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Orientai

July 11, 2010

406 Brighton Rd
Hove SA 5048
(08) 8296 1447

Open Tues-Fri & Sun for lunch, everyday for dinner

One for those down South of Adelaide, Orientai beams down upon the Thai review like the spit shine on a cricket ball … well, hopefully minus the spit! Orientai have been around for a number of years and although I’ve grown up around the general area I haven’t really noticed this place. Orientai’s horns were blowing and my number was up, so time to find out how good this beach-sider fares!

Final Score: 8.75/10

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Sizzling Jungle Beef

Now this is more like it! Something that isn’t just a Chinese stir-fry or a Thai peppered pork … this dish is something more intriguing and to some degree ominous and scary … but more about that later. Orientai is a stones throw away from Brighton beach, and you might think who wants Thai food when you’re dreaming of sandcastles and icecream? Well, it’s winter right now and I know where I’d be eating if I had the choice! Not far from Glenelg either, so I would say this is one of the contenders against the Jetty Rd heavyweights too!

When you arrive at this place you are met by a funky new and modern cocktail bar style waiting area, which seems to be all the rage nowadays. However, there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s great to see them keeping up with the times, but I still feel a lack of homeliness and would be much warmer if the decor reflected Orientai’s Asian roots … throw some bamboo and buddha’s around! The downlights created a nice moody dining area and the layout was very much communal and made good efficient use of the floor space, so good points for that. Otherwise, just your typical modern restaurant that is pleasant but nothing really inspiring … I hope the food is a bit more interesting! Service here was good, very attentive and we had a few waiters who were keen to make sure our hydration levels were at its peak levels. We were charged for an extra bottle of booze which was remedied at the counter, but apart from that the food came out quickly considering our large group table and there were no other worries.

So, deep into the jungle … green, leafy, mosquitos, hot and humid … ok, so maybe replace “leafy” and “mosquitos” with “capsicum” and “beef” and you’ve got the winning combination that is Orientai’s current sizzling special of the month! The waiter had a few recommendations to make but he finally landed on this one, and I am really glad that he chose this as the best dish. I like spicy food, and I find dishes with a combination of all flavours very interesting as long as the hotness doesn’t napalm my taste buds into dullness … and this time it didn’t! From the picture you can see one stalk of green peppercorns which was just of many, and surprisingly didn’t add too much spice … instead it was the bang from the chilli they used that caught me off guard! I should have known, the redness of the dish was the essence of jungle and I was right in the thick of it. The saltiness of the curry paste had flecks of sweetness combined with chilli and green peppercorn tang. Excellent tender strips of beef and the chewy textures of the broadbeans and capsicum made this a spectacle on its own. Anyone who likes hot food must try this, it is truly a winner.

A definite contender for the top restaurant at the seaside? Definitely better than most of the places around Glenelg and really worth the extra 5 minutes drive away from it all. Good service here and although not the most oriental styling (but I have to give it to them that most of the stuff would probably have been made in Asia) it’s still a comfortable modern eatery that is family friendly and great for a date with the missus. Food here is top notch, the best I have had in quite a while and the choice of dishes is substantial, enough for any picky eater to be satisfied with! Would I come here again? Do chickens lay eggs? I think so!

  • Service [8.8/10] : Lots of attention, food was out quick and nice and polite!
  • Quality [9.2/10] : Tender tasty beef that really revvs up your taste buds, recommended!
  • Venue [8.0/10] : Another modern, neat and cocktail bar style eatery, not bad.
  • Value [9.0/10] : Cheap for such a large dish, well worth it over most other places!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2010 1:08 pm

    Did you know Orentai is a chain? I saw another one the day after we ate here on North East road.

  2. Chow permalink*
    July 27, 2010 12:44 am

    Yeah, I forgot to mention that they also own all the Quikstix and Charminar’s!

    If you’ve been to any of these places the decor is very similar.

  3. July 27, 2010 12:48 am

    Sounds like pretty good evidence to vote Labor!

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