Issaya Siamese Club offers delicious, progressive Thai Food in an Enchanting Environment!
Already a major player in the Bangkok dining scene, world-renowned Issaya Siamese Club is quickly becoming a favourite among fine food lovers in Hong Kong as it opened a sister restaurant in Causeway Bay this past August. Fashioned after its flagship site in Bangkok, which was voted one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants in 2014 and 2015, it is the first progressive Thai restaurant in Hong Kong. The chef behind this internationally known resto is Ian Kittichai, a world renowned celebrity chef whose cuisine at Issaya is inspired by his influences through the years- from growing up in the Bangkok wet markets and cooking with his mother to his time spent as an internationally renowned chef opening up Thai restaurants around the world. I was recently invited to try out some of these gorgeous Chef Kittichai creations, and wow- was I impressed.
Located in Causeway Bay on the 25th Floor of Soundwill Plaza, the space is impressive and BIG. It occupies the entire floor and as such, is able to accommodate 150 guests. When those elevator doors open up and welcome you into the restaurant, you know right away that you are about to have a magical dining experience. The decor and vibe dazzle with antique wallpaper, exposed wooden beams above, floor to ceiling windows and furniture shipped in from Thailand. In fact everything is imported from Thailand from the fabrics to the lighting to the tableware as it was important to Chef Kittichai that they maintain the same look and feel as its Bangkok counterpart. The look is a cool mix of traditional and modern and influenced by the old-school members clubs of years past, where people got properly dressed up to socialise and to gather to dine with friends. It’s colorful, classy and full of energy. I felt excited to be there. Yes, I was definitely feeling it.
But then we were shown to the outdoor terrace, where we would be dining that evening, and… how do you say “Holy view, Batman!” in Thai? Because not only is the decor just as gorgeous there as it is in the indoor seating area, but THAT VIEW!
The terrace, which can seat another 24 people, looks out to the bright lights and beauty of Causeway Bay. It is stunning and insanely romantic (are you listening, husband?). I was feeling so ramped up by the night that I had our server, Rad, take a photo with me so I could capture the fun, upbeat feeling of the night. He kindly obliged, and ended up adding to the enjoyment of our night with his outgoing, energetic personality and amazing service.
Issaya offers two tasting menus and an a la carte menu, and all the dishes are created using fresh, organic ingredients imported from Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. The dishes draw from traditional Thai cuisine with Chef Kittichai putting his own, innovative spin on it all drawing from his experiences living and working around the world.
I was able to have a nice little sampling of Issaya’s most popular drinks- the Pandan Cooler, Le Issaya Cocktail, and the Issaya mojito. They were all delicious, but the Pandan Cooler was my fave being perfectly light and refreshing. Le Issaya would have been better suited for someone with a sweet tooth for drinks.
The first thing we had the pleasure of trying (devouring) was the pomelo salad with seared tiger prawns, hard-boiled egg and peanuts in a red chili dressing.
The salad was creatively presented in a little clay pot which Rad (the server) then plated with the prawns and boiled egg piled on top of it. The dish was fresh, full of flavor and many interesting textures with the big, juicy pulp and the crunch of the peanuts having a party on my palate.
Next was the Mieng Tuna, the tuna tartare served in a cool pastry contraption. It is a beautiful dish separated into four, bite-sized portions of fresh tuna flavored with ginger, young tamarind leaves, fish sauce dressing and palm sugar. Its surprisingly sweet flavor was offset by the crispy, savory shell.
We enjoyed more table side service when Rad prepared each of us a bowl of delicious green curry soup. Not only was the entertainment factor awesome, but the flavor factor was, too. It was the perfect balance of spicy and sweet, and ended up being one of my favorite dishes.
We then enjoyed the Moo Manow or the Iberico pork loin salad. Loved the garlic chips in combo with the lime juice, chili and lemongrass. It made the dish light, especially for a pork dish.
I absolutely loved the Mussamun Gae, which was lamb shank simmered in mussaman curry served with pickled cucumber. The dish is to be consumed after pouring vinegar over the meat to cut the oily flavor. The lamb was so tender, it melted in my mouth
To add some rice to the mix, we had the Wok Sautéed Short Grain Rice with “Hed Por”. It was a dish made up of Asian multigrains, Chiang Mai mushrooms and garlic sprinkled with mushroom-scented oil. It was a perfect accompaniment to our heavy-sauced lamb dish.
The Kanom Dok Mali, a jasmine flower panna cotta served with jasmine rice ice cream and jasmine rice tuile, was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The creamy panna cotta imbued with subtle jasmine flavor was delightful, but eaten with the rice ice cream and the crunch of the crisped rice scattered all over the plate, made the whole dessert divine!
But then, this happened.
The cold coconut crepe soufflé for two with a variety of Thai condiments! The presentation alone got an applause from me. You must order this dish to see what I’m talking about. Soufflé filled with coconut cream and wrapped up in chocolate with delicious creamy, indulgent condiments to mix it with? You can’t go wrong with this one!
And if we weren’t already about to pop, the homemade ice cream and sorbet tasting flight sealed the deal. No way could we turn it down, but after we ate it, our trousers were turning down. No way we were fitting into our skinny jeans the next day. No way. I enjoyed every bit of my gorgeous dining experience at Issaya. The ambience was sparkly and fabulous, the food with its many fancy presentation features was honestly scrumptious and the view… I can’t wait to get back there.
Sassy Mama Perk!
Issaya is offering a special discount for Sassy Mama readers! Issaya hosts “Bubbles Wednesday” every Wednesday from 5:30 pm to 8 pm offering free flow bubbles for $228 HKD per person. But, from now through February 5, Sassy Mama readers can enjoy “Bubbles Wednesday” for $178 HKD per person. It’s an amazing deal. Bring your crew and tell them Sassy Mama sent you to get the offer.
And Issaya is celebrating the holidays with a series of cool, festive dining experiences for guests to enjoy starting December 24. Issaya will offer a 4-course set dinner ($820 HKD/person) which includes delectable dishes such as roast turkey breast salad, wok-seared hokkaido scallops in butternup soup and three delicious options for the main: baked black cod braised with green curry paste, Iberico pork in khao soy curry sauce and beefo short ribs with sweet with sweet chili-lime dipping sauce. Christmas lunch is also available from 14 December to 26 December 2015.
And then, on New Year’s Eve, Issaya will present a 5-course set dinner ($780 HKD/person from 6pm-9pm and $880 HKD/person (9pm- till late) which features dishes such as tiger shrimp and crab salad in a lemon grass-chili vinaigrette, grilled Maine lobster with mushroom essence, and mouth-watering, 24-hour slow-roasted pork belly in a sweet chili sauce. Guests can also opt for the Countdown Champagne Package served after 10p.m. on the 31st of December which includes one bottle of Moët & Chandon or Veuve Clicquot Champagne, six glasses of signature cocktails and snack platters ($1,680 HKD).
Issaya Siamese Club
25/F, Soundwill Plaza II – Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Tel: (852) 2154 3048