'In India, people take a lot of bribe'

Expat zone

Bangalore has time and again emerged as the best Indian city when it comes to the quality of living for expatriates. Metrolife interacts with Paithoon, an expat from Thailand, to find out about his life here.

Expert : Paithoon dh photo by shivakumar b h

He dishes up a salad in seconds and serves it to you with a smile. It’s not a wonder why Paithoon Panphan, the Thai Chef at OKO, the pan Asian restaurant at the Lalit Ashok, has made the place all the more popular among the people of the City.

It’s all thanks to his incredible skills and expertise of years. Hailing from Lam
Plai Mat which is on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, Paithoon came to the City in 2009 on contract and has been here since then.

“I just love the weather of Bangalore and the people are really friendly here,” he smiles.

Ask him if he has explored other parts of the country and he says, “I want to go to Kolkata as people say Kolkata is a lot like Thailand. A lot of people from Kolkata come to Thailand as well.” Sometime back, he had been to Delhi for the ‘Thai Food Festival’ and says he would love to go back.

“My brother lives in Delhi and I met a lot of interesting chefs out there during the festival.” However, he feels Bangalore is the best City in India. “The people here are more helpful than the people of other cities,” he notes.

Being an expert chef, Paithoon has tried out various Indian dishes.

“I love biryani and yellow dal. Not just to eat but even to prepare,” he laughs.

Ask him if the Thai dishes available in Bangalore are similar to those of Thailand  and he says, “The green, yellow and red curry are almost the same. But the Pad Thai Noodles taste different in different places over here. Besides, there is a lot of vegetarian food available here compared to Thailand.”

Paithoon also feels that of all the dishes he makes, his best preparation is the Pad Thai Noodles. “Thai food is full of flavours. We use ingredients like basil, lemon grass and kafi lime which add to the taste of the food,” he adds. Has he seen any Indian movies? “I have watched a few of them but I don’t remember the names. I mute the channel and watch them,” he jokes.

During his initial days, he always used to go out accompanied by someone. But now, he manages to travel alone. His favourite haunt is Mantri Mall where he eats and shops whenever he gets free time. “But the auto drivers charge a lot. From the Lalit Ashok, I have paid Rs 80-100 to get there!” he laments.

 “The tuk tuk in Thailand is the same like the auto in India,” he adds. He is also into martial arts and indulges in Muay Thai, a form of kickboxing popular in Thailand, in his free time and believes in eating healthy.

His wife and children live back home and visit him once a year.

Paithoon goes there every year for a month too. So who cooks at home — him or his wife? He jokes, “My wife only sits and eats. She is very smart!”

Comparing India and Thailand, he says, “Thailand has beautiful beaches but it’s extremely hot. Here, the weather is nicer. But in India, people take a lot of bribe. In Thailand, you don’t have any such problem.”

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