Friday, March 18, 2011

Thai Chi - Africanized Thai cuisine in The Sarova Stanley Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

So anyway I've suddenly realized that since the birth of Look See Eat, we've never blogged about any sort of Thai food. Possibly because even though Thailand is our neighbor, there aren't really that many Thai restaurants in KL. So naturally, in order to rectify the obvious lack of Thai food on the blog, there is no other choice than to travel to Nairobi in the heart of Kenya to get some Thai food going, in the Thai Chi restaurant in the Sarova Stanley!

The Thai Chi restaurant is actually pretty small. I don't have exact figures but it would probably only seat 50 diners at the most. It's also pretty popular, so much so that without a reservation you pretty much get turned away like we did - twice - even on a weeknight.

Decorations are ... well ... I don't actually know if they're authentic, but the restaurant does feel quite nice and cozy.

On to the food, though, and we start off with an appetizer of Poh Pai Jee (Thai vegetable rolls with carrot relish). I have to say that it was just mediocre - nothing different from any other spring roll / popiah.

The Tom Yum Gai was better. Fragrant and tasty, with just the right amount of sour-ness. Could have used a bit more on the spice/chili though.

We had two curry dishes. The first one being the Gang Kiew Wan (Fragrant green curry dressed vegetables with coconut cream and basil):

And the second was the Gai Gang Ped (Traditional Thai red curry with basil). Both curries smelled great and were very tasty. But both curries were also flat. Despite being marked on the menu as "moderate hot," neither curry had the slightest hint of any chili at all. Naturally this was a huge disappointment, as eating Thai food that isn't spicy is like eating a vegetarian burger. What's the point?

Rounding up the main course was Phad Thai (Wok tossed noodles with shrimp, tofu, spring onions, palm sugar and eggs with tamarind sauce, fresh bean sprouts and peanuts). The shrimp were actually very fresh, which was a pleasant surprise. The texture of the noodles were pretty good, but taste-wise again they were a little bland.

Dessert was just a simple deep-fried vanilla ice cream. Because I was eating with colleagues I had to control macho (ha ha), but I'm always amazed at how ice cream can be deep fried and not melt. Yes I could probably wikipedia to find out, but then the magic would be lost!

Well, while I don't doubt that the Thai Chi is probably one of the better Thai joints in Nairobi, the food has very obviously been adapted for non-Thai tastes. It's actually decently good, fragrant and tasty, just missing the 'kick' that Chili gives. If you ever do find yourself here, make sure you tell your waitress to up the chili level.

The Thai Chi is in the Sarova Stanley hotel in the middle of Nairobi's Central Business District. Dinner above for 3 persons plus some non-alcoholic beverages was about 6,500 Sh (RM 232.05).

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