Bottles of the fiery Sriracha, a variety of vinegars and fish sauce, all imported from Thailand, line the shelves on the bare, distressed walls of Bandra’s newest eatery, Eat Thai. The display serves two purposes — it forms the highlight of the space (soon, it will be painted with a life-sized mural of a tuk-tuk, we were informed) and also reaffirms the restaurant’s claim of using authentic Thai ingredients in its “modern Thai” preparations.
But the rest of the decor, with exposed bricks, wooden tables and colourful iron chairs, is reminiscent of Lower Parel’s speakeasy PDT (Please Don’t Tell), owned by the boys who have launched Eat Thai, Ashish Sajnani and Juspreet Singh Wali. The 40-seater restaurant also has an outdoor section that sports a large community table with bar-style chairs and a few tables that overlook Bandra’s busy streets.
Eat Thai offers authentic flavours from Thai food through preparations borrowed from other cuisines. So there’s Phad pik kai sriarcha, stuffed chicken wings marinated with honey sriracha sauce, and their signature Yum quinoa salad that combines tomatoes, cabbage and crunchy cashews.
We began our meal with Goang Jued, a tangy clear soup that combines roasted sticky rice and prawns with vegetables, and a staple Som tam, spicy green papaya salad with crushed peanuts. The soup was flavourful, perfect for a sore throat and we couldn’t stop ourselves from taking quick bites of the salad, despite the spice. Next up was the Eat Thai burger that came with a thick chicken patty (full marks for that) flavoured with Thai spices. Yet, the burger lacked a certain wholesomeness as it was devoid of the crispy lettuce that the menu promised us.
To go with our meal, we ordered Kafae yen, a Thai iced coffee with condensed milk. While the drink was a welcome relief from all the spicy food, it didn’t fare any better than the standard coffee shop variety. We also tried Renong pla yang thm nalay, a fish marinated in spices and grilled to perfection. Though slightly salty, the dish came with a tangy ‘yum’ sauce that complemented the mild flavour of the fish. A house special, we were tempted to steal the sauce recipe, which we were told, is prepared using galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and soya sauce.
With little room for main course, we stuck to another staple — the Thai green curry rice that was a good balance of coconut milk and herbs. Served with steaming jasmine rice, the green curry with chicken was the perfect comfort meal. For desserts, we recommend Kanom dak, a Thai tea panna cotta. Served with dragon fruit, it was the star of our meal.
Thai Ban had established itself as Bandra’s go-to eatery for Thai food over the 16 years that it occupied the spot in Pali Naka. Eat Thai, which has now replaced Thai Ban, has quality food with an easy and casual vibe. However, it will need to be consistent and regularly reinvent itself to survive as long as its predecessor.
Meal for two: Rs 1,500 (The restaurant does not serve alcohol)