It seems quite difficult to find real Thai food here in the Denver area. Yesterday I went to Wild Ginger in the hopes of being served an authentic pad thai. Sadly it was not the case.
Wild Ginger is a worn down restaurant with a dull interior - You can sit on the ground and eat here if you like- there are a few booths set up. The menu was small for a Thai restaurant and the choices limited.
For appetizers, we ordered steamed dumplings- which I thought would be more like gyoza- they came with only half the meat covered with a wrapper - full of meat with two sauces. The dumplings tasted more like plain pork sausage than a Thai flavored dumpling. The steamed spring rolls which I had never encountered on a menu were like luke warm crepes filled with cucumber and bean sprouts and a few carrot shreds. The sauce on top was gummy and was sweet and sour not the anticipated delicately flavoured nuoc nam or nam prik nam pla. They served it with a Chinese mustard sauce on the side that was far too hot. I did not like the texture of barely steamed rice papers. I prefer them fresh rolled and filled with assorted vegetables not stuffed with plain rice noodles.
The beer came with ice cold glasses - once again no chopsticks. Also- the staff was busy sweeping and mopping the floor as we ate. This has become a real pet peeve of mine.
For the main course I ordered pad thai and my companion ordered curried chicken- both were ordered medium and they were so hot they were barely edible. My pad thai used mung noodles which disappeared into the dish. It was more like congee. and it had no cilantro, lime, thai basil any vegetables. This pad thai had no flavour. The server appeared with a caddy of hot condiments to add to the already overly spiced noodles. I wondered, why jalapenos? To me it seems too many Asian restaurants try to be all things Asian. It becomes confusion food.
The portions were small -there was not very much chicken in either of our dishes. The curry had barely cooked vegetables- green and a few red peppers and onions, spicy chicken and cashews. The tiny bowl of rice was indifferent - it could have been seasoned with ginger. Where are are all the vegetables that one expects? Why is the only seasoning heat? This is the first Asian restaurant that I have been to that served tea in a mug.
The waitress was eager to ask us leave and asked us if we wanted anything else because it was last call. I have never heard that before.
The meal came to around 40 dollars with tip - one beer each. Not a great deal for small portions of poorly made Thai Food. As we were rushed out of the restaurant - the entire staff was watching speed skating on the bat television. I bet the cook was too!.
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