Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tantawon Thai Restaurant

This is an old post from my other blog More Thanh Words which I have decided to group here as it is about food.

I went to Tantawon Thai Restaurant in Kingsway in Glen Waverley last night with my friends Jo and Kin. I had been there previously for lunch and remembered that the food was quite good but fairly expensive. Well it has gone through a management change and not for the better. After last nights experience, I'll never be going back. When you first walk into the restaurant, it looks like an upmarket place with the table settings nicely arranged and a nice ambience about it. But thats where anything good about it ends. There's a reason why all other restaurants along Kingsway are packed to the max and this one isn't.

There is a lot wrong with this place and I don't even know where to start. Let me start at the service as that is where it went wrong from. We were handed menus and after we made our selections, we waited, and waited. You would think that the waitress would at least bring our drinks first. How hard is it to open the cap on a bottle of beer. Anyway it took ages for that to arrive. Also we had asked for water knowing that the food would be spicy. The water never arrived and throughout the night we asked again and finally for a third time when Jo had to physically get out of her seat, go over to the bar and demand for some water. There is no excuse for this. The restaurant may want to sell drinks for over inflated prices (which we all had already ordered) but even if customers don't buy a drink, they are entitled to ask for water. It couldn't have been an oversight as we asked the same person twice and since there were hardly any other customers, it couldn't be that hard to remember.

The wait staff were also not very attentive. It was hard to get their attention as they were all mulliing around the bar and not looking around the room to see if any help was required. Another thing that was bad in my opinion was that they left tables uncleared for a very long time. If this was supposed to be a high class establishment, leaving tables uncleared with all the messy plates didn't look very good.

With the actual food itself, it was not very good and ridiculously overpriced. We ordered a Beef Pad Thai, Chicken with Lemongrass and Tom Yum, Green Chicken Curry, Satay Beef Skewers, Roti and Coconut Rice. The Satay Beef Skewers were so overdone and totally hard and dry. The Beef Pad Thai was way too sweet from too much sweet soy and lacked any other flavours. The Green Chicken Curry was boring and just tasted like a lot of coconut milk. The Roti was again too sweet and so chewy. Compared to the Roti that I had last week at Namaskar India, this tasted like chewy paper. The Coconut Rice was again too sweet. It wasn't just me that thought everything was too sweet, Jo had commented about it before me. The only half decent thing was the Chicken with Lemongrass and Tom Yum. It was the only dish resembling what Thai food SHOULD be like, aromatic fresh flavours blending a variety of different taste sensations that jump around in your mouth.

Overall, I rate this restaurant extremely poor. It tries to be a high class restaurant but it doesn't come close to achieving it. The only thing high class about it are the prices, which is not reflected by the food. The service is also extremely poor so we didn't bother tipping.

Overall Rating: 8/20, Food is overpriced and boring, service was terrible.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

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