You might have seen me running a rather off-beat competition a week or so ago - for the chance to dine with Mr Cake and I. I had won a $100 voucher from Positively Wellington Tourism/Wellington on a Plate and we needed company. The lovely Joanna from Wellingtonista won and so last night she and her friend Kim dined with us. It was a very gusty evening - we were almost blown along the road - and the restaurant door was locked when we arrived to keep the wind out. However, we were quickly admitted and we were pleased not to have the door gusting open through our meal!
We ordered some appetisers to start; chicken satay; Thai fish cakes; and fresh spring rolls. The satay chicken was nicely cooked - four portions of sufficiently moist chicken on kebab sticks, and a dipping bowl of sauce. The sauce was nice but I can't really describe it other than it was satay! Definitely a winner, though. The fish cakes were appealingly knobbly and piping hot, with a good, substantial and nicely seasoned filling. And the spring rolls were fresh, with nicely balanced fillings, plenty of crunchy veges and balanced the fried fish cakes nicely.
The mains were all looked and smelt delicious. Joanna's Kang Phet Ped Yang - roasted duck in red curry - was apparently very rich and smelt divine. The pieces of duck were generous - always nice to discover such big chunks in a curry. Kim had (I think - correct me if I'm wrong, Kim!) Larb Ped - minced duck with fresh herbs, lime leaves and lime juice. It was perhaps the least appealing looking of the meals but was still enjoyed for it's flavour. Mr Cake's Basil Chicken was a mound of deliciously seasoned veges and chicken. He also enjoyed a roti - not so much with his meal as separately but it came with satay sauce anyway (and he would happily have eaten it on its own!).
I ordered the Lamb Ka-ta Ron, a hot plate dish. The dish was delicious, warming and slightly spicy, with a generous amount of black pepper throughout - so good that I brought what I couldn't eat home and had it for lunch today. However, the one drawback of the meal was that my dish took quite a while to arrive after everyone else's - so much so that even after I had taken photos, and everyone had politely waited for a while for my dinner to get to me, and then eventually started on my bidding, they were still a good way through their dinners before mine landed on the table. I attribute the extremely sloppy photo to my hunger, intensified by smelling the delicious food all around me! However, the meal was good enough to wait for (though I'd prefer not having to!) and we will definitely go back to PhuThai Esarn, as its just around the corner from us - and in the Entertainment Book!
Thanks to Joanna and Kim for putting up with my photo taking - and thanks for the great company. We hope you enjoyed your meal as much as we did!
PhuThai Esarn is located at 35-38 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington, ph 04 801 5006, www.phuthaiesarn.co.nz