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Khao Yai’s Best Local Dishes


How the natural landscape flavours our cuisine

Khao Yai is one of Southeast Asia’s most fertile regions and InterContinental Khao Yai Resort proudly offers some of the finest natural foods in Thailand.

The Khao Yai corridor is the gateway to the expansive Korat Plateau, and the area around the national park is full of lush rolling hills. Broad green acres and fields of flowers are common sights and sprawling orchards and organic farms produce dozens, if not hundreds of fresh products. Local favourites include mangoes, grapes and dragon fruit, mulberries and bananas, corn, dairy and steak, herbs, honey and wine.

If you’re looking for the true flavour of Khao Yai, look no further. Here are a few of our favourites.

FEATURED DISHES – from Somying’s Kitchen
Main course – Somying Saab

Gai Yang is savoury grilled chicken and a local Isaan classic which is traditionally sold onboard trains, in and around train stations and in the most bustling parts of Thai cities.

It is meticulously marinated and grilled till soft and fragrant. Somying’s Kitchen uses only locally-sourced Korat chicken as a base, and tops it off with a tabletop full of fresh ingredients.

Gai Yang is best enjoyed accompanied by other Isaan foods – especially sticky rice, papaya salad and pork salad, prepared Korat style.

The furniture and decoration at Somying’s Kitchen also have a distinct train theme, giving you the opportunity to enjoy this dish the old-fashioned way – in a railcar seat, with a beautiful view out the window.

For Dessert – Gluay Cheum

Namwa Phan Pak Chong 50 bananas are a special local variety, grown only in Pak Chong district.

They are the fruit of extensive research by Ajarn Kanlayanee Suwitawat, a faculty member of the School of Agriculture at Kasetsart University. He studied and developed banana varieties for more than a decade, and named this type for the 50th anniversary of the Pak Chong Research Station.

InterContinental Khao Yai Resort sources these delicacies from local villagers who grow them in Pak Chong. The fruit is famous for its size, firm flesh and sweet aroma.

Natural local honey, candle-smoked coconut milk foam and roasted coconut toppings help bring out the exquisite flavour of the bananas.

It’s a relatively simple dessert made with pure ingredients and the presentation at Somying’s Kitchen is similarly exquisite.

Main course – Beef Burgundy

Though it is not a local Thai ingredient, Australian Wagyu Tenderloin Grade 8 is one of the finest meats in the world. A grain-fed diet makes the beef incredibly tender and fragrant.

At Poirot, the steak is prepared with a rich sauce alive with the flavours of meat and red wine.

We also serve it with local organic vegetables, smoked bacon and mashed potatoes with French onion butter.

For dessert – Strawberry Flambé

Another local indigenous Thai species, the Prarajathon Strawberry 88 was developed as part of the Ang Khang Royal Project, in Fang district of Chiang Mai province.

The luscious and tender fruit grows best in the cool mountain air of Thailand’s northern region. The sweet red gems are then topped with a creamy liquor flambé and served with a sour yoghurt foam, plus Chiang Mai honey ice cream.

The sweet and sour taste of the dessert is beyond compare and the frozen-meets-fiery presentation is a show unto itself.

FEATURED – at Papillon Bar
Top-Smoke Negroni

Gushing smoke like a steam engine, the Top Smoke Negroni is one of the most dramatic cocktails at InterContinental Khao Yai Resort.

It requires not only skillful preparation, but also local ingredients, as well as fresh herbs and spices. The smoke comes courtesy of dried pine needles, which are sourced from the Khao Yai region. These are lit and stirred into thick smoke which then fills the glass, providing a rich and exquisite flavour.

The cocktail features Saneha – a famous local Thai gin – and when the smoke spills out onto the countertop, the drink takes on a distinct taste of adventure and excitement.

Refreshing Bubblies

Platform, The Engine and Seating are three of the most popular train-themed drinks at Papillon Bar.

These wine-based fruit cocktails sparkle with beautiful colours and when enjoyed in the upcycled train setting of Papillon give you a reminiscent feeling – like sipping drinks in a long gone glamorous era.

All three drinks begin with fresh fruit juices sourced directly from Khao Yai farms. Splashes of alcohol and sparkling wine combine to create a refreshing drink, and all three are best enjoyed as appetisers before dinner.

FEATURED DRINK – at Terminus Bar
Aroy and Negroni Aroy

Aroy means ‘delicious’ in Thai and this pair of drinks is shaped by fresh fruit plucked straight from farms in Khao Yai.

One of our favourite locations is Khao Yai Mulberry Farm. Its specialty is rich and flavourful red and purple berries, which are perfect for sweet desserts and refreshing drinks.

The farm also specialises in a number of varieties – including both Thai and foreign species.

Other tropical Thai fruits can be found in cocktails and drinks at Terminus Bar, including mangoes and passion fruit. They all have one thing in common though – they’re grown locally without insecticides in safe agricultural gardens which meet the most stringent Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards.

Both drinks featured here use a pair of techniques known as grinding and muddling. Grinding brings out the essential flavours in ingredients, while muddling is a form of preparation which involves pummeling fruits, herbs and spices with a blunt tool similar to a pestle. This careful systematic crushing releases a world of aromas and then combines the varied raw tastes into an incredibly flavourful paste.

This aromatic and pulpy herbal fruit base is then stirred and shaken with high-end liqueurs – in this case gin, vermouth and bitter aperitif.

The best accompaniment to the Aroy drinks is actually the brilliant natural scenery of Khao Yai surrounding Terminus Bar. Both of these drinks were developed by creative masterminds at InterContinental and can only be enjoyed at the resort.


To experience more true flavours of the local region, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort recommends getting out and experiencing some of the nearby world-class attractions firsthand.

Thai Herbal House – This throwback pharmacy and natural market grows, produces and sells an array of natural products. This taste of ancient local culture is an important part of our Khao Yai Community Spirit tour.

Vineyards & wine tasting– The rolling mountainous terrain, bright sun and cool temperatures of the Khao Yai region make it ideal for growing grapes. Bicycle tours are a popular way to sample and enjoy a wide variety of incredible wines.

Ranches – Fresh dairy and steaks can both be found nearby; most famously at Farm Chokchai.

Farm tours – The fertile hillsides and valleys around Khao Yai National Park are home to an array of farms and orchards which grow grapes, dragon fruit, avocados, custard apples, mushrooms and more.

There is no shortage of crisp produce and sweet and juicy fruit in the region. Local experiences include sampling mango ice cream and candies, and picking fresh strawberries.

Cooking class – If you’re interested in the farm-to-table process, or just looking for some delicious new Thai recipes, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort offers specialised cooking classes.