Thai cuisine at Silk&Spice - Sofitel Hotel, Abu Dhabi
|The entrance to Silk&Spice|
|Loved the bar|
|The sumptuous semi-private dining room|
The dishes are served, but sadly are not introduced. The waiter has missed an important aspect of service - the introduction of the dishes educates the guest but also serves as a way to engage the guest in a natural manner. Nonetheless, I try the yam talay and find chunky pieces of lemongrass - I love lemongrass, so I enjoy both the aroma and crunch. The calamari, in particular, grips me because it has the right degree of chewiness. The som tam is what you would expect of a high end Thai restaurant, but do I like the grilled prawns. Different. Nice. Finally, my favourite starter for the night, the lap ped yang, is perfect. The beef is well cooked, so I am not left with cold, chewy beef. All the sour and spicy elements I am looking are there. But it is the generous onion and mint that wows. Yum.
|Lam ped yang|
|Green curry in the foreground|
After my main courses I already reflect on an area that needs working on - service. At one point my server had disappeared for 17 minutes, leaving basics like the topping of water and wine wanting as there was no one else looking after our area. I also notice a couple at the entrance waiting to be seated. They eventually seat themselves.
It is the final dish of the day, the Khao niew ma maung (Mango with sticky rice and ice cream) that turns out to be my favourite dish of the night. Having had this on numerous occasions at other restaurants, I have grown accustomed to having a couple slices of mango and sticky rice on a plate, often held together by coconut milk being poured to connect the two parts of the dessert or nothing. Tonight though, it is a dessert with the elements already together. It feels like a pudding. Mild heat keeps the sticky rice and mango warm, while the ice cream on top provides an obvious contrast. Defintely one of my favourite desserts in the city.
Silk&Spice is a restaurant that can be so much more. It is pretty much a traditional interpretation on classic Thai dishes, despite the contemporary design. The prices are very reasonable and the portions are spot on. It is an absolutely gorgeous restaurant with a small bar that I would visit just to experience the Thai ambience. However, a focus on getting staff to adopt some basics in service will go a long way to making Silk&Spice more than just a good Thai restaurant. It has all the makings of being excellent.
The low down
The Sofitel Corniche,
971 2 8137777
Starters 38-65 Dhs
Mains 45-118 Dhs
Desserts 25032 Dhs