Yum-Sa, Yumsa Putney London, London | Inspiration

Inspiration

Southern Thailand

In peninsular Southern Thailand with a more Malay influence, the food tends to be very spicy. Having an abundance of coconut groves, the curries are thick and rich with coconut. There is a lot of seafood and the staple rice is Jasmine rice.

A typical dish down there might be something called Kaeng Tai Pla, which is a very, very spicy curry made from fish.

 

Central Thailand

Bangkok is in the centre at the Chao Phraya River delta, so a lot of the country's vegetables and fruits are grown nearby.

The staple rice is Jasmine, and the food dishes here tend to be more refined with many influenced from the Chinese. A Central Thai dish would be Kaeng Phet Pet Yaang, which is The Red Curry with Roasted Duck in it. It is this fusion of Thai ingredients with roasted duck that is indicative of a Central Thai dish.

 

North-Eastern Thailand (Isan)

In North-Eastern Thailand or Isan, the locals are mostly ethnically Lao and some Khmer with an arid climate. The food tends to be quite simple and spicy where sticky rice is the staple. Here Pla Ra or Padaek, which is the fermented freshwater fish makes the popular fish sauce. Probably the most iconic dish that comes out of this region is Som Tum, a papaya salad.

 

Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai and regions bordered by Laos and Burma [Myanmar] are in a mountainous, forested region influencing the cuisine to be more herbaceous. Blessed with lots of freshwater fish and domesticated animals and not a lot of coconuts historically, so the old-school, traditional food from here is more brothy, steamed food. Larb, a minced meat salad made with herbs, fried garlic, shallots and spices, is a typical dish where the staple rice is sticky rice.

 

The Ramakien

The Thai interpretation of the most important epic of Southeast Asia – a myth that appears in varying forms across India, where it originated and is known as the Ramayana, a story that closely parallels Western myths, such as those of the Iliad, recounting the struggle between the forces of good and evil, personified in the divine Phra Ram and the King of the Demons, Totsakan …

This mythical adventure has been the strongest influencer in the development of the brand Yum Sa where the elements of the Ramakien are seen in the Hand Painted Wallpaper on the walls and embellished in 22K Gold.

 

The Khon

The Khon Mask makers in the Saphan Mai community is located in Soi Prachachuen 18, a quiet street with a mix of high-rise apartments and old houses in the outskirts of Bangkok. This community is not easy to find.

Khun Prathip described how to make the Khon masks, the headpiece for the Khon dance. Papier mache is pasted over a clay or plaster mould to create the basic frame for the headpiece. Several layers are stuck on and dried in the sun. The process is repeated.

Plaster or flour is used to harden the mask which is cut in half and removed from the mould. The two halves are stitched together, and the stitch marks pasted over. Various designs are added on and the masks are painted with different colours to depict the characters in the Khon dance.

A wide range of headpieces is required for the characters in the drama. Masks for the forces of good are made with elaborate crowns; masks for villains are bald with fearsome tusks.

According to Khun Prathip, the former Saphan Mai community was much larger before, living in the slum area along the Soi. With the construction of modern apartments, many of the slum dwellers have been evicted or relocated.

 
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  • Unit 1, 3 Plaza Gardens, 88 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 2DT
    London
    2033719111

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