With competition this high, to be classified as a good Thai restaurant is serious kudos indeed.
West End's Gala Thai is a good Thai restaurant.
So what makes their massaman a massa-have?
Lets find out.
Chicken Karage, Laksa, A Tofu Buddha Bowl, and Honey Chicken feature on the menu, alongside the expected standards of Pad Thai, Thai Beef Salad, and Red, Yellow and Green Curries.
In true keeping with the progressive nature of West End, the process of ordering from the menu has a distinctively 2.0 vibe about it.
Gone was the old paper and pencil method of 2017, and instead you get your very own tablet to keep at your table throughout the meal to order delicious food at will. This made ordering really quite fun, and the little smiley face I got to confirm that a dish was sent to the kitchen strangely made me feel like I had really done a good job at something. Like I had ordered a Pad ka Praw in a particularly dexterous manner.
The coconut was chilled and so refreshing that it made me wonder why I didn’t do this at home myself more often. It came with a spoon for coconut flesh eating after I had downed the sweet water inside.
I quite enjoyed the activity of hacking away at my coconut flesh from the husk, though this was much more of a messy activity than I had anticipated. My local fruit shop will be glad to know that I am totally happy to keep practicing at this.
These duck pancakes were amazingly good. The pancake itself was paper thin but still soft, which is no mean feat as they can dry out easily. The duck was flavoursome and the crispy vegetables served inside each pancake added a lovely crunch and freshness. The pancakes were topped with strings of Japanese dried chilli which was a lovely touch.
From the Signature menu, I then opted for the Pad Cha Barra, which was Fried Barramundi Fillets with Stir Fried Seasonal Vegetables, Chilli, Peppercorns and Basil.
This dish had a great spicy kick to it, and went down beautifully with an Asahi beer (also procured just for the occasion). The amount of fish in this meal was generous, and was coated in a nice crisp batter. Fresh peppercorns dotted the dish which added heat but also an aromatic flavour to each mouthful. The leafy basil similarly added a fragrant aniseed element as well.
You also get to eat a whole coconut.*
*Not a recommended activity on a first date.