A is for aroi mak food at Silk and Spice

A is for Aroi mak – meaning ‘delicious’ in Thai!
Our dinner at Silk and Spice was indeed aroi mak!

Silk and Spice Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Silk and Spice was announced the 2013 Best Thai restaurant in the ‘Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence” (http://www.brandsouthaustralia.com.au/news/member-news/sa-winners-announced-at-2013-restaurant-catering-awards-for-excellence).

I’m not sure how accurate a reflection these awards are and what criteria was used to judge – so we decided to try it out for ourselves as well as celebrate my boyfriend’s father’s birthday. Also bonus that it is in the Entertainment Book – woo hoo!

It was fairly easy to find with the lit up sign outside the cottage style house-turned-restaurant, with a little car park at the back.

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The sign was too bright for my camera!

The interior was very cosy as it was a house transformed into dining areas. There were traditional Thai artwork displayed on the walls as well as waitresses dressed in traditional Thai clothing, which created a Thai atmosphere but retaining the more ‘fine-dining’ look on the tables. Service was great on arrival – providing menus and chilled water.

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We decided to order some entrees to start off with.

First up was Gai Hor Buy Toey (5 pc), which means succulent marinated chicken pieces wrapped in pandan leaf served with sweet chilli sauce ($7.50 entree). This was tasty, and the chicken was indeed succulent and juicy. However, it lacked pandan fragrance and didn’t have any memorable flavours.

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Next up was Yum Sam Cien ($7.90 entree)- a scrumptious prawn, squid and soft fried fish maw salad with chilli, pickle garlic, cashew nut, onion and lemon juice. The picture looks a bit of a mess (so presentation probably needs work if you eat with your eyes, as I sometimes do) but the flavours were fresh, light and appetizing. A great entree to introduce the incoming mains. Lovely big prawns too – not the dingy little ones some places

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Oh boy, when the mains slowly came out, we dug in and just kept eating as everything was delicious! Here we go:

1. Thai Style Crispy Chicken ($17.90) – The Chef;s special recipe of succulent sweet chilli and lemongrass Chicken Maryland (boneless), lightly tossed to encapsulate the juices, served with a refreshing papaya salad.

This chicken had a bit of a kick with the chilli, and the juicy chicken was indeed full of flavour. Together with the papaya salad (loveee papaya salad), it was a winner of a dish and disappeared into our tummies! I was fairly surprised as I rarely order chicken dishes when I’m out.

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2. Char-Grilled Garlic Pork with Nam Jin ($17.90) -Char-grilled garlic and black pepper marinated Pork Neck with smoked chilli Nam Jin (hot). The pork was sliced quite thin, and had the lovely char-grilled flavour. It is a bit different to pork belly – where it’s juicier and retains more flavour, so I guess something different! Perhaps healthier than pork belly 😉

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3. HIGHLIGHT ALERT: Barramundi with Green Mango Sauce ($26.90) – Market Fresh Spring water barramundi (650 gms) lightly fried, topped with green mango, shallots, cashew, nuts and a lime juice dressing. Ooh boy, when we saw the other tables eating this, we just couldn’t wait for ours to arrive!

The barramundi was cooked perfectly, fried on the outside but soft delicious fresh fish on the inside. Coupled with the tangy sauce and salad, the flavours were so refreshing. I am salivating reminiscing about this dish. Highly recommend – I am a bit biased because barramundi is one of my favourite fishes to eat!

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4. We cannot go a Thai meal without trying a Pahd Thai ($12.90) – Popular Thai rice noodles with prawn and chicken topped with roasted ground peanuts and beansprout. Just check out the colour – orangey! I love pad thai’s that have that orange colour. The flavours were amazing – sweet but acidic. This was very popular and gone quickly as well. The noodles were slippery as there was a lot of sauce sticking to the noodles. Highly recommend 🙂
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5. Our other staple was the Silk and Spice Khao Pahd ($12.90) – Jasmine rice stir fried with chicken, flavoured with fresh basil, herbs and chilli. If you love basil, then this is your dish. Basil is the overpowering flavour amongst the other herbs. I preferred the Pahd Thai, but some others enjoyed this as they love basil.

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6. Gaeng Dang Duck ($16.90) – Succulent roast duck breast fillet cooked in a rich red spicy curry paste with coconut milk, lychee, cherry tomato, chilli and basil leaves. 

Well after we almost finished everything else, we remembered our red duck curry had not arrived. We asked the waiter whether it was still coming. She returned saying, yes it is on the way – about 10 minutes more.

We are not dumb – obviously they forgot. They should just tell us up front and at least apologise. When it did finally come out, it was just a bowl of duck curry sitting among other empty dishes. The lady that brought it out seemed to realise it was a bit absurd for us to eat a bowl of curry, and so returned and gave us some steamed rice. It was good that they are thoughtful and so that was forgiven.

The duck was not succulent – it was thinly sliced duck breast. Flavours of the curry was delicious though – with the sweetness of the lychees and tomatoes coming through. I would prefer if the duck was not so thin as you cannot really taste the ‘succulence’ of the duck when it is so thin.

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Then, somehow we still had room for some dessert – second stomach kicking in! And we are glad we gave this a go:

Dessert: Thai Sticky Rice with Banana ($9.50) – Delicious sweet banana cooked in sticky rice and black bean served with coconut ice cream. We originally ordered one to share between the 5 of us (yes there was only five of us eating…) but then it was so delicious, we ordered another one.

The sticky rice was warm, soft and chewy. It went so well with the cool coconut icecream (which I personally disliked as I don’t fancy coconut much), but the others loved it! I definitely prefer this type of sticky rice compared to the black types in other Thai restaurants. It is softer and not as grainy I suppose. Give it a go 😀

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Overall, I think we had 9 dishes in total for a party of 5. The servings are not huge, but the flavours are there and the prices are not absurd. If you have an entertainment book, it is even better!! We grade this place an A – (due to the delay of our duck curry) but otherwise, I would like to try out some of the other items on the menu!

… the Alphabet of Food ..

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