Monday, February 05, 2007
Very Thai and tourist friendly
When I first passed by Nara Thai I thought this was just another ordinary arcade restaurant, especially Nara Thai's contemporary Thai decor, trendy utensils and location promoted my further thoughts that this one was among some 'tourist class' restaurants with no taste of authentic, only expensive. My mom told me not to judge by one's appearance, her words saved me almost a miss of a treat.
The restaurant is set in a semi open-air (in the arcade) elegantly decorated in contemporary Khmer style, and a lovely outdoor terrace seating with the little waterfall to be a friend while dine alone. I received warm welcome from the waiter, chilled hand towel, a heavy metal cover menu, and a glass of refreshing lemongrass drinks (oh, I ordered that, not complimentary).
To kick off the lunch, I had three spicy Thai salad as starters to share with friends. First one was yum hed (mushroom salad), next one was yum wunsen talay (seafood and glass noodles mild spicy salad), and the third salad was yum som-o (spicy Thai pomelo salad with prawn). Excellent taste of lime, palm sugar, fish sauce and nice heat were mixed of native ingredients. The fourth dish was five-kind hors d'oeuvre consisting of chicken satay, fish cakes, pearl ball with pork stuffing (sakoo), Thai grapefruit salad with prawn, and deep fried flour stick with Thai dip.
For soup of course I ordered the maybe national soup tomyum goong (sour and spicy prawn soup), it came without disappointment. The hot and sour taste had reached a good balance. Yummy! I also ordered pearl ball with pork stuffing (sakoo) as the sample portion in the hors d'oeuvre definitely not enough for four (persons) in my table.
To go with rice, I sampled the gaeng kieo waan gai (green curry with chicken meat), plamuk phad kai khem (stir-fried squid with salty egg), fried soft shell crab in chili and lemongrass, goong tord nam makam (fried prawn in tamarind sauce), and pla samlee tord (deep-fried king fish with green mango sweet and mild spicy dip). These family dishes were nothing special, simply delicious and seafood were fresh.
Spotted there is a real-boat noddle station at entrance, offering Ayutthaya boat noodle I certainly couldn't afford to miss. The noodle broth was neither too salty nor spicy, but full of aroma and a little welcoming natural sweet from the bone the broth was made. I was surprised that one of the best boat noodles I couldn't get at those floating markets but instead at Nara Thai.
I spent less than Thai baht 2,000 for the lunch. Considering we had ten good quality dished and drinks for four persons, the price is rather cheap.
Many restaurants don't realize the importance of having servers trained to do the job right, those are the samples of failure in restaurant business. Nara Thai does not copy their mistakes, service in Nara Thai is friendly, prompt and attentive. Adding the aroi (delicious) tastiness and casual atmosphere made my dining at Nara Thai a true pleasure. Nara Thai is worth the well recognition by both native and foreign clients.
Nara Thai Cuisine ***1/2
Erawan Bangkok branch
Lower level, Urban Kitchen
494 Ploechit Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Open daily : 10 am - 11 pm
Pay (food only for two): around THB 900