Stanley Beach Villa, 90 Stanley Street, Stanley Tel: 2899 0999 Open: noon-10.30pm daily Even on an uncharacteristically cold Sunday afternoon recently, in which a DVD and a bottle of red would have been preferable to braving the elements, Stanley was still abuzz with rugged-up shoppers, drinkers and long-lunchers. The newly opened Sukho Thai, situated a floor above Saigon, and also owned by the Harilela group, had its fair share of customers tucking into some blood-warming chilli, albeit most avoiding the normally popular open windows and their picturesque sea view. Once the Cranswick Estate cabernet sauvignon/merlot ($225) was poured and the shivers subsided, a steady stream of beautifully presented dishes made their way to the table. Four starving souls started with tung thong (fried golden money bags filled with minced scallops and prawns, $65), popiah ghoong saweai (crispy royal triangles with prawns and Thai herbs, $55) and som tam gai yang (grilled chicken with papaya salad, $58). The deep-fried parcel dishes certainly whet the appetite with their delicate fillings and crispy wrappers. Although the papaya salad hit the spot, its accompanying chicken, well-cooked and tender as it was, lacked any real flavour and was quickly forgotten. Luckily, something far more interesting took its place. It came in the form of ghoong ta-klai - three huge prawns artistically piled on a stack of dried shrimp and eggplant, speared with crispy lemongrass and coated in tamarind lime sauce ($138). Had other dishes not been on the way, we may well have ordered another three rounds of this and indulged our senses. But it was too late, as the choo chee pla (pan-fried fish fillet in hot curry sauce, $98) had already arrived. Although well-cooked and smothered in a more-ish creamy and spicy sauce, it ultimately disappointed because there was so little of it. The phad kee mao ped yang (stir-fried roast duck with chilli paste and basil leaves, $72) was also on the frugal side, but like the fish, was temptingly aromatic with its wonderful combination of the flavours Thai food is renowned for. Unfortunately, the same uplifting herbs and spices were not evident in the phak rum ob mor din (baked mixed vegetables and glass noodles in clay pot, $68), which were bland and difficult to manage because of the noodles' reluctance to part from each other. But all was not lost. The lemongrass panna cotta ($48), with the herb sublimely infused in the wobbly mound and served with a berry and strawberry coulis, was a fitting end. The floury chocolate fudge cake ($48), however, needed lifting, a job capably undertaken by Grand Marnier coffee ($48). The cost: Lunch for four with the wine, two beers ($32 each), two liqueur coffees ($96), one peppermint tea ($35) and two jasmine teas ($22 each) came to $1278 including service tax.