As the perfect escape to Thailand, the award-wining restaurant Pai Thai takes guests on an unforgettable culinary journey.
Nestled within the serene gardens of the palatial Jumeirah Al Qasr, this one-of-a-kind restaurant is surrounded by lush greenery and pristine waterways for a completely dedicated experience.
There are some cuisines out there which are just universally popular around the world, and we think that Thai food is certainly one of them.
With the Head Chef at Jumeirah Al Qasr’s Pai Thai restaurant, Chef Amara Mahayothee making waves, her immaculate creativity and attention-to-detail ensures authenticity in whatever she creates.
Known for delivering an extraordinary experience with a burst of flavours, Emirates Woman spoke to Mahayothee to see how she puts her creativity to the forefront.
Talk us through your career.
My culinary journey has been an exciting and fulfilling one. It all started when I started my career as a Sous Chef at Blue Elephant Thai Restaurant in Al Bustan Rotana Hotel Dubai. This experience provided me with a strong foundation in Thai cuisine and allowed me to develop my skills and passion for the culinary arts. Following that, I had the opportunity to work in various renowned establishments. I took on roles in Wafi City’s Thai Chi Restaurant in Dubai and contributed to the pre-opening of Chop Chop Restaurant in Mall of Emirates Dubai and Thai Chi Restaurant Franchise in Kuwait. Additionally, I was involved in a special assignment at the Thai Consulate in Qatar, where I had the chance to showcase my culinary expertise and represent Thai cuisine. Before joining Jumeirah Group, I held the position of Head Chef at Bambooda Thai & Asian Restaurant in Roda Al Bustan Hotel Dubai and today, I am honored to serve as the Head Chef at Jumeirah Al Qasr’s Pai Thai restaurant.
Where does your love for food come from?
My love for food stems from my upbringing in a household that has a deep passion for cooking. Growing up, I was fortunate to have my mom as my greatest inspiration. She would dedicate countless hours in the kitchen, preparing delicious meals with love and care and as a curious child, I couldn’t resist the temptation of sneaking a taste of her curries when she wasn’t looking. Those small moments got me excited to start shadowing my mom around the kitchen and learning her recipes and techniques.
Tell us about the journey that guests can experience when they visit Pai Thai?
Guests can expect a captivating journey when they visit Pai Thai, starting with an abra ride through Madinat Jumeirah’s waterways. When they arrive at the stunning waterside location, they will discover a little piece of Thailand in the heart of Dubai – a restaurant that serves up a truly authentic Thai experience where guests can savour the vibrant flavours and spices of Thai cuisine. The menu features the perfect blend of Thai flavours and it includes soups, meat, seafood and curries fragrantly infused with Thai herbs and spices. The warm and inviting atmosphere adds to the charm, making the dining experience at Pai Thai truly unforgettable.
What are the hero dishes to try at the restaurant?
Some of the highlights and personal favorites on the menu include the tantalizing Tom Yum Soup, the classic Pad Thai, the flavourful Chicken Satay, the delightful Chor Muang and the delectable Prawn Curry.
As a highly accomplished chef, what sets your cooking style apart?
My cooking style is distinguished by my dedication to authenticity and innovation. I take pride in combining traditional recipes with my own creative flair to showcase the vibrant flavours and techniques of Thai cuisine. It is my passion and commitment to provide guests with an unforgettable culinary journey that delights them with each bite.
What are the hurdles that you’ve experienced during your career and how have you overcome them?
Thai cuisine presents its own set of challenges, and one of the main difficulties I face is sourcing authentic ingredients. Some of these ingredients may not be readily available, making creating truly authentic dishes challenging. Additionally, one of the complex tasks I face is ensuring that every dish I create is prepared from the depths of my heart and there are instances where some guests may not be completely satisfied. However, I’ve overcome these challenges by constantly striving to improve and learn. I am dedicated to ensuring that every dish I create not only meets the highest standards but also brings joy and satisfaction to the dining experience of my guests.
The restaurants offers an exclusive ‘Five tastes of Thailand’ menu – tell us more.
Guests are taken on a culinary journey of discovery that explores the five key flavours of Thailand – bitter, salty, spicy, sour and sweet. In every dish, each one of these flavours is often pronounced, complimented by a supporting act of some, or in some cases all of the others. Starters include the Gai Hor Bai Toey, marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaves, Chor Muang, purple flower chicken dumpling and Som Tam Pai Thai, green papaya salad. Mains feature Gaeng Massaman Nuea, braised beef massaman curry, Gaeng Panang Goong, tiger prawns in a creamy red curry sauce and Gaeng Khiew Wan Phak, mixed vegetable green curry. For the sweetest finish, the meal ends with the delicious Kao Niew Ma Muang, purple sweet sticky rice topped with ripe Thai mango. The sharing menu also has plant-based versions that can be enjoyed by vegans. Pai Thai serves this exclusive menu every Monday to Friday from 6pm until 11:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 PM – 11:30 PM. Dhs590 for two guests inclusive of food only and Dhs990 for two guests inclusive of wine pairing.
How does Pai Thai stand out with its exclusive culinary flavours?
Pai Thai stands out with its exclusive culinary flavours by providing guests with a truly unforgettable dining experience. When guests indulge in our dishes, they are treated to a delightful taste that is sure to leave a lasting impression. We take great pride in offering a unique and complete range of flavours that are unrivaled in Dubai or the UAE. Our commitment to using authentic ingredients and our skilled culinary techniques result in dishes that guests have likely never tasted before in this region. At Pai Thai, we strive to exceed expectations and provide an extraordinary gastronomic journey that will truly blow our guests away.
What’s next in the pipeline for the restaurant?
We have exciting plans in the pipeline to enhance our guests’ dining experience. Firstly, we are working on updating our à la carte menu, incorporating new and exciting dishes that showcase the best of Thai cuisine. These additions will further highlight my signature culinary style and offer a wider range of options for our guests to enjoy. Additionally, we are excited to extend our operating hours to include lunch and dinner services. This means that guests can now visit Pai Thai throughout the day and indulge in our exquisite menu.
Overall, how would you describe the UAE’s F&B scene?
The F&B scene in the UAE is quite diverse and offers a wide range of culinary options. In Dubai, there are many Thai restaurants available, but finding authentic Thai cuisine prepared by experienced Thai chefs can be a bit challenging and requires research and exploration to offer the real standard of Thai cuisine.
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