Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Benjarong Thai: Mini portions, all too sweet

Been craving pad thai for a while now, so why not use my Groupon deal?

Benjarong Thai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoRestaurant: Benjarong Thai Cuisine (visit their website here)
Location: 2120 West Broadway, Vancouver
Cuisine: Thai
Price range: $25+ per person

Date of visit: September 9, 2015
Atmosphere: 3/5
Staff/service: 3/5
Food variety: 5/5
Food quality: 2/5
Buck worthy? 2/5

The Groupon was $25 for a Three-Course Thai Dinner for Two (one shared appetizer, two entrees, and one shared dessert). Felt like a pretty good deal, and we also ordered a bit more on the side. Our first appie was Crispy Calamari ($6.00). There were four pieces on the plate, the batter was soggy and oily-- and the mayo sauce made it more sickeningly unappetizing. Honestly expected a crispier experience with more pieces.

Our other appie was the New Zealand Mussel with Thai Herb ($6.50). This was less disappointing, but again, tiny portion with 6 mussels in the pot. The broth the mussels were cooked in was overwhelmingly herby to the point the mussels didn't taste like mussels. Neither were the mussels fresh... they were just frozen mussels. The house special spicy seafood dipping sauce was good though, with a hint of mint in it!

Onto the mains, I ordered a Pad Thai with Chicken ($12.00) to curb my cravings. I think they have an abundance of sugar in the kitchen, as this was super sweet. I felt like I was having dessert for a main. Aside from that, the noodles were nice and chewy and the beansprouts added a refreshing texture to the dish. Might I also mention is was very oily?

Our second main was a Choo Chee Prawn and Scallop Curry ($15.00). This had 4 large prawns, 4 scallops, and some veggies. It came with a bowl of rice and again, the curry itself was too sweet. The scallops were cooked well and the shrimp were fresh. Didn't quite care for this curry but it was one of the better things of the meal.

I ordered a Guava Juice ($2.50) to go with my meal and this was definitely from a can and well, nothing special. Adorables had an equally underwhelming Thai Iced Coffee ($3.00).

The Mango Sticky Rice 1P ($5.95) was by far the highest ranked item on the list of things I'd like to send back to the kitchen. Aside it from being tiny, the rice was hard. Yes, it had undercooked bits mixed with overcooked bits. They got the flavor down, but how can you mess up opening up a can of coconut milk to pour over dessert? The mango was sweet and perfectly ripe though, quite the MVP of this meal.

I don't know if portion sizes are different if we're using a Groupon, but if they weren't... Their prices aren't a good reflection of the quality and quantity delivered. Service was mediocre, they were friendly but it did take some effort to flag anyone down for anything. And as much as I love sweets, I won't be back.

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