Monday, August 15, 2016

Exploring Sai Ying Pun - Ping Kee Thai Restaurant

So, to continue with more posts about exploration of the neighborhood, I bring you my next local candidate, Ping Kee Thai Restaurant, which intrigued me based on a very enthusiastic review from a blogger located in Hong Kong.  Well, having gone there now, I have concluded that this reviewer has never actually eaten authentic Thai food - or, to put it more kindly, we had different expectations for how we wanted our Thai food to taste.  Michael and I were both, to say the least, underwhelmed by the offerings. 
We ordered a pad thai, a green chicken curry, a red fish curry, a sauteed Thai cabbage and one bowl of white rice. I liked the decor of the place a lot - colorful posters and pictures line the walls, and the lights and wallpapers combine to create a kitschy, warm, homey feel.
There is a grilling bar/station.
However, that is about where all the good things end.  The chicken green curry was incredibly oily - it had a thick slick of grease on top.  The chicken was very thinly and meagerly sliced, and there were no vegetables (save for one piece of okra).
 The pad thai was the most inauthentic version of the dish I had ever seen - sauteed with tomatoes and eggs and cabbage with thick pieces of dark meat chicken, it was so far off the mark of pad thai that my spirits plummeted at the sight.  The noodles tasted like they were tossed in ketchup.  The dish was also very wet - pad thai is not supposed to be a drippy, slithery mess.
The red curry was the only highlight of the dishes - the fish was meltingly tender and flaky, and the red curry had a lovely coconut lightness and red pepper kick that was missing in the other dishes.

The Thai cabbage was tasty, but then again, how can green vegetables stir fried in garlic really fail...? I liked the vermicelli that they sauteed in here as well.
As you can see, the portions are pretty tiny (although that is no surprise in Hong Kong), but the overwhelming disappointment has to be the complete lack of authentic flavor.  We left feeling greasy and a bit miffed that hardly any of the crisp kaleidoscope of Thai flavors were represented. 

Oh, well.  I am still glad that we gave this place a shot - now we know.  You try some, you lose some.

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