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Aroy Thai

July 17, 2010

19 Coromandel Parade
Blackwood SA 5051
(08) 8278 1666

Open Tues-Sun for dinner

I grew up in the area and Aroy Thai has been around ever since I can remember, and it was only recently that I ventured into this place to finally have a taste. It’s next to a pizza bar so for those who dislike Thai food you can go get a pizza instead and stop reading this blog! I’ve heard mixed reviews about this place when dining in and for takeaway so it will be interesting to find out who is right!

Final Score: 7.6/10

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Lemongrass Chicken

Don’t let the tacky neon sign fool you, there’s actually a newly renovated Thai restaurant behind the window … and you have to make your entrance discreetly around the side door! Although I’m not a fan of tacky neon signs I am a big fan of good tasting food. Friends have told me this place is great, average and poor, so I just had to review this place for myself!

Aroy Thai isn’t the largest restaurant you’ll find upon entering, but looks can be deceiving! They can cater for a large number of guests with both a large back area for families and a front room for small numbers, all with recently updated decor! Now some of you might know I always mention the decor and how little Asian ornaments usually add a touch of authenticity to the dining experience, and in this case I have to give them a thumbs up! The walls were adorned with wooden carvings and Thai tapestry, and the recently renovated walls were coloured to suit. This place had a modern cafe flair to it but this time Aroy Thai went to some effort in catching the diner’s eye with these decorations … a good relief from the run of modern same-ness of late.

The service here is really good, and again just that notch up from all the recent adventures of late. Nothing was to be complained about and everything ran smoothly, but also nothing to yell from the treetops about. There were however some subtle niceties which really stuck in my mind even a day after as I write this review. There was constant attention from the waitresses, but what stood out was the attention to drinks. Now I went el-cheapo and ordered the tap water, but when I ran out the waitress automatically gave me a new glass! Beers were refilled as offered, and throughout the night there was an air of pleasantry. It was like when you walk into a shop and the salesperson is nice and helpful and not pushy or overly extroverted.

So, lemongrass chicken you say … some ups and downs with this dish makes it hard to come to a conclusion. The portion size was pretty acceptable, big enough when eaten with rice to actually share with two small eaters and the taste and flavours of the dish itself actually made me raise an eyebrow of approval! Strong lemongrass notes with mild chilli and fish sauce, combined with what I can only describe as a tasty “lemongrass satay peanut infusion” made this super salivating and has stuck in my mind as one of the best flavours I have had in the past few reviews. Unfortunately the chicken meat used was thigh fillet which sometimes isn’t bad but in this case I think chicken breast should have been used, however the biggest killer was the texture of the sauce. Those of you who know a little bit about lemongrass will understand that there are parts used for eating (soft texture) and parts used for flavour and aroma (the bits that are tough like tree bark). It seems that in the sauce there were tough barky bits of lemongrass about the size of fish scales (and in fact similar in texture) here and there which made eating this dish rather unpleasant. I could have been unlucky, but super tasty sauce combined with unpleasant texture … I guess they kind of cancel each other out! Pity! But perhaps some bonus for presentation with the dog shaped decorative carrot!

I really wanted to like this place in every rating of the review, as the initial steps and decor really set the mood for a good review night. Maybe I was just unlucky with my dish, who knows! But it was one of their best dishes so I will have to take it on board in this manner. Service here is good, with the waitresses adding that extra care to your dining experience, and really if it wasn’t for the tough bits in the sauce then I reckon this place could be top ten. A couple of other diners with me had the Thai Barramundi which looked and tasted great, so maybe things aren’t all that bad! But for me unfortunately, once bitten twice shy … I’ll probably come back but try something else!

  • Service [9.0/10] : Professional service, lots of attention and auto refills of water was great!
  • Quality [5.9/10] : Excellent tasting but poor texture … could have been superb!
  • Venue [8.5/10] : Modern but has that extra touch of authenticity, a nice change.
  • Value [7.0/10] : Reasonable portion sizes for your average restaurant prices, not too bad.

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