The One With Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant – Delightful Raw Prawns

When you think of Thai food, what comes across your mind? Tom yum goong, phad thai, papaya salad, seafood curry… there is something almost magical the way Thai food seems to enthrall tourists and locals alike. When I return home from holidays in Thailand, I always seem to be nursing an endless craving for Thai food. Well, if you can’t have the real land of a thousand smile, you can always get its food.

Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant

Thai food in Hong Kong is plentiful and varied, from the authentic to the localised, from the superb to the disappointing, along every point of the price scale. When one think of Thai food in Hong Kong, you’ll be excused to think of the usual suspects in Kowloon City, arguably the most Thai-influenced area in Hong Kong.

So when this Groupon deal came along, I was surprised. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised to discover that, yes, there are plenty of Thai restaurants in Tsim Sha Tsui too. And at that price – $148 for unlimited Thai BBQ for two – it was hard not to click that “Buy Now!” button.

So I did. Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant was an adventure to get too. First of all, they changed its name. And then we were informed that they changed their location, too. Google Map was a little useless, and the drizzling rain that afternoon we went didn’t help our grumpiness.

Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant

What helped, of course, was the overwhelmingly Thai experience the moment we crossed the threshold. Thai music (but of course), dark wooden furniture, fragrant incense, Thai chatters floating from the kitchen, it was hard not to be transported back to Bangkok/Phuket/Chiang Mai (tick as you wish) even if for just a few minutes.

And then we were ready to order. The captain, a waitress dressed head to toe in Thai costume, complete with headgears and the like, must have been a man. I am not judging; in fact of all things at Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant, the waitress/waiter (tick as you wish) was the most Thairiffic surprise we encountered that afternoon.

Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant

In a heavily accented Cantonese, the captain explained that we can order anything we want, but there will be a charge if we waste food. Of which we understand. And then the captain went on to tell us the reason for this policy; that s/he grew up very poor in the poorest part of Bangkok, that putting food on the table is a daily struggle his/her family had to endure, yada yada yada.

How can I not be charmed?

Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant

And the food! Yes, plenty of options available, from your usual suspect like beef, chicken to pork, to the slightly unusual like pineapple and ox tongue. The skewers were served unceremoniously on white plate with no sides whatsoever, apart from some delicious condiments like chilli sauce and the like. I could not say that the BBQ items really rock my sock; it was alright, reasonable for that price, but certainly wasn’t worth a return trip for.

What was worth a return visit would be the shrimp sashimi.

Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant

Or more commonly known as raw prawns. Chilled fresh shrimps, skin peeled, served with nothing but a slice of garlic, a cut of bird’s eye chilli (cili padi) and sweet and sour chilli sauce, on a bed of ice. Nothing else. Few restaurants can do this well – you are likely to encounter more misses than hits, even in Thailand – but Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant did it wonderfully well. The shrimp were fresh and sweet, which went down a treat with the garlic and chilli. What a treat! In fact, we went ahead and ordered a second round.

I didn’t even do that in restaurants while in Thailand!

Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant

Also commendable is the sambal fried rice, which was fragrant, with a strong garlicky smell which goes well with beer and the BBQ items. Even though I was on my carbless diet, I threw caution to the wind and had everything.

Verdict? For affordable Thai food to be enjoyed leisure in a sufficiently Thai-like ambiance, this gem at Tsim Sha Tsui will hit the spot nicely. Just remember to take a photo with the captain; I am sure s/he won’t object! I wish I did!

This meal was made possible by the Groupon outreach programme

Pattaya Your Thai Restaurant
G/F, 9 Hau Fook Street
Tsim Sha Tsui
3568 2456

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