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Friday, March 12, 2010

Food Review - Paradize Thai Bistro/Poolside Coffeehouse

Paradise Thai Bistro
Local, Thai & Western
Lodge Paradise Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail

Getting there
Located at the prominent left corner (if you are driving along the 1-way street) on Jalan Sultan Ismail, directly facing the Istana Hotel. This is an old landmark that has been there virtually untouched, except for some face-lifting work on the building’s fa├žade, for the longest time.

There is ample parking around the entire vicinity – either at the public parking bays or in any of the commercial buildings or hotels.

The staff are very friendly and helpful despite most of them being non-Malaysians. However, I was a little disappointed that none of them realized what I was talking about when I asked them (3 different people) about the menu items that appear on their Web-site but are missing from their physical menus. BUT,… credit where credit is due, they still served us with the fervor and eagerness sorely lacking in their Malaysian counterparts. This itself made me rate their service level as good.

The place can be a little bit of a maze as we entered along the back lane leading from Jalan Sultan Ismail toward the Weld – which is actually the front gate because the guard house and boom gate is there – but because that was the first time we were there, we entered the hotel and went upstairs to the lobby lounge instead of the restaurant which was located next to the pool (and has a great view of the Jalan Raja Chulan/Sultan Ismail junction). Diners have the option to sit at the poolside – which looks great & enticingly cozy – however, we chose to sit inside because of the horrendously hot & humid weather we have been experiencing of late – hence, no air-con, no life. The Air-Con section is also split into 2 with 1 section laid out as a conventional dining area while the other is designed like a club/bistro. Cozy and really puts you in the mood.
Based on the items we ordered, which were a Thai Green Curry Chicken Combo Dinner set (RM19 – which comes with Mango Salad, Fish Cake, Pandan Chicken and Red Rubies Dessert) and the Sizzling Fillet Steak (RM35). And for our drinks and dessert: Banana Split (RM12) & Sangria (RM15). The Thai food definitely tastes much better than the steak. Having said that, the items were still not as good as some of the other Thai places I’ve tried (eg: Chakri Palace, Rama V, etc.) while the fried items were extremely oily. The steak unfortunately was a huge disappointment. The beef, although tender (I had it done medium), just didn’t make the grade in terms of taste and the black pepper sauce I opted for didn’t help it either. The Sangria was also disappointing as I have had much better Sangria. This one was a tad too bitter (perhaps due to the red wine used).

All the Thai food is neatly presented atop a pandan leaf on bright clean white china while the steak came in a sizzling hot plate. This would automatically earn 2 notches for presentation. Moreover, this makes the food so much more irresistible!

There are enough menu items to warrant return visits to the place as they not only serve Western (eg: Fish Fillet) & Thai but also local favorites like Cantonese Fried Noodles, Fried Rice, Mamak Mee & Fried Kuay Teow.

Value for Money
With many items in the under RM 20 range, this place offers good value in a cozy and comfy environment right in the heart of the city.

OverallThe place looks great especially after dark as the lighting really adds to the mood & character of the place. However, the food isn’t great, but then, this is not the kind of place you go to for great tasting food.

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