Choo Choo's, CBD

2/02/2013 , , 0 Comments

A friend decided on this place for a catch up, which is known for its Thai food. I hadn't actually noticed this restaurant until we got there; I'd only known of it as the 'Cookie building'. Located on the second floor, the name Choo Choo's comes from the seating booths for customers being designed like train compartments. 

We went on a Tuesday night, which wasn't very crowded, but still had quite a few booths full.  The design like a train compartment meant you could pull down blinds on the three sides of the walls, and there was also a sliding door, which is good for a more intimate get together, or simply so you can hear the people you're talking to. Choo Choo's is actually also known as 'The Toff in Town', and many go for the entertainment/ drinking as opposed to actual sit down meals. 

The atmosphere of the restaurant was great, and we didn't need to yell at each other to be heard. Probably because it is designed somewhat as a bar as well, the lighting was a bit dim, which makes for less than preferable conditions for taking photos, unfortunately. The service was very good, with the waiter coming to check up on us every now and then. And if we ever needed anything, we could always press the button in the compartment and a waiter would come. 

As it was the first time at the restaurant for most of us, we were unsure of what to order, and the waiter suggested that if we did not want to decide on individual dishes ourselves, we could have a banquet. This could simply be done by letting them know how much we were willing to spend, and along with any dietary requirements, meant they designed a banquet for us to enjoy. This was a great idea, and for $25 per person, we were presented with a meal of three entrees and four main courses for four of us, which turned out to be perfect portions.

The three entrees we had were the 'Squid with Chilli and Lime Salt', 'Heavenly Beef with Hot Chilli Sauce', and 'Roasted Duck, Snow Pea and Coconut Salad with Rice Pancakes'. My favourite one was the Squid, it was really tender and was encased in a nice thin layer of batter. The beef was also quite good, though a little chewy at times, but was really flavoursome. The duck salad is eaten in a similar way to that of Peking Duck, with small portions of the salad wrapped in a rice pancake. The greens in the salad gave the dish a more crunchy texture, which goes well with the thin long strips of duck and the rice pancake. For those who like spicy foods, the dish came with chopped chilli on the side that you could add in yourself.

For the main course, we had the 'Water Buffalo Cheese with Tomato and Thai Basil', 'Marinated Chicken Skewers with Turmeric and Lemongrass', 'Chu Chee Fish Curry', and 'Crying Tiger - Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Roasted Chilli and Shallot Sauce'. 
The Buffalo Cheese dish was very refreshing, and there wasn't an overpowering amount of 'cheesiness' that went well with the tomatoes. The chicken skewers were probably my favourite main, as they had heaps of flavour and the meat wasn't too tough. The Crying Tiger was also quite good, though also slightly chewy at times. The fish curry was quite average however, and did not really stand out much. Just what you would typically find in a Thai restaurant, I suppose.

Overall, it was a pretty good place, with a great atmosphere, particularly to wind down after a day at work or to catch up with a couple of friends. The option of choosing the banquet by simply setting a price is a great idea, since the dishes are designed to be shared. Another plus with the service was the frequency of the waiter coming to check up on us, and asking if we wanted anything. He also changed our cutlery and plates after the entree so that we had clean ones, and brought over a new bottle of water as soon as he saw that ours was empty. 

Apologies for the not so high quality photos- the lighting was rather dim and I had to make do with the flash on my phone. I usually prefer to turn flash off as natural lighting is much better, but it was really quite dark without any flash on :(


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