There's nothing fancy about Kowloon City. It's really about getting down and "dirty", at least most of the time, and enjoying honest, good grub. And since this really is Little Thailand, you get a very nice selection of Thai eateries serving up goodies from their hometown that is down south. Best of Thai is one such eatery, with authenticity oozing. Thankfully, communication isn't such a big problem since all the servers speak more than a smattering of street Cantonese, and some even enough to crack a joke or two.
|Tom Yum Soup|
The Tom Yum is a winner here. It's not the refined clear version. This is a robust shrimpy version but is not as spicy as it looks, unless you happen to win the draw and bite into the hidden potent Thai chillies. The orange is suspected to be mostly the essence of all the shrimps, complete with heads, they load the old-style "steamboat" pot with. Well balanced with Thai spices such as lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves and of course, sinisterly given heat with hidden Thai chillies lurking beneath, this is a wonderful tummy warming soup to start any meal here with (well, unless you're in the deep throes of summer, in which case, you better hope they have a working air-conditioning system).
|Warm Minced chicken salad|
While we're on the topic of deceiving looks, this is the one where danger lurks. Yes, it is spicier than it looks and you have to ask them to take it down a notch if heat is not your thing. But if you can, this is addictive since the lime/fish sauce/Thai chillies combination is excellent when lightly tossed with the minced meat (you can choose chicken, pork or even innards).
So take a fresh crunchy lettuce leaf, spoon in the minced meat concoction, wrap into a little pocket, bite and enjoy the burst of flavours.
Other dishes that I've tried here are between a fair to a good. While you won't be blown away, you are still likely to still leave satisfied..
|Yellow curry stuffed in a bread bowl|
This unfortunately looked better than it tastes. The curry is not as flavourful as I would have liked, and the bread was too soggy by the time it sits at the table for about 5 minutes. The dish would have fared better if a bread bowl of a baguette quality was used but I guess that would be a tad costly for what they charge here. Such potential though...
This is a pretty credible version of the quintessential Thai street dish. The plus point is that it is a lot less oily. The chef does a good job of stir frying the noodles with the ingredients to a point where you feel they are all at unison. No more overt rice flour taste from the noodles but transformed into a firm platform for different tastes and fragrances from the eggs, shrimps and chives.
I generally dislike this dish for the fact that I've never enjoyed the texture of the fish being continually steamed at the table with the little flame underneath. What I do like however, is the very appetising soup that the fish sits in, flavoured by the minced pork, preserved plums, ginger, and a lot of spring onions. In this version, I stuck to the soft underbelly of the fish and was generally happy enough. No elation though.
I left this appetiser to the last as it was my least favourite. The only thing I really like here are the shrimp cakes which were well deep fried to a crisp, encasing a bouncy shrimp colloid on the inside. The other things like the spring rolls and Satay, were ordinary.
If you're in the vicinity or are in the mood for some Thai with "street cred" without having to fly to Thailand, this could be your place.