Jan 25, 2009

When the food and decor don't match

Last night, M had to be coaxed into going out for dinner. A new Thai place opened up on my street and I've been pouring over their promotional paper menu, salivating at the thought of Tom Yum soup and Green Curry. My craving reached a peak last night and I just had to have some. M reluctantly joined me after I offered to pay for most of the meal.

Upon entering Rama Thai, I was struck by the prominently placed, large-framed poster of the Taj Mahal. Looking around, the decor was unquestionably Indian. Several smaller framed Taj Mahals, elephants and other Indian kitsch adorned the walls. But the waiter was Bangladeshi, which is typical here in Lavapiés since most Indian restaurants are actually run by the Bangladeshis.

But wait, didn't I come in for Thai food? Turns out the this used to be an Indian restaurant but the competition was too stiff so they changed their menu to become the only Thai place on the street. This made me immediately suspicious about the quality and authenticity of the food. Our waiter assured me that the chef had spent 10 years in Thailand cooking Thai food. So we ordered the soup that compelled me to come here in the first place and a chicken green curry. The Tom Yum soup was tasty but expensive. For 4.5 euros, I wanted a larger bowl. What I got was a small bowl stuffed with 3 prawns and 6 thick slices of ginger. The green curry was fine.

Overall, I'd say that the menu is overpriced and Indian decor is off-putting when you've come in for a Thai meal. This incongruence doesn't sit well with me. Call me old-fashion but I think that the decor and the food should complement each other not clash and confuse. Besides, it makes me wonder, if a restauranteur can't be bothered with changing something as basic as the decor, what does that say about their attention to detail in the kitchen? What further put me off was the rumbling and gurgling in my belly afterwards. Seems the soup didn't sit well with me either. I don't think I'll be back. My search for good tom yum in the barrio will continue....

7 comments:

Sirio said...

closed because of the competition, dear me. True the competition is tough, but its not a good basis. I think you someone should forward them this blog, maybe they'll mull it over and start to serve bigger bowl...and get rid of the Tajs. Pity.

Shehani said...

It is a pity. You have no idea how much I want to have a place near here that serves delicious southeast Asian noodles and soup!
Rama Thai needs Thai themed posters to put in those frames.. it wouldn't take much effort. really.

Sirio said...

I reckon someone needs to tell them, usually these places don't change of their own accord.

Shehani said...

are you volunteering? do you think they'd appreciate a little Gordon Ramsey bitter truth telling?

Sirio said...

do you reckon printing out your blog entry and posting it through their door would be too harsh?

Shehani said...

Hmm.. so long as they didn't have a pic to id me with (and possibly find me and beat me with said taj mahal posters), i suppose it wouldn't be too harsh.....

Anonymous said...

No wonder M had to be coaxed

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