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DirecThai

October 16, 2009

 

DirecThai Week7247 Gouger St
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8410 5445
Open 7 Days for Dinner,  Mon-Fri for Lunch

Hang on, this isn’t a restaurant?! you might be asking … and yes you’re right. In the end I got duped, in fact this is just the Director’s Hotel slash pub. I knew the Thai restaurant was a part of the Director’s but I was hoping for a seperate dining section with perhaps just a door leading to access their front bar and pokies room, at least seperating the diners from the drinkers … but alas, my dreams came crashing down. At least the sign says the food is authentic. Let’s read on to find out more …

Final Score: 4.4875/10

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Chicken Green Thai CurryGreen Thai Curry DirecThai 09Oct09

 


When I looked this place up I read a review that I could “hide behind the colourful silk screen and kick-start your digestive journey in the comfort of their unique pillow room”. In my head, this produced images of a traditional Thai style house, with mood lighting and waitresses dressed in traditional Thai gowns. The part about their “pillow rooms” intrigued me, and brought back memories of a Japanese restaurant excursion back in primary school. I could almost smell the incense burning just thinking about how the venue would be like. Well, whoever wrote that article must have had eyes slantier than mine, because seriously, hardly any features of this place conjured images of traditional Thai.

Before entering the pub (yes, I refuse to call this a restaurant), I actually walked a couple of shops down hoping to find a standalone establishment.  I had a feeling that the Thai section might be attached to the same building as the pub, but I had no idea it was actually inside! I walked in and instead of being greeted by a waitress and Asian interior designs, I was staring at a set of beer handles and a mid-fourties male sporting a bikie-beard and sucking down a pint of West End Draught. I walked over to our dining area which was next to the front bar, and sat down on some cheap hard plastic IKEA-esque chairs which I accidently pulled off the back rest (a couple of other people had also done the same). The white table cloth was nice though, real good quality restaurant grade cotton material. I also noticed that their individual booths looked quite cosy with some small Asian ornaments on the table.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like pubs. I’m sure the Director’s is a great place to hang, and I must mention that the bar staff were very friendly. Pubs are much better than nightclubs and they are a great venue for being loud with your mates for after-work drinks, but you can see how far I’ve come crashing down in my expectations. The booming dance music from the birthday party upstairs, combined with melodic dings from the pokie room and general pub banter over the front bar are the perfect ambience setters for a Friday night Thai dinner … aren’t they?

Anyways, onto the food! The lady at the cash register recommended quite a few of what she thought were the best dishes, and ended up recommending the green chicken curry … and it was a great choice! Just as good as the last green chicken curry I had, with flavours of chili, curry leaves and coconut milk blended simply with chunks of chicken. Some vegetables in the mix were a nice touch, making for a pretty tasty meal.  The chicken wasn’t tough at all, and was good to see breast meat was being used. I must mention that it was very spicy! A great contrast to the sweetness of the coconut milk. For entree I had their “money bags” which were a mince meat and seafood combo inside wanton sheets, twisted at the neck to look like little bags, and they were very tasty!

You can probably tell this place is going to get some up and down scores. I would recommend this place as an after-work drink up with good Thai food later on, and I hear that takeaway is pretty good too, but I definitely wouldn’t be advertising this place as a restaurant. Would I come here again? Sure, but not with my family or on a date.

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  • Service [3.7/10] : She was good at using the cash till, otherwise no real restaurant service.
  • Quality [8.6/10] : Pretty good overall, nice flavours and the Money Bags were quite good.
  • Venue [2.5/10] : Additional points for the booths but there’s nothing Thai about this place.
  • Value [5.4/10] : Same price as the other Thai restaurants. I expected cheaper pub prices.

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Massuman Curry DirecThai 09Oct09Massuman Curry (Brad’s Guest Review)

I’ve had good times at the Director’s Hotel, I even had a good time at the Director’s Hotel on Friday night. But the DirecThai restaurant isn’t the reason why. The reason quality Thai food tastes good is because of a perfected balance of herbs and spices and cooking technique. The reason pub food tastes good is because of fats and oils. Both have a place in the Australian diet and DirecThai shouldn’t pretend to be good at one when they’re suited to the other.

This was a red curry no better than what could be made from a packet sauce in your own kitchen. The meat was large, dry and chewy and there was too much of it. The sauce probably had as many calories as a cheeseburger. There was no real love or energy pulsing in the bowl. It was a pub meal. It’s not really fair to compare a pub meal with some of the great Thai eateries we’ve been to so far. And it’s not fair to criticise bar staff for not providing table service when they’re bar staff. Personally I blame Chow, but after he left we had a great time playing pool, drinking beer and watching soccer so I forgave him pretty quick. If you want a pub, the Director’s is a fine choice. If you want Thai don’t go to DirecThai. The name doesn’t even make sense, if it’s supposed to be a pun it’s a very shitthai one.

  • Service [3.0/10] : 3 points for being good at bartending.
  • Quality [3.7/10] : Ingredients may have been good at one stage, but they weren’t at their prime once they reached me. Below the restaurant standard.
  • Venue [5.0/10] : 1 point for adding some paper lampshades around the place, 5 for being a pub with a pool table, minus 1 for the guy singing loudly on stage and drowning out our dinner chatter.
  • Value [4.0/10] : 15 for a main meal isn’t bad but another $3 per bowl of rice is not nice. No option for group rice is unacceptable!

On the strip of upper-middle class eateries that line Norwood’s Parade is Danny’s Thai bistro. Inside the atmosphere is a blend of Thai wall decorations and the contemporary, uncovered air conditioning in the roof, which is enhanced by downlights. It kind of felt like I was eating at a Harbour Town. The two most notable factors of this meal were service and quality. I ordered a traditional Kangaroo Red Curry and with centuries of experience the kitchen produced a great meal. Not exceptional, but tasty enough to want to eat again. The service was terrible, despite the restaurant only being 80% full. Trying to get a server’s attention moved from eye-contact to raising a hand to waving two arms at them as they walked past as they stared at you bewilderedly. Also they announced the meals as they arrived with pronunciation like a Brad at a Phuket Thai. At least they had the foothai on.
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