After a couple of false starts, the hubby and I finally made it over to Phuket to try their rendition of Thai food. Located in Providence, the price point and atmosphere make it clear that they are catering to a more upscale crowd (think business lunches and date nights) but I still found the wording of their menu a bit pretentious. Everything, it seemed, was "experienced with" something as opposed to being served with it.
We eventually decided to share the "experience" of an order of spring rolls, while I opted for the Thai BBQ chicken and my hubby selected the Drunken Beef Noodle dish.
The spring rolls consisted mainly of a crispy, piping hot wrapper. The interior contained thin strands of cabbage; the real flavor provided by the accompanying sauce, a thin sweet then spicy number sprinkled with chili pepper flakes, which offered a light burn that built with every bite. The carrot garnish was pretty but tasteless, reminding me of the flavorless baby carrots sold by the bag.
Our meals came up beautifully plated and generously portioned.
My BBQ chicken was falling off the bone tender with a sweet, nuanced flavor throughout the meat. The thigh was a little dry towards the bottom but the leg was absolutely perfect. The bbq sauce reminded me of the flavors in tiki masla, though I couldn't put my finger on exactly which spice was giving me the association.
The sticky, starchy, white rice provided a lovely balance to the chicken. The vegetables, however, were sadly lacking. The carrots were barely cooked and suffered from the same blandness that I had noted in the garnish. The baby corn, while making for a striking presentation, was unremarkable and had a vaguely metallic taste. The broccoli was flavorless, with the stems well cooked, but the heads slightly overcooked. All of which would have likely gone unremarked on if they had been served in a dish which tossed them in a sauce. But left to stand on their own, they fell short.
The thai coleslaw was made up of strands of carrot, cabbage, and what seemed to be bok choy in a light, sweet vinegar. Chunks of tomato added color. The vinegar was fresh, the sweetness unexpected, and the flavor dominated the dish. My only complaint was that the long strands of vegetables lent the dish an odd texture, a sort of unbalanced crunch.
For his part, the hubby greatly enjoyed his dish (seen at the top of the post). He found the vegetables to be quite tasty, confirming my suspicion that they would do well with a sauce. He described his dish as medium hot--an excellent balance.
Phuket offers a wonderful atmosphere and some truly standout options (the bbq chicken was excellent) but I was disappointed in the so-so vegetables. I would have no qualms about returning if we were in the neighborhood, but for the price, they won't be my first choice for Thai food.
Total for the meal: $34.98 (Includes one order of spring rolls, Thai BBQ Chicken dinner, Drunken Beef Noodles Dinner, and two soft drinks.)
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