Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mezza9 at Grand Hyatt : Thai Street Food

With 9 open-kitchen concepts each specializing in a specific
cuisine such as Western Grill, Japanese, etc, Mezza9 is an exciting theatre
capturing chefs in "live" action. Unlike its sister buffet restaurant
Straits Kitchen, Mezza9 focuses on ala carte dishes on weekdays and offers a
relaxing champagne brunch on Sundays. 
Beyond the transparent glasses of intense heat and battle with the pots and pans, the dining area exudes an air of contemporary Zen in which guests enjoy a merry chat over wines while waiting for their food.

The meal began with a complimentary bread with the perfect S-shape curve.  Served with a tomato relish instead of butter, it has such a fluffy interior that one can take an afternoon nap on it.  
Limited-time promotion menu always sound like an attractive deal and this month's specials features unique Thai Street Food prepared by resident Thai Chef Sittichok Panchum.  
The best way to try everything is of course, to go for the Tasting Platter ($45). Nonetheless, each component is available at ala carte and suitable for those who do not take certain kind of meat/seafoodThese dishes certainly looked like what you remembered of Thai cuisine, but with a whimsical twist. An example would be the Moo Yang-a dish of char grilled pork belly served on satay sticks on a bed of slightly undercooked Thai jasmine rice. 
While the pork juices and the honey herb marinade drooled onto the grains and made the dish a little oily, I put our reservations aside and dig in deep. The dish was so flavourful that I would be happy with just a bowl of that same fragrant rice and pork belly.  
But there are other interesting offerings such as Sei Kua, an indigenous fusion of Thai curries and western sausages. Instead of meat, glutinous rice takes the driver's seat in the sausage casing. It is drenched with a dry thick red curry with pork that was competently sweet.  
The Baby Octopus  was slightly chewy and rubbery, but its chilli sauces are unapologetically strong. The tongue starts burning from the chilli padi the more I chew into it but luckily, there were some cabbage slices to provide temporary heat relief.  
Meanwhile, there is also familiar classics like the traditional crispy thai fishcake. This is safe for those who are not adapted to chilli, as it has been masked by a transparent sweet thai dressing with sprinkles of peanuts. 
But nothing could beat the large and succulent spencer gulf prawns that have been lightly breaded and deep fried. The coconut could not be detected but it was so fresh that we had no problems demolishing them.
Don't forget to spoon the speckles of garlic, green and red chilli padi on the prawn before putting everything into the mouth. These potent spices warm the belly in seconds.   
Just like the prawns which were Sustainable Seafood Movement, the Fish of the Day (price subjected to vary) features any fish that are caught on that day. We had the Drum fish, which has a moist and not-too-flaky texture. Dusted with black specks of olives and tomatoes, the al-dente penne pasta are a comfortable match to the fish. 
By then, we were pretty stuffed but marched off bravely to conquer the dessert platter. We were usually loyal fans of milky chocolate ice cream rather than sour apricot or raspberry sherbet. But it is the red and yellow granite balls that added sparkle to the rich caramel molten chocolate cake. 
The icy sensation melts into tart juices that brings everything alive, including the banana crepe with that is super crispy but rather hollow on the inside.  Meanwhile, though the sourishness of the baked figs on puff pastry made one's face pucker unknowingly, it was nice balance to the sweet vanilla Creme custard sauce.  
Whether it's main courses or desserts, Mezze9 delivers. And even though it is a 5-star restaurant, its set lunches are reasonably priced at $29 for 2 course and $39 for 3 course from Monday-Saturday. What's even more attractive for me is the flexibility to choose starter-main/main-dessert. 

With that in mind, I have plenty of solid good reasons to come back again.   


Mezza9 at Grand Hyatt
Lunch: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, daily 
Dinner: 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, daily Sunday 
Brunch: 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, last pour at 2:45 pm


*Special thanks to Sandee for the invite and great hospitality.
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