159 Ma Dang Road
Xin Tian Di
Went out for a mid-week date with Chris, this was before he left on his business trip to Beijing and then to USA. It certainly is not much fun having a jet-setting fiance, but he’s rubbing shoulders with the people that matter, so I guess it is worth it :P The good thing about China is that you can dine out at a fairly reasonable price.
Located in the trendy Xin Tian Di area, Simply Thai is in a large stand-alone building with 2 floors. Their clientele is mostly expats, since their prices are really high (probably about the same price, if not more, than a nice Thai restaurant in Australia). However, on Mondays, they have 50% off their entire menu between 6-8pm. I am the biggest bargain hunter and stingy arse, so I’m always raring to go there every Monday ;)
We kicked off with a Pina Colada, which was spot-on and absolutely delicious. However, it had a meagre amount in a glass that was deceptive (looked large from the wide rim, but look at the bottom and you’ll realise it’s only a tiny amount of drink). Disappointing, because the drink was fantastic.
The Chicken Wings Stuffed with Sticky Rice, was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. I liked how it was de-boned, but there were some strange crunchy bits (maybe the left the knuckle-bone bits on the sides in?) and there was so much sticky rice that I tasted zero chicken. Good if you like sticky rice, bad if you’re actually expecting to taste chicken wing. The Roast Duck Curry with Pineapple had the most amazing curry gravy EVER. It was rich, thick and creamy.. and with a lovely sweet flavour. We basically had that on rice, and were quite happy with just that ;) The duck itself was average, it was not that tender and had a measly portion.
The BBQ Beef in Banana Leaf was, by far, the best dish. Thin slivers of beef rolled up and stuffed into a curl of banana leaf, then BBQ’d. The beef was so tender, and had the most lovely fragrance. Just lovely dipped in the sauce. I’d order it again, anytime.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Pandan Custard with Sticky Rice, a creamy blend of sweet pandan custard off-set with the sticky rice. It was perfection.
On some Mondays it’s nearly empty, and others it’s full. This time, it was pretty packed out. They had loads of waiters around the place, but service was pretty bad. It was polite and friendly, but SO incomptent! I had to ask 2-3 times for a glass of water (obviously ‘forgotten’ because it’s free and they can’t be bothered) and the food did not arrive at the same time, with the last dish arriving about 15 mins after the rest of the dishes, meaning we were nearly finished by then. Plus, when I asked for a top-up of rice, I had to wait and wait and wait until the rest of the food went cold, before it came. Strangely, whilst they have so many staff, many of them walk briskly around the restaurant (trying to look very busy) but not doing anything in particular, whilst trying to avoid diners’ eyes, lest they get asked to do something. So whilst they have good food, they need to STEP UP on the service – incompetency is not an excuse.
Chicken Wings Stuffed with Sticky Rice
Roast Duck Curry with Pineapple
BBQ Beef in Banana Leaf
Pandan Custard with Sticky Rice
(other review HERE)