi functional dish, you’ll be able to maintain it in your fingers, it’s fairly gentle meals. The chilli and spice wakes you up and the lime and the herbs refresh you, so you’re prepared for the afternoon at work. It’s notably good meals for the summer season.
Larb, a salad stuffed with flavour from northeast Thailand and Pad Thai © Mateo Henec
Rinrampai: Life in Croatia is way simpler than it’s in Thailand. Much less individuals, much less site visitors, it’s smaller, you’ll be able to go anyplace. In Bangkok, in case you have an appointment at 1pm, it’s essential to go away your own home at 11am, typically earlier. The entire metropolis is a site visitors jam all day.
Saralee: Thai individuals and Croatian persons are very comparable in being very useful, notably to strangers. Any questions I had once I arrived, individuals had been all the time completely happy to reply. Croatians are additionally much more pleasant than different Europeans, in my expertise. They’re very open individuals. That is like Thai individuals too. Though Croatians observe the foundations higher than Thai individuals. Thai individuals ignore all of them.
You may go to the Khaos Thai kiosk outdoors Importanne Gallery, at Trg Drage Iblera 10, on the nook of Vlaška ulica.
You may learn the introduction to our sequence on Zagreb worldwide delicacies and the primary installment here
To observe our entire sequence on worldwide delicacies and to observe the Croatian restaurant and gastro scene, regulate our Connoisseur pages here