Sunday, December 20, 2009

Resto Review: Lotus Neo Thai

Argentines don’t do spicy. This is a recognized fact, and I should have known better than to have expectations this weekend when I went to a Thai restaurant this past Saturday night. I went with two couples (yes I was the fifth wheel): Anna and her boy Camilo and Anna’s friends Juan and Ana to a restaurant called Lotus Neo Thai, located up in the Barrio Chino (Chinatown) in Belgrano (Arribeños 2265).

Anna and Camilo and I got there at about 9:30, and already the place was full. We didn’t have reservations, and initially one of the waitresses told us there was no room for 5 of us, but since we had to wait for Juan and Ana to arrive anyway we decided to sit at the little bar and wait and see if a table opened up. It’s a cute place, with about 10 or 12 tables, a little 4-stool bar, and adorable lotus flowers painted on the walls. The lighting is low—there are candles on each table and dim lamps in the shape of lotus flowers—and two of the tables are set up so you can sit on the floor on cushions, in traditional Thai style (??? Do Thai people eat sitting on the floor? How ignorant am I right now).

(pictures are from Lotus Neo Thai website)

So we sat ourselves down at the bar and ordered some drinks—caipirinha for Camilo, strawberry daiquiri for Anna, and caipiroska with passionfruit for me—which were delicious and only moderately expensive (22 pesos each). While we were waiting for the table someone brought us these crispy, airy, wafery chip things (I’m sure they have a name but I have NO clue what it could be) and some dipping sauces, a sweetNsour and a more spicy one. The spicy dipping sauce was by far the spiciest thing I ate that night, which is a little sad considering Thai food is known for its delicious kick.

Once Juan and Ana arrived, we got a table and ordered four dishes to share between the five of us: chicken pad thai, pork with green beans, chicken with cashews, and a chicken soup with ginger and coconut called Tom Kha Gai. The food arrived pretty quickly, and in good portions. I was a little disappointed with the pad thai—it wasn’t spicy at all, and was actually kind of bland. The chicken with cashews was OK, the pork was flavorful although a bit salty, and the soup was good if you like coconut and ginger—it had a very strong flavor and I only had a few spoonfuls. All in all, I was underwhelmed. All the Thai food I’ve eaten in the past has blown me away and so I think I’ve been spoiled. There was just no spice, no kick, no zing. But oh well. Can’t win them all!

The prices weren’t too bad, about 36 pesos for a basic chicken or pork dish, to about 55 or 60 for a seafood platter or shrimp dish. They had a yummy-looking list of desserts too, such as sticky rice with mango slices and various sorbets, but we were all too stuffed to order any. We opted for coffee and tea instead—I tried an herbal red tea with cinnamon, fig, honey, and apples, which was pretty good and reminded me of Christmas with the cinnamon smell (I miss Christmas!! It soooo doesn't feel like Christmas here, and I'm kind of sad about it, especially considering my hometown just got 2 feet of snow and will be having a lovely white Christmas for the first time in years...typical...the one year I leave. Bah humbug.)

Anyhoo, to sum up Lotus Neo Thai: a big fat “meh.” Not bad, but not great. Nothing that offended me to the point of no return, but nothing that inspired me to make the trek back there anytime soon. I will say that the staff were really nice and helpful, and managed to get us a table even though we just tipped up at the door with no reservations whatsoever, so that's a plus. Maybe if I go again I'll take my own spice and just sprinkle it on discreetly. That's a thought. Check out what other people say on Guia Oleo. Or check out the Lotus Neo Thai website, here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy, I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed reading your blog, congrats Mae