With a private room decorated in gold leaf and a contemporary bar and restaurant bejewelled with authentic furnishings, every detail has been carefully planned, right down to the chairs which are made from pineapple paper.

But it is not just the decor which makes this Bournemouth's Tiien Thai restaurant stand out. Since opening in January 2011, manager Medi Vahdati and his team have crafted a delicious assortment of Thai specialities.

Head chef Pong Pan, 44, coordinates a busy team of seven in the kitchen who work together fluently to maintain excellent quality and service.

Pong Pan is an expert in international food having gained a wealth of experience over the years. Born in Bangkok, Thailand, he began working with food at the age of 18 and his passion for food has continued to develop ever since.

“I went to cookery school and started classes and learnt everything from a young age. I also ran cooking classes in Thailand, I just love it,” said Pong.

Over the years Pong has gained first class experience at prestigious hotels in Thailand including the Dusit Hotel, Shangri-la hotel, The Marriott and the salubrious The Amari in Bangkok.

“I got the chance to work at wonderful hotels where I leant different styles and built up a wide knowledge of cooking,” continued Pong, “I have been in almost every kitchen environment – so many different places where I picked up different styles and techniques. I kept moving from to place to place to learn something new all the time; I was never in the same place for more than two years.”

Pong moved to the UK 11 years ago and now lives in Bournemouth’s West Cliff with his wife and their seven-year-old son.

“I knew a friend in the UK and they loved my food so I moved here. I also go to a local cookery school to help others.

“I’ve been cooking since I was young. My mother is a big inspiration, I was brought up with it. I also like Jamie Oliver because he uses a new fusion of food and it’s modern, and Gordon Ramsey.”

As an international chef, Pong caters for all tastes and the menu at Tiien Thai reflects that. He strives to source authentic Thai ingredients and local produce wherever possible to deliver magnificent flavours, aromas, colours and textures. The meat is supplied by Mason’s Butchers in Pokesdown and the fish comes from Sea Fresh Sea Foods in Poole.

With a choice of starters, salads, soups, curries, stir-fries, fish, meat, noodles, rice and vegetable dishes there is something to delight every palate. They also have a Chinese Corner and set menus for two people or more, party menus for large groups and takeaway is also available.

“I like it when customers like it. It’s great when customers compliment your food. We don’t compromise on quality or quantity, that is very important to us,” added Pong.

Signature dish – Steamed Sea Bass with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

Pong starts by making the sauce to accompany the fish.

He grinds together lime, lemon, coriander, garlic, Thai chilli, sugar and Thai fish sauce. It is hot, sour and sweet – three flavours – a medium heat.

The whole boned fish is then steamed for 10 minutes, with lemon grass and Thai parsley for flavouring.

Once cooked, Pong carefully transfers the sea bass on to a plate and garnishes with swede and carrot butterflies and steamed vegetables.