Dec 4, 2006
We just got back from lunch. Oh my, was it good Thai food! We have eaten several meals since arriving; Chinese, Vietnamese, Nepalese and French, each one has been notable but today's lunch was superb. It was at the "Golden Elephant" on Hai Ba Trung about a block down from the Hyatt towards the river and pretty much directly across from the French Bakery we munched at this morning. The restaurant was mentioned to us by a nice Vietnamese couple we started chatting with last night while enjoying a bowl of pho at Pho 24. We checked the menu this morning and prices looked great considering the interior looked a bit upscale (but not in a pretentious way) and decided it was going to be lunch. The menu is quite large, each item has a photo next to it and is well laid out with good English descriptions. We sat upstairs which is a great choice as it is a bit quieter and has a more intimate feel. Staff were very good and very professional, almost refreshing to see the boys only get a few hugs and cheek rubs (the head-waiter insisted on carrying Evan up the stairs mentioning he was a beautiful boy and that he loved kids). The kitchen is downstairs and the aroma's wafting up the stairs were making my mouth water and it became hard to focus on what to order - I would gladly go back for an entire week to work my way through the menu. Now perhaps some reading this wouldn't be as impressed as we were by this restaurant based on more exposure to greater Thai restaurants, I will say this; Doreen has spent time in Thailand and we eat a lot of it at home, simply said, we feel this is great Thai food.
What did we order you ask? Drinks were a 333 beer, hot coffee, fresh pineapple juice and a fresh orange juice. Starter was fresh Thai spring rolls, not the rice paper wraps, it was a different style than we are used to - hard to explain but deelish. Followed by a plate of stir-fried vegetables, steamed rice, some form of fried bread (almost naan like) a green chicken curry and a masaman beef curry. That masaman is without a doubt the best I have ever had. I thought about licking the plate even though I was stuffed. Doreen's green curry was also a high note and I would be happy to eat it for days on end. Price with a tip was 300,000 Dong, or about $20 Cdn.
Have you started repeating it yet? ;-)
The boys are crashed here at the hotel at the moment, as you can see in the second photo Evan spent pretty much half the lunch sleeping with his head on my lap shortly after I took this photo. With his legs laid out on his chair he was pretty comfy. Doreen has headed out for a wander for a couple of hours, down Le Loi street on the same route Evan and I took yesterday, which leaves me to put my feet up, do some Internet-ing all the while realizing how wonderfully full I am. Perf.