Who doesn’t love Thai food? What’s there not to like about it – spicy, tangy, herby, nutritious, healthy and it’s not all about coconut curries as seems to the stereotype. Typical Thai restaurants come under the general umbrella of typical Asian restaurants, whether it’s Chinese or Indian – they all have lengthy menus offering 1001 dishes in every avatar possible. When generally steering clear from these ubiquitous eateries, one of my favourite Thai restaurants always comes to my rescue, Busaba Eathai, brainchild of the can-do-no-wrong Mr. Alan Yau (think Hakkasan, Yauatcha, Wagamama and you know what I’m on about!).
The only annoying thing about this recipe is the waiting time. But it’s worth it! The chilli and spice cure for the beef really takes on its own persona a few weeks into the marinade. When it’s ready and cooked, the meat keeps for several weeks in the fridge without spoiling, and can be eaten cold or hot. I used to have this on my home-cured charcuterie platter and it always went down well. The water that’s left after the beef is cooked can be kept – it makes a delicious and nourishing broth.
“Little pig, little pig, let me in!
Not by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin!”
Luckily I don’t have to make such an effort to get my hands on a little piggy. I just pick up the phone and tell my meat supplier, Direct Meat, to send one over and bingo, there it is, waiting for me first thing in the morning! Garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, chilli, spices, oven. What a way to go! But of course, there are pigs, and there are PIGS! It’s hard to keep track of who’s who and each breed is good for something else and this and that and before you know it, you’re tearing your hair out!
Having a lovely little pub as your local is great. Having a fantastic little restaurant also as your local is a double victory. Especially when there’s nothing really worth of any mention on that stretch of road. A couple of weeks ago I decided to take a chance on the Malaysian restaurant Puji-Puji a few minutes walk away from my house. The menu read like any South East Asian restaurant and at the best of times, the restaurant was always, mostly empty. Nevertheless, the thing that surprised me was that unlike most restaurants in its category, Puji-Puji’s menu was surprisingly short.