Thailand meets Las Ruinas, A fusion of taste and environment

By admin | March 21st, 2010

It has been almost a month since I have written about food in Boquete Panama, I eat at home more. I gave up writing reviews of restaurants some time ago and switched to writing first impressions because I only found a few restaurants in Boquete consistent enough to merit a real review. This is not a review, not a first impression but a compliment to the chefs, both of them.

In my Boquete experience I have seen many restaurants come and go. Some of these had great promise, most never lived up to their opening potential. Las Ruinas on the road to David across from Brisas, had great promise and has lived up to it. Craig Jacobs, the owner and Chef is a professional, both in the kitchen and in the ever so important acquisition of raw materials. Too many restaurants don’t realize if you start with low quality ingredients and cook them well you still have low quality food. Craig a professionally trained chef, understands quality starts with the purchasing and he has proven he can acquire excellent foods, prepare them well and serve them in a reasonable time, constantly. He is a master of buy fresh local products and adjust your menu to what is quality at the moment.

When Craig discovered fresh Blackberrys, he picked them himself and then created Blackberry cobbler. The Blackberrys have been in Boquete for years, no one else put the combination of fresh, local and innovate together.

Add to the mix Craig is smart enough to spot a good thing even if it is another chef, this one from Thailand.
I confess that I know Pon as a friend and have enjoyed her cooking since she arrived in Boquete. In that time I have watched her move from making do with local ingredients to literally growing her own. Pon now combines the best of what she can find with Thai peppers and other additions grown in Boquete.

My experience watching Pon’s cuisine develop makes me more qualified to credit Craig with doing something right, having Thai night with Bambu Lampang at Las Ruinas.
This week, Bambu Lampang fed more than one hundred hungry people in two packed seatings at Las Ruinas. The meal was four courses, starting with sushi rolls and spring rolls, the un-fried fresh type. After the appetizer came two tastes of marinated fresh vegetables.

After that came a choice of three different flavors for a main course. One featuring Pork in Thai Curry, another Tom Yum with giant shrimp and the other a Pad Thai with chicken. All were well received all had taste, all were devoured at our table with glee.


The final course was desert and that became either or both a coconut cheese cake or that fabulous fresh black berry cobbler. Craig was fast to do second portions of postre, excellent deserts.

I spoke with numerous people who finished dinner as we were arriving and the accolades were universal; I will add mine to the list. If you missed this opportunity and want to try some great Thai Food, Pon is at the Tuesday meeting this week or just call Craig and encourage him to do it again.


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