Restaurant review: Thai Na, Sai Ying Pun - cool vibe, hot food
Deep in hipster territory, Thai Na serves some excellent, tender, well-flavoured meat dishes
We suspected we were deep into hipster territory just by the location of the restaurant, Thai Na; it’s on Second Street in Sai Ying Pun, right across from the excellent gin bar, Ping Pong. Our suspicions were confirmed when we saw the cool looking chef, the cool looking diners (apart from us), and the drinks, which were served in jam jars.
Despite that, we liked the meal.
The Isaan-style sliced pork neck salad with toasted glutinous rice dressing (HK$108) was excellent. The meat was tender, succulent and well-seasoned, and it came with lettuce leaves to use as wrappers. The spicy vermicelli noodles with minced pork and shrimp (HK$98) could have used a bit of acidity (just some fresh lime juice would have sufficed) but it was hot, moist and homey.
The most enticing dish of the evening was the grilled braised short ribs with spicy tamarind sauce and cucumber relish – a very tender hunk of meat with plenty of texture, which was topped with toasted coconut and served on a cutting board with a bowl of herbs and bean sprouts that refreshed the palate between bites of the rich beef.
Jungle curry (HK$118) was a dish that would have gone very well with a bowl of rice – we loved the sauce, but would have been hard pressed to tell that it incorporated pigeon.
The pad Thai (HK$108) was disappointing, though, because the noodles were dry.
Thai Na, Yen Fook Mansion, 120-126 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2803 2331. About HK$200 without drinks or the service charge