I’m genuinely quite ashamed to admit that since the opening of Koi Thai just over a year ago, it’s taken me until this week to actually pay a visit – especially given that it’s about a minute and a half’s walk from my front door.
Sure we have lockdown to take in to account, but given the buzz that has surrounded this fabulous restaurant located right in the heart of Rosemount since it made it’s debut back in September 2019, I feel like my status as a supposed foodie should officially be revoked for having somehow bypassed it until now.
With Aberdeen Restaurant Week back in full swing and with myself returning as an ARW ambassador to help spread the good word to the food lovers of Aberdeen about where to find the best eats in town, I always make a point of visiting the places that I’ve yet to frequent to try something new – I mean isn’t that the whole point? You’d better believe that Koi Thai was at the top of my list when given the option of where we fancied heading to review for you lovely lot, needing no further incentive than that they, along with loads of other partcipating venues, have three fantastic courses on offer for just £20.
Having gazed through the windows spying the swathes of content diners’ faces whenever I have passed by, it’s always been obvious that Koi Thai boasts a pretty spectacular interior, but its’s not until you actually set foot through the door that you appreciate the extent of the effort that has been put in to the design. Giving an air of true authenticity that transports you away from the bustling but grey streets of Rosemount, to what could could be the centre of a vibrant marketplace in Bangkok.
From the tin roofs with suspended lighting and the street food cart inspired bar area giving you real market place feels, to the beautiful Asian design detailing with murals of elephants and even a giant Buddha on the walls, this really is a beautiful place to enjoy a great meal.
It’s not surprising in the slightest that when the Koi Thai owners made the move from being take away only to restaurant based that they were an instant hit with their existing following based on the merit of their food offering, but with a venue like this is also easy to see why customers were flocking in from the off.
Now it’s no secret that Restaurant Week is not only a time support your local food scene, but it’s also the ultimate excuse to over-indulge, which was clearly going to be the outcome of our visit here given the extent of the delectable menu items on offer.
Welcomed to our table with complimentary prawn crackers (an instant win in my book!) and a warm greeting from our bubbly server which included a full explanation of the menu and how everything could be adapted to your preferences, we were buzzing to get stuck in. The spice lovers amongst you will be delighted to know that you can up (or lower) the spice level of any main dish depending on how brave you’re feeling.
Tod Mun Khao Poad (G,S,E)
“Deep fried sweet corn blended in red curry paste, served with sweet chilli sauce.”
It’s not an exaggeration when I say that I could eat about a hundred of these tasty little corn cakes. Differing from a classic sweetcorn fritter, these have the most more-ish crispy coating, while the filling holds on to it’s juicy sweetness. For me the dipping sauce really made this a stand-out starter; rather than sweet and sticky, it was light and fresh with just the right hit of chilli to get the tongue tingling. This is definitely a starter I’d order time and time again.
Spring Rolls (G,V)
“Handmade Thai Style Spring Rolls served with sweet chilli sauce.”
Quite possibly the tastiest spring rolls I’ve ever had? I think so! The filling was fresh, fragrant and full of classic thai aromatics and finely julienned veg that quite frankly crapped all over most of the spring rolls full of indistinguishable mystery mush that I’ve had in my time. Encased in light crisp pastry without a hint of excess oiliness, these really were a delight to eat. The same sweet chilli dipping sauce mentioned above was once again the perfect accompaniment.
Panaeng Curry (F,G)
“The famous Thai curry cooked in Panaeng Curry paste, Kaffir lime leaves, pepper and coconut milk.”
The fab thing about all of the mains on offer at Koi Thai is that with each delicious option you get the choice of chicken, pork, tofu to customise your main. Since I had opted for the famously flavoursome Panaeng curry, I decided that veg would be the best choice to let the flavour of the sauce shine, and boy did it shine! Singing of sharp lemongrass, sweet coconut and punchy spicing (this is a two chilli rated dish), the sauce was tantalising and rich, but not overpowering. The zingy, aniseedy Thai basil garnish really finished completed the flavour profile beautifully.
With a choice of jasmine rice or noodles to accompany your dish, I had chosen noodles, which was a bit of a rooky error as the curry sauce is not a thick one and would really benefit from having some rice to soak it up, but my ingrained hatred of the scent of Jasmine held me back from making the right choice. Side-note: I tried Grant’s jasmine rice out of curiosity and it was truly tasty and not at all like that jasmine perfume that used to give me the fear. Idiot.
Anyway, this was a seriously appetising plate – my only complaint being that the portion was too big too finish!
Gaeng Massaman – Thai Massaman Curry (F,G,N) 🌶
“Mild curry cooked with potatoes and onion in creamy coconut curry sauce.”
With a much sweeter and more subtle flavouring, the Massaman curry is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, the Korma of thai cooking if you will. Low in spice but abundant in fresh flavours, the thick creamy sauce lent itself perfectly to Grant’s tofu selection – which incidentally was also cooked to perfection. The coconut flavour was predominant but tastes of cinnamon and galangal also came through for a lovely warming flavour. As predicted following my previous tasting, the jasmine rice was the perfect addition. You live and learn, right?!
Sticky toffee pudding with ice cream
After the mighty feed that we had received with the first two courses, I knew that dessert was going to be a struggle, but when sticky toffee pudding on the menu caught my eye I knew I would give it my best shot. This might not be the most traditional Thai dessert, but it’s one of my absolute favourites so I’m hard pushed to resist one on any menu.
I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the sheer size of the gargantuan slice that was presented to me, what a whopper! Coated in sumptuous sweet sticky sauce, the pudding itself was moist and rich without being too dense and heavy, and even the luxuriously smooth vanilla ice cream was divine. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I near enough demolished the whole thing, it was just that damn tasty.
Banana Fritters with Coconut Milk
Expecting the batter covered bananas soaked in syrup that you often see in Chinese cuisine, we were pleasantly surprised to see something a little different emerge. The chef who came out to chat to us after our meal (always a lovely touch) explained that these were a special variety of Thai banana, which explained by they kept their shape and bite beautifully. The texture was satisfyingly chewy thanks to the candied outer, and the coconut sauce that surrounded them made this just a dream to eat.
We can’t thank Koi Thai enough for our amazing meal here. The combination of outstanding food and immaculate and genuinely friendly service left me sure that it won’t be long before we return again.
Don’t forget that the Restaurant Week menu is available right through until the 15th November, so I would advise booking in right away if you want to snap up a table this week. Head to the Koi Thai website or give them a call on 01224 478900 to get booked in. They are offering two lunch courses for £10 and three dinner courses for £20.
You can check out the rest of the amazing eateries also taking part in ARW, along with some fabulous reviews from my fellow blog squad members by heading to the ARW website here.
Until next time,
P.s. This review was part of a partnership with Aberdeen Inspired. The meal was gifted, but all wiews as always are my own.