With its captivating culture, ancient traditions and sublime cuisine, Thailand holds a special place in the imagination of everyone who has visited it. Paying tribute to the enduring appeal of the "Land of Smiles", The Peninsula Hong Kong is launching "Tastefully Thai", a special programme of enticing promotions and experiences that celebrate Thai culture at its very best. Lovers of Thai cuisine are in for a tantalising treat as Hong Kong's Grande Dame welcomes Chamnan Thepchana, Chef of Thai Cuisine at The Peninsula Bangkok, who is jetting in for one week only to give guests an authentic taste of the country's distinctive flavours and exquisite signature dishes. Lauded for crafting classic Thai cuisine with a contemporary twist, Chef Chamnan will be serving up a variety of high-quality home-style dishes that are sure to delight any palate, including offerings based on recipes passed down over the centuries by cooks at the Thai Royal Palace. In the hotel's iconic Lobby, guests can enjoy a twist on a much-loved Peninsula tradition with the Thai Afternoon Tea promotion. Available from 24 March to 30 June 2015, and priced at HK$ 358* for one and HK$ 628 for two*, the tea set features a cornucopia of Thai delicacies including pandan chiffon cake, lemongrass and mango financiers, lime cream cheese with red berry compote and fresh ginger, coconut truffles, and shrimp, pork and coriander egg tarts, plus sandwiches with fillings such as Thai kaffir lime chicken, dill cucumber or smoked salmon and sour cream.
In the elegant surrounds of The Verandah, meanwhile, guests can enjoy a buffet menu featuring a variety of Thai classics. Priced at HK$ 448* per adult and HK$ 348* per child for lunch and HK$ 768* per adult and HK$ 558* per child for dinner, the menu features a rotating collection of signature dishes from Thailand alongside The Verandah's usual sumptuous international buffet selection from 15 May to 30 June 2015.
Diners will be spoiled for choice by appetisers such as grilled tiger prawns with pomelo fruit salad, Thai spice-marinated chicken or pork satay with peanut sauce, papaya salad with dried shrimp, and fried fish cakes with sweet and sour sauce and cucumber. Thai cuisine is also renowned for the intoxicating flavours of its soups, and those are well represented here with a trio of refined broths including sweet and sour soup with salmon, spring onion and ginger; spicy and sour soup with prawns and lemongrass; and spicy and sour coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass.
This attractive array of appetisers is followed by mains such as duck curry with tomatoes and pineapple, braised beef in massaman curry, wok-fried minced pork with chilli and hot basil, fried chicken with cashew nuts and capsicums, deep-fried snow fish with spicy sauce, stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp and egg, and wok-fried morning glory with oyster sauce and chilli. And to end the meal on a sweet note, the buffet also includes classic desserts such as ruby water chestnut with coconut milk and crushed ice, ripe mango with sticky rice, steamed custard in pumpkin, and mung bean with coconut meat.
The Lobby and The Pool also offer a selection of Thai delicacies from 15 May to 30 June 2015. The authentic Thai dishes include spicy and sour soup with prawns and lemongrass, chicken satay with peanut sauce, and steamed custard in a pumpkin.
Also available is a collection of intriguing cocktails featuring a variety of typically Thai ingredients. The refreshing Tuk Tuk Ride features an energising blend of gin, fresh lime juice, syrup and lemonade that has been given a Thai kick with the addition of lemongrass, chilli, ginger and kaffir lime leaf. Or transport yourself to a sun-drenched island paradise with the Thai Co Co, a combination of white rum, coconut water, fresh lime juice and grenadine, served in a coconut-shaped mug and garnished with a sprig of mint and a lime wheel. The White Silk, on the other hand, is comprised of white rum, fresh lime juice, coconut water, lychee liqueur, syrup, mangosteen and egg white, topped off with a lychee and a sprig of mint.
Those who prefer a non-alcoholic taste of Thailand can enjoy a trio of delicious mocktails. The Golden Temple features a mix of fresh pineapple juice, papaya and banana, while the Thai Iced Tea combines pandan-leaf-infused black tea with syrup, and comes adorned with a pandan leaf. For a spicy take on the Virgin Mary cocktail, the Siam Mary comprises an invigorating blend of tomato juice, fresh lemon juice, tom yum paste, pepper and salt, garnished with a kaffir lime leaf and lime wheel. The collection is available at The Lobby and The Verandah from 15 May to 30 June 2015, priced HK$ 148* each for the cocktails, and HK$ 108* each for the non-alcoholic cocktails.
As well as being the birthplace of one of the world's great cuisines, Thailand is renowned as a haven for those who seek rest and relaxation, and this proficiency in the art of pampering is reflected in a pair of indulgent treatments at The Peninsula Spa. Created as part of a collaboration between The Peninsula and the Wat Pho Buddhist Temple in Bangkok, which is famed for its health-enhancing massage techniques based on traditional Thai medicine, these treatments are designed to balance the body and mind while revitalising the spirit.
The Simply Peninsula Royal Thai Body Massage (90 minutes, HK$ 1,800*) is both stimulating and relaxing, comprising a pressure-point massage along the body's 10 major channels that releases blocked energy while increasing awareness and vitality and inducing a deep state of tranquility. The Simply Peninsula Royal Thai Massage with Herbal Compress (120 minutes, HK$ 2,200*) takes things a stage further with the addition of a soothing warm herbal compress to release muscle tension and energise the body. Featuring an aromatic infusion of Thai herbs, including lemongrass and ginger, the treatment is particularly effective in relieving muscle tension in the back, shoulder and neck areas, leaving guests feeling revived and restored.
The partnership between The Peninsula and the Wat Pho Buddhist Temple marks the first time that Wat Pho Temple has teamed up with an international hotel group. This collaboration has also spawned a special Thai Massage certification at The Peninsula Wellness Centre in The Peninsula Bangkok, which The Peninsula Spa's treatment manager in Hong Kong will undergo before passing on these sacred skills to the therapists. The above spa treatments are available from 24 March to 30 June 2015 and are subject to 10% service charge.
The Peninsula will also offer a touch of Thai visual flair with Elephant Parade®, an exhibition of 10 decorated elephant statues that will be on display until 30 June 2015. Created by hotly tipped, up-and-coming artists, each of the life-sized depictions of baby elephants is unique. Limited-edition replicas and other handcrafted products will be on sale, with proceeds supporting elephant welfare and conservation projects. See www.elephantparade.com for further details.