Life’s simple… Freshly steamed crab, dig out all the yummy brown meat, some chicken stock, garlic, carmelised onions, black pepper corns and some salt. Pour everything back in the shell, arrange artfully or in my case not so artfully on a white plate. Garnish with dill fronds and serve… Dig in….. YUM!!!
Being Thai, i have never really felt an affection to “Touristy” Thai food. See the thing is, i never felt like i needed to pay astronomical amounts of money for a dish that i can pick up on the street for i dunno a few bucks and cooked by a nice old granny but ok.. My mother was watching tv and this restaurant was featured on a show so of course off we went. This little restaurant is actually a herbal upscale spa, with a little 10 table restaurant on the side. Palm Herbal Cuisine is the choice for Japanese expats and housewife’s judging from the Japanese menus available. Each dish was beautifully presented i must admit, although the taste was still rather authentic i preferred a more spicy intense taste. The only thing that will prevent me from returning to this place is purely pricing. Thai and Chinese people do not eat food separately, we usually do a sharing thing. Most of the time we order a plethora of appetizers, entrees or fruits which is placed in the middle of the table. If we are in a very formal setting the younger ones wait for the older persons to help themselves first, but luckily our family is very informal.
Tamarind Chilli paste with fried gourami fish and served with fresh veggies.
If you look closes, that’s morning glory thats like tied in a bundle, the white stuff i think is galangal, and the little big berries you se on top are different types of eggplants. The zig zaggy thing on top is thai winged beans, crunchy and tastes kinda like our string beans but alot milder. Tamarind is extremely sour and this now rather hard to find, it’s part royal cuisine and really traditional thai food.
This is really a family favorite, it’s fish cakes, it’s made from pounded fish mean and red curry paste with bits of string bean for color. Usually they serve it in big patties but at this restaurant they really made it dainty and pretty. Its usually eaten with a sweet chilli sauce with fresh cucumbers. For presentation they fried either basil or kale leaves on top for a crunchy veggie taste. The fishcakes taste rather mild, like fish balls with a more savory curry paste taste of all the herby roots in the paste. It’s fishy, spicy, chewy taste is a good contrast to the sweet and crunchy dip and eaten with hot rice it’s yummies!
This is called Plaaa Goong, usually when a dish is called a plaaa, it’s served not so cooked. Like a ceviche, usually this dish uses small prawns or shrimps to make it with a sweet red chilli paste (totally different from the ones used to make curry) with lemon grass, shallots and winged beans, but they used a giant river prawn (hence the price tag). The perfectly (Mattoom eggs) Boiled duck eggs with a runny yolk, the giant prawn was a perfect medium rare. Eaten with the blanced eggplant it was a nice balance of all the flavors. This shop has amazing presentation!
Kapi is a thai shrimp paste which is the basis for many of the thai chilli pastes that are used to accompany the dips eaten at the table. Not the paste for cooking the curries. Every household would have their own receipe of pounding the paste which would be the pride of the lady of the house. It is served with both fresh vegetables and veggies fried in an omelet style. It was always made luxurious with the addition of mackerel fish and mackerel fish only because the flavours complemented each other perfectly. Now at Palm Cuisine, it was nice but served in a central thai taste, more sweet. I prefer the fiery taste of the south, so it’s really a perception and preference but all in all it was a homey yummy dish.
Kaeng Kiew Waan Neua – Sweet green beef curry, eat it quick before the beef over cooks! Flavored with pea sized eggplants, which explodes in a bittery mouthful if you bite into it. This is was wonderful, creamy, spicy with a coconuty hit with the beef, yummy over hot hot rice. It is everyone’s dish which is always offered on the streets to thai haute cuisine. You can not miss this dish!
This is really just a dish that screams luxury. Chunks of crab stir fried with egg and spring onions, nothing else, just let the crab shine. And wow does the dish shine!!!
The whole world knows Tom Yam Goong, well this is a traditional recipe. One that uses tamerind instead of lime so it’s flavor and a more in depth dimensional taste to it, made with free range farm chickens, the only addition to it that scared me were unborn eggs. See the yolk? Yeah scary. I didn’t eat it , just tasted the soup which was WOW btw….
They had a choice of desserts in their cake care, so we chose 2. Notice how i like my strawberry and cream! Imagine sinking in one of those chairs. So comfy and cutesy!
Imagine, a ripe mango a delicate balance of sweet and sour. Delicious sticky rick and a freezing coconut cream ice cream. Wouldn’t you just sigh when you look at it? OMG right???
It was a beautiful meal, if you were going to spend a bunch of money on fancy poncy thai cuisine, i’d say come here, they do serve great traditional thai food. Service was excellent and chairs comfy and homey. I would recommend getting a reservation though!
Clearing out my picture files and i stumbled upon many records that i forgot to write about. Coming from asia where we are surrounded by beautiful beaches and great seafood i never expected to experience one of the best seafood meals in SF. After an hour in que (we were the last ones) we finally got a table. It was a great experience, everyone sat at the counter bar and in front you can look at all the fresh seafood and drool and imagine what you would order when you finally got to sit down. What we ordered:
1) Sea Urchin – I was so lucky it was the last one and me and the last guy shared half of this humongous guy…. It was the best uni i ever tasted in my life… I still dream about it back in Thailand.
2) Crab Salad – It was fresh veggies which is nothing new in a salad but the amount of crab meat stunned my friend into silence. They just grabbed handfuls and placed it on the salad. I mean it’s crab….. It was fresh, sweet, firm chunks! Delish… You cannot imagine…
3) Clam Chowder – Very Rich, creamy and good for dipping in the bread. Bread was cold but oh well we were there for the seafood.
4) Half a Dungeness Crab – This crab was a huge guy, in Asia crabs are big but this guy was probably from giant land. My friend who was a crab lover sat quiet after 2 weeks of complaining about western food finally shut up and just ate and ate.
5) Half a dozen oysters – All mine.. All mine. I forgot what i ordered but they were salty, juicy, and yum.
I dont think you can explain much about how seafood tastes like, i think it’s different from Thailand where everything is cooked and piping hot. Eating cold fresh seafood really is a luxury and i appreciate just basic seafood and undressed. Just enjoy it the way nature intended it. Fresh and yum. PS: They open at 11am and last orders at 4.30pm if i’m not mistaken.