I guess like many people, the whole COVID-19 thing has left us feeling isolated. Of course, it’s a nonsense when you think about it as we live in the biggest state in the world! It is the old adage of wanting something that you can’t have, and overseas travel is clearly off the menu at the moment. The beauty of living in such a diverse country like Australia, is you don’t need to travel very far to sample all the different cuisines of the world. With this in mind, and really needing a change of scenery, Lisa and I decided to go on the smallest of road trips to Mandurah. We’d heard good things about a Thai restaurant there and our curiosity was sparked. An easy online booking completed, and it was confirmed…we were eating at The Silk Thai.
Mandurah will always have a special place in our hearts as it was the first place we lived when we arrived in Australia from the UK. I have always thought it a real beautiful city. The foreshore is stunning and one’s breath is always taken away as you drive over the two bridges that take you into the town from the old coast road. Our first stop was the Mandurah Forum shopping centre. Shopping is not my idea of a fun afternoon, but there was no way I was going to get out of it. Still it did have one advantage and that was the huge food court there. I didn’t want to go too mad and spoil the upcoming Thai dinner so opted for a small kebab, Lisa went for some Sushi. Just enough to abate the hunger!
We decided to make a real night of it and book a hotel. The Sebel was our choice of accommodation. It offered a great location and was walking distance to the restaurant. The room was spacious and comfortable. Because of COVID-19, there was no items in the mini bar, but you could order from reception if you really need that night cap. Things like hairdryers were also removed from the room, but when we checked in, the smiling receptionist insisted that we call her and she would bring anything we needed. It is encouraging to see that establishments like this are taking the safety precautions seriously. I would have no qualms about staying at The Sebel again; it was a very pleasant stay.
So, with shopping out of the way, and a relaxing few hours at the hotel, we put on our glad rags, had a quick cocktail stop at Murphy’s then headed off to The Silk Thai.
It was a chilly night, but the restaurant exuded warmth. The aromas as we walked in got the senses fired up immediately. The kebab I had eaten at lunch time was forgotten and I was suddenly very hungry again.
The restaurant is licenced, but you can also bring your own wine which will incur a five-dollar corkage fee. We had an interesting Rosé bought on a recent weekend away at Prevelly Beach. It proved to be a fitting companion to the aromatic food.
The menu was quite extensive and had something to suit all tastes. It also contained lots of information. It had explanations about the food and its origins which was a really nice touch. It also had a heat scale which was illustrated perfectly by the number of chillies next to a menu item. Very good for people who do not like hot surprises!
We opted for several entrees. Lisa chose the chicken satay and some spring rolls. I was drawn to the Tom Yum soup. The soup came with the choice of either mixed seafood, Tiger prawns, Chicken or Tofu…chicken it was then!
The Chicken satay was stand out. I always worry with this dish that it is going to be over sweet and sickly. Certainly not the case here. The perfectly cooked chicken bathed indulgently in the tangy sauce. It was the sort of entrée that leaves you wanting more. The spring rolls were home made full of flavour and not over oily like I have had in other establishments. They were also a great way to scoop up that amazing satay sauce!
The Tom Yum soup was another hero. Huge pieces of chicken, mushrooms galangal and lemongrass floating lazily in a hot spicy soup laced with coconut. This had my tastebuds feeling like they had had a late-night trip to Old Phuket town! For me, this was the best dish of the night.
If you like a bit of theatrics with your meal, then definitely order the Silk Thai Gai Yang. This was chicken breast drizzled with a tongue-lashing tamarind sauce and a hint of coconut cream. The chef brings this to your table with lots of shouting and sets the whole thing alight in front of you. Who does not like a bit of flambé excitement with a meal?
Not only did it look and sound good, the taste was amazing. I was pretty full after the soup, but there was no way I could leave any of this heavenly chicken.
Lisa went for her favourite Pad Thai. One of the options was scallops which obviously intrigued her enough to order it. They were more than generous with them. The silky noodles were pleasantly lathered in a rich sauce. The scallops still had the corals attached which added a subtle fishiness. The culinary world has always been divided about whether to leave coral on scallops or not. Personally, I’m in the “remove it” camp; but who am I to request that from this obviously masterful Thai Chef?. This was a huge bowl and beat Lisa. If we had been in Bunbury, we would have taken the leftovers home.
There was nothing at all negative about this meal. The food was way above average. The service was excellent. Thailand is called the land of smiles and I could certainly see why. All the staff looked they were enjoying themselves as much as we were. There was one more pleasant surprise left to come, and that was the bill. Eighty-Nine bucks for all that amazing food. Outstanding value!
We left with full bellies and smiles on our dials. Still the night was young and when we got Back to the Sebel. The Peninsula Bar looked inviting. Two rum based cocktails later and I was ready to hit the hay.
A leisurely breakfast was enjoyed in the morning at D’lights café overlooking Dolphin Quay
If you fancy getting away for the night, I can thoroughly recommend a night in Mandurah. The Silk Thai was one of the best Thai Restaurants I have ever eaten in and apart from being in Thailand, was certainly the best value. Pack up the car, book a hotel and drive ninety minutes north. Thailand without even getting on a plane!