Monday, August 18, 2008


Ok if there is one that Belfast really is falling short on is ethnic food. I'm not talking about gourmet schmormay fancy pants food, I'm talking authentic ethnic food, rustic cooking -- your mom's cooking. In my book, Michelin stars and cordon bleu training doesn't mean jack when it comes to down home ethnic cooking. It's simple and there's no pretentious bullshit.

It is a real shame that most people here probably think that chips and curry is a regular staple in China since it is served at a Chinese restaurant. I find out of the many ethnic restaurants I have eaten here, I have been deeply disappointed. Tonight was not an exception when we dined at THAItanic. Cute name but...

When I want Thai food, I WANT AUTHENTIC THAI FOOD at least really, really close to it. Expecially if those who are in the kitchen are Thai. I placed my order at the counter: Chicken Satay, Tom Kha, Pad Thai, and Thai Chicken Fried Rice on and of course, Thai Iced Tea.

"I'm sorry. We don't have Thai Iced Tea"

WHAT?!?!? No Thai Iced Tea. What the hell kind of Thai restaurant does not have Thai iced tea?!?!?!

According to their website...

"We are Belfast's first Authentic Thai noodle bar.

We can offer both a take out and eat in option. Providing both locally produced produce mixed with the ambient flavours of Thailand."

I don't think so! You lost points on not having Thai Iced Tea on the menu. Ooh that really ticked me off but I guess it's not their fault. Any variation on tea other than Nambarrie with milk, is not acceptable to the Belfast palate.

First came the appetizer. Chicken Satay - perfectly grilled, peanut sauce very watery, and as with any Chicken satay, a side of at least a variation of Prik dong (Thai chile peppers pickled with white rice vinegar) is mandatory of the dish to counteract the sweet of the peanut sauce. Instead, the satay was garnished with little matchstick slices of dry carrots and cabbage. Pathetic!

Then on to the soup - Tom Kha absolutely perfect! - The soup was an epiphany. There are little of diamonds hidden away in street corners and they have been hiding in this restaurant. Such greatness can exist in Belfast! At least they did that right.

Tom Kha

Main Courses: Pad Thai - bland and noodles soggy. Did not taste remotely like pad thai but egg foo yung. For being an authentic Thai noodle house, their signature dish really sucks! Chicken Fried Rice - It's nothing I hadn't had before in any CHINESE restaurant.

Pad Thai and chicken fried rice.

I tried to look for the typical condiments you would find at a thai restaurant like chili or nam pla to douse over my bland pad thai, I only found a saucer full of dried chilli flakes which is definitely not Thai. Thai condiments are the backbone of Thai food and they was no sign of them within a 20 mile radius.

Ok, a restaurant is also a business and they have to cater to their consumers, but dayum. If I go to a Thai restaurant, I expect Thai food. Otherwise, I'd go to the Chinkers! People of Belfast, I hope you know that you are being jipped on the ethnic food front. Authentic Thai Noodlehouse my ass!

Food: 2 (my only kudo is for the soup)
Service: 2 (nothing spectacular)
Atmosphere: 2 (seats were not comfortable too low. Long table to evoke communal style eating but I don't think it vibes well with the very shy and aloof Belfastians, some seating outside)

Would I come back here? ONLY FOR THE SOUP and my own thermos of thai iced tea from home!

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