Yum Hua Plee: Banana blossom and heart of palm salad, crispy shallots and roasted peanuts in a chilli jam dressing
4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Road, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120
+65 2 672 9040
About the chef: While he was growing up, chef Pongtawat ‘Ian’ Chalermkittichai would rise at 3am daily to accompany his mother to the wet market to select produce for her neighbourhood grocery. After school, young Ian would push a cart through the neighbourhood selling his mother’s different curries, while shouting: “Khao Geang Ron Ron Ma Leaw Jaar!” (Hot curry coming!)
Other ventures: Today, Chef Kittichai is involved in 13 food and beverage outlets covering various different cuisines in four countries. His most recent opening was a fourth branch of Spot Dessert Bar in New York City.
Must-try dishes: There are several outstanding signatures at Issaya but most unmissable is Yum Hua Plee – banana blossom and palm heart salad, crispy shallots and roasted peanuts in a chilli jam dressing and Kittichai’s “broken bucket” dessert of Kanom Tung Taek – cold coconut crepe soufflé with Thai condiments.
Bonus point: Kittichai has appeared on various episodes of Iron Chef America, Iron Chef Japan and Iron Chef Thailand. In 2017, he filmed Chef to Chef and 3 Chefs, 1 City. These days, he’s the lead judge on MasterChef Thailand.
Images: Issaya Siamese Club