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Discover Breathtaking Bhutan through Chef Sonam!

12:00 PM , 0 Comments

~Invited Session~

Nestled high in the Himalayas, the Kingdom of Bhutan has always been regarded as one of the most exclusive travel destinations in the world. In reality, this ‘Happiest Kingdom on Earth’ is an accessible five-hour plane ride away from Singapore.

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I had the privilege of enjoying a dinner put together by Chef Sonam Tshering, Chef Sonam co-owns Chh’a Bistro, and looks to modernize Bhutanese food for international palates, while still preserving its heritage and culture. With ambitions to put Bhutanese food on the global stage, Chef Sonam evangelizes Bhutanese cuisine as a culinary instructor in cooking schools.

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Welcome drinks of honey water.

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Bhutanese craft beer. 

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Dishes were served with Bhutan Steamed Red Rice.

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Sisi Shamu Soup
Bhutanese Chanterelle Soup with Popped Rice

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This was mushroom soup without the heavy cream and crispy rice topping, almost gruel like in consistency but retaining that light earthy flavours.

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What happened after that was a mishmesh of spicy and savoury, warm and cold all in a single plate. I love my chillies with a vengeance and chillies are used liberally in the Bhutanese dishes sampled but they do not exactly have the same kind of heat that our chilli padis pack. Peppercorn gives the heat and chillis the tongue tingling burns but that was really just it. Cheese, chillies and peppercorns are staples along side their mostly dried food menu which is reflective of the cuisine.

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Cucumber Hog A Y
Bhutanese Cucumber Salad with Cottage Cheese and Szechuan Pepper

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Shik Am Paa
Pan-fried Bhutanese sundried Pork with Dried Turnip Leaves

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Shakam Paa
Bhutanese Dried Beef with Dried Red Chillies


Shamu Kam Datshi
Dried Bhutanese Mushroom Stew with Cheese and Green Chillies

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Ema Datshi
Bhutanese Chillies Compote with Cheese, Onions and Tomatoes

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Kewa Datshi
Simmered Bhutanese Potato with Cheese

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Dolom Datshi
Sauteed Dried Eggplant Topped with Cheese

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Nosha Tsoem
Dried Beef Stew with Dried White Chillies

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Patsha Damruu
Cane Shoots Stew with Spinach, Milk, Cottage Cheese

Bitter in taste, it takes some getting used to.

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Yak Cheese

Deemed as a treat in Bhutan and this only appears during important functions. Truth be told, dessert is a rarity in Bhutan and it is a treat indeed. These tough as rubber yak cheese required plenty of jaw work and I ended up with an aching jaw thereafter but it was a nice way to end the meal - served with a sweet drizzle of butter and sugar.

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A bhutanese woven tingkat!

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Red and white chillies used very commonly in the Bhutanese cuisine.

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Also common is peppercorns. Biting into them released fragrance and a tongue numbing sensation.

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Is your interest piqued in paying Bhutan a visit?

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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