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A delicacy perfected in the court of King Rama II, modern gastronomes will appreciate the full sensory experience that khao chae entails. Individual grains of rice are repeatedly soaked and washed to produce a crystal clear porridge which is served with iced  jasmine-scented water. At Villa Mahabhirom in Chiang Mai, The Royal Khao Chae Mahabhirom, based on a recipe passed down through six generations of the royal family of Ban Mo Palace, is accompanied by classic sides such as fried salty-sweet shrimp paste and fish, and minced pork stuffed in bell peppers then delicately wrapped with egg. Artfully carved vegetables help sweeten one's breath while a candle with notes of frankincense further emphasises khao chae's myriad flavours.

Wine companion: Befitting a royal court setting, it’s time to pop the bubbly! The Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart 1999 of Billecart- Salmon Estate expresses a beautiful, aromatic richness.


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