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By the Plate: Thailand’s papaya salad, but fancier

Yes, you can have papaya salad with champagne.

The humble papaya: it’s one of those fruits that you don’t really think about. Sure, it’s in some healthy recipes, and it’s used in a variety of dishes around Asia. You can have it raw or cooked, and it comes in yellow or green. It’s not complicated or fancy or exotic. 

But in Bangkok, you can have it with champagne

The akyra Thonglor Bangkok Hotel in the Thai capital’s hippest district recently unveiled a new menu at their restaurant, Som Tam & Chardonnay. 

And true enough, Thailand’s most popular street food dish has been transformed into a luxurious and indulgent fine dining experience, one you can enjoy with your choice of Champagne or Chardonnay. 

It’s always fun to play with the familiar, to present it in a new light. Som tam, the celebrated spicy salad which is made using shredded green papaya, beans and tomatoes, blended together in a pestle and mortar with fish sauce, palm sugar, garlic and chili, and topped with peanuts. The expert Thai chefs at akyra Thonglor Bangkok Hotel have now enhanced this beloved dish by combining it with succulent Canadian lobster and oscietra caviar, one of the world’s most prized varieties of black caviar.

Papaya. With caviar and lobster. You weren’t expecting that, were you? 

If you want to get really fancy, have some champagne with the som tam. Order a glass (or a bottle!) of Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne, or choose from three exquisite Chardonnays: Echeverria Reserva 2017 from Chile, La Chapelle 2016 from Languedoc, France, and Main Divide 2015 from New Zealand.

Papaya, with champagne. How’s that for sophistication?