(Note: This review is now depreciated, and is only available as a historical note. )
Update Summer 2007
The Bann Thai is, sadly, no more. It is now a funky chill out bar going by the name of “Titos Buddha Bar”. Best of luck to Tito, but I shall miss it´s passing.
Original review (posted June 2006) as follows:
Sunday, and after the excitements of the boat race, followed by a leisurely caipirinha at El Patio chiringuito, to dinner. But where? Thai! Wonderful.
It was my first visit back to Bann Thai this season, and I approached it with high hopes. Last summer it had been a favourite haunt of mine, and I have to say it was fantastic. Would it keep up appearances? Would my tingling taste buds be disappointed?
It was a bit strange. The table service was great, wonderful service and very attentive. The kitchen produced a great meal – but very slowly. About 40 minutes twixt entree and main!
We started off with a selection of starters which we shared, always a winner. I thoroughly recommend the Tempura of Prawns with a sweet and sour sauce. Sadly, I forgot what else we had to start. Well, it´s not as if I´m getting paid for this.
As I was the only one who wanted wine, I was pleasantly surprised to find a half bottle of Herederos de Marques de Riscal Reserva 2001 on the wine list. Why don´t more restaurants in the area serve half bottles? They do have a decent little wine list, and some quite decent French champagne at a good price. (We got through a few bottles of that at a party last year there!)
The wine kept me going until the main course arrived (eventually). I was going to say something, but general exhaustion and a kick under the table from one of my beautiful assistants stopped me.
Now, the rice was red. Nothing against red rice, I just find it strange. However, it didn´t taste red, which I suppose is what matters. The thai green curry was fantastic, full of flavour and very juicy. The vegetables were just right, al dente. The same for the stir fry and the vegetarian thai curry that my companions had. We polished it all off and sat back feeling bloated. Even the presentation of the food was pleasant.
A fresh fruit pudding and a mango ice cream polished it all off, followed by coffee and liqueurs.
Just a pity it took so long between courses! It´s a great restaurant with lovely views over the bay, friendly and attentive waiters, and great food. They just need to stick another chef in the kitchen.