Great, if you like MSG and factory food
Posted on 07 / 15 / 2011
We were really disappointed with this place, not least because it looks really nice from the outside. A few nights ago we got there at 7.33pm to find they were already closed, so today we made sure we got there early.
Shouldn't have bothered.
We started out ordering drinks. Not much of a selection. Despite the name and all the tea paraphernalia there were only a few teas listed but we found some juices that sounded interesting enough: tamarind juice for me and a pandan leaf and jelly drink for my partner. Mine came out in a can, which was enough to have me slightly concerned about the food, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and stay optimistic. My partner's drink was a radioactive yellow: definitely disconcerting. He had a sip and the verdict wasn't good so we agreed to focus on the food.
Much of the fare on offer is not Thai but Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc. We sifted through and found enough options to keep us conceptually enthused though - noodles with Thai red sauce, yellow curry, taro hotpot (probably Chinese but it looked to have lots of veges so...), mixed mushroom rice (ditto) and a tofu stir-fry.
We sipped on our collective can of tamarind-sugar drink and waited.
What arrived on our table was a procession of the most awful creations we've tried since a terrible encounter with a mock meat restaurant in Singapore last month.
The hotpot tasted like MSG and hot water. The noodles - ditto, only it was red in colour. The tofu stir-fry could have been ok but the flavour was way too overdone to be enjoyable. The yellow curry was full of mock meat, had no veges in it and was so fiercely hot (chili hot) it knocked us off our chairs. The rice was the best of the bunch - no complaints there. Suffering from a lack of veges we ordered one more dish - some boiled Chinese greens with sesame sauce. Arg... awful, again. The sauce tasted like sugar syrup with sesame sprinkled on top (trying to be Japanese I think but failing dismally).
Feeling sick from the copious amounts of MSG we went to the counter to pay only to discover all the seasonings used in the food are for sale. An inspection of the labels confirmed everything - MSG, MSG and more MSG.. oh, and some "vegetarian flavourings"(??) and various preservatives (the groovy ones with numbers in the names). All from China and Taiwan. At least they're transparent about it I guess! Wish we had have noticed them earlier, could have saved some time + baht.
Summary: not food.
pleasant ambience, prompt service, aircon
MSG, preservatives, artificials galore, no cooking skills, phoney "wellness" vibe