We have created a stylish restaurant in the heart of Aberdeen's Rosemount area, where we are excited to serve you fresh, authentic Thai dishes. We hope you will become as passionate about our flavours, atmosphere, and experience as we are.
We have put together an exciting Thai Street Food tasting menu for lunch served until 2:30pm then the evening set menu starts from 3pm until close.
Koi Thai - ARW2020 Review
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,
Koi Thai - ARW2020 Review
By Julia Bryce, Society Aberdeen
The hospitality sector has had a tough old time the past seven months with the coronavirus pandemic forcing many of them to get innovative and launch new services.
One business which did just that was Thai eatery Koi Thai on Rosemount Place in the city centre by developing a takeaway offering.
Proving very successful since lockdown, it is great to see the business back open and participating in the north-east’s favourite foodie week, Aberdeen Restaurant Week, which is running for two weeks instead this year.
Taking place until Sunday November 15, the venue will offer a £10 menu during the day until 2.30pm and a £20 three-course dinner from 3pm. The day tasting menu consists of a range of authentic Thai street food dishes to try out, while the evening menu features some old favourites and new dishes, too.
Heading along at the weekend I booked a table for two at 3pm to try out the three-course offering with my best friend. Booking ahead on the phone, I had left my contact details for Track and Trace and confirmed my booking with the front desk on arrival.
We had placed our face masks on outside before entering and my friend was also asked to leave her details as well. Our temperature was taken on arrival too, and we both used the hand sanitiser on the counter before being shown to our booth seat by the large windows by the lovely staff.
Our server came over to take our drinks order, which, in line with Scottish Government restrictions at the time, was two soft drinks.
Scanning the menu, there was plenty we wanted to try out which made picking what to have that little bit harder.
Our server returned with our drinks and we were ready to fire our order away. The prawn toast and peaked my friends interest while the Tod Mun Khao Poad (deep fried sweetcorn fritters) took my fancy, and for mains it was the Massaman curry for her, and the Penaeng curry for me that we finally decided on. We asked for the portion of jasmine rice and stir-fried egg noodles the dishes came with to be put into bowls on the side so we could have a little of both each.
The restaurant was actually much busier than we had envisioned for a 3pm booking during the stricter restrictions on hospitality, so it was great to see so many people out and enjoying a meal in the eatery. It is decorated beautifully, with Thai influences throughout including statues, ornaments, pictures and more. The colour scheme is bright, with golds, greens and reds dominating the space with gorgeous Thai designs featuring on the fabrics.
Catching up about life with my friend after a quick visit to our local Chinese supermarket, our server returned with a portion of prawn crackers for us to nibble on ahead of our starrers arrival, which was around 10 minutes later.
On my plate was three large pieces of perfectly uniform pieces with a side salad and pot of sweet chilli sauce, too. On hers, was four lightly fried fritters which were golden in colour as well as the garnish and sauce.
The prawn toast was a big serving, and the toast had been layered, with deep fried bread on the bottom, a later of thick minced prawn and chicken filling in the centre, and a light bread layer to top. Sesame seeds featured around the sides of each piece and the meaty prawn was lovely and was the more prominent flavour which I enjoyed. The sauce was sweet with a smidgen of fieriness to it because of the fresh chilli.
My dining companions sweetcorn has been blended in red curry paste which held all of the components together. The sweetcorn was naturally sweet and having been fried, it has a slight crispiness to it. It wasn’t greasy, which was great, and was easy to dip into the chilli sauce, with or without cutlery.
Moving onto the mains, my friend was delighted with her Massaman curry. It had huge big chunks of boiled potatoes which had no skin on and had been cut in half. She had opted for chicken so the big pieces of the poultry were succulent and tore apart easily. The potato wasn’t as easy to cut into, but the sauce was incredibly easy-going with lots of coconut and nutty flavours to it. Within the curry was whole peanuts which has been broken in half and chopped yellow peppers which were lovely and sweet. It was creamy and thick, and was easily drizzled over the fluffy sticky boiled rice which came served on the side.
The rice soaked up all of the sauce and made it very easy to eat. It had one chilli rating on the menu, but my friend didn’t think it was that spicy, which was a relief as she isn’t the biggest fan of spice.
A bit of a spice head, I happily opted for the Penaeng curry with tofu. It came with a two chilli warning and was outlined as the hottest on the menu alongside the Pad Prik Khing.
The Penang wasn’t blow your head off spicy, but had a gradual warming heat. The tofu piece were thick and quite light and spongy. The sauce had a coconutty flavour to it with thanks to the coconut milk used in it, and had a whole heap of fresh peppers and chillies of all colours in it. There was also other veg in it including runner beans, mangetout and carrot.
Paired with the thin yellow stir-fried noodles, I really enjoyed it I thought was an excellent choice. Having been recommended by our server as a must-try, I couldn’t agree with her more.
As an added extra owner Koi Lappin had prepared two of the street food dishes for us to try as well before we got stuck into dessert.
First up was the Pad Khee Mao whish is spicy fried noodles with green beans, peppers, onion, garlic, chillies and basil. We had this with the tofu again and it was one of our favourite dishes of the afternoon. It had a real kick to it which danced on your tongue with every mouthful and was much spicier than the curries so if you like spice, this is the dish for you.
The noodles were thick and the soy-inspired/black bean sauce was incredibly tasty. The shredded and finely chopped veg throughout was slightly al dente bringing in crunchy textures to the dish which we both enjoyed.
The beauty of the Khao Mun Gai, a popular Thai street food dish consisting of poached chicken with jasmine rice with a side bowl of homemade chicken stock,
served with special homemade chilli sauce and cucumber, was lost on my dining partner and I. While we enjoyed the dish, it was not something we would really order again as we both prefer to have our chicken cooked with sauce, rather than have a spicy chilli dipping sauce on the side. The stock broth was very nice and was to be enjoyed at the same time as the moist, tender chicken pieces and the fluffy rice.
We couldn’t finish the dishes so asked if we could have them boxed up to take away – which was no problem at all.
Stuffed, we ordered our dessert, unsure if we’d be able to stomach it. Recommended by Koi herself, the dessert, Kluay Cheuam, is very popular in Thailand and consists of candied banana in syrup with coconut milk drizzled on top.
It arrived and we did the best we could, munching our way through the small pieces of sweet syrupy banana. The coconut milk brought almost a savoury taste to the dish, but for being a quick and light dessert, we were both rather impressed.
Full to the brim, we received our bag of goodies to take away from our server, put our masks off and bid adieu to the very friendly and welcoming staff.
I cannot recommend Koi Thai enough for Aberdeen Restaurant Week. Not only is the feast great value for money, the quality of the food is excellent and makes for a lovely meal out. Whether you’re meeting family for a socially-distanced lunch or are looking for a romantic dinner for two, the eatery’s offering has something for everyone and can cater to a range of diets.
You can also ask for a dish to be spicier or not, you just have to inform your server on ordering and they will sort you out.
I felt very relaxed at safe at Koi Thai and couldn’t fault the service either.