At the Eastern Parklands end of O’Connell Street.PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
This eatery arrived in traditional dress 10 years ago, with the usual bright coloured Asian trimmings. Recently, it was subdued with mushroom tones and restrained ornamentation. A pair of regal Thai ladies welcome you inside, their beauty carved in stone. Industry awards grace the wall and oriental lilies pretty up an otherwise masculine room. The lighting is unobtrusive, as is the music. Silver cutlery with bamboo handles are placed on tables with high-backed (albeit padded) metal chairs. Turn your attention to host Te Ngamlamai’s very respectable wine list, where naturally there’s Singha beer for traditionalists. Te has an impressive family tree of restaurants in Adelaide including Bangkok, Phuket and Suree’s Thai Kitchen, so rest assured you’re in good hands. His charming wife Sanom is head chef at Regent Thai, however, she is as modest as they come so let her dishes do the talking.
A unique entree of crispy salmon especially sings Sanom’s praises. Underneath a layer of shredded mango (green apple if not in season), its skin provides a just-crusty casing to mouthfuls of mealy fish flesh. Use its bed of curly lettuce to convey it to your mouth – just wait for its tenderness to take over. Miang kim is another stylish starter; its prawns come nestled in a betel leaf, their sweetness well matched with a shower of roasted coconut and served with a dunking sauce of ginger, peanuts, lime juice and chilli. Oysters and scallops come steamed with ginger shallots or coriander sauce, Morton Bay bugs or cockles are prepared with fragrant basil leaves, and chilli crabs see diners salivating. Choo chee prawn curry will have you work up a slight perspiration, so slide into the dessert of house-made Kahlua ice-cream.