With the annual Thai Market taking place at the Marriott Hotel, we turned to our Zuri Girl writer Fah. She’s originaly from Thailand and often gets asked the question; “Where to get the best Thai food?”
“Errr…Well, not in Zurich” is the usual sad answer.
From the Native Thai’s perspective, she honestly finds Thai food at restaurants in Zurich to be far from authentic. The quality definitely is up to Swiss standard, and some dishes could be enjoyable and nice – but not authentic. So, the best Thai-food place in Zurich is a hard question for a Thai like her. Where does she go then you wonder for Thai Food? She doesn’t. Period.
Fah was curious though to check out the annual Thai Food Market organized by White Elephant, especially when she heard that the atmosphere would be like street hawkers in Thailand. If they dare such a concept, the food must be authentic, no?
And the verdict? ……
She thought she stepped out of the plane door to Thailand instead of the elevator. White Elephant does not spare it at all for space decoration from the hall all the way to the ballroom with Thai elements. It is not a usual elegant Thai style as most Thai restaurants are, but a Northeastern accent which is known to be down-to-earth, fun, raw, and authentic. The tables are folding metal ones and the chairs are plastic stools. On them sit bottles of water, a plastic box containing utensils inside, and paper tissue box, just like at any street hawkers in Thailand. It is not a comfortable seating for lounging. The purpose of this shabby dining set is to eat fast and leave. So it is not quite possible to linger over the food there, but considering that you have to get up and walk many rounds to ensure you sample most of the dishes, it could be acceptable.
Around the ballroom there are at least 3 stations for buffet food, 3 freshly-made-demonstration food stations, and 3 for desserts and fruits (including Thai mangoes.) There is a fruit carving station, a display of a Thai grocery, props like rice sacks on the floor, banana trees and a country-style live music all contribute to make you believe that you are at a lively food market in the upcountry of Thailand. Seriously fun and super vibrant.
The 3 buffet stations features both familiar dishes to foreigners like basil beef stir-fry and Massaman curry (that is honored as the most delicious curry in the world), as well as ones that are comfortable for the Thais like Pad Cha Talay or spicy seafood stir-fry with finger roots and kaffir lime leaves. Any Thai restaurant has to have green curry, which is actually a test whether such restaurant serves authentic Thai culinary. And it is a yes to pork green curry here.
The live stations feature Somtum or the famous papaya salad, glass noodle salad, deep fried minced pork on the buns, spring rolls, lemongrass grilled chicken (which is very good), chicken in galanga coconut soup, Tomyum soup, etc. However what excites the Thais more is Khaosoy or flat egg noodle in chicken curry the northern style which you can add condiments and extremely spicy chili paste as much as you like. The way to warm up for autumn breeze!
Oh…the desserts are a real delight as they are not what you can find in restaurants. How can it even be explained if you are not a Thai? Let’s just check it out for yourself then!
Non-alcoholic beverages are included. Otherwise, there is wine, bubbly, et cetera but what else is more suitable than a Thai beer?
Zuri Girl Tips
The seating is not so comfortable especially for those not used to eating at street vendors. And since the event can be packed, you may have to share the table with others, making it more challenging to manage enough surface for all the plates of food you want to try. So, go early or later than the crowd. There will be good and sufficient food through the end.
So, the final verdict. The ambience hits the high mark. Unique concept. And the vibrancy brightens up the gloomy fall very well. The variety and quantity of food makes it a sumptuous feast. Some dishes are standard and some are new to explore. But all is of good quality and … yes, impressively authentic. Of course she can only stand by the authenticity for the dishes she tried (which are many.) But hey, if you are not traveling to Thailand in the next 10 days, you probably couldn’t get more authentic and spicy dishes in Zurich than here anyway!
Thai Food Market Event Details
When: 10 to 20 October 2016 | 18:00 onwards
Where: Ballroom at Zürich Marriott Hotel, Neumuehlequai 42, 8006 Zurich
Price: CHF 89 (adult) / CHF 44,50 (children 7-12 years) including food, non-alcoholic beverages, parking in the underground car park of the hotel
Tickets: online at www.thaifoodmarket.ch, by phone (044) 360 7070 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Article & Photo created by Zuri Girl Fah Panyada Ruengskul; a corporate marketeer from Bangkok who turned into a housewife-cum-entrepreneur in Zurich. Fah’s hobby is writing travel articles and gastronomy. After living in Sao Paulo for almost 3 years, she published 6 travel books of which 4 are about Latin American countries. Her latest book “Europe Beyond Sky” features skiing and dining experience in Gstaad among 5 other European cities. Check Fah’s travel and gastronomic exploration at her blog and Facebook/travelling beyond sky or Instagram – SkyBeyondSky