PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 January, 2007, 12:00am

Shop G23 Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong

Tel: 3105 5055

Open: noon-late

Cuisine: Royal Thai

Ambience: Oh, the perils of creating an intimate dining concept in a busy mall. The interior is sexy and plush, but we wished there was more of a sensation of being 'inside' as opposed to in a restaurant in a shopping mall. The restaurant wasn't too busy on the night we dined, however.

Price: HK$230 per person for three courses without wine.

Pros: There's something satisfying about getting value for money. The food is reasonably priced and the quality of each dish was impeccable. The service was efficient, and our waiter even recommended some dishes, one of which proved to be a favourite with us.

Cons: The wine list was limited, whether you were drinking by the glass or bottle.

Recommended dishes: The deep-fried prawns (HK$62) were juicy and tender. The prawns were shelled and came with shreds of crispy filo and chilli paste dipping sauce. The surf clams (HK$58) with Thai basil, chilli and kaffir lime were succulent and absorbed the well balanced flavours of the sauce. The massaman nua beef curry (HK$98) was as comforting as it was rich - chunks of tender beef, potato and onion in a thick creamy sauce. It was one of the finest curries we've tasted in Hong Kong.

And then came the wok-fried baby lobster with shallots, chilli paste, bell peppers, mushrooms and basil leaves (HK$158, above), which was exquisitely presented and cut up into manageable chunks. The lobster was delicious with the wonderful sauce.

For dessert, the lime and lemongrass sorbet (HK$15 per scoop) was a refreshing palate cleanser and the sticky red rice (HK$15) was sweet and light.

What else? The restaurant is part of the Aqua Group, which also runs upmarket establishments such as Hutong, Aqua Tokyo, Aqua Roma and WasabiSabi.