Soul Thai and Thai Flavour
With the school holidays on there’s been a few lazy cooking days for myself and Lynn. For something different we thought we’d review a couple of our local thai takeouts. With winter approaching it’s always good to know where to go when you need warming food which is not going to require you getting out of your tracksuit pants.
Lynn went to Soul Thai in Mt Eden and enjoyed the experience. This is what she said:
“Succumbing to temptation and with the intention of doing thorough research (!), I ordered a starter of “Gold Bags” (chicken, shrimp and water chestnuts enclosed in tofu paper with plum sauce $7.50/4), followed by Green Curry with Chicken ($15.90), Spicy Beef Salad ($15.90), Market Fresh Vegetables ($13.90) and a side of steamed rice ($2).
Soul Thai met their claim of providing freshly cooked food quickly. I only had to wait for 10 minutes on this quiet holiday evening. When we unpacked the order at home, each dish was served in a good quality plastic container with a Soul Thai sticker tape across the top to hold the lid down. The more liquid chicken curry was in its own plastic bag to contain any leaks.
The “Money Bags” had suffered slightly from the steamy effect of being in the plastic container, but there was enough crunch left to satisfy. The combination of chicken, shrimp and water chestnuts provided a nice combination of flavours and texture and the tofu paper was a pleasantly thin wrapping, not unlike filo pastry. There was no hint of greasiness.
Soul Thai uses cooking oil that meets the industry standard set by the Heart Foundation for best practice frying. They also do not use MSG. It really gave the food a healthy, fresh non-greasy taste.
The Spicy Beef Salad was just that – simple and spicy. The beef was slightly overcooked, but did not detract from the great flavour hit provided by the thai herbs, lettuce, red onion, cucumber and ground roasted rice. Our Green Chicken Curry was very good with tender pieces of chicken breast along with peas, green beans and a few carrot pieces in a light coconut milk sauce. I found the Market Fresh Vegetables a bit bland, but my husband was quite happy with them. A few spoons of sauce from the curry fixed the flavour for me.
Soul Thai is especially attractive as they do delivery. A great find for those days when you are too tired to go out, or perhaps have had a glass of wine and don’t want to drive.”
Meanwhile, I went to Thai Flavour in Te Atatu Peninsula and was also thrilled (I make it sound like I’ve never been before – we go almost every week as the food is so good and cheap). This time we ordered the Pad Pak-J ($7.00), The Pad Kee Mow Prawn ($10), The Pad Kra Pao Chicken ($11) and the Red Chicken Curry ($10). Total $38 – told you it was cheap! The secret with this place is to under-order on the spice as even the ‘mild’ has a small kick.
As always the food was delightful and plentiful. The Pad Kee Mow is a huge serving of big fat fresh rice noodles with a slight sweet, lightly spicy sauce and loaded with vegetables. They don’t skimp on the prawns like some places either. The Pad Pak-J is a great assortment of seasonal vegetables and tofu in the standard thai stir fry sauce (fish sauce, brown sugar, lime and soy) with peanut sauce spooned generously over the top. This time it was beans, mushrooms, capsicum, brocolli, baby corn and cauliflower but I have seen asparagus, brussel sprouts and all kinds of seasonal variations.
The Pad Pra Pao is my favourite stir fry with fresh chilli, garlic, sweet basil leaves, onions, beans and capsicum. It’s a great healthy option if you don’t feel like the coconut creaminess of a curry. But we did, so we had both. They were both super-tasty with perfectly cooked meat and lots of crunchy-but-not-too-crunchy vegetables.
It wasn’t quite as flash or pretty as Lynn’s Soul Thai experience but the food is excellent and I have several friends who come out here specially for it. I can highly recommend their beef salad and garlic and pepper stir fry too.
Two great options for can’t-be-bothered cooking days that won’t break the bank.