Located at: 115 Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 20 Aug, 2018
We were in the area on the day and decided to try out Royal Thai’s Lunch Set Menu. They serve this offer on weekdays and Saturdays from noon to 3.00 pm at a rate of LKR 1,955 nett per person. The set menu includes your choice of one soup or appetiser, one vegetarian dish, two non-vegetarian dishes (any meat or seafood, not including grouper fish and lobster), one rice or noodle dish and a standard dessert platter. Plenty to look forward to.
For the first course, I decided to go with a Thod Mun Ga Praw Goong – hot basil prawn cake with cucumber pickle (usually priced at LKR 1,470 per portion). Well, there was no cucumber pickle, but the duo of prawn cakes came with some fried basil leaves and a Thai sweet chilli sauce dip – which was a fantastic accompaniment. The cakes were very moist, I wouldn’t call them oily – although they had been fried of course – but moist and juicy and had good flavour. They didn’t necessarily need the dip, but the dip did make it that extra bit delicious.
There was a Tom Yum Goong – spicy prawn soup with Thai herbs (usually priced at LKR 660) at the table too, which I tried a sip of. I was aware from past visits that they do a good tom yum, and was glad to learn on this occasion that this hadn’t changed. It was beautifully flavoured to give just the right bit of burn in your throat with the initial slurp and came with three or four chunky prawns. It wasn’t big on the condiments – such as mushrooms, coriander leaves, lemongrass, kafir leaves, etc. – but worked fine nonetheless.
For the vegetarian dish, I ordered a Som Tum Mung Sa Vi Rat – raw papaya salad with peanuts (usually priced at LKR 590 per portion). The clump of fine papaya strips was topped with a generous portion of peanuts and the dressing of the salad was mouth-wateringly good too. However, the papaya fruit used had definitely matured beyond raw. Although this didn’t necessarily upset the dish, it did change the overall feel of it with the extra tenderness and sweetness in the fruit. Something for the kitchen to put some thought into.
The first of my non-veg choices was a Goong Phad Sauce Ma Khaam – prawns spicy tamarind sauce (usually priced at LKR 2,260 per portion). SO yum! The crunchy, meaty prawns were cooked to perfection and came in a delicious tamarind sauce. It wasn’t all that spicy, to be honest, but it was lovely! Three of us at the table made the same choice and all our orders came on the same dish, with a total of around eight to nine prawns.
My second non-veg choice was Si Kron Moo Tord Pad Prik Hang – five spiced crispy pork ribs with garlic, onion and peppercorn (usually priced at LKR 2,500 per portion). When I read “crispy”, I sort of imagined crackling pork ribs, however this adjective proved to be slightly misleading. The ribs (or should I say riblets) were not crispy, but they were definitely well-done and tender to the point where the meat came off the bone with minimal effort. Which was great. Taste-wise, too, the dish was delicious. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more of the garlic/basil-rich gravy though.
To accompany these, I opted to have some Kao Phad Poo – crab and egg fried rice (usually priced at LKR 1,160 per portion). I could have eaten this plain. That’s how nice it was. It needed no ‘rice-puller’ or anything of the sort – one of the best fried rice dishes I’ve had in a while. The only thing lacking was a larger capacity, on my part, to enjoy more of it.
Dessert came in the form of a fixed, mixed platter of banana toffee, mango with honey, lychee kebab and what I think might have been sweet corn and sago set pudding. A refreshingly light and mildly sweet, perfect finish to a wonderful meal.
Let me finish off with a word on the beverages – we had Papaya Juice, Lime Juice and Watermelon juice at the table (LKR 320 each). All of these were truly fresh, and the papaya and watermelon juices were quite thick and pulpy too – testament to the fact that they hadn’t been overly diluted. The two beverages hadn’t been sweetened unnecessarily either, and the lime juice – I am told – was just right.
The set menu lunch proved to be great value-for-money. And, as usual, the food was fantastic. I have given this experience a rating of 4.5/5.0 despite the raw papaya salad not being all that ‘raw’ and the crispy pork ribs not being “crispy” because, despite this, there was no compromise in terms of taste. Plus, this was not exactly a conventional à la carte sit-down (with regard to the pork). I do hope, however, that the pork actually turns out to be crispy at any other given time, when ordered off the menu.
Yummy Rating: 4.5 / 5.0