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Pira Thai Cuisine

March 20, 2011

Shop 18, 13-23 Unley Rd
Parkside SA 5063
(08) 8373 3780
Open Mon-Fri for Lunch, Mon-Sat for Dinner

Happy New Year guys! … yeah I know, it’s like March now and New Year’s was three months ago, but hey, we’re back! After a few months off doing things other than Thai Reviews, I thought it was about time the ball got another push down the hill and our tongues got to hit the streets again. Pira Thai is on the city end of Unley Rd right next door to one of our previously reviewed favourite curry restaurants!

Final Score: 6.175

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Chilli and Garlic Pork

So one of the reasons (apart from being socially locked down for months) that Thai Review wasn’t on since the New Year was I went on a bit of a diet to shed some fat for the summer. Now eight kilos lighter, I can safely say Thai Reviews can resume as per normal! Pira Thai is a quaint little shop which seats about 30 people inside (reminded me of a classroom actually) and about 15 outside on the cafe style tables out the front. As with all the other restaurants in this little nook, things need a bit of a renovation to get rid of the 70’s corporate office design. I remember as a child this group of shops were here and that was 20 years ago!

From the inside things aren’t fancy, but I guess can easily point my vocabulary to the word “cornershop”. There were lots of little Thai ornaments and religious bits and pieces around, but things were very cluttered and the counter looked a bit like an unorganised fridge with so many things blu-tacked on. It seems that this place is now more suited for takeaways as the decor is just too outdated compared to what many other places have to offer. Nevertheless, our table was nice and clean and all the basics were there (erm … chair, table, cutlery … tick!) and the dining area was pretty clean.

The last thing I have to mention about the venue is the toilet. To put things briefly, it’s weird to have to walk through the kitchen, right past/through the raw food, to get to the toilet which is right near where they plate up. Secondly, don’t be alarmed when you see the sign “Please put all tissue (toilet) paper in the bin”. I’ve been told that this is fairly common in Asian countries where plumbing isn’t the best. So to put a positive spin on things, I guess they’re giving me the true Thai experience?

I booked a table for only 12 people tonight, so not a huge group as a few avid Reviewers were busy. The waitress was quick to recommend their best dish the Chilli and Garlic Pork, which made me kind of sigh inside, as I was looking forwards to something more exciting. This is probably the 4th or 5th time I’ve had to review this unexciting dish. It took over 40 minutes for entrees to come up from start to finish (which was very stop and start too). 20 Minutes later the first main came out … hooray! But by the time the last dish came out it was another 30 minutes down the drain. After going to the toilet (through the kitchen) I could see why they were so slow. The kitchen was tiny, and I reckon there were only 2 cooks for the whole place.

Anyways you’d be wondering, how was the dish?! Tasty strips of fried pork with lots of chilli and garlic balanced with some sweetness from the sugar made this pretty good. In all my other fried Pepper/Chilli/Garlic/Meat reviews that I’ve done I have to say this is the best! There were lots of caramalised pieces of chilli which was very crunchy and added that extra kick, plus fresh coriander on the top made it into the mix. In my previous reviews, I have said this dish is too much like what you get from a dodgy Chinese takeaway restaurant minus the sweet and sour sauce, but this was unique enough for me to rank it into the Thai division. It was nice, and don’t get me wrong, it had lots of flavour and again I’d rate this the best of all my reviews of this type of dish, but still this recommendation is too disppointingly safe when there was a myriad of dishes with more complex and fuller flavours.

So there you have it. The first review for the calendar year. Summing it all up, it’s obvious that Pira Thai isn’t the nicest place to sit and eat compared to everyone else on Unley Rd and the service needs improvement. Although I admit the food is pretty delish, unfortunately everything else was a bit of a let down and I’ve got to take the whole experience in as it comes. I saw that they have awesomely cheap lunch prices for takeaway so if you’re in the neighbourhood I’d suggest doing the pick-and-run dance back to the office.

  • Service [3.5/10] : I wasn’t the only one to comment on how slow the food was…
  • Quality [8.4/10] : The best Chilli/Pepper/Garlic dish out of all the ones so far!
  • Venue [5.8/10] : Clean and tidy setup inside but otherwise needs an overhaul.
  • Value [7.0/10] : Reasonably priced, but I don’t come to sit and pay for slow service.

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