What is Thai cuisine, apart from the obvious answer that it's cuisine native to Thailand? My family enjoys Thai food, probably due to its similarities with the Chinese and Malay food that we love. Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use and combination of herbs and spices. Fish Sauce is the staple ingredient for seasoning Thai food and its saltiness is similar to the Soya Sauce used in Chinese cooking. The main herbs and spices used in Thai cooking are chillies, garlic, lime, gingers, basil, lemon grass, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder and mint. Jasmine rice is the staple grain and its light fluffy texture and fragrance makes it an ideal complement for the distinctive flavoursome Thai dishes.
Toptai Restaurant at O'Connell Street, North Adelaide is my family's favourite Thai restaurant. Toptai is known for winning the award for the Best Thai Restaurant in South Australia. Their dishes are delicious with a generous serving size. One of our favourites is the Spicy Barramundi, consisting of crispy pieces of barramundi tossed in chilli and fried basil leaves.
Along the same street is another Thai restaurant called Thai by 3 Monkeys. The food at this restaurant was tasty though it is not our favourite. We felt that the portions of their dishes could have been a bit bigger for a more fulfilling meal.
We paid Parade Thai at Norwood a visit because my mother's friend claims it's the best Thai restaurant in Adelaide. The restaurant felt a bit cramped but they offered a few unique dishes such as the Blue Swimmer Crab Fried Rice. The service was quick despite the large crowd.
Mango Tree Authentic Thai at Port Road is another restaurant that we came to visit through word of mouth. With the exception of the Pad Makhuer, a dish consisting of fried eggplant with a topping of crispy noodles, the sizes of their dishes were a bit small. All the dishes (including the rice) were very nicely presented and delectable. Besides the eggplant dish, the most memorable dish was the Gaeng Ped Ped Yaang, a red curry made with roasted duck breast.