Date of review: January 10, 2012 | Reviewed by:
A small venue next to the movie theatre on the eighth floor of The Langham Place Mall, Thai Orchid would be easy to miss if it weren’t for the crowds out front. The decor could be described as mall-Thai, ultimately a utilitarian but pleasant space. That said, the restaurant is well lit and the tables are nicely spaced. Even when very crowded, Thai Orchid conveys a sense of space and privacy that can be hard to come by in Hong Kong. It is not a restaurant you choose for ambience but it is very convenient and obviously a welcome respite for hungry shoppers and moviegoers.
Thai Orchid definitely caters to the taste of its predominantly Cantonese clientele over a dedication to authentic Thai flavours (take the deep fried prawn cakes stuffed with preserved egg, for example), but keeping that in mind, they do a very good job turning out well-made and flavourful dishes using fresh ingredients. The deep-fried chilli fish patties (HK$56) are somewhere between a traditional Thai fish cake and a Hong Kong fish ball but are undoubtedly delicious and a great start to a meal. For groups, the snack platter with charcoal grilled pork cheek, baked chicken filet, prawn patties, fish patties and spring rolls (HK$138) is a comprehensive and tasty sampling. In terms of mains, the signature stuffed green mussels in thick curry paste with Thai basil (HK$88), had great flavour but was ultimately disappointing because it was cold when it arrived at the table. The other signature of curry in a bread bowl was sold out by the time we arrived at 7:00 but the curry itself, green curry with duck (HK$88) was quite good. Be sure to leave room for dessert, as the coconut sago puddings (HK$32 for 4 mini-puddings) were worth the trip to Mong Kok on their own.
Thai Orchid is by no means a wine destination but there is a passable selection of mostly new-world wines and the staff recommendation was very enjoyable. Wine aside, their lime daiquiris were some of the best we have ever had. Plus, they have a good selection of specialty non-alcoholic beverages.
The service was, for the most part, good even on a very busy night. There was a mistake made with our order but that may be attributable to a language barrier.
The prices at Thai Orchid were very reasonable. A couple can easily have a good meal for under HK$500.