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HOT: Bow Thai Restaurant, Shop 14, Cathedral Place, Wickham St, Fortitude Valley.

A friend recently asked me where they could find a decent Thai restaurant in the Valley, sickness and to their surprise (and mine), patient I had nothing.  How could someone who spends so much time eating and drinking their way around the CBD and immediate surrounds not be able to nominate a decent Thai place?  So (with some assistance from Google) I took it upon myself to head down to Bow Thai on the corner of Wickham and Gipps Streets – as it turns out, I obliviously drive past this place every day on my way to work, so no excuses – it was a well over due visit.

I recruited some fellow Thai lovers and insisted they join me for a feed on a school night, after a couple of beers down the road at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow.  Bow Thai is licensed and BYO wine and they do take away as well as dine in.  We were greeted with smiles all round as we entered the venue and seated by one of the lovely Thai staff.

We were pretty ravenous so decided to kick things off with some entrees.  We sampled the chicken curry puffs ($7.20 for 4 pieces) and chicken spring rolls ($7.20 for 4 pieces).  I’ve only ever seen vegetarian or beef options of these entrees, but the chicken was pleasant and the pastry on both the curry puffs and spring rolls was delightfully fresh, crispy and piping hot.  The contents on the inside were also fresh and with visible pieces of real meat and vegies.

For the mains, we decided to share two dishes between the three of us, with steamed rice as well.  I have a real thing for duck at the moment, so suggested we try the Bow Thai signature dish Gaeng Dang Duck ($21.90) – roasted duck with pineapple, grape, cherry tomato cooked in red curry paste and coconut milk with mild chilli and fresh basil.  Red & Bel had never tried a duck curry before and were quite bewildered by the fruity contents in the dish.  I’m not usually too fussed on warm or cooked fruit, but for some reason the fresh grapes, lychees and pineapple in this dish really complemented the red curry paste and basil flavours and gave it a hint of sweetness.  This is definitely a dish to return for; the flavours were strong yet well balanced and not overbearing with the presence of coconut milk.

Our second dish was the chicken with vegies, chilli and fresh basil ($17.90).  This dish had some fire to it and we all had some sweat to wipe from our brows.  The chicken was sliced quite thinly and to be honest I think it was a little over cooked and dry.  The vegies however were fresh and crispy and the basil flavour throughout was prominent but not too much.  The chicken did let the dish down a little, but it the full flavour helped pull it through.

The menu at Bow Thai is quite extensive and I wouldn’t mind going back with a bigger group of people in order to sample more.  The prices are on the higher side of average, but the helpings are very generous and the flavours pack a punch.  Luckily for me, I’ve now got a city based Thai restaurant to recommend!

  • Bow Thai Restaurant, Shop 14, Cathedral Place, Wickham St, Fortitude Valley – +61 7 3216 1700

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