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Posts tagged ‘Thai’

Sawasdee, Waldshut, Germany

Halbmond

I have sinned. Like every stout catholic, the mind is willing but the flesh is weak. After taking a trip to Bad Zurzach (swimming for the elderly), we decided to go rogue. Intrigued by the buying power, we headed deep into foreign territory and drove to Waldshut. First I thought I was in Waldshut but it turned out that it was actually Tiengen. After some bickering – after all I am the world’s best front-seat passenger and renowned navigator – we got back into the car and drove to Waldshut. Getting hungry (and desperate) we stop at a place called China Restaurant Mandarin. If you’ve ever wondered where German restaurants get their bad reputation this is a prime example. It’s a buffet affair, the dining room’s appearance reminds of a Columbo episode from the seventies and the food was simply revolting just judging by the looks. Sushi next to dessert on a Chinese all you can eat buffet ? It just fullfills every cliche of germans embracing price over any other quality attribute. We drove on to Waldshut and most of the places seemed shut, so we head into a place called Sawasdee. The place is cold and half full on a Sunday night. I order a half-moon, a kind of flat bread topped with cucumber salad and a bit of stuffing, a dish I’ve never had before. It was clearly made fresh, it was interesting and had a decent taste, the fresh cucumbers balancing the salty- and crunchyness. I also ordered a Pad Thai Gai (chicken), it was slightly different than from other nice Thai restaurants, but expertly balanced in taste. It wasn’t as strong flavourwise, but I can’t stress the fact enough how every component went beautifully along with each other. Honestly, I was very surprised to find such a decent Thai place in Waldshut. It wasn’t expensive at all (approx 70 CHF), the interior could do with a remodel, but for a unpretentious meal you’ll do pretty good here:

Poulet Pad Gai

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Roi Et, Schöneggstrasse, Zurich

Som Tom Thai

Lab Pet, Om Gay, Koh Mu Yang

The Roi Et offers Thai and Laotian cuisine. We started with a Thai Papaya salad and ordered it “european” hot. The thing was scorching and the next day it literally burned every hair on my butt. I was literally gasping for air and needed a couple of beers to quench the fire. Being a bit wiser we order the main dishes a bit less spicy. We went down the Laotian route and had a duck lab, spicy pork meat and chicken soup. The most surprising dish was actually the chicken soup since it was made with dill. I quite liked the combination it was fresh and unusual. I can’t compare the other dishes with regards to their “Loationess” but it was fun to try out a cuisine I hadn’t known before. Also the sauce that went with the pork get’s a special recommendation. Make sure that you order something at a spice level you are comfortable with…. Prices:

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Restaurant Thon Sai, Kalkbreitestrasse, Zurich

Vegetable tempura

Chicken Satay

Panaeng Curry mit Felchenfilet und gebratenem Reis

I’ve seen this restaurant Thon Sai a couple of times and by chance we decide to head over there for dinner. The place is small but we get a table on a late Saturday night nevertheless, without having a reservation. It’s quite clear that the owner is proud of his place and takes pride in running it. He’s also concerned about your health, he recommended tofu for the diner asking for a vegetable dish, since it was good for the body. A small surprise was that they sent out an amuse bouche, some form of vegetable tempura. While it wasn’t what you’d expect from a japanese tempura, it was tasty and was a good bite. My starter was a Chicken Satay, the chicken could have been a tad more tender and I like the Satay sauce with more salt, but it was a good effort. My main course was delicious, I didn’t quite follow the tofu suggestion, but decided on the local fish to go with my Panaeng Curry. It was maybe a tad too creamy, but of a very nice taste otherwise. A special mention is warranted by the excellent fried rice, seldom is it that good. Overall this place is one of the best Thai places in Zurich. I got a chance to sample some of the other plates of my diners and the one I’d like to call out was the Papaya salad. I’ll be back. Prices are fair:

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Viet Thai, Kanonengasse, Zurich

Fishcakes und Satayspiesse

Hue Tie Nam Vang

After Nadal beat Söderling and screwed up Roger Feder’s record of being the longest reigning Nr. 1 in men’s tennis, we needed some cheering up. Driving down Kanonengasse, a place opened up called
Viet Thai. Interesting thing is that since Vietnam and Thailand do not share a common border, this equates to opening a restaurant named Finn(ish) Austria in Bangkok. The place was empty (unlike the popular Ah Hua, which is just down the street. We started off with a plate of fish cakes and some chicken satay. The fishcakes were boring and chewy but the satay was good. The chicken was too dry but the sauce was really special and homemade. It wasn’t what you get at other places it was heartier, tasted clearly of fresh herbs and had a stronger umami flavor than others. Main dish was a vietnamese soup dish called Hue Tie Nam Vang. A strong, savoury, very flavourful broth is the base of this soup, which is accompanied by slices of pork, minced beef, shrimp and rice noodles. A separate dish with basil, sprouts, lime, scallions and crunchy garlic in oil (no bad breath afterwards) are served. A very nice dish obviously prepared with great craftsmanship. Funny thing was that the Ice Tea (Oishi) according to the label consisted of 30% tea and 12% sugar… wondering what the remaining half was. The Viet Thai certainly hits the mark and is well worth a visit. If you’re put off by the people queueing at Ah Hua, just continue on and give the Viet Thai a shot, even in terms of prices, you’ll do ok:

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Ah Hua, Helvetiaplatz, Zurich

Fish Cakes (Thot man pla) und fritierte Teigtaschen (Wan Tan)

Fish Cakes (Thot man pla) und fritierte Teigtaschen (Wan Tan)


Pad Sator (pork with beans)

Pad Sator (pork with beans)

Ah Hua actually runs two places, one of them being half convenience store and the half other restaurant. This night we entered the restaurant only place, next to the Volkshaus. Surprisingly on a sunday night, the place is packed and we have some difficulties finding a table for three. We shared some appetizers, Won Tons and Fish cakes. While the Won Tons were average, the Fish cakes were excellent. A nice combination of flavours rounded off this lovely appetizer. My main course was a Pad Sator, which is chopped pork meat with beans and some shrimp. The beans have a unique and interesting texture, they sport a crispiness which you only get with perfectly cooked vegetables. The issue I have with this dish, although interesting and strong in flavor, it also has the distinct Umami taste and dull feeling which is typical for glutamate (flavor enhancer). This is my main criticism of asian cuisine, that the excessive amount of flavor enhancers used, actually distorts the flavors, makes them mushy and uncoordinated, leading to a distraction. But with beer flowing and chatter increasing at the table, who cares? Prices are fair:

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