Adventures in Eating & Cooking
At Pattaya I tried the Panang Curry, which was quite good compared to most of the other places around University City. (It’s a lot better than Lemongrass, that’s for sure!) I liked it because it tasted quite authentically Thai, made with cream of coconut milk, sweet peanuts, and subtle spices. It had the right time of stomach-warming spiciness from red chili that was smoothed out by the sweetness and spices. I liked it a lot and would definitely go back to Pattaya to try other dishes!
Cafetasia had some pretty good dishes. We split three appetizers from the tasting menu deal: Calamari Fritters, Thai Crepe, and Sa-Tae Chicken. Lin Loo really seemed to enjoy the calamari as it was lightly fried to a savory crisp. I personally liked the interesting flavor of the Thai Crepe as it was sweet and nutty, and there was something else to it that I can’t place my tongue on… The Sa-Tae could have been grilled to release more meaty chicken flavor and was tenderly bathed in an interesting sweetness.
The three sauces that came with the appetizers were pretty good. Everyone seemed to like the slightly spicy, sweet, nutty green sauce (middle) the best. I also really enjoyed the sweet peanut sauce (right), but I thought the red sauce (left) had a strange sweet vinegary taste.
The Roasted Duck in Red Curry was the better of the two dishes we had ordered. There was a fair amount of warm spiciness that complemented the sweet coconut milk base and Thai seasonings (coriander, galangal, etc.) To be honest, it’s very hard for me to describe the intriguing tastes of Thai since there are so many essential ingredients that I’m unfamiliar with, but I can say that the fusion of these spices provide a brilliant blast of flavors! There were small chunks of pineapple and pumpkin in this dish, as well as succulent pieces Chinese-style roast duck.
The Green Curry with Chicken tasted a lot plainer in comparison. Green curry is the spiciest of all Thai curries, so the dish was mostly spicy but with a strong bamboo-veggie undertone. I have tried green curries with different composition before, which tasted much better, but Cafetasia’s just didn’t cut it. It definitely overdosed on the bamboo shoots, blanding the dish.
We also got a small Pandan Leaf-Coconut Sticky Rice, which was pretty much Chinese zhong zi except fluffier, and sweetened with a pandan coconut scent.