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Glenelg Spices

April 13, 2010

111 Jetty Rd
Glenelg SA 5045
(08) 8376 1388

Open Lunch 12pm-2.30pm and Dinner 5pm-11pm

Our second visit to the Western shores of Adelaide, Glenelg Spices calls our name for another installment of the Thai Review! Hopefully this place will fair better than our previous review at Phuket Thai back in our early days. I’ve worked on Jetty Rd at the old Tandy store a few years back and always noticed this place as a possible lunch option but never ventured in, so maybe it was just fate bringing me back? … probably not, but I am keen as always for a plate of Thai delights! Onwards!

Final Score: 8.225/10

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Peppered Pork

You might have noticed that in the first picture above Glenelg Spices sells themselves as a Thai and Malaysian restaurant. I’ve always been skeptical on how authentic some of these kind of places can be, where in most cases is just a Chinese restaurant who are offering Chinese food with some Chinese-style Indian or Thai foods. My hopes weren’t high to begin with when I saw this, and as we were led out to our booked tables I noticed that the also do a Korean BBQ as well! Sounds like they have employed some master chefs who can cook any kind of asian food, or they needed to branch out their options to get customers in … I’m hoping the first.

The restaurant itself is on a long skinny block, with a front room for regular dining and the back room full of tables fitted with gas burners for the Korean BBQers. We were in the back room, and it was very nicely decorated with Asian lanterns and looked quite modern and recently renovated. It’s hard to score the venue because we were sitting in the Korean BBQ area, and although nicely decorated in possibly authentic Korean style decor (sorry, I’m not very adept with that knowledge), I can’t say it was very “Thai”. I must admit that this place is a lot better than a few of the others we’ve been to, and was still genuinely pleasant to dine in. The soft bench seats were a good touch to the communal eating experience too! Basically nothing too fancy here, but was modern, comfortable and had some touches of Asian flair thrown around … not too bad at all!

It’s hard to find a place with happy service nowadays. The people working here are very polite and were quick with taking our orders once we all finally arrived. There were two impressing highlights that I noticed which will bump the service scores up for these guys. Firstly the waitress was keen to top our water up when our glasses were empty, which also meant she was hanging around a lot for other ad-hoc requests like ordering more rice or other drinks, so thumbs up definitely for that. Secondly she was very cheerful … not like creepy, forced-to-smile-because-my-boss-told-me cheerful, but friendly and willing-to-help cheerful if you know what I mean. I think I’ve written this before in one of my previous reviews, but the whole experience is a lot more enjoyable if the wait staff are happy to be of service. The only hiccup of the night was they only saved me 14 seats instead of 18 that I had confirmed just a few hours ago, but that was fixed and all were jolly good. So far this place is sounding good!

As per usual I asked the waitress for their best dish, and she came up with a  few options which we finally ended up in choosing the peppered pork. I’ve never seen this on any Thai menu before (or at least from what I remember, cos I don’t actually look at the menus very often!) and to me this seemed just like a generic Asian fried pork. Google says there are a few Thai pork dishes, the most popular being Garlic and Pepper Pork so I reckon this might be what I’m supposed to be eating here. When the dish came out I immediately thought I confirmed my suspicions on first sight as it looked like your regular stir fried pork with spices. I admit that there are similar Chinese restaurant dishes, and this probably isn’t what you’d associate Thai food with. The pork was quite tender and crisp on the outside, and definitely full of flavour. It was tangy and spicy and oddly sweet, like it was marinated or cooked in some sweet soy sauce. Each piece was very moreish, and I just wanted … well, more! The serving was pretty big, I would guess it would be 1.5 times the normal serving at any other place I’ve been to. Overall rather tasty but I’ve had some better dishes elsewhere, especially if this is their best recommendation. Not the most exciting dish so would probably be great for those who aren’t very adventurous in their eating. Also a bit too close to being a Chinese dish for my liking but still very tasty and makes you scramble for more like at the bottom of a Pizza shapes box.

Time to let the facts do the talking and wind this puppy up. Modern, comfortable and stylish room with some Asian flair up and about … service was speedy, cheerful and helpful … food was pretty darn tasty although very close to being a Chinese dish so I’m a bit borderline with how authentic it was. I think all the conclusions point to a thumbs up, with only a few minuses for not setting me 18 seats like I booked, and the food was a bit slow to come out … but apart from that this place is a good’un. Meal sizes are pretty decent and prices are reasonable. The best thing about this place is that you can come here for some nice food with choices from three different countries. If you want Thai food, then this place isn’t too shabby at all!

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  • Service [9.3/10] : Great service, only a hiccup with the seat numbers but otherwise ab-fab!
  • Quality [8.0/10] : Unexciting, but a good dish for those who want nice and no frills.
  • Venue [7.4/10] : Pretty nice for not a Thai decor! Modern, comfortable, not bad!
  • Value [8.2/10] : Tasty, decent serve and reasonable prices, nice!

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