Is it too early to be coming down with the winter blues?
Don’t get me wrong, we’re all excited as autumn approaches, looking forward to thousands of twinkly bulbs lighting up the chilly evenings, ice skating at Somerset House and hot mulled wine at the Christmas markets; but eventually the biting cold starts to get to us and we lose our nostalgia for hot chocolate and fuzzy mittens. This is the moment we begin planning escapes to warmer climes, dreaming of sunshine and spice-scented breezes, sandy toes and salt-dusted skin.
It is music to our ears, therefore, that this November, Song Saa Private Island will be teleporting from Cambodia’s remote and beautiful Koh Rong Archipelago to the less far-flung environs of Marylebone. The brilliant Chef Sophat Hing will be leaving his home country for the very first time and travelling 10,000km to central London, where he will be taking the reins at renowned restaurant and pioneering dining hub, Carousel, to create the city’s first ever pop-up Khmer dining experience.
During his 10-night residency, Sophat will be spicing up the capital’s palate with Song Saa’s unique menu of modern takes on traditional Khmer cuisine, such as Amok trey – red snapper curry served in a banana leaf basket with coconut cream – and Cha K’dam M’rec Kchey Kampot – wok-fried mud crab with Kampot peppercorns. Oft-overshadowed by Thai Phad Thai and Vietnamese Pho, Khmer cuisine fuses hero ingredients such as sweet pomelo and green mango with fragrant pastes of lemongrass, turmeric, garlic and shallots to create a uniquely local flavour.
We may not be able to magic BIRD HQ to Song Saa’s white sand beaches and turquoise waters for the winter, but we can do the next best thing: wrap up warm and feast on faraway flavours. If this sounds like just the ticket to beat your winter blues, you’ll want to get in quick: this is set to be November’s hottest dining experience and tickets won’t hang around for long.
Sophat Hing at Carousel, 15-26 November 2016: the five-course set menu will be served nightly from Tuesday to Saturday and priced at £37.50 per person.
To book, visit www.carousel-london.com