I was craving for Pad Thai last Friday evening and so we made a reservation at Sukhothai, the sister restaurant to Thai Gallery, our current favourite. We had high expectations of the restaurant since we really enjoy the authentic flavours at the Thai Gallery.
We arrived at the restaurant early for our 8:00 p.m. booking and were shown to a nice round table near the entrance and right by the bar and given prawn crackers to snack on while we perused the menu. The interiors of Sukhothai are elegant and modern with shades of purple and green accents on the tables and flower arrangements. It was quiet and subdued. We ordered our favourites immediately – chicken satay and spring rolls to start then pad Thai with prawns, beef krapaw, prawns in yellow curry, mixed vegetables and steamed rice.
We were served soon after – the chicken satay tasted of coconut milk and was orange from the spice mix and not what we were expecting. Spring rolls were four tiny finger-size crispy rolls served with red sauce but not the standard Thai sweet-chili sauce – not a very auspicious beginning to our much-awaited Thai meal.
While we were waiting for our main courses, three large tables of eight arrived at the restaurant. Although I have nothing against large groups, Sukhothai‘s acoustics were definitely not made for it as the elegant ambiance soon turned into a cafeteria-atmosphere with loud voices prevailing over our quiet dinner.
Our main courses arrived after and as soon as we saw what came, we realized immediately that between Thai Gallery and Sukhothai, the latter was definitely lagging behind in food quality. The krapaw was overly sweet and had small pieces of young corn tossed into it. The mixed vegetables were also tiny slices of vegetables – Chinese straw mushrooms (?), broccoli and again the presence of young corn. The curry was not spicy enough and came with canned pineapple and the pad Thai was an orange concoction that had peanuts and sweetness as the predominant flavours. In contrast to Thai Gallery’s authentic flavours of sweet and sour, salty and spicy, food at Sukhothai was an inferior version with just one instead of all four flavours present in their dishes. It almost seemed like the food was coming from a Chinese kitchen or at least a non-Thai chef. After that, we decided not to order dessert and head home instead. Sukhothai is fine for a decent “Oriental-style” meal, just don’t expect any Thai food. For authentic Thai, head to Thai Gallery instead.