Saturday, 8 October 2011

Bangkok Cafe

No, I have not gone to Bangkok, even though I hope to visit that city one day.

It is one of the restaurants in Cardiff that I always wanted to try but have not had the opportunity yet. Hence, I jumped at the offer to have lunch at this cafe when my friend came over to visit me at work today.

Bangkok Cafe (Cardiff  branch) is not exactly a coffee-drinking, cake-eating place but it is a restaurant, a very casual and very informal type of restaurant.

Kopitiam or 'coffee shop' is a term we use to call the 'very casual and very informal' eating places back in Malaysia. One can have breakfast, lunch, quick tea,dinner or even supper at these places and a lot of them offer very delicious (sometimes even more delicious than those posh restaurants) and cheaply priced food.

Right, back to Bangkok Cafe in Cardiff......

As soon as I walked into the restaurant, I thought:"Wow! What a nice, clean and minimalist decor interior that makes it a very inviting and casual place to eat!"

Then as we were deciding what to order, I saw tables being served food in these bright coloured plastic bowls and cutleries that look exactly the same as those used in kopitiams back home!

Beek Gai - Finger Licking Chicken Wings

First up, we had the Beek Gai - deep fried chicken wings with a paste-like home made sauce served with Thai sweet chilli sauce.

Very crunchy skin, succulent meat and tasty sauce which was sweet, salty and a bit spicy. Nice!

Kanom Bang Thai Toasties - Seasoned chopped prawns on toast, with a cucumber and onion relish

We also had some Thai-style toasties as starters. Imagine French toast with tasty, well seasoned, chopped prawns (paste consistency) on top then sprinkled with sesame seed. HHHhhhmmmm...yummm! Dipped into refreshing cucumber and onion relish, perfect!

Panang Ner Lard Kow - Beef Panang Curry with ground peanuts on a bed of rice

Then I had the Panang Ner Lard Kow - Beef Curry with rice from the Lunch menu. On the menu, it was one of the curry dishes withOUT a (H) next to it where (H) means hot. So, being a very unique Malaysian who cannot take very hot and spicy food, I decided to give this dish (without a (H) next to it) a try, thinking that it would not be too spicy hot!

As the waitress came up with my beef curry, the smell of fragrant lemongrass and coconut milk was just so inviting. First spoonful of the beef,  I was pleasantly hit with very fragrant spices like lemongrass, curry and rather spicy green and red chillies, followed by the cooling coconut milk that tried to reduce the spiciness of the chillies.

The more I ate the beef, the spicier it got, but it was so nice that I perservered and almost finished the entire dish (with lots of rice to take the heat off!).

Pad Thai - Classic dry noodles with dried chicken served with peanuts and chilli

My friend had the Pad Thai, a very classic Thai-style fried noodles, usually served with ground peanuts and some chilli.

A squeeze of lime over it, the entire dish is just so tasty and full of flavour with spring onions, chillies, soy sauce and the crunchiness of peanuts and bean sprouts adds another dimension to the texture of the dish.

Lime and Lemongrass Meringue Tart with a hint of basil

As for dessert, surely we had to go for that one with South East Asian flavours - Lime and Lemongrass Meringue Tart with a hint of basil. Sounds like a weird combination? It actually tastes very nice and unique!

The lime infused sweet meringue had a very light texture and the citrussy taste of lime goes really well with the fragrant lemongrass sauce at the base. The hint of basil with its strong notes of spice like clove, cinnamon, anise and tarragon (combined with minty grassiness), surprsingly complimented the citrussy lime really well!

Passion fruit and white chocolate cheesecake (with a surprise!)

The passion fruit and white chocolate cheesecake was pleasantly nice, but for me, it could be a little bit sweeter and should have a stronger passionfruit taste to it.

The cake was nicely light with tiny white chocolate balls dispersed in it and had a very good biscuit base.

Overall, a very delightful lunch indeed!

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