Friday, November 4, 2011

Royal Thai Restaurant

One thing you should know about my dad is that, in terms of cuisine, he rarely likes to branch out.  Despite bringing me up to "always try everything" and forcing me to eat onions as a child (I'm still not the biggest fan of onions by the way), dad would consider food from other parts of the world only if a Chinese restaurant wasn't within a 12km radius. So eating anything other Chinese is very rare when we dine out as a family.

I'm not complaining, of course. I love my Chinese food but I can't help but think eating at the same 5 or 6 restaurants every time is a little hypocritical of my father. My mother is a little better as she comes into contact with a variety of different cultures at work although she would almost definitely choose familiar foods if given the chance.

I, however, have been completely brainwashed by the "give everything a go" mantra and absolutely love branching out and  living in the midst of a cultural melting pot such as Auckland gives Jason and I the perfect opportunity to try a variety of different cuisines. Usually it is the price that puts them off -"Why would I pay $50 for a single meal when I could feed 4 people for the same price at a Chinese restaurant?" I would often hear my dad exclaim so when we acquired some dining vouchers, I took it upon myself to introduce them to the Royal Thai Restaurant as the food there is quite similar to what they're used to. Baby steps.
Money bags -$10.20 for a plate of 6
We started off with two servings of money bags -"they're like wontons" I explain to my mother though the similarities ended with their appearance. These little morsels were filled with a mix of pork, chopped peanuts, garlic and spices with a side of sweet chili sauce. The money bags were quite different to ones I had experienced at other Thai restaurants which usually just involve meat and some mixed vegetables and the addition of peanuts provided another depth of flavour. The side salad was also nice and refreshing (not sure if it was meant to be eaten though..). Needless to say, mother was very impressed.

Keow Wan Gai (Thai Green Curry Chicken) -$19.50
Thai green curry is one of those dishes that is present on every Thai menu, but is never the same anywhere. Thank God, that this was one of the better ones I've had or else there would be less "branching out" in the future. The flavours were perfectly balanced while the green beans and bamboo shoots did well to cut the richness of the coconut milk.
Pad Thai Goong (King Prawn Pad Thai) -$25.50

Pad Thai is another of those famous dishes although past experience has warned me away. I reluctantly tried some at the insistence of Jenny, and discovered it wasn't as bad as I had remembered. The addition of bean sprouts, prawns and peanuts provided a nice crunch to the otherwise soft rice noodles but, overall, I found the Pad Thai to be a bit too sweet after a few mouthfuls.
Nua Gra Tiem (Beef with Garlic and Pepper) -$19.50
In order to ease the parentals into this new cuisine, we ordered some sizzling plates -something that is quite common on Chinese cuisine. The beef was a little overcooked in parts but was made up by the fact that it was covered in a delicious sauce! The orange slice garnish also tasted really good (again, I'm not sure if I was supposed to eat it) and I have now got an appetite for warm orange. Call me weird.
Moo Kra Ta (Pork with Peanut Sauce) -$19.50
The satay pork was cooked more evenly and every piece was very tender. However, the broccoli pieces were quite dry and perhaps needed a touch more sauce. The warm orange slice was also good.
Gai Yang (B.B.Q. Chicken) -$19.50

Last to come was a very generous amount of BBQ chicken and it was easily my favourite dish of the night. Even though the pieces were quite large, they were all cooked to perfection with the BBQ, chili and Thai herb flavour penetrating right to the center.

The Royal Thai Restaurant can be found at 243 Hinemoa St, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand.

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  1. Hehe your dad sounds like my dad-except mine never told me to give everything a try! :P

  2. the meal does look delicious! I was always made to eat everything and try Everything and I have to say now there is not too much I don't like.

    The BBQ chicken looks absolutely to die for!!!

    Thanks for popping in and saying hi on my site. I love discovering new sites tat way. Oh and I know what you mean about being 5" and want to eat like a 6' person, I am the same size and my husband is 6"6'! LOL! Me too!

  3. I love Thai food and am happy to try anything in a Thai restaurant. Your dad sounds hysterical!

  4. I just love Thai food, it's my favourite cuisine with Chinese a close second. I like Gourmet Getaways comment, I'm 5'1" and my hubby is 6'1", and tonight I out-ate him at our allyoucaneat Yumcha restaurant!

  5. These pictures make me crave for some Thai food! I especially miss Pad Thai!!

  6. Nice of you to take your dad to experience new food :-).


  7. Lol sounds like my family when I was a kid, but now I make sure I eat everything :)