Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thai Good Lah!

I wandered around the neighborhood one day before my Bikram yoga when I stumbled across a small Thai restaurant. Being relatively early (for France) in the day, it was closed. I squinted and pushed my face close to the glass to take a look inside when a small, very friendly Thai woman appeared at my shoulder, causing me to jump back in guilt. She said hello and asked if she could help before unlocking the door. I smiled and said I was fine and looked curiously at the menu before trudging my way to another, sweaty yoga class with scantily clad men who were obviously disinterested in the female half of the population.

I have to admit, I went because of the Thai woman. She was most definitely Thai so the food must be somewhat authentic and so friendly I felt that I needed to visit. So of course I dragged the boy.

The restaurant was small but immaculate and it felt like lots of care had gone into the decor which had modern Thai touches, including a shrine over the kitchen door. The restaurant was manned by what seemed like a Thai couple and their son, who were all very friendly, sending over complimentary amuse gueules when we moved to a different table to accommodate a party of three. It consisted of a bite sized deep fried pastry with minced chicken and vegetables. Inoffensive but forgettable.

We ordered the lunch special, priced at a reasonable 15 euros for an entree, a main and an side dish. The menu seemed varied with authentic dishes, with entree choices including a green papaya salad and Tom Yum Kung and side dishes of rice, fried rice, glutinous rice or vegetables. We also ordered a Pad Thai at a horrific 13 euros but which would satisfy a craving.

Our entree of spicy Thai beef salad arrived, very prettily plated with perfectly cooked meat that was still toothsome and rare in the middle, the sauce was fabulous but not spicy in the least but very tasty with the perfect mix of tart, sweetness and kick from the herbs. It was a generous portion and so moreish and tasty, I quickly dug in, even munching the onions which had been marinated long enough to lose its normally harsh bite.

Not long afterwards, our Pad Thai arrived, looking quite gorgeous in its 'shell' of thin egg crepe with two prawns resting on top and a carrot tower on the side. I was happy to see the dried chili powder and sugar in the corner, for diners to sprinkle as they see fit.

I enjoyed the Pad Thai. Not having had too much experience, I really couldn't vouch for its authenticity. I can happily say, however, that I am quite there was no ketchup in this version!!

Our Thai green chicken curry with glutinous rice came after these two dishes were cleared. I was delighted to find the little 'eggplant' pods, bitter with a great texture in this version, which was not spicy but deliciously flavorful, wonderful with the sticky glutinous rice. The pretty vegetables were cut in very similar sized finger sized sticks, complete with lacy, wavy edged zucchini.

All in all, I loved the food, thought it was made with obvious care and attention to detail.

The restaurant was clearly a work of love, with the tables wiped down until they shone and pretty carafes of water with huge sprigs of mint inside.Mild enough for the French but tasty enough for me. I admit I also fell in love with the soft-spoken, always smiling Thai family, a component that is complimentary but so often missing with meals but which keeps me smiling all day long.

41 Rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie
Tel: 01 42 77 10 20
Closed Mondays

1 comment:

umami said...

Actually 13 euros does not sound too bad, I've seen worse. Next time you go, call me please?