Finally a decent Thai Red curry in Mumbai: Thai Baan

Thai Baan at Bandra is a place I have frequented ever since I moved into Mumbai in the late nineties. I remember my friends and I used to have great fun trying to pronounce the name of the Thai dishes those days.
The fact that this restaurant, at Pali Naka in Bandra, is still popular is testimony to the good food.
We went there tonight before we set off for Turkey.
Had a lovely green curry with chicken which had a hot and spicy under current. Both Kainaz and I loved it.
We had a red curry with prawns. This was nice and creamy and very, very tasty. It was less spicy than the green curry. I have decent green curries at Bombay at places like Candies or the Hyatt buffet but have been disappointed by red curries at most places. This, however, was really good and fairly close to the original one.
My only suggestion is that they should use original Thai garnishings like aubergine/ brinjal cubes and the round, green, chillies in the green curries and the slit, red bird's eye chillies in the red curry. I also missed the chopped chilly in fish oil which you get in Thailand. Still the food was quite close.
The last time we had been there, the restaurant was a bit mouldy and the walls were damp. They have spruced it up now and this added to the experience.
Two main dishes and a steamed rice comes to Rs 700 or about 15-17 USD.
There was a vegetarian couple sitting beside us who kept sending the food back because it had onions and garlics despite their instructions. Dudes, don't come to a Thai restaurant if you are vegetarian. These is a cuisine built on fish oil for Pete's sake.

Comments

Moonshine said…
One of my favourite restaurants in bombay.. besides the good food, a lot of memories associated with that place.. they have renovated it now.. i liked it better earlier!!!!
Funny how you warn vegetarians not to go to Thai restaurants. Here in NY, Thai is one of their best options to find vegetarian options.
The knife said…
@Moonshine: even i have a lot of memories here. I used to hang out here with my first set of friends at Bombay. I remember that once one of them was treating us on his birthday only to find out at the end that they didn't accept credit card in those days. His room mates had to bail him out! Did you know that they they had a Mexican restaurant there for a while. This was also the place I had recommended when Kainaz had asked me for suggestions on where she could take her parents for dinner. This was in those early days before we began dating.

@Jessica: your comment ties in with your observation that we probably get more authentic Thai food in Bombay than Manhattan. I have been to Thailand recently. Most of the curries are meat based with pork or shrimp being the favoured meat. Fish oil is often used as a base. In India you get soy sauce and chopped chillies in vinegar to go with Chinese food. In Thailand they serve chilles chopped in fish oil as a dip. They even sell fried grasshoppers in carts on the street. Dim sum carts are popular too and I doubt if they are vegetarian.

Yesterday a colleague, who IS a non vegetarian was reminiscing about her trip to Thailand and about how she was put off by the smell of fish in the curries.

Thailand is famous for its salads and frankly I don't know if they are fully vegetarian.

I have written about some of my Bangkok food memories in http://finelychopped-k.blogspot.com/2008/03/siamese-treats.html

Another problem for those who are picky is that the locals, specially in street food shops, are not very conversant in English and will not be able to clarify whether dishes are vegetarian.

I, of course, share Anthony Bourdain's tolerance towards vegetarians. My biggest grous is that they try to impose their will on others which is not fair.