Location: Mt Lawley – Beaufort Street (also in South Perth)
When I had recently visited Threecoins Italian Trattoria I noticed another restaurant next door which looked familiar – Thai Orchid – which I had last visited some 4 years ago. It looks quite nice from the outside so I made a booking to visit once again. There’s plenty of parking in the front of the restaurant and there’s also a lane-way behind the restaurant too offering additional parking.
Walking in we were greeted and taken to our table before being offered drinks and cold water was promptly poured in our glasses which had a slice of lemon at the bottom of the glass for added flavour. The menu offers plenty of choice so after a while, we settled on the following:
Fish Cakes (x 4) $8
Fresh ground Fish, combined with Chilli paste, beans, deep fried, served with cucumber sauce
The fish cakes were really tasty. I’m not sure how they make them as the outer is kind of like a skin. Inside, soft tender fish with Thai basil and the unmistakable flavours of an authentic fish cake come to the fore, enjoyed with sweet chilli sauce which also goes really well with the salad.
Barbecued Lamb Rack (x 2) $16
Marinated lamb racks with garlic, pepper, coriander seed and oyster sauce, served with savoury sauce
This dish is also available as a main with four pieces instead of 2. We ordered this as a second entree. The barbecued lamb rack was really tender, the ribs wrapped in foil. It came with a hot sour sauce that had a chilli kick which kept building but was really tasty.
Flying Duck $30
Roasted duck over crispy noodle, topped with plum sauce and sesame seed
For mains, we started with flying duck – tender duck covered in a barbecued like sauce. The sauce had a real depth to it and was a bit strong, a flavour a little like black bean, served upon crunchy noodles which really provided a lovely textural contrast to the soft duck. This is one of the dishes where the presence of the crunchy noodles is a must, it makes all the difference. The noodles are kind of tasteless on their own but they go well with the strong flavours of the sauce.
Gang Massaman (Massaman Curry) $16
Tender chunks of beef with potatoes
I really love a good Massaman beef curry and it’s great to find a restaurant that serves a really good version here at Thai Orchid. There’s chunks of tender beef immersed in the delicious creamy flavoursome curry, with chunks of potato that have taken on the flavours of the curry and it’s so enjoyable. The curry over steamed rice just allows you to savour the wonderful flavours.
Pla Sarm Rot (Three Flavours Sauce Fish)
Deep Fried Fish Fillets Topped with 3 Flavour Sauce
It’s hard to go past deep fried fish and this dish was excellent. There’s plenty of fish lightly battered and deep fried to produce a crunchy exterior, and then served with plenty of sauce that was sweet but seemed a cross between a sweet & sour type sauce and sweet chilli sauce. The presence of pineapple provided a different burst of sweetness and the juice made the dish even more enjoyable. The fish was well cooked, soft, tender flesh surrounded by a crunchy coating. The sauce isn’t too sweet and you just keep on coming back for more.
Pad Thai $20
Stir Fried Thai Rice Noodles with Egg, Crushed Peanuts, Bean Sprout
The pad thai is available with chicken for $20 or with prawns for $2 more but we stuck with the chicken. With no room on the plate, I left this till last and I was pretty full by then. However, the pad Thai was still suitably warm and the flavours were delicious. The noodles could have been cooked just that little bit more as they were firm to the tooth, similar to al dente pasta. The flavour balance was excellent, not sickeningly sweet, the lovely noodles taking on the flavour and enjoyed with finely crushed peanuts, tender chunks of chicken, tofu, and there’s a wedge of lemon to provide some acidity if desired. I really enjoyed the pad Thai and it was just as good as the first time I ate this dish some 4 years ago.
Vanilla Ice Cream with Sticky Rice $6
Topped With Coconut Cream and Sesame
I ordered vanilla ice cream with sticky rice and got a massive ball of vanilla ice cream under a small layer of sticky rice. Yes, the menu description is accurate – vanilla ice cream with sticky rice, not sticky rice with vanilla ice cream. The vanilla ice cream was delicious, and at times really cold, compared to the lightly warmed sticky rice which was too sticky in that it clumped together. They didn’t do a good job here as the rice grains should break away, not stick together in a tight clump as if you stomped on it. It was a bit hard at times and chewy, not really representative of this dish which I’ve enjoyed many a times before. Slightly disappointing finish to what was a really delicious meal.
Mango with Sticky Rice $8
Topped With Coconut Cream and Sesame
The sticky rice is also available with mango as a seasonal dish. Unfortunately the mango wasn’t particularly tasty but the sticky rice was slightly better textually than mine.
Thai Orchid Food Review Summary
Verdict: I really enjoyed each dish bar the dessert. The entrees of fish cakes and barbecued lamb racks were both flavoursome and enhanced by the accompanying sauces. The flying duck was very tender and paired superbly with the crispy noodles for crunch and helped to ease the intensity of the sauce. This was followed by a flavoursome Massaman beef curry which had chunks of tender beef and potatoes that had soaked up all that lovely flavour. The deep fried fish fillets were superb in a sweet and sour like sauce with a touch of heat. This was the standout dish for my mind. The pad Thai was also excellent, achieving the right balance of this dish and not leaning too heavily towards sweet. Lots of tender chunks of chicken to enjoy, the dish goes down like a treat. While all the dishes were of a high standard taste wise, the desserts were slightly disappointing. Just a few tweaks needed with the sticky rice to let the dish achieve it’s full potential. Other than that, I throughly enjoyed my experience here.
Price: Reasonable (2015 Entertainment Book offers 25% off up to $40)
Recommendation: Highly Recommend
See my prior blog post:
Food Review of Thai Orchid – Jan 2010
Thai Orchid Restaurant Details
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