Over the years, my feelings on food authenticity have changed. The more I travel and the more I learn about the world, the more I realize that practically every food has an international influence. Whether it’s learning that Japanese Tempura has Portuguese roots or common chili peppers used in Asian cuisines came from Mexico, it surprised me to find out how cuisines are influenced by the global movement of people.
The Coriander restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel in Shenzhen, China is a great example of this! Coriander has an Indian chef who has put his own twist on traditional Thai dishes, to make something truly exceptional. Some dishes taste quite a lot like authentic Thai, while others take on a new form, such as the chef’s take on Thai curries.
The dining room is fairly unassuming and has a slight influence of Thailand, but it’s not very strong. The dishes that soon appeared looked like food you’d find all over Asia with flavors from Thailand, Vietnam, India and China. The chef’s take on Thailand’s amazing curries blew me away! They were very rich and paired well with the other parts of the dish, such as deep fried crab.
Not all dishes had international influences, Coriander’s papaya salad and Tom Yum soup tasted like they came straight from Bangkok.
A very unexpected dish was a stir-fred chicken which was very similar to Chinese Kung Pow chicken. Whatever you want to call it, it was addictive!
To finish off the evening Coriander served a mango sticky rice, the most popular Thai dessert. I was not surprised that the chef made this dessert a bit heavier than the typical Thai version, but delicious nonetheless.
This meal was inspiring! I got a taste of Thai food mixed with several other influences. I never would’ve expected such a fusion of flavors to be so damn good. The Coriander restaurant is definitely worth a trip, whether you’re visiting or living Shenzhen. Bon appetit!
No. 9009 Shennan Road, Overseas Chinese Town
Shenzhen, GD, 518053, Mainland China