Samui Wining & Dining
Dessert Island

Thai desserts with a new twist – at the innovative Twisted Thai restaurant.


Dessert IslandThe Thais do it differently. In the West, we’re used to a progression of plates. Something tantalising to start with. Then a soup maybe. And then a main course followed by something sweet. But for Thai people it’s all a bit of a picnic, with everything on the table at the same time. The main difference, though, is that they’re not so keen on ‘desserts’. Some fruit usually does the trick; sometimes mixed-in with a handful of sticky rice. But there’s one Thai restaurant that’s thrown all of these traditions out of the window. And it’s appropriately named Twisted Thai.


The idea of ‘fusion’ has been around for ages; it’s nothing new. But, looking back on it, it’s mostly an approach which takes Western dishes and enhances them with techniques and ingredients from other cultures. But at Twisted Thai they’re doing it the other way round. They’ve taken classic and traditional Thai dishes and deconstructed then reconstructed them: a contemporary approach that retains all the essential ingredients and flavours but re-presents them in startling new ways.


It’s ‘molecular gastronomy’ but applied to Thai food. It might be shrimp tom yam. And it’ll taste just like it and contain the same ingredients. But you may well be presented with tom yam ice-cream dusted with deconstructed shrimp powder and enhanced with fish sauce pearls, and with all the vegetables lined up on the plate alongside. It’s a long labour of love to balance and present the dishes and quite an adventure to eat them. And, excitingly, the team at Twisted Thai has also turned its attention to a range of desserts. They’ve taken rice, fruit and nuts, coconuts, coconut milk and even green Thai tea, and somehow morphed these humbly-traditional Thai ‘afterthoughts’ into tantalising desserts by wedding them to more-extravagant ingredients.


You really need to experience the delights of this novel approach to Thai cuisine for yourself – particularly if you’re already familiar with Thai food. But there’s an added bonus, too. Not only are the desserts here deliciously unusual, but this kind of adaptation really turns a bland plate of sticky rice and fruit into a world-class dish. They make an exciting climax for any Western-style meal. And it’ll really get your guests talking if you pop them in as part of a Thai dinner party.


Of course, the best way to go about all this is to get yourself off for the evening and down to Twisted Thai. It’s only a few minutes away from the main strip of Chaweng Beach, just around the corner in Chaweng Noi; you can even stroll there along the beach. Or you can head by road to Imperial Samui Beach Resort and take the complimentary buggy ride down. And, having discovered these deliciously-deconstructed delights, keenly-but-carefully save the recipes below. Guaranteed, all your friends will want a copy!


Gloe Buad Chee (galama banoffee)



Ingredients: (makes 6 portions)

5 bananas

250 gms short pastry pie base

25 gms galama

5 gms sesame seeds

25 ml condensed milk

Serve with dehydrated lime



Bring the condensed milk to the boil, cover and simmer for 6 hours.

Heat the oven to 170˚. Shape the pastry into the pie dish and bake for 20 minutes or until slightly brown.

The condensed milk will have thickened and caramelised; remove from heat and allow to cool.

When cool, stir the bananas and galama into the caramelised milk. Spread this mixture into the pie tin and sprinkle with sesame seeds. When everything has cooled, turn it out of the dish. Sprinkle with dehydrated lime and serve with pandanus cream.


Fuk Tong Ghang Buad (frozen pumpkin panacotta with toasted marshmallows)



Ingredients: (makes 6 portions)

350 gms pumpkin purée

2 gms salt

50 gms palm sugar

55 gms agar agar

200 mls coconut milk

100 mls milk

6 marshmallows

150 gms white chocolate

6 tsp wasabi sauce

1 pinch cinnamon



Add the pumpkin to the milk and cinnamon and bring to the boil whilst stirring. Remove from heat and mix in a blender, adding more of the hot milk if necessary.

Put the remainder of the milk together with the coconut milk into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the agar agar whilst stirring. Add the puréed pumpkin. Remove from heat, add salt and strain through a sieve. Pour into moulds, place in the fridge and allow to set.

To serve, toast the marshmallows. Grate the white chocolate and sprinkle over the marshmallows, with a dab of wasabi on top. Serve alongside the frozen pumpkin purée. And, if you really want to go all the way in true Twisted Thai style – decorate with buffalo milk foam and peanut glass!




Rob De Wet


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