Restaurants come and restaurants go. Such is the transient nature of food eatery businesses as they desperately try to keep fickle customers happy. The last time I passed this way at Mount Pritchard, the Lotus Flower was serving its home spun tasty Thai-Lao dishes. Now it's the Roi-Et Thai Kitchen.
Apart from the change in signage, the biggest difference I observe is the amount of customers dining in. Its half full and there are a half dozen new faces in the open kitchen.
Our waiter is all welcoming smiles and he asks us if we've been here before. I give him my sad Lotus Flower story and his smile temporarily disappears until we tell him we're eager to try the new menu.
Ms Pam and I decide to try some of the less familiar dishes on offer. A Crab Meat Fried Rice ($14.50) and a Num Tok Ped (A salad of sliced grilled duck mixed with Thai herbs and dressing, $14.50). We also order an avocado and a jack fruit shake. Both are highly colourful, icy cold and with very distinctive flavours.
Service is swift and both dishes are soon plonked on the table. Easily, the winning dish is the duck salad. It's spicy and the mix of herbs is superb with Vietnamese mint, coriander and fried kaffir lime leaves. Fresh crispy greens and shredded carrot top off the plating.
The crab meat fried rice is lacking flavour and, vitally, lacking crab. At $14.50, it feels like an expensive fried rice. There are a few shreds of crab but not enough to impart a distinctive crab flavour for me.
Oh well, there's always the dessert menu. I note that the table of six middle aged Asian gents next to us are all eating the same dessert. It turns out to be Thai Custard with Sticky Rice ($5.50). We're not sure what 'Thai Ice Cream' is so we order that as well so we can check it out. Again, there is a clear winning dish. The Thai Ice Cream is far more complex than it sounds. There are lycees, various nuts, a coconut syrup and chocolate sauce. It's a generous serving size and I'm seriously flat out finishing it off.
For reasons not fully understood by me, the Roi-Et seems to be a far more popular restaurant than the one it has replaced, the dearly departed Lotus Flower. We were not entirely convinced on tonight's visit alone but a follow up home delivery proved very satisfactory. It demonstrated that the chef at the Roi-Et can dish out quality curries (a delicious Chicken Penang $12.50) and a solid stir fry (Pork Lemongrass Chilli $12.50).