We've seen some of the world's best chefs, including Redzepi and Atala put a spin on cooking with ants, and the team at the Nordic Food Lab put an experimental twist on Eating Insects. But what does it look like when a fine dining restaurant chooses to feature a whole host of insects on their daily menu?
The answer can be found at the newly opened Insects in the Backyard – Thailand's first fine dining restaurant boasting an insect-centric menu, where ravioli come stuffed with crab and water beetle, tortellini nestle in a creamy tomato topped with white crickets and tiramisu is liberally dusted with silkworm powder.
Located at the lifestyle space at Changchui Art Hub in Bangkok, the restaurant is embracing the ethos of sustainability and experimentation in the future of food. Chef Ma Thitiwat, who has previously worked at the likes of Sirocco leBua and the US's Mohgan Sun, is trying to make this food accessible to the wary diner: “I’m not trying to make scary food,” he told The Guardian.
And we'd have to agree. It takes a closer inspection of the attractive selection of dishes shared on the restaurant's website to reveal various six-legged surprises. From Coleoptera to Lepidoptera, or beetles to caterpillars, to any non-entomophogists out there, most of the insects used in the restaurant are sourced from family-run farms around Thailand and raised in chemical-free environments, says co-owner Regan Suzuki Pairojmahakij, and also look quite at home served up for dinner.
The restaurant can be found at 462 Sirindhorn Rd, Khwaeng Bang Phlat, Khet Bang Phlat, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10700, Thailand
In the meantime, here's a selection of dishes from the menu, where the cry of 'waiter there's a fly in my soup' probably won't raise any eyebrows.
(cream of chestnut soup with quail and bamboo caterpillar - top image)
Crab and giant water beetle ravioli, turmeric saffron sauce
Scallops, Jerusalem artichoke and crispy bamboo caterpillars
Lobster grasshopper bisque risotto with seafood and sundried tomatoes
Green goddess wild greens salad with pan-fried crickets and grasshoppers
Grass fed Beef tortellini with creamy tomato sauce and white cricket
Grilled Grouper with ant caviar
Pan-fried chicken breast with Japanese sweet potatoes and white crickets
Nachos with silkworm and cherry salsa
Classic Italian Tiramisu made with Silkworm Powder
Dal is one of those recipes that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Unlike dishes such as biryani, brought to India by the Moghuls, it is one of those foods that has always been there. It is therefore a building block of Indian culture.