Preview of the MasterChef Finalist Pop Up Event at Nipa Thai

Win a Trip to Thailand and enjoy superb Thai food and wine – 25-26 September 2019. Peter Morrell reports

Guests attending the MasterChef Pop Up Event at Nipa Thai on either Wednesday 25, or Thursday 26 September 2019, will have the chance to win return flights from London to Bangkok, courtesy of Thai Airways, plus a three-night stay at the Royal Lancaster London’s sister 5-star hotel, ‘Lancaster Bangkok’.

The award-winning restaurant Nipa Thai will be hosting an exclusive four-course dinner, with dishes inspired by a beautiful poem written by King Rama II. The menu has been created by MasterChef finalist Nawamin Boss Pinpathomrat and Nipa Thai Head Chef Sanguan Parr.

I recently previewed the food and wine that will be served during this exclusive pop-up, and they were superb. Greeted with a coconut caipirinha in the Park Restaurant I perused the exciting menu and sampled four delicious canapés. These were a steamed rice parcel with pickled radish and peanut, edible baskets of chicken and sweetcorn, crispy bag-shaped wontons with prawn and spring onion and diced Thai herbs with roasted coconut and fish sauce nestling in a Lotus petal. These all created little flavour explosions in the mouth. It was a good start.

I then moved through to the beautifully decorated Nipa Thai dining space which has extensive views over Hyde Park. The starter was pillowy fried sea bass with Thai flavourings and a sauce served in a large split prawn. This dish was a clever mix of tastes and textures.

The main was a quartet of sharing dishes, a beef Massaman curry with new potatoes and red onion which had great depth of character, salted pork belly in a fried fish sauce showing a subtle flavour, an exotic vegetable broth which was very delicate and a crab and coconut relish with vegetables, in many ways my favourite. Every diner had a half coconut shell of Thai rice.

This was an impressive line-up with unique pings of flavour from the authentic ingredients. I spoke with Head Chef Sanguan who explained that the fresh herbs and spices are flown in from Thailand every Wednesday.

The dessert was the final triumph – coconut sticky rice with caramelised coconut and a powder blue coconut custard. The dish was called Swan Lake as this tasty confection appeared to be gracefully traversing an azure lake. This final touch, like the intricately carved fruit and vegetables, made it a very aesthetic and holistic dining experience created by the all-female Thai kitchen brigade.

There was a matched wine flight offering three high quality, award-winning vintages from the Thai winery, Monsoon Valley Vineyard. The starter was paired with a bright and aromatic Colombard showing gooseberries, green apples and intriguing shards of pineapple. The main was accompanied by a robust Shiraz, this had intense red stone fruit flavours in the bouquet which were joined on the palate with oaky vanilla and spices. Pudding was complemented by a revelation, a dessert chenin blanc. The result of the grapes being left on the vine to concentrate the sugars had produced a nectar-like wine with aromas of dried fruit and white peach.

Nipa Thai has a reputation of serving the best Thai food outside of Thailand, after eating this meal I would thoroughly agree. The pop-up is an unmissable culinary experience.

Nawamin Boss Pinpathomrat

Nawamin made it through to the MasterChef finals in 2018, impressing the chefs with his dishes. Nawamin is a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Oxford and a MasterChef finalist. Growing up in a traditional Thai household, his mother passed on her cooking knowledge to Nawamin and his brothers. Nawamin also lived with his grandmother, his greatest cooking influence, who helped him fall in love with cooking.

Nawamin said: “Royal Thai cuisine is elegant and flavourful. The preparation is incredibly technical to ensure all the dishes deserve to be on the table for the royal members. The Royal Coronation of King Rama X clearly shows how Thai traditions are still influenced by the Royal family.”

Nipa Thai

Nipa Thai has received the prestigious “Thai Select” award from the Thai Government for its authentic cuisine. This accolade is presented to Thai restaurants proven to have achieved the highest standards of quality. The 55-seat restaurant features a teak panelled interior with traditional Thai furnishings, and ornate decorations crafted in Thailand. The authentic décor complements the cuisine which is served by Thai staff.

The restaurant delivers outstanding traditional cuisine that combines hot spices with mild and sweet flavours, offering a mix of dishes from Thailand’s central region. Each of the dishes is prepared by the Head Chef Sanguan Parr and her dedicated team according to traditional recipes.

Head Chef Sanguan Parr

Head Chef Sanguan Parr was born in Thailand and moved to the UK in 1984. She has been working in Nipa for 16 years since starting out as an Administrative Chef, and later working as Sous Chef for the past 6 years. The service is overseen by Nipa Thai’s Restaurant Manager, Kaseam Jongpitakrat.

MasterChef Finalist Pop Up Event at Nipa Thai

  • Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 September 2019
  • The pop-up will run in two sitting 6-8pm and 8-10pm
  • The dinner is priced at £75.00 per person
  • The Monsoon Valley Vineyard wine flight is £25 per person
  • Book by visiting the Nipa Thai website, below

Nipa Thai, 1st Floor, Royal Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY
Reservations +44 20 7551 6011 or @nipathailondon

Competition Terms and Conditions:
Valid from 30 September 2019 to 30 September 2020. Prize includes two return economy flights to Bangkok with Thai Airways with a 3-night stay including breakfast at Lancaster Bangkok. Flights and hotel prize redemption is subject to availability.

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