King of Siam
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Curried chicken consommé flavored with coconut-milk, leeks and celery; and garnished with chicken meat and blanched almonds
Kapong au Vin du Rhin
Kapong, a varierty of snapper from Siam/Thailand, cooked in german white-wine from Rhine region; and served with a Bernaise Sauce
Becassines à la Daupine
Roast snipes served with dauphine potatoes made from a mixture of pureeed potatoe, choux pastry and ham rolled into spheres and deep fried
Selle de Mouton, Sauce Menthe
Saddle of mutton served with a mint sauce
Dindonneaux farcis aux Marrons
Roast Turkey with chestnut stuffing
Salad made from diced apple, celery and walnuts bound in mayonnaise
Baked dessert made from layers of sponge cake soaked in liqueur, crystallized fruits and custard served with a Crème Anglaise
Péches à la Citronade Glacée
Chilled poached peaches served in a carbonated syrup made from citrons
Menu dated 27th January 1910
Dinner at the Chakkri Palace, Bangkok, hosted by His Majesty King Chulalongkorn of Siam in honor of a visit by Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg.
When the King of Siam, Chulalongkorn the Great, toured Europe in 1897 and again in 1907, he wooed over European royalty with his charm and generosity; and dazzled newspaper readers with daily updates on his banquets and shopping sprees.
Chulalongkorn was the first King of Siam to ever set foot in Europe; and European media simply couldn’t get enough of their royal visitor from the magically mysterious far-east.
Germany took a particular fondness to the king with local media describing him as “Germany’s most profitable visitor” when he purchased, on his 1907 tour, $US 3 million in jewels, gold and silverware – with one gold service costing over $US 800,000 alone. Chulalongkorn even made a personal donation to the Kaiser for the excavation works at his loved Saalburg castle; and lavished his German hosts with grand banquets including throwing a birthday party for himself and select 670 guests.
The German Emperor was so charmed, that not even he could say ‘no’ to his Siamese visitor with the New York Times reporting:
“From the Kaiser, as a birthday present, King Chulalongkorn got more than Emperor William probably bargained for. When he was visiting Wilhelmhőhe the King took such a great fancy to the Kaiser’s pet dachshunds and expressed a desire to have some at his palace in Bangkok.
The Kaiser thought he would make the King a birthday present of a couple of them, and consequently sent a batch of fourteen, intimating that the King might take his pick of them. The King sent back word to the Kaiser that he had fallen so deeply in love with all of them that he could not bear to part with one of them. The Kaiser courteously said he would be delighted if the King would have all fourteen”. – New York Times, 23rd September 1907.
On both European royal tours the King befriended Duke Johann-Albrecht of Mecklenburg who was one of few European royals to have ever visited Siam (in 1883) themselves. Indeed, the Duke not only hosted the King of Siam at his residence palace on each trip; but also threw decadent banquets in the King’s honor along with lavish welcoming street parades and decorations.
It was no surprise, therefore, that when the Duke of Mecklenburg married a second time to Princess Elizabeth of Stolberg-Rossla in December 1909, he and his bride chose to visit Siam as a part of their honeymoon the following month that also took them to India, Malaysia and the Dutch Indies.
This menu is from the welcome dinner the King Siam hosted at his Chakkri Palace, located in the compound of the Grand Palace, when the Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg arrived in Bangkok. They stayed as guests of the King Siam from 26 January to 9th February.
It appears the Siamese royal chefs went to great lengths to cure any homesickness of the Ducal couple; a largely European menu was served including a culinary blend of a local variety of snapper, known as Kapong, served in a sauce made from German Rhine wine. Fresh melon appears as an appetizer which was no doubt a tropical treat for the visiting Duke and Duchess.
The menu-card is gilt edged and embossed with the royal arms of the King of Siam.
The King of Siam with the Duke of Mecklenburg