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Amarin Thai

June 4, 2010

108 Tynte St
North Adelaide SA 5000

(08) 8239 0026

Open everyday for Dinner,  Mon-Wed for Lunch

It’s been quite a while between drinks … well, between noodles maybe! Amarin Thai has been around for a long time, and has established itself to be one of the finer eats around. Given their lengthy experience and numerous positive outcries I think that it’s time to put them to the test … I always like a good food challenge! Onwards!

Final Score: 8.45/10

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Garlic & Peppered Pork

Hmm, yet another episode of peppered pork … do I look like the kind of person who loves peppered pork or something?! … sorry, I do like peppered pork, even though it doesn’t present itself as a very “Thai” dish. A couple of reviews ago I had the peppered pork at Glenelg Spices but notably they didn’t have the garlic aspect on the description, so maybe Amarin Thai are going to be one-up on them! But seriously, the last peppered pork I reviewed wasn’t too bad, so things should be O-tay.

This week we had a special guest from Ireland come stay with us, and we just had to take her on an episode of Thai review. Being a backpacker, money can be a bit tight and since we were eating in the heart of North Adelaide I wasn’t expecting many penny value meals out here. The place is quite nice, with a bustling front service area and then tucked away out the back is a larger entertaining room which we were in. The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is that all the waitresses are Thai, or at least Thai looking, and are dressed in traditional Thai clothing which is certainly a first and definitely puts a positive spin on how authentic this place is. Decor is warm and inviting, and to match the waitresses there are plenty of Thai ornaments and knick-knacks about the place. Not the most modern but definitely a great effort in creating a warm inviting environment.

Service was more than adequate during the night with constant attention from the three waitresses buzzing about. I think I saw the fastest ever plate clearance after we had finished eating as well! So things are going pretty well so far, and no complaints could be had … and things just went up a notch, but we’ll find out a bit later …

So the food here is pretty good, in fact I would say that it touches base with the “great” classification. Since I’ve had another peppered pork to compare with, I can safely say that this is like a peppered pork V1.1, basically the same thing but with a few improvements. Firstly, from reading up on the inter-webs this dish is supposed to have the combo of garlic and pepper so some minor points scored here for conforming. Secondly, it looks a lot better than what was served up at Glenelg Spices so again, a couple of hits higher again. But most importantly – the taste … and I can confirm it was within the realms of being great. As I mentioned in the other peppered pork review I don’t think this has the same Thai flair like your more common curries and also not very exciting, so this is probably something for those tame eaters. However, the pork was fried perfectly, being moist and tender with a skin coating of pure flavour. Obviously pepper and garlic was in the mix, but also red chili, sweet soy and what almost tasted like chicken salt hit my tastebuds creating a nice and tasty party in my mouth!

Amarin Thai definitely lives up to the hype, which many restaurants tend not to do. As always, I review with open eyes and as honest as can be … and in my honest opinion this place deserves all the positivity it gets. Nice venue, good food served all round and last but not least great service … in fact service that went above and beyond! Back to that “notch” I was talking about earlier, it was our Irish friends’ birthday and when the waitresses got hint of this, they put on a bit of a show! Turning down the lights, walking in with a plate of iceream and candles and singing Happy Birthday was the highlight of the night! Just made me smile on the inside. Well done Amarin Thai, highly recommended!

  • Service [9.3/10] : No hassles all night, and the birthday song was the cherry on the top!
  • Quality [8.4/10] : Better than last but I still prefer something more exciting for a ‘best dish’
  • Venue [8.0/10] : Nice and inviting, Thai flair all round including with the waitresses!
  • Value [7.9/10] : Great taste, not a bad sized serve for generally accepted city prices.

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Thai Barramundi (special Claire review!)

I ordered Amarin Thai’s barramundi with apples, red onions and lime sauce because I saw it arrive on the table next to ours, and it was so beautiful to look at. Take some time to appreciate the photograph now. What a lovely mixture of colours and textures!
Sadly, my enjoyment of the dish was a bit mixed. All the ingredients were fresh and tasty, and the fish was perfectly melt-in-your mouth tender with delicious crispy accents. However, after a few forkfuls I found everything was just too overwhelmed by the lime. It wasn’t spicy, but it was just too biting for me to be able to enjoy the more subtle other flavours. I would have loved this dish if it had been less sharp and more round, with just a dash of lime over the top rather than being drenched in it. This was especially heartbreaking because the fish was so perfect!!.

If you subtracted a good three quarters of the lime, my evening would have had no complaints! In addition to my main, I had an entree of vegetarian spring rolls which were as good as spring rolls tend to be. I also enjoyed the fact that Amarin had moscato on their wine list, as not too many small restaurants do. Both service and venue were very nice. The waitresses all wore traditional Thai dress in matching styles but various colours which I thought added a pretty and bright element to the atmosphere.
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  • Service [8.5/10] : No problems and wait-time wasn’t too long.
  • Quality [9.5/10] : The meal was high quality, I just had some issues with the balance of flavours.
  • Venue [7.0/10] : We were out in a back room. Not heavily decorated but pleasant.
  • Value [9.0/10] : Based mainly on the price of their Pad Thai, very reasonable!

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