A lawyer friend of mine eagerly introduced me to one of his favorite lunch places at the moment - Atchana's at the Mutiny Hotel. He still laughs about the way I questioned the way about who actually cooked the food - one of the best cross examinations he ever heard, he jokes, as I got to the bottom of the matter; the Thai food is clearly not cooked by anyone who knows much about Thai cuisine, and as I guessed, not by anyone Thai. At least not when we were there.
The Thai food that doesn't taste like Thai went like this - I chose a shrimp roll starter, that everyone knows is usually a delightful affair of a shrimp and compressed lettuce wrapped up in a thin layer of edible (rice?) pancake and tastes of cilantro and lemongrass. Did this roll taste like that? No. Was it refreshing and delightful as they almost always are? No. The rice paper was too thin, the lettuce too copious and not tightly wrapped.
My entrée was chicken pad thai - passable but definitely not Thai tasting. My friend chose chicken scewers, which he was happy with.
We both liked our glasses of white wine - he had Chardonnay, I had Sauvignon Blanc. Probably house.
Good things about the experience - I very much liked that we had a table that faced the pool and was quiet, away from the main body of the restaurant. Which is a small restaurant anyway.
Service was slow, although there was next to no-one in there and the waiter was on friendly terms with my friend. I thought the furniture was a bit tacky looking too. Again, trying to look like Thai rather than feeling like authentic Thai.
The quietness of the location was one of the best things about it. A pleasant enough lunch, but would I choose to go there again?
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