Sherman's Food Adventures: Benjarong Thai Cuisine

Benjarong Thai Cuisine

Here we are, on another one of my Groupon adventures.  Enticed by the extra 25% off during the month of December, I impulsively purchased a bunch without much research nor use of common sense.  That led to the regrettable visit to Deacon's Corner.  However, I was hoping for better results at Benjarong Thai Cuisine in the former location of Transylvania Flavour right beside BC Sushi.  Upon entering, it was pretty obvious much of the furnishings and decor remained.  Didn't matter to us as it was a comfy and almost homey environment.

We started things off with the Coconut Prawns drizzled with a spicy mayo dressing.  Crunchy and not overly greasy on the outside, the prawns ate well.  Texturally, the prawns were meaty with a slight snap.  There was definitely the aroma of coconut and the spicy mayo provided a decent amount of heat.  Next up was the Chicken Satay served with a spicy peanut sauce and cucumber relish.  These satay skewers were graced with a good amount of breast meat.  They were caramelized on the outside where the turmeric and other spices were quite impactful.  In terms of doneness, the meat was still decently moist inside.  I particularly liked the peanut sauce as it was rich and provided a sweet heat.

Onto our mains, we went with 2 noodle dishes including the Pad See Ew.  This was a relatively large portion especially for Thai cuisine.  We found that there was much more chicken and veggies than actual rice noodles.  We asked for all of dishes to be spicy and they did not disappoint in this regard as the dish ate as such.  Despite that, we still felt there was far too much palm sugar added to the stir-fry.  Furthermore, the noodles were a bit soft in our opinion.  We also had the classic Pad Thai that featured tofu puffs rather than pressed tofu.  That changed the dish somewhat, but didn't bother us too much.  Once again, it was too sweet in our opinion.  It is true that the dish had some heat, but it couldn't balance out the palm sugar.  On the other hand, the tartness of the tamarind really came through.

For our curries, we chose 2 items that were not our usual MO at a Thai Restaurant (ie. Green Curry et al).  We ended up with the Penang Curry with Sirloin Beef which sported a considerable amount of lean meat.  This was enough for 2 portions elsewhere.  Naturally, with Thai cuisine, the meat was not tenderized, which meant it was a touch chewy.  As for the curry itself, it followed the trend being sweet as well as packing a spicy punch.  For our second curry, we had the Choo Chee Curry with prawns and scallops.  Although sporting the same shade of red as the Penang, this curry was more aromatic and even sweeter being less spicy.  We were pretty impressed with the doneness of the seafood as it was on point with buttery scallops and shrimp that exhibited a snap.

For dessert, we were all served Sweet Sticky Rice with taro steamed in banana leaves.  Texturally, the rice was too dry and not glutinous which indicated that they were not soaked sufficiently and/or steamed enough.  They were indeed quite sweet with soft taro inside. Overall, the food at Benjarong was decent while moderately priced.  We liked how they actually made things spicy and flavourful when we requested that the dishes be prepared as such.  Despite everything appearing like there was red food colouring added, it was merely the result of the red ceiling tiles...

The Good:
- Decent eats
- Spicy meant spicy
- Fairly good service

The Bad:
- A bit too sweet
- Sticky rice was not very good


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