Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mini Dish: Coriander Gourmet Thai

Fast-Food Thai Fills You Up

This is a quick review of Coriander Gourmet Thai, one of the lower-level eatery stands in the food court for the Westfield San Francisco Centre. I was at the downtown mall today and decided to taste my first lunch there. I first thought about Korean but the Korean stand looked like the typical Korean barbeque of chicken, pork, and ribs. So I looked over at the Thai stand and saw there wasn't much of a line.

Coriander Gourmet definitely offers more selection, with a couple of interesting curries and a variety of chicken, shrimp, and pork dishes. I, of course, had a craving for Pad Thai, the classic Thai noodle dish. So I decided to go ala carte, ordering my choices instead of going for the fixed one item or two items plates (that comes with either fried rice or jasmine rice... I wanted my Pad Thai!).

Along with my Pad Thai, I ordered the special, Sweet Chicken with Basil. I love how Southeast Asian cooking uses fresh basil in many dishes, and I was curious at how they got the chicken to look so caramelly good.

The total was $8.50 for my two choices, which is a bit more than the one item plate ($5.95) or two items plate ($6.95). Next time I probably wouldn't stray from the menu, but today I thought I'd give myself a treat.

The Pad Thai was interestingly mild. It may have needed more fish sauce and it would have been nice to be warm instead of fast-food lukewarm, but it was decent. The sweet chicken was nice bite-size nuggets of caramelized chicken with a mix of shoyu and sugar. The taste was great with the basil, but the chicken was a bit overdone and nearly dry. It was a poor execution of what was a fantastic idea for chicken.

For mall eating, it was decent. Next time I might try the curries, so at least I'm still willing to give Coriander Thai another try. And there's something about eating at a food court that serves their dishes with real dinnerware instead of plastic that makes the dining experience more comfortable. I also ate near 11:30 a.m. before noon and the real shopping mob arrived.

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