Monday, September 21, 2009

Ruan Thai

After gaining inspiration from reading numerous food blogs, I decided it might be time to organise a Brisbane Bloggers dinner. Now, I know I am fairly new to the scene but thought it could be fun. I contacted Ally from Eat Drink Brisbane ( for her thoughts on the matter and we decided to meet up to plan a dinner for all the Brisbane bloggers.

Anyway, Ally and I had a lot to talk about (the Brisbane blogging scene etc) so we didn't get too far with planning the dinner. We are going to do some research from home and then send out an email inviting other Brisbane bloggers along. If you think you may be interested, let me know via comment or email and include your blog address and I will extend the invitation to you.

Back to the food....We decided to try Ruan Thai which is tucked away upstairs in Toowong. You would never know about it unless someone told you about it, which now, after eating there, I'm not sure is a bad thing. Sometimes little places tucked away turn out to be gems and others are more like fools gold- shiny enough on the outside... you know the rest..

The restaurant is upstairs and doesn't really exude ambiance, but as we concluded, it was pretty standard for a Thai restaurant. The menu is pretty extensive and includes most things you would find at your local Thai.

Ordering with Ally was very easy. It was nice to dine with someone else that was decisive and knows what she wants!! As I am so fussy, it is usually left up to me - but sometimes it is nice to let the control go! We chose an entree and two mains to share and ended up going with the Kao Tung Savoai- ($7.00Crispy rice crackers to dip into rich tamarind sauce with minced chicken,)the Yum Neua-($16.50Grilled and sliced beef tossed in our Thai chilli sauce and mint leaves,) and the Moo Kratiam Prigthai ($16.50Sliced pork cooked with garlic and pepper sauce.)

The service was ok, not outstanding and more like a family atmosphere but still very polite.

The food arrived quickly and in good succession but apart from that, nothing else about Ruan Thai really nailed it.

First was the entree with the rice crackers and chicken tamarind sauce. We ordered this because it sounded different and neither of us had tried anything like it before. The rice crackers were a bit weird. Hot little round cakes of rice and pretty nondescript. The chicken tamarind sauce was ok, but not outstanding. I am struggling to find descriptions for the meal because it was pretty bland.

Both the beef salad and the stir-fry garlic pepper pork arrived at the same time. The pork was ok, but only just. There was a few vegies served with it and I can see where they were trying to go with the garlic sauce... unfortunately it just lacked punch. The pork was also quite chewy.

The beef salad was a bit of a jumbled mess. The salad leaves weren't crisp and the dish was oversauced. There was some flavour but it was more heat than yummy thai spices. There was a bit of chilli in the salad despite requesting mild, but to be honest I am glad because otherwise the dish would have been totally blah.

It's a shame this cute little restaurant was disappointing because it is situated in a convenient area for the masses of students that live in Toowong. The prices were not extravagant but they also weren't really cheap and to be honest- I think they should have been. There are plenty of Thai restaurants in the area so I'm not too sure how Ruan survives when it is very ordinary and some of the other Thai restaurants close by are far superior.

Leaving yet another restaurant disappointed. If Ally didn't have a similar opinion- I think I would begin to question my judgement because as Ally suggested, many people have rated Ruan Thai quite highly.

Are my standards too impossibly high? Have you been to Ruan Thai- let me know your experiences. Got a good Thai restaurant near you??

Ruan Thai
1st Level
6 Sherwood Rd
Toowong QLD 4066
(07) 3870 8106

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