Wednesday, May 02, 2007

CLOSED/thai: i recommend PATARA

No. 12, Alley 247, Tun Hua S. Rd., Sec.1
(02) 2731 5288

website: (in English, but incomplete menu online)

lunch: 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
dinner: 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM


Visit reviewed: 3/9/2007

Beautiful setting, beautifully presented food, with some unique fusion dishes.

When you enter Patara, there is a tranquil feeling as you walk along the steps above a little koi river and into a uncrowded room with white linens. The menu, in both Chinese and English with some beautiful photos, offers a lot of appetizers and dishes that I have not seen at other Thai restaurants. Excitedly, we tried a few appetizers to share. I was slightly disappointed by the size of the Roti Panang Kal Ping (NT$360) which included lamb satay that were tender, flavorful but tiny. What I thought were shrimp pancakes were just oily fried chips and there was way too much sauce for the portion. Apart from the satay, the portions are pretty sizable for everything else.

I was also really surprised by how much I enjoyed the Yum Apple Peo Krob (NT$380) which included crispy deep fried spider crab with equally crispy and tart slices of apple, which made a good sweet and salty match. I also really enjoyed the grilled vegetables appetizer, which included grilled carrots, eggplants, zucchini, red bell pepper and asparagus and had a slightly sweet, tangy and spicy flavor. The only complaints I had was that it wasn't plated as beautifully as shown in the menu and that I wished there were more red bell peppers in this dish.

While I didn't _love_ their curry, since it was too spicy for me and served at the end, Patara gave their own touches to the dishes, such as serving the egg on top of the pad thai. The noodles were chewy, flavorful and not soggy at all, which I found to be the downfall of quite a few places in Taipei. Perhaps next time, I will have to ask for the curry to be only mildly spicy.

The pineapple rice was also good- there was lots of visible pineapple, cashews, crab meat and shrimp, with no pork floss in sight.

However, the misses included the sea bass which was overly fried- you couldn't taste the fish at all and we didn't want to pack it to go. We probably should have returned this since the menu didn't say it was deep fried.

There is also a dessert bar you can add for an additional fee or order their lunch group set menu (from NT$1500-3800), but the manager graciously let us have a plate of assorted rice cakes since we asked very nicely and ordered quite a bit of food.

Patara's brochure says that they have locations in Bangkok, London, Geneva and Singapore and seem to be linked to the also contemporary Patio chain. A nice place for a business lunch or even a romantic date for dinner, Patara offers contemporary and elegant dishes for those looking for something different in their Thai restaurant.


Anonymous said...

It's looks delicious!
My mouth is watering!

Lisa Wang said...

this restaurant looks great. I went to some thai restaurant near Shi Da and it was terrible, i'm going to have to give this one a try.

joanh said...

thai news: thanks for reading! can you recommend any restaurants in taipei?

ffc: yeah, the salad was really good! we can also go to mei-kung

Chubbypanda said...

Mmmm... That looks food. You know what really has me drooling, though? The fresh guava slices on the dessert plate. Gods, I miss the fruit in Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

We tried Patara for the first time last Saturday. We like Thai food that's spicy and full of flavor, so we found the dishes as a whole too light for our taste.

I can't remember the names of a couple of the dishes, but we were disappointed with the following:
- raw tuna appetizer: maguro was too cold (did they just take it right from the freezer?) and the sauce, while good, was a mismatch for the fish.
- the chicken: can't remember if it was baked, roasted or fried, but it was like half of a chicken, cut up into pieces, and the meat was very dry. 1 of the 2 accompanying sauces was good.
- tom yum kung: it lacked flavor and heat.

But, the watermelon at the dessert buffet was really sweet and juicy that night. : )

joanh said...

chubbypanda: i swear it seems that the fruit has sugar injected in it sometimes!

mamamoon: sorry to hear that! we had a couple of misses in our meal too, and maybe you had to request more heat..