I went for lunch to the Thai Restaurant at the Beacon in Sandyford, Dublin 18 yesterday.
It was to mark the departure of a work colleague, John Milner. No this is not the John Milner, who was the Hot Rod driver from the movie American Graffiti. It was the other one, the world famous database administrator.
This is the third time I was there and had a similar experience each time.
The setting is nice and relaxed and the service is fair to good for lunch time.
The food on all three occasions was decidedly bland.
I do quite a bit of cooking myself and am a big fan of chilli and garlic. Can you have too much? Definitely in relation to chilli, yes. Garlic on the other hand, requires much higher densities before reaching critical mass.
I had Nasi Goreng this time. This is a sort of a stir fry with rice, wegitables, chicken and prawns. This was accompanied with a fried free range egg on top. Sounds good, eh?
There was also chicken satay stick on a bed of pineapple and onions covered in a satay sauce. I must admit that I am not a big fan of onions, but usually partake, as they are part of the whole experience (one hopes).
There were also some non descript fried cracker fellas, which were nice and crispy but didn't taste of anything.
The Nasi Goreng followed this trend by not really having much flavour. Even the fried egg was bland. The chicken didn't taste like chicken and was very soft. I wondered how freshly it was cooked. The prawns had the correct texture but that was it.
The chicken satay stick, which was sort of flattened, as they usually are. It was very well cooked. Maybe that was very very well cooked. I sort of like crispy fried chicken, so I persevered. In my attempts to consume it, I had a bit of a problem distinguishing between the chicken and the skewer.
I began to do what I normally do in these cases, which is to loosen the skewers grip on the chicken. This then allows the chicken to be easily pushed off the wood.
So there I was holding down the chicken with my fork and twisting the skewer, as you do. Then the chicken slipped from beneath my fork and the chicken spun and paddled the sauce in all directions. I received 4 large drops on my front. They turned out to be those nasty greasy stains that cannot be washed off and serve only as a symbol of ones ineptitude with the whole eating process.
I even think some of the other drops landed on someone else's plate.
I fully understand that this was my fault and not necessarily a result of the quality of the food.
Having seamlessly carried out this procedure, totally unnoticed by companions, I continued to complete my repast.
The pineapple was nice.
Did I eat everything? Damn right I did. I was paying enough for it and it was not offensive. It was just a bit dull. I know that Thai is not the spiciest of Asian food styles but still should not be considered dull.
I freely admit that Thai food would not be my cuisine of choice. Not enough chilli and garlic and too much ginger.
Was this any worse then previous experiences with Thai food at different establishments? Probably not.
At the previous Thai restaurant, did I say that I would never go to another Thai restaurant? Yes.
Am I being fair in my views of this one? Who cares!