Traditionally, the worlds of Northern Thai cooking and natural wine have had little to do with one another. That looks likely to change when food pop-up Krua – a love letter to the robust flavours of Northern Thailand and Laos, as written by David Thompson protégé Tom Josham and Nicola Hay – takes over William Street wine bar and bottle shop Wines of While for an evening of cross-cultural eating and drinking.
“Krua’s food is incredible,” says Wines of While owner Sam Winfield who attended Josham and Hay’s first pop-up dinner in March. “I was astounded by how unadulterated the flavours were. He holds no punches, whether it’s spice or outrageous herbal assaults and isn’t fearful of using properly fermented ingredients. There’s nothing boring here and it’s unlike anything in WA.”
For its next outing, team Krua will offer a six-dish a la carte menu inspired by the food ways of Thailand’s north. Dishes will include the northern Thai-style “salad” laab made with duck, dry-roasted chillies and herbs; sai oua, a grilled, herbal Thai sausage synonymous with the region’s north; and parcels of dried prawn, beef cheek and finger lime bundled in wild pepper leaves.
Just as Josham and Hay are cooking beyond the green curry, Winfield is flipping the script on the by-the-glass offering on the night.
“We’ll give riesling a rest because it’s always front and centre with Thai food,” he says. “So many of the wines we carry are perfect for Thai and I want to show that there are so many options.”
Expect skin-contact whites (“the tannin and warm spices of wines from Cantina Giardino and Gazzetta will match well with fatty, rich and spicy dishes”) and “fruity, forward and approachable” light, chilled reds made with varieties such as barbera and dolcetto. And Winfield is looking forward to showing off the bar’s range of naturally fermented sour beers.
The Krua takeover at Wines of While starts at 5.30pm on Friday May 3.