Thai Orchid is one of those restaurants that some people I know have praised, and has some gold plate awards to back up this assertion. Thai Orchid is situated on the second floor of a building (be warned about steps) and this, along with the proximity to the Swan River, allows it to have some reasonable views of the Perth skyline.
Inside, Thai Orchid is decorated with …. The tables all have tablecloths which include a deeply coloured table covering which helps give it an upmarket Thai feel. To compliment the Thai feel of the decor, the restaurant has waitresses dressed up in pleasant Thai garments to further enhance the atmosphere.
Clearly supporting the fact that it is a Thai restaurant, the menu contains a lot of typical Thai dishes - including: Thai style entrees; green, red, and other curries with a choice of meat or seafood; stir fries that include of a host of ingredients used by the Thai including lemongrass; some Thai desserts; and a range of special dishes in a separate section of the menu. Prices for mains seem to average around $25-35.
Golden Bags - $8
This dish consisted of minced chicken, corn, and peas wrapped in pastry which was deep fried, and served with sweet chilli sauce. The pastry was thin and light such that it didn’t detract from the taste of the filling. However, I personally wouldn’t rave about the filling which was a very smoothly minced combination of chicken and corn with a small amount of savoury seasoning. The sweet chilli sauce gave the golden bags a bit more moisture and flavour to complete the light entrée.
Gang Keow Wan (Green Curry Chicken) - $25
The green curry came served in a bowl, filled with chicken, eggplant, red capsicum, and lots of green curry sauce. To be expected, the green curry sauce was rich and creamy (most likely with lots of coconut milk), as well as being quite a mild and sweet curry.
The chicken and eggplant were cooked nicely such that they weren’t overcooked and everything retained its form and a level of juiciness. Given I like eating creamy fat sauces (and I do like my tasty Thai curries), I found myself mixing this dish with white rice in large quantities.
Zest for Life - $36
This dish was described as marinated lamb cutlets with Thai herbs and spices, grilled and served with savoury chilli dip.
I’m not exactly sure why this dish was called “Zest for Life” – I don’t think I personally felt like I had any more zest for life after consuming it. There were four cutlets, each was marinated in savoury herbs and spices but I didn’t get much hint of anything like lemongrass or other “zesty” herbs. Each cutlet was then grilled and a small piece of aluminium foil was placed at the cleaned end of the cutlet for you to handle the cutlet with your fingers. Though each lamb cutlet was marinated, for those of you that have experienced it in the past there was a distinct lamb smell and taste through the lamb which was quite strong which can be offputting to people who are particular about their lamb.
To accompany the lamb cutlets, a savoury chilli dip was served which wasn’t very chilli hot, nor sweet chilli sweet. Instead, the sauce was a light chilli sauce balanced with sweet and saltiness to make it a thick savoury sauce to go with the lamb cutlets.
Flying Duck - $30
I'm not sure why the duck was flying but this dish was described as roasted duck topped with tasty plum and chilli jam sauce, on a bed of crispy noodle and broccoli.
The duck pieces seemed to mainly consist of duck breast that was roasted and came out with a red skin which was slightly crispy. The plum and chilli jam sauce went quite well with the duck, offering a good level of fruity sweetness (plum sauce) and a light spiciness from the chilli to add flavour to the otherwise relatively basic tasting duck. The crispy noodle wasn’t much to talk about (being a deep fried rice noodle) and the "broccoli" was a few pieces of broccoli, cauliflower and carrot steamed and placed on the side.
In summary, Thai Orchid offers some good tasting Thai cuisine. Sure it’s a little on the pricy side for the servings you get but not exorbitantly so, and for the nicely decorated and presented restaurant and food quality it’s able to attract a decent clientele.
Points to note: The restaurant also has views of the swan river which most seats will have some level of, but you may want to ask if that is important to you. The restaurant is also BYO and on busy nights you should book ahead – especially if you have a larger group.
Go for: Good quality Thai food in a semi-upmarket Thai restaurant setting.
Level 2, 35 Mends Street
SOUTH PERTH WA 6151
(08) 9474 1888
Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday