Yesterday we cooked all the dishes that will be on our limited opening menu. We made the final measurements, weighing each portion, costing it out, plating it, photographing it, eating it. We'll do the same thing today (well, the cooking and eating parts anyway) and tomorrow while the space is repaired. Afterwards, I took my crew to a local bar and we drank a few bottles of whisky and talked, and the mood was calm and relaxed. We feel like family now.
I don't want to trod on kitchen cliches, but after two months of working with these people, 7 days a week, I really have an attachment to them that I've never felt in other work situations. They put it all out there. They get frustrated by me and I am occasionally dissatisfied with them but no matter what Bun and Eck and Ken and Nym are there, waiting for me in the Klong Toey market, or smiling at the grill when I arrive at 10am. They wai (bow) politely each night at 1am when they're dragging out the garbage, and do it all again the next day. I have so much respect for their work ethic, their trust in me, and their belief in the promise of our little restaurant. Those four people make me incredibly proud.
On that note, here's a few things we've been working on:
Burmese-style Gaeng Hang Lay (Pork belly curry w' dried spices), organic white jasmine rice.
One-bite chicken wings fried with lemongrass and lime leaves, Sriracha sauce, pickled ginger.
Nahm prik two ways: Roasted green chili salsa and sweet pork and tomato salsa served with quail eggs, pork rinds, okra and baby eggplant.
Beef Short-rib Khao Soi (curried noodles) with lime, chili, shallot and pickled mustard. Off to work.