Sherman's Food Adventures: Khob Khun Thai

Khob Khun Thai

During these really strange times, I have concentrated on cooking at home and spending time with the fam.  I haven't been really going out until recently.  Even with that, I'm pretty selective of who I meet with and where.  Prior to my actual first dine-in experience, we had met up with Bluebeard and Nikita at Blue Mountain Park for some outdoor take-out dinner.  Seeing how Khob Khun Thai was just around the corner, it was as good as anytime to finally try the place it.  It had been on my radar for quite some time and we had originally pegged it as a dining destination before heading to Silvercity one night.  Well that won't happen anytime soon, so this was our opportunity.

We weren't sure as to their spice level so instead of going all-the-way to 5, we went just a notch below with 4.  Judging how much heat there was in the Pad Thai Goong, it was plenty in our opinion.  There was an initial smack to our faces with spice and then it continued and lingered throughout our meal.  I thought the pad thai was a little dry, but plenty chewy in texture.  This might've been the fact we did takeout and it sat in the box a for bit where the moisture was soaked up.  As mentioned there was heat that also went along with some sweetness and tang.  Prawns were perfectly cooked with a meaty snap.

Just as spicy, if not more, the Pla Pad Prik Keag (Crispy Fish Belly) was tangy and sweet.  Again, I'm sure the fish would've been crispier and less moisture-logged if we had eaten it in the restaurant fresh.  Despite this, I enjoyed this with the rice for 2 that we ordered (it was so generous in size, it was more like rice for 4).  The fish itself was a touch on the drier side, yet with such a thin piece of belly, it would've been difficult to keep tender.  Besides, it was supposed to be crispy anyways, not flaky.

With a touch less heat due to the coconut milk, the Chicken Green Curry was full of tender meat, peppers, green beans, eggplant and bamboo shoots.  It was a bit thin in consistency, however, it didn't lack flavour.  I would've liked a touch more fermented shrimp essence, but the spice and aromatics did still come through.  As mentioned, the generous amount of properly prepared ingredients made this hearty.  There was more than enough curry to compliment the giant box of coconut rice on the side.

For the kiddies, they can handle spice, but not to the level we are used to, so we ended getting them the Pad See Ew.  There was about an even 50-50 split between flat rice noodles and ingredients (including tender beef, crunchy gai lan and egg).  Hence, it ate hearty with varying textures.  I thought the noodles were nicely prepared with an appealing chewiness.  There was evidence of caramelization and I liked how it wasn't overly greasy.  It was balanced between sweet and salty, but for me at least, I would've added hot sauce to it (to be fair, we asked for mild).

Also for the kiddies, we got an order of Khao Man Gai which is essentially a version of Hainanese chicken.  Similar to the one you would find in Portland (Nong's Khao Man Gai), this one featured a side of the sweet garlicky ginger sauce that naturally went well with the chicken and rice.  There was ample amount of tender chicken to go with an equally large portion of chewy rice.  I would've liked more sauce since the dish itself wasn't exactly flavourful on its own (and it generally isn't).  Next time, I'm going to double up on that sauce.

For dessert, we went for the classic Mango with Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice.  As you can see in the picture, the sticky rice wasn't exactly the most attractive thing as it was pretty mushed up.  However, it tasted great being aromatic and just sweet enough.  I can understand why the rice was like that as I'm sure it isn't a big seller.  So it probably wasn't prepared fresh (would've taken too long anyways).  Mango was tangy and ripe though.  Overall, we enjoyed the food from Khob Khun Thai despite some of the critiques.  Understandably, the dine-in experience would be superior and we are more than willing to do that in the future.

The Good:
- Well-portioned
- Super nice owners
- Spicy enough

The Bad:
- Limited seating and now with Covid restrictions, even less
- Sticky rice was a bit mushy


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