I was not feeling too adventurous as I opted for the Tom Kha Gai to open the supper. At first sip, this herbal coconut milk soup made rich with slices of shallot, kaffir lime, ginger cuts, and galangal was mildly striking. The chicken was tender, and the mushrooms were delicate. A nice opening served in a setting that looked chic, industrial, colorful, vintage, and fun.
My partner had the clams that he loved so dearly – the Olay Pad Prik Pao. The clams were stir fried, bathed with sweet chili paste and basil. Quite a spicy appetizer that came in a generous portion. My main course Gai Chup Paeng Tod – the fried rice with deep fried chicken – however tasted less challenging. Tame for the tongue, it almost tasted like reguler Yang Chow fried rice without salt.
The Ruammit, at Rp29K, came in such a tiny portion. There were more ice cubes than the sweet corn, young coconut, and jackfruit in that bowl of coconut milk. It ended too fast before my mouth was well washed.
It was only after I finished the meal that I read the tagline of Thai Alley: “authentic Thai street food”. Oh, Dear. Price-wise, that was so not street food. The menu may bring the staples of Thai cuisine, but the flavours? The street food vendor in Silom Soi 2, Bangkok, served Tom Kha Gai that literally burned my whole mouth and throat, and squeezed my tears. The shabu-shabu across old Big C supermarket in Ratchadamri gave a roundhouse kick. Kindly be considerate when using the words “authentic” and “street food” inside a fancy shopping mall. Do justice.
Thai Alley is more of a mild rendition of Thai food. And, with the total bill of Rp352,600 for two – including two starters, two main courses, two beverages, and one dessert only – Thai Alley is too far for being “street food”. Be there for the comfort, the nice snapshots, and the excellent service. As for authentic Thai as it claims to be, the kitchen needs to add more spices and herbs.
Pacific Place 5th Floor, Jakarta