Restaurant Review : Lemongrass Thai Restaurant

Thai food is one of my favorites in the culinary world. For me, you don’t have to be a food critic to know exactly what good Thai food is. Distinct balance of flavors - saltiness, sweetness, sourness, and spiciness, addition of herbs and variety of fresh ingredients are some of my basis when it comes to judging its quality.

My husband and I had a chance to visit Lemongrass Thai Restaurant in The Galleria Mall, Abu Dhabi. It was actually our first time to visit The Galleria Mall and I would say that it is definitely a luxurious one. Lemongrass is situated in the food court, but not just a typical food court, it was generally relaxed and calm, and the tables had plenty of room around each other. The layout and atmosphere is definitely impressive, but mostly we were looking for exceptionally good cooking.

The Lemongrass Thai Restaurant Brand was established in 2002.  The Galleria Mall is their 3rd branch in Abu Dhabi and is managed by Impact Commercial Enterprises. The dishes are prepared by Thai chefs and presented in a modern Asian environment.

Once we got near to the restaurant counter to place our order, the aroma in the air was an appetizing fusion of curry and coconuts. We grab the menu, one with huge photos and the simpler version. My husband enjoyed choosing based on the photos since he's not so familiar with just the names in the menu, which is quite helpful. I used the simpler menu with the description of each.

As we decided what to order, we approached the staff to further explain the ingredients in the dishes. She seems to be well trained and patiently discussed each one to us. She even asked what level of spiciness we like for our food. As our order has been placed, she gave us an alarm-disc which cues us when our order is ready for collection. Well, we didn't wait long; it was very impressive how quick they prepared our order.

Since it is a food court dining set-up, we had our orders all together in our table. We ordered non-vegetarian Lemongrass set for appetizer. It has vegetable spring rolls, marinated chicken covered in pandan leaf, prawn cake, glass noodle salad with minced chicken and chicken satay, served with assorted dips. The chicken satay is a bit dry for me. My personal favorite is the glass noodle salad; it has fresh taste, unlike the usual savoury flavor of noodles.

My husband chose Tom Yum Seafood for our soup. He liked Tom Yum since it has similarity to Filipino Sinigang with a twist. He originally wants it with just crabs and mussels, but when I placed the order, the staff reiterated to me that if I only want crabs and mussels, because it could be mix seafood, with squid, prawn, crab and mussels. I told my husband that we should try the mix seafood, so we agreed to have it . But when we got the order, we only found prawns in the soup. We were surprised, but decided not to ask about it since the soup is satisfying enough.

Goong Tod Kratiam (Wok-tossed prawn with garlic and pepper sauce) was best with their steamed jasmine rice. The flavors and textures were well balanced.

We also had Gaeng Kiew Wan Gai (Green curry with chicken, eggplant, chili and sweet basil). Unfortunately we ordered it mild, the dish is great, but I think that we would've enjoyed it more if it is a little spicy.

My usual dish whenever we’re in a Thai Restaurant is Pad Thai. So, I ordered Pad Thai Goong (Wok-fried rice noodles with prawns, bean sprout, tofu & chive serve in egg wrap. I love Pad Thai, and I was not disappointed with their version and the generous amount of serving.

We had Ruam Mit (Water chesnut rubie, palm seed, sweet corn and jackfruit in sweet coconut milk served with crushed ice) and Kao Niaw Mamuang (Sweet sticky rice with ripe mango) for dessert. Ruam Mit was new to us, but after we tried, it was very much like Filipino halo-halo, but instead of regular milk, they used coconut milk for more creamy taste.

My husband ordered mocktail – Tom Yam Yen (Kaffir lime leaves, lime wedges and chili topped with lemongrass juice). I guess he just picked something and didn't read what it contains. He was surprised to found slices of chilies in it. He didn't like it much, aside from the chilies, he found it bitter because of the lime leaves. I had a sipped and I think it is ok though. I had smoothie – Chiang Mai (Strawberry, mint and lime). It was very tasty, just perfect level of sweetness and refreshing.

My husband enjoyed the non-vegetarian platter and the stir-fried prawns. I was happy with the Pad Thai; aside from its good quality, the serving is huge. I also like the glass noodle salad, it was definitely new for me and I am looking forward in adding it to my recipe to-do list.

Our overall experience was indeed very good. The posh ambiance of the mall greatly contributes to the restaurant's appearance. We enjoy fantastically authentic Thai cuisine at very reasonable prices. Although there was a slight mistake in our order, the quality of the dishes didn't fail us. We will surely visit them again.

Location: The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
       Tel. No.: 02-6770100
               As per the food we ordered, it was Very Good!


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