Head chef's picks: Fireback’s must-try menu delights

Fireback’s Chef Prantush Rai gives an exclusive peek into some culinary gems served at the restaurant in Siolim
CHEF RECOMMENDS: Head Chef Prantush Rai shares insights into the world of Thai cuisine.
CHEF RECOMMENDS: Head Chef Prantush Rai shares insights into the world of Thai cuisine.

Have you ever entered a restaurant unsure of what to order? Guess what, you’re not alone, we’ve all been there!

Whether it’s the plentiful options listed, the lack of information about a cuisine or simply our indecisiveness, sometimes making a pick from the menu can be quite confusing.

But, if you are heading to Fireback, a Thai Restaurant and Bar, nestled along Siolim’s creek, Gomantak Times Digital gives you the inside scoop. Sharing insights into the world of Thai cuisine, Head Chef Prantush Rai recommends some of his personal picks.

SIOLIM'S GEM: Fireback is a Thai Restaurant and Bar in North Goa.
SIOLIM'S GEM: Fireback is a Thai Restaurant and Bar in North Goa.Photo: Rohit Chawla

With 15 years of experience, today Prantush works behind the scenes at Fireback. Under the guidance and collaboration of culinary masterchef David Thompson, Prantush presents the restaurant’s culinary creations and Thai cuisine's diverse flavours to his guests.

Masterfully balancing sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours in each dish, Thai food is a vibrant and flavourful cuisine.

“Thai food is known for its bold and aromatic profiles, as it features a wide variety of fresh herbs, spices and other ingredients. Some key elements include lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil and chilli peppers, which impart unique and complex flavours,” says the chef.

HAPPINESS IN A BOWL: Chef Prantush recommends Coconut Galangal Soup which is perfect to warm you up.
HAPPINESS IN A BOWL: Chef Prantush recommends Coconut Galangal Soup which is perfect to warm you up.Photo: Rohit Chawla

Prantush recommends the fragrant and creamy Coconut Galangal Soup at Fireback for starters. “This is made of fresh coconut milk and aromatic galangal, delivering a balance of creamy, sour and spicy flavours,” he reveals.

Thai cuisine also offers a harmonious blend of flavours and textures, creating a culinary experience that is both visually appealing and delicious. Some popular Thai dishes include Pad Thai (stir-fried noodles with shrimp or chicken), Tom Yum Soup (a spicy and sour soup with shrimp or chicken), and Som Tam (green papaya salad).

SO GOOD: Massaman Curry contains lamb, pumpkin, potatoes, coriander seeds, onions and peanuts.
SO GOOD: Massaman Curry contains lamb, pumpkin, potatoes, coriander seeds, onions and peanuts.Photo: Nolan Lobo

“In fact, Thai curries are particularly notable, ranging from mild and creamy to spicy and fragrant, depending on the region and ingredients used,” shares the chef, adding that at the restaurant, these rich and flavourful curries are crafted with fresh ingredients and traditional spices.

Other must-try small bites on Fireback’s menu stash include, Corn Fritters with Ajad (crispy corn fritters served with ajad, a tangy and sweet cucumber relish); Scallop Salad (which is a refreshing and light salad featuring tender scallops, perfectly balanced with fresh herbs, spicy notes, and a savoury umami dressing) and Fried Pork Belly with Charred Cabbage and Tamarind Dip which is inspired by a fond childhood memory of grandma's home-cooked meals.

WORTH THE HYPE: A must-try at the restaurant is Fried Pork Belly, Charred Cabbage, with a Tamarind Dip.
WORTH THE HYPE: A must-try at the restaurant is Fried Pork Belly, Charred Cabbage, with a Tamarind Dip.Photo: Rohit Chawla

Delving into the similarities between Goan food and Thai cuisine, Prantush says, “Both emphasize fresh ingredients, bold flavours and a balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy elements."

"One notable similarity is the use of coconut milk, which serves as a base in many curries, adding depth and richness. Additionally, seafood plays a prominent role in both cuisines due to their coastal locations,” he shares.

Another interesting connection is between Thai cuisine and the cuisine of Northeast India that shares a similar simplicity and flavour profile.

CHEF RECOMMENDS: Head Chef Prantush Rai shares insights into the world of Thai cuisine.
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He recommends also trying the Sun-Dried Sea Bass with Green Mango, Dried Prawn, and Cashew that’s inspired by traditional sun-dried dishes from the Northeast.

Other dishes to try is their Classic Thai Omelette, a simple yet delicious fluffy and savoury Thai-style omelette and Crab Fried Rice which is loaded with succulent crab meat, infused with aromatic herbs, house-made prawn oil and spices, creating a comforting and satisfying dish.

HEARTY MEAL: Dive into the delicious Thai flavors at Fireback in Siolim.
HEARTY MEAL: Dive into the delicious Thai flavors at Fireback in Siolim.Photo: Nolan Lobo

Over time, honing his skills, Prantush reveals it was the incredible women in his life, like his grandmother and mum, who inspired his cooking.

“Watching their techniques for fermenting vegetables and meats, and making house pickles from simple ingredients, ignited my passion for cooking,” smiles Prantush. “It’s these special touches and methods that’ve shaped my culinary journey and helped me build unique stories through food.”

CHEF RECOMMENDS: Head Chef Prantush Rai shares insights into the world of Thai cuisine.
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Today, as a chef at Fireback, he tries to channelise this same passion and creativity into creating unforgettable dining experiences for his guests.

Whether it’s their small bites, grills, large plates or desserts, no matter what you pick, Chef Prantush says the cuisine is sure to delight anyone trying it for the first time.

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