Kati Thai, Balwyn North

6/15/2014 , , , 0 Comments

A little while ago, I was approached by Menulog to do a review of one of their listed restaurants, to help out the local community and promote its services - Menulog is actually the Number 1 site for Online Takeaway - and I was very happy to do so. The restaurant I chose was Kati Thai restaurant in Balwyn North, and I had a really great first experience with using the website.

Menulog's service is really easy to use; by simply entering in a suburb or postcode, you're provided with a list of the participating restaurants, which can be sorted/categorised in a range of different preferences. Each search result also returns with basic information such as opening hours, delivery speed, minimum amount to open, and the type of promotions that are offered. An example of the results can be found here and here.

Once you click on a particular restaurant, you're taken to the list of dishes available for order with a description, and you can jump to a particular section with the help of the navigation on the left hand side. Popular items are indicated with a star, and dishes you order are displayed in the cart on the right hand side. Once you have completed the order, you simply place your order and are taken to the checkout page. If you are a logged in member, you can track your order via email, and Menulog can also save your credit card details for ease of use next time. The whole process is very simple and easy to use, and completed in a short amount of time. You don't even have to wait until the opening hours of the restaurant to place your order, you can choose to have it delivery now, or at a later date and time.

For four people, we ordered one entree and three mains, which was more than enough to eat for dinner, on top of rice to go with the curries. The dishes we ordered were the Mixed Entree ($9.90), a Green Curry with Roast Duck ($17.90), the Massaman curry with Chicken ($14.90) and a Pad Thai with Prawns ($15.90). At first I was a little confused as there was no indication of the type of meat that went with some of these dishes, but we soon discovered that when you click on the actual item, it pops up with a range of options for meat, as well as how spicy you wish to have your dish. We went with medium heat for the green curry and mild heat for the massaman curry. The only downside was that you had to choose mild/medium/very spicy for the dishes, and there wasn't the option to have no spice at all, for those who can't take spicy food.

The mixed entree consisted of a range of 6 items from the entree list: gai hor bai toey, two spring rolls, two curry puffs and fish cake. Gai Hor Bai Toey is a Thai dish of marinated chicken that is wrapped in pandan leaf and deep fried, served with a sweet chilli sauce. Despite being deep fried, it wasn't too oily to eat, and the chicken was lovely and tender. One of the spring rolls was vegetarian and the other pork, and both were nice and crispy with good portion of filling to pastry. The curry puffs were probably my favourite out of the entree choices, as the pastry was soft yet crispy at the same time, and the filling was really flavoursome and smooth. The fish cake was also quite enjoyable too- it was tom yum flavoured with a hint of spice to it, so was kind of like having tom yum soup, but in a solid form. One really great thing to note about this dish is that the container it came in had the lid cut slightly, so that the heat wasn't contained in the box and wouldn't make the crispy skin of the dishes go soggy/soft, which I thought was a really thoughtful gesture.

The green curry was cooked in coconut milk with vegetables and basil, and for the meat you could choose between chicken, beef, pork, roast duck or prawns. As roast duck isn't an option you'd usually expect to see in Thai curries, we decided to try this one to see what it was like (it was $3 extra and prawn is $2 extra, but the other options are at no additional charge). What was also interesting about this dish was that there was also cherry tomatoes and lychee in it, something you wouldn't expect to see in such a dish. However, they both went surprisingly well with the curry sauce and balanced out the duck, especially the lychee, with the outer layer having the subtle curry flavour, yet biting into it you were greeted with the sweet flavour of the lychee. However, we did find that the original flavours of duck were extremely overpowered by the curry, so you couldn't really taste it at all unless you had it by itself. There was a good range of vegetables in the curry such as carrot, zucchini, green beans, and baby corn, though I couldn't taste the basil flavours. The duck itself was also a little dry as is the case with most meat in Thai style dishes, but this was okay when you had it with the vegetables and rice.

The massaman curry was also cooked in coconut milk, but consisted of potatoes, onion and roasted peanuts. There was a slight sweetness to this curry which made it surprisingly enjoyable, and as we had chosen it to be mild, was only slightly spicy to eat. There was a good mixture of textures in the dish, from the crunch of onions and cashew nuts to the softer potatoes, together with the slightly chewy chicken slices and fibrous yet soft and juice pineapple pieces. Pineapple isn't something I'm used to seeing in massaman curries, so we were a bit surprised when we saw it in the dish (and actually thought it was potato at first!).

The pad thai consisted of rice noodles stir fried with egg, tofu and bean shoots, and topped with crushed peanuts. The portion of this was extremely generous for the price, to the point where we couldn't even finish it! The noodles used in this pad thai appeared to be a bit thicker than your average noodles, and weren't as slick - they sort of stuck together a bit more but had good elasticity. There were lots of mini fried tofus in the pad thai which added texture, and there was quite a few prawns. The peanut flavour came through quite strongly initially, so even if you didn't get the crunchy texture from it in every bite, you could still taste it in the noodles. I felt that there wasn't as many bean shoots in this pad thai compared to most though, so there wasn't as much of a crunch texture to it.

Overall the dishes were enjoyable and similar to most other Thai places I've visted in terms of flavours and textures. The use of Menulog to order the dishes made it really simple and easy to use, so thanks to them for this great opportunity! I'd definitely recommend using it to find some great places around your neighbourhood to eat from, and there's also discounts and special offers depending on how often you order using it.

Kati Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon | Website


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