Q&A: Pi Su – Chaophraya Edinburgh
Assistant Head Chef talks festive food ahead of Christmas
How does your restaurant change in look and atmosphere in December? What effect are you hoping for?
December itself has a powerful effect on the restaurant, the grey skies and darker nights seems to enhance the Edinburgh scenery which can be enjoyed from four different dining areas. Cascades of fairy lights draped across the Terrace, the smell of Thai spiced mulled wine, incense and the electric buzz of excitement in the air really is one that must be experienced- it is my favourite time of year! The most important effects that we hope to create for our customers is a relaxed, cosy and fun place where they can share a memorable moment with colleagues, friends and family.
What are the challenges in catering for larger groups and parties? What works? What doesn't work?
During the festive season, we have more large parties than any other time in the year which can be stressful however seeing the large demand for our restaurant fills us with pride and really motivates the team. The buzz in the atmosphere that large parties can add is a great energiser.
“What doesn’t work?” tough question but one that comes to mind is our poor cloakroom stuffed with so many coats due to the weather and Scottish climate in the winter!
Anything new and exciting likely to be on your December menu this year?
We have a lot of delicious dishes featuring on our Christmas menus this year. I would recommend the Grilled Chicken & Mango Spring Rolls and Thai Spiced Chicken & Coconut Baskets to name but a few. The great thing is our menus are banquet style served in the traditional Thai way of eating so you will be able to enjoy many exciting delicacies and not limit the choices down to one or two dishes.
Any top tips for cooking for a big group at home?
Definitely forward planning. In Thai culture, food is an essential part of a party. We like to eat and drink through the evening; by forward planning this ensures that there are plenty of both in stock. I would also recommend lots of spicy dishes such as the Papaya Salad- the key ingredient that makes a party a smashing success!
OK, a stalk of fresh brussels sprouts has just arrived in the kitchen. What do you do next?
Stir fry the brussel sprouts with garlic and king prawns in oyster sauce- so delicious, you should try it!
What's your favourite day of the Christmas season? What are you likely to be eating?
I have two favourite days (if allowed!) Christmas and Boxing Day. Christmas as it’s a day of rest and get to spend time with the family. Boxing Day for the sale shopping.