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Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: Krua Walaiphan in Sai Ying Pun – tasty Thai food that every neighbourhood should have

The barbecued chicken thighs and deep-fried soft shell crab had us yearning for more but the Thai red curry with pork was dull and the food was slow to arrive

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 December, 2017, 12:47pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 December, 2017, 8:11pm

There should be at least one Krua Walaiphan – or something similar to it – in every neighbourhood. The Thai food might not be fancy and the presentations are very homestyle (in other words, it’s plopped on a plate). But it is casual and unpretentious – the menu is printed on the paper table mats and the counter has stacks of boxes filled with food for takeaway orders – and the staff give a warm welcome.

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The menu lists starters, salads, mains and noodles/rice, but the dishes came out as they were cooked and in no particular order.

Fish cakes with home-made sweet chilli sauce (HK$78) were plump, moist and piping hot, although they should have been blotted better to get rid of the excess oil.

Grilled pork neck salad (HK$128) had bright flavours with plenty of fresh mint and coriander. There was a subtle crunch from the ground toasted rice, but the meat was slightly chewy.

Thai red curry with pork (HK$108; you can also have it with chicken) was very dull; the sauce had a rich, thick texture but not much flavour. It was the only dish we left unfinished.

Deep-fried soft shell crab with crispy garlic, white pepper and spring onion came as a choice of four pieces for HK$118 or six for HK$178. We ordered the smaller portion but regretted it as soon as we tasted it – we wanted more. The crabs were crunchy, moist and delicious; we even ordered some white rice so we could eat the toppings of fried garlic, chillies and spring onions.

Even better were the barbecued chicken thighs with house special sauce (HK$158). The boneless thighs were well-charred and so succulent and flavourful the dipping sauce wasn’t needed. The chicken went very well with a dish of stir-fried morning glory flavoured with garlic and chillies (HK$78).

The food came at a slow pace, possibly because much of the business was takeaway.

Krua Walaiphan, Ko Wang Court, 29 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2804 1555. About HK$135 per person without drinks. There is no service charge.

While you’re in the area:

Restaurant review: Kaum in Sai Ying Pun – Bali import brings authentic tastes of the island of the gods

Restaurant review: Okra Hong Kong, Sai Ying Pun – casual Japanese dining with great music

Restaurant review: Rhoda in Sai Ying Pun – delicious, if a little too heavy