9 Hong Kong and Macau restaurants win Thai seal of authenticity
The food scene in Hong Kong isn’t all about the hipster cafes, exotic eateries and burger wars that set tongues wagging. There are some constants too - restaurants serving popular cuisines that never fail to draw a crowd. Thai restaurants are among them.
With 400,000 Hongkongers among the 24 million tourists who visit Thailand every year to shop, sightsee and eat, Thai food has long been popular in the city, and competition was fierce among the more than two dozen Thai restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau battling for official recognition this year in the Thai government's Thai Select awards.
The awards were launched in 2005 to confer a seal of approval on providers of authentic Thai cuisine and products around the world.
Of the 26 competing restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau, just nine won Thai Select certificates. The winners were anointed on Thursday in a ceremony at Moon Thai restaurant in Sheung Wan.
“There are many restaurateurs around the world that use the term ‘Thai food’ to base as their restaurant’s selling point, but we have seen multiple cases of owners and chefs that have never even been to Thailand or even tried the original taste of Thai cuisine before setting up their business, said Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, the director general of Thailand's Department of International Trade Promotion, guest of honour at the event.
To win Thai Select certification, restaurants are inspected for the taste and quality of their dishes, their hospitality and atmosphere. To enter the competition, a restaurant's head chef must have been cooking Thai food for at least two years or been officially certified as able to cook Thai food.
“Thai cuisine is very delicate and complicated. The different spices and ingredients that make a dish authentic require more than just any recipe," Nuntawan said.
She added: "We also hope that with this seal, people can really go and taste authentic dishes at Thai Select restaurants that are made with fresh imported Thai agricultural products and ingredients.”
The nine Thai Select winners declared on Thursday
Bangkok Thai Restaurant (North Point)
Shop B, G/F, Chu Kee Building, 433-437 King’s Road, North Point
Bangkok Thai Restaurant (Tin Hau)
G/F, Shop D, 1-5 Lau Sin Street, Tin Hau, Hong Kong
Chili Club Thai Restaurant
1/F, 88 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
Ruamjai Thai Restaurant
G/F, 5 Tak Ku Ling Road, Kowloon City
Shop G401, Yen Kung Mansion, Tai Koo Shing
G/F, 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Chang Siam Thai Restaurant
1/F, Ponte 22A, 95 Avenida de Demétrio Cinatti, Macau
Koon Thai Cuisine
Shop 3, Promenade, Tower 2, China Hong Kong City, 33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Naam Thai Restaurant
Grand Lapa, Avenida da Amizade, Macau