Thailicious is one of the newer restaurants in town which really benefits the coupon selling industry. Without new experimental places like these, people like me tend to get caught up in our comfort zone by going to restaurant we always go to. Placed along the bustling strip of James Street, Thailicious sits next to Oliver’s, a place which I had high regards for. Arriving on time, I was promptly seated by the waitress and was politely informed of the limitations for the coupon I had which she did again when my dining companions arrived. Admittedly, I have always had a soft spot for the service provided at Thai restaurants as they are often more polite than most.
For appetizers, we started with tiny morsels of decadent Thai chicken balls.Before you readers get at me for calling simple chicken balls moreish, how many times have chicken balls served to you come out tasting like pre-made ones of out the bags? For me, one too many times. These here were the subject of some TLC before being crumbled and fried. Though dressing and salad felt all too cliché, I was sold as the balls packed good flavor. But 6 balls for $19.50 is a hard buy. Top Nepalese restaurants sell 10 momos for $15 and that was simply sublime when I had it here @ the Himalayan Restaurant Victoria Park.
The next appetizer were the fish cakes tasted TYPICAL. It had all the qualities of a Thai fish cake in terms of flavors but what it lacked for me perhaps is that just cooked till right consistency which was a little bounce and an easy to bite apart feel. These felt a little overcooked making them tough.
After our appetizers, it did not take long for our mains to be served. This I guess were one of the benefits of eating out on a weekday!The chicken fried rice was served very artistically shaped like hmmmmmm a flan? Ok bad description but lets move on. It tasted alright but felt a little sweet. Each bit of rice was perfectly cooked mainly whole although crush at some places. And here comes my biggest complain. I hate those god damn frozen vegetables which I term “3 color poison”!. These are just a pain to see and eat. My travels in Bangkok never once was I served such pesky vegetables but they are all over in Australia. Is it really that hard for some leafy greens to make their way onto the table? SAD! :(!
The Panang Pork curry was one of the highlights that night. It was simply sublime when served hot. When my friend’s mom made this for us earlier this year, I was blown away. I am used to the runny curry just oozing with flavor but when served dry, it actually alleviates the taste of the curry. At Thailicious it falls somewhere in between and was to me, still delicious.
The duck curry to me is still my very first experience at Thai curry when I first flew to Bangkok nearly 13 years ago. And even today, it still is a dish I hope to relive its glory. For me, the only curry which has a good balance of fruitiness, spice and textures are the ones served at Ying Thai 2 in Melbourne. My past experiences in Perth has never left me satisfied. Unfortunately, Thailicious falls into that category as well. For me, it was tasty but overly sweet and the amount of duck meat was miniscule. And to a certain extent, a little too oily!
The deep fried fish fillets topped with aromatic Thai herbs was another dish that is on my good books other than the Panang Pork curry. The fillets were crisp, the herbs were tantalizing and more importantly, well executed. But be vary, do not bite into the herbs at the top. I did and I almost died there.
The last dish was the basil stir-fried beef with chilis! It was again another dish that was rather typical but it was typically good. For me, this dish is a comfort food used to top a rice bowl and finished with a fried egg. This was no lesser of standard compared to S & T Thai Café on William Street which to me serves the best Pad Ka Prow.
At the end of the night, we were all filled. It was a long dinner of 6 mains (some with no pictures) a few appetizers and drinks for the table. For the quality of food that we were served, I felt satisfied. The coupon for 6 of us costed something like 70 bucks which was extremely cheap. Comparing that price to the menu, the meal should have cost more than $150. I recently read comments on Urbanspoon mentioning that the city has a gap of somewhat the cheaper places like S & T Café which is more suited for a quick meal and the more expensive places like Dusit Thai. True enough, places like Thailicious with a more upmarket setting fits nicely in the middle. But how does this compare with the need? After all, it is being really good or really bad that keeps you in people’s memories. Being average is really nothing to shout about. Fortunately though, its just the pricing that falls in between, not the quality. Most of the dishes served to me was pretty good. Even my picky sister would agree with the exception of the tom yam which she felt tasted like out of the bottle.