Thai cuisine is high on the list of favorite dishes for most foodies. But to really savor its contrasts of flavors, whether it is the beef massaman curry, tom yum gung (sweet and sour shrimp soup) or som tam (spicy green papaya salad), it must be prepared with authentic ingredients by chefs who know the cuisine perfectly.
To this end, Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) introduced Thai SELECT certification in 2006, as restaurants popped up around the world to meet growing demand.
“Thai SELECT is a certification mark awarded by the Ministry of Commerce to ensure the authenticity of Thai restaurants,” said Panot Punyahotra, director of Thai Trade Center – Dubai. It is the assurance that the food served in a restaurant with the Thai SELECT certification is prepared in the traditional Thai style using the appropriate ingredients.
“The goal is to increase recognition of quality Thai restaurants and encourage Thai restaurateurs to increase the quality of their food and service while maintaining the authenticity of Thai cuisine,” he adds.
In order to receive Thai SELECT certification, restaurants must adhere to strict guidelines. In addition to using authentic ingredients, chefs should be trained in preparing authentic Thai dishes and should have at least two years of experience.
“Thai SELECT not only certifies the food, but also the hospitality and atmosphere of the restaurant,” Punyahotra explains. Based on the level of excellence, the certification is divided into four levels – Thai SELECT Signature, Thai SELECT Classic, Thai SELECT Casual and Thai SELECT Unique, which is reserved for restaurants in Thailand.
In the United Arab Emirates, the Thai Trade Center – Dubai performs unannounced inspections to decide if a restaurant is eligible for Thai SELECT certification, valid for two years.
Punyahotra says receiving this prestigious recognition is not easy: “The bar is high and the guidelines are strict.
This explains why there are only about fifteen restaurants in the United Arab Emirates that have received the seal of approval from the Ministry of Commerce.
So, the next time you feel like trying Thai cuisine, be sure to visit one of these restaurants dotted across the Emirates for an authentic experience. Whether it is one of the Little Bangkok restaurants dotted around Dubai or Benjarong in Dusit Thani in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, or for that matter the Bangkok Town restaurant in Sharjah or the Spicy and Ginger Thai restaurant in Business Bay, you can enjoy authentic, succulent dishes created by chefs familiar with Thai cuisine.
SELECT Thai Restaurants in United Arab Emirates
Bambooda Thai Fusion, Garhoud
Bangkok city restaurant, Sharjah
Benjarong Restaurant – Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
Benjarong Restaurant – Dusit Thani Dubai
Charm Thai Dubai, Dubai Marina
Desert Lotus – Thai Bistro & Sushi
Restaurant Khao Siam 45, Al Barsha
Khun Chai Thai Restaurant, B2 Mall Jumeira St. Dubai
Small Bangkok – JLT
Little Bangkok – Media City
Little Bangkok – UP Tower, next to Emirates Tower metro
Siam Restaurant FZE, Dubai-Mina Rashid
Spicy and Ginger Thai Restaurant, Business Bay
Thai cuisine, Park Hyatt Dubai
Wise Kwai – Dusit D2 Kenz Hotel Dubai
Want to be one of the four lucky winners?
While you savor the delicacies with all your senses at these restaurants, don’t forget to capture them in a beautiful photo and post it on your Instagram account. Identify three of your friends, as well as @ThaiTradeCentre_Mena and the restaurant for a chance to win an iPhone 12 Max Pro. But make sure the Thai SELECT logo is on your photo. Four lucky winners would be announced at the end of the competition, which will run until September 22.
So what are you waiting for?
For more information on Thai SELECT certification, visit Thaiselect.com
This content is sourced from Reach by Gulf News, which is GN Media’s branded content team.