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Basil & Lemongrass Thai Cafe

October 30, 2012

101b Prospect Rd
Prospect SA 5082
(08) 8342 1611
Open for Lunch Wed-Fri and Dinner everyday
Website here!

Our third to last review! Thanks to those who have come along this length journey … over 40 Thai eateries and over two years in the making! Basil & Lemongrass actually used to be up in North Adelaide on O’Connell St back in the day but now have moved along to the prosperous (hehe) suburb of Prospect. Hopefully they haven’t slacked off in their cooking skills since the move as we’re about to bring this Thai journey to a close!

Final Score: 7.45/10
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Prik Hot Chilli Crocodile Stir Fry

After a long six years of food reviewing, beginning with the humble Schnitzel Review and then my spicy Curry Review, I think this is going to be the last straw … a final goodbye to properly documented food reviews by me! (Actually, make that the second-to-last food review as I am still running through our little Asian off-shoot lunch write-ups on an adhoc basis here). Nevertheless, it’s time to throw in the tea-towel and call it a day … just two more reviews before the finale!

Basil & Lemongrass sounds like a rather generic and run-of-the-mill Thai eatery, and once you arrive it’s pretty much exactly how it is. The venue is one of three cafe style shops (well actually, one of them is an Italian coffee shop) in a mini complex obviously built with urban concrete style and purpose. Modern cafe interior inside with shiny furniture to match, and this place seats around 30. The large framed blackboards with the specials written on them were a nice touch but overall nothing exciting, inspiring or “authentic Thai” about this place which a lot of other restaurants we’ve been to really show off. This is one of those quick-eats style places … if you owned a teleporter or Tardis-like machine you could pretty much zap this joint into the middle of any CBD and it would become your next bustling work-lunch food factory (I’m glad that they called themselves a Cafe and not Restaurant).

Crocodile is pretty much available at any Chinese restaurant and I definitely haven’t had it recommended to me yet … until now! Relatively quick service as the waitress took our orders and wasn’t too confused about me wanting their “best dish”. I’ve had croc before and it’s unsurprisingly much like chicken, but kinda with a squid-like tang to it. It’s also pretty hard to get perfect as it can easily be overcooked (just like squid) and become as leathery as a handbag. Luckily they knew what they were doing, and produced a sensational squid stir fry full of flavour and not to mention one of the hottest chilli’s I’ve ever eaten … and when I say hot, I mean like almost crying hot! The chilli seeds infiltrated the mass of mixed vegetables only just enough to burn my mouth to a level that wasn’t overpowering (right up until I decided to be a smart-ass and eat a whole raw piece used as the decoration … mistake). Plenty of saucy flavours of basil, garlic and onion in this typical stir-fry but although quite a normal dish it was executed pretty well. Serving size was pretty generous too.

A short and sharp review today … mainly cos there wasn’t too much inspiring to write about! Basil & Lemongrass is like the neutral country of Finland, they are pretty good at a bunch of things but nothing outlandish and always hang in the middle of the road when we look at the overall picture. Cudos for a well cooked croc and having some guts to the chilli, however is a stir-fry really to be your best dish? So, the food is good, service is good and I can see this place being a consistent local hangout. As mentioned, come here for a quick casual bite to eat if you can’t be bothered cooking and definitely keep this place in mind for takeaways or when your group of suits can’t decide on where to sober up after Friday night drinkies …

  • Service [7.5/10] : Good service, speedy and no complaints.
  • Quality [8.6/10] : Definitely worth high 8’s for this stir fry, but it’s still just a stir fry …
  • Venue [6.7/10] : Modern but uninspiring … this place screams urban quick-eats.
  • Value [7.0/10] : OK prices, middle-to-high premiums but good-sized serves.

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