Monday, 1 September 2014

Mission Bay: Ruan Thai Review

Laaaadles and Jellyspoons! (Yes it's back due to demand)
Toying with the idea of a one-frame comic with every blog or so. Opinions?

So today we've got another restaurant to review, this time in Mission Bay. Today was really one of those days where you're just tired of decision making so you're pretty much happy with whatever and Mission Bay was close by so there we go.


It had a lot of space, or at least should have but it seemed that every square inch of the place was either filled with tables or with Thai decorations. There were so many statues, pictures, fake plants (supposedly), cabinets with pottery etc etc etc you get the idea. It was just so crowded from the moment we walked in. It was literally just Thai decorations, walking space and then tables on the outside rim. After sitting for a while we noticed how dark and moody the lighting was(almost impossible to take photos from my iPhone) as well as how the whole room was wooden. Although it gave a nice warm vibe, it started to feel like we were sitting in a Western steakhouse that had somehow gotten their decoration order mixed up with the Thai shop down the road. Good for a romantic dinner.. or dining in the dark sort of activity (just kidding). Seriously though, felt really weird because of the clashing of the design and décor. Since it was a really slow night, we got a great seat by the window. The windows have a protective glass bit that presumably prevents toddlers from falling over when its open. The view that you get isn't exactly seaside; granted we were seated right next to the billboard sign for the shop below, but overall you get a front row seat of the pavement that's for sure.

  "It was alright" are the precise words we get when we ask each other about the food. Also they served tap water which has a really strong smell and no matter how thirsty you are, it's hard to drink that. We started with the Deluxe Thai Platter which consisted of a selection of 6 of the entrees with an additional serving because there were three of us.

It starts with 2 of each of the 6 and each serving just adds one. The platter consists of Chicken Satay, Prawn Balls, Curry Puffs, Spring Rolls, Moneybags and Chicken Wings. so as you can see there's a fair bit to try. The chicken satay was better than what was had at Thai Village because it had good texture. The taste was a bit bland but they do give you peanut sauce to go with it as well as 3 other sauces which go with the rest of the platter. The prawn balls were again, bland and they had this strange after taste which didn't agree too well with me even when dipped in the sauces so for me that was probably the worst of the platter. (Song. Hard to tell who's writing, if there's a difference of opinion we'll change the colors or something). The curry puff, I prefer them to be a bit spicy to give a kick to the entire thing but I'm starting to think that they get all of these from a manufacturer and just microwave them for us. It was on the bland side. The spring roll wasn't that great, it was bland and there was this absence of well.. absence of anything really. It contained no meat (so hey look vegetarian friendly) and had a poor selection of vegetables to compensate. The Moneybags, were interesting. We're probably more used to the ones at Thai Village, which are small but elegant and very nicely packed together. In this one it was kinda thick, the bag itself was a lot bigger and clumsier. More like a mini mince pie. This one, was one of the parts of this platter that was NOT bland (hooray!). Finally the chicken wings. Not bland, well cooked with great texture and not overly dry which is easy to do with chicken. Overall, this platter was on the disappointing side but was a great way to try a lot of what they had to offer as well as being relatively filling.

Next, we had the Ruan Thai special ribs. I wanted a small meal because I wasn't too hungry, but honestly one serving from the entrée platter was enough to fill me up so I couldn't eat much of either of the mains. As the waiter said though, it was pretty sweet, not something you want to have if you're itching for a steak or some other savoury food. It's not dessert worthy but it's still sweet. The texture of the ribs was a tiny bit dry but still nice.

We also gave the fish a try, which I believe was called the Pla Lard Pik(very appetising name, I know). It's apparently spicy but since I can handle it(and as most people should know I'm pretty terrible with spicy food despite being Asian), it's probably nothing to normal people. My mother thinks it was nice and since she's the family chef one would normally trust her, but I personally found it dry and a bit tasteless.

Finally my favourite part; dessert. Songie had Coconut Black Bean Sago Pudding whereas I had the Kao Niew Liam Yai. We did a swapsies to taste them both. I personally preferred mine because I don't see the place of black beans in desserts, even in Asian ones. I found the sago pudding quite watery and my favourite part --the sago-- was barely in it. My one however, I preferred because it had a thicker, pudding-like consistency, even if it reminded me of creamy rice. I had lychee bits in it which was a pleasant surprise. However I must admit I think I prefer Thai Village's desserts. I did, however, love the icecream that came with the desserts. They probably got it from Movenpick at the corner or something because it was delicious. Deeply regretted not getting a sundae.

Kai Niew Liam Yai

Coconut Black Bean Sago Pudding

I feel like the presentation was standard for Thai food, and that's not a bad thing. Truly, with the exotic mix of colours and tastes in the food it's hard to fault these dishes. I liked that there were some vegetables on the side, but there wasn't enough to count for an actual mini salad, plus a good majority of it was probably coriander and the like. I did like the dishes that the food came in though.

Considering that it was not a busy night at all(about 3 tables in total including us); I expected them to be a little more attentive and a little bit more on to it when it came to things like taking our order. Despite having our menus closed (which I think is like the definite sign that we can order) it took a good 15ish minutes before the waiter noticed us. I'm not sure if it was the placement of tables and plants and such but it felt like we were fairly isolated and out of sight, despite having wonderful seats by the corner window. I may have spotted a waitress lurking near the giant plant behind us but she was more suited to seeing the other two tables. On the bright side we did get checked up on once during the dinner,  and the food was quite prompt (then again it was just three tables that night), so the service was alright.

The Deluxe Thai Platter which consisted of a selection of 6 of the entrees for $29.00 with each additional serving costing $14.00. The Ruan Thai Ribs were $22.20 and the Pla Lard Pik was $27.00. For dessert, the Coconut Black Bean Sago Pudding and Kao Niew Liam Yai were $13.00. I actually found this place possibly more costly than Thai Village in Remuera which I found pretty crazy because a lot of students frequent Mission Bay as opposed to Remuera.

Rating: /10

Atmosphere:      3
Food:                 5
Presentation:     7
Service:             4
Price:                 4

Overall: 4.6/10

Once again, thank you for reading!! If interested in eating at Ruan Thai, details are here.

The Lambs(YES. TWO AT LAST.)

Just for fun.

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