Saturday, July 12, 2008

Golden Bangkok

Golden Bangkok
351 Springvale Road
Ph: 9548 0088
Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-8:30pm

Golden Bangkok is a new Thai place that has just opened in Springvale. It's actually the only second Thai restuarant amongst the hundreds (exaggeration) of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants in Springvale. I normally don't bother providing the details for restaurants as people can Google it and find it, but this place is really new so maybe their details can't be found easily. And I want others to go there so that they can stay in business so I can continue to eat Thai food without driving a long distance.

The first time I went there, I was the only customer there. This was slightly strange, even for 5pm. Most of the popular places in Springvale are still fairly full at this time. Asians like to eat at any time of the day. Anyway, after the meal, I told the owner that the food was very good and asked how business was. She said business wasn't so good even though she advertised in the Vietnamese newspaper. I suggested that she also advertise in the Chinese newspaper and included Chinese and Vietnamese text on her menu as well so that people can read it.

This time, I took some work mates Tin, Hien, Trung and John for dinner. We thought we would be the only ones in the restaurant but then a group of 10 also came in.

I ordered a selection of dishes for all of us to share. First off, there was the ubiquitous fish cakes. The quality of fish cakes can vary so much. Some are absolutely delcious with actual fish taste and fragrant herbs while others taste like flour mixed with "fish" flavours. This fish cake wasn't too bad.

The Grilled Beef Salad was so refreshing light. All the herbs combined with the beef and tangy sauce helped to whet our appetites for the meal to come.

I just love Thai salads with their simplicity and various tangy sauces that I ordered another salad. This dish was my favourite for the night. It was a Seafood Salad, which consisted of prawns and calamari with glass noodle, peanut and a spicy sauce. It was so spicy and addictive. I made the mistake of boasting that the chilli wasn't that hot and then eating the second last one with all the seeds in it and getting a very hot mouth.

We also got a Tom Yum Prawn Soup. This Tom Yum soup wasn't spicy and sour enough for me. It was a bit bland in terms of Tom Yum soups. The Grilled Chicken Wings were faboulous. They were moist and I loved it. A Pad Thai was fairly well cooked, with the wok flavour required and the noodles not coagulated into one lump. The Seafood Red Curry was to my liking, spicy and creamy at the same time. The Chicken Green Curry was probably the worse dish of the night. The chicken was undercooked and hence spoilt the dish. Otherwise the curry wsa good and I liked the bamboo shoot chunks they put in. Keeping them as chunks rather than the usual slivers meant you could actually taste the bamboo shoot flavour in the curry.

For desserts, we all got Rambutan drinks while Tin got Ice Cream and only John was smart enough to get the Black Sticky Rice served with Ice Cream. We all ended up stealing a bit of his sticky rice as it was really good.

The two times I've been, it has been quiet so there isn't much atmosphere to speak of. Service is ok. It's not too hard to get the waiters attention and our requests were quickly fulfilled.

The food here is quite good. The first time I went, I asked for everything hot and that made it all taste even better. This time, as some people didn't eat as hot, it was all milder and was still quite nice. The prices of the food is the fantastic part. For dishes that are equal to many other Thai restaurants, every dish is under $10. This is extremely cheap for Thai food. So hopefully, more of you will go and eat there and the business will thrive, so that I can continue to eat good cheap Thai food regularly.

Overall Rating: 14/20, Food is good and very cheap.

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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