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Padbok Thai

Padbok Thai
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Cost
R90
Ambience
Authentic culture, Comfy & casual
Food
Asian, Sushi, Thai
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Alida Ryder

Food
Padbok Thai has made a name for itself in Pretoria as the place to enjoy authentic Thai food. Their menu is filled with delightful Thai dishes that will transport you to exotic locations with its aroma and flavour. They have a selection of sushi on offer (as does most Asian restaurants in Pretoria) and although it is authentically Japanese in preparation, it is the Thai food that you should be coming here for. Start your meal with a generous bowl of tom yum soup: the broth is vibrant and spicy and it's the perfect antidote to a cold, winter's day.

Follow that with any one of their excellent Thai-style curries. The Penang with chicken in particular is fantastic. As far as stir-fried dishes go, the selection is good; every option packed full of flavour. The pad priew wan is a crowd favourite and with good reason – succulent, incredibly tender nuggets of deep-fried chicken (vegetarian and fish options also available) are coated in a rich, sweet Thai style sauce with vegetables. The very generous portion can easily feed two when ordered with noodles.

Whatever you do, save space for dessert. The crunchy banana fritters are simply excellent and come drenched in honey, served with their home-made coconut ice cream. It is the stuff dreams are made of.

Drinks
They have a vast list of both local and imported wine, MCC and Champagne available, as well as many imported spirits. They also offer many styles of sake and have a range of cocktails available.

Service
Service is friendly and efficient, albeit a little lacklustre at times.

Ambience
The restaurant is beautifully decorated with lovely Thai trinkets found around every corner. The ambience is quite business-like and could be a little warmer.

And...
Be adventurous with your drinks and choose a cocktail or sake to match the spicy oriental flavours.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Alida Ryder

    Food
    At first glance, it may look as though Padbok will, like most Oriental restaurants, offer a wide variety of Asian dishes with no real focus on a specific cuisine. However, once you have perused the menu, you’ll see that the focus is primarily on authentic Thai food. As is the case with many Asian eateries, Padbok has expanded their menu to include sushi, but it remains very traditionally Japanese in style and there is no fashion sandwich in sight. Instead, expect expertly prepared hand rolls, a vast selection of sashimi and Chirashi (rice bowls), presented with a selection of fish on sushi rice with shredded seaweed and sesame seeds. Still, it is the delicious Thai dishes that should be the reason for your visit. Thai dumplings, crispy prawn cakes and chicken satay are all excellent (if slightly under-seasoned) appetizers. The green papaya salad with prawns, chilli and roasted peanuts is refreshing and spicy and perfectly offsets the richness of the Thai curries. The red duck curry is rich and deeply fragrant with a touch of sweetness thanks to the lychee, red grapes and pineapple it contains. The Penang curry (pork, beef, chicken or vegetarian) is intensely flavoursome and will leave you longing for a Thai holiday. Alongside your curry, try the steamed glutinous rice, which comes served in a bamboo basket.

    Drinks
    The wine list (and bar in general) is extensive and well stocked. Every style is well represented and their range of local wines is excellent. They also offer champagne and imported spirits.

    Ambience
    The restaurant is well designed, with lots of open space. Beautiful Thai trinkets and statues are dotted all around the dining area and the open kitchen allows a glimpse of the fresh, delicious food that is being prepared.

    Service
    The staff are friendly and efficient, but lack a bit of energy. Still, service is good – drinks are topped up regularly and plates speedily removed from the table.

    And…
    Be sure to leave space for dessert. The banana fritters drenched in sticky honey and served with homemade coconut ice cream is the thing food dreams are made of and will have you yearning for more.

    (September 2015)

  • Alida Ryder

    Food
    At first glance, it may look as though Padbok will, like most Oriental restaurants, offer a wide variety of Asian dishes with no real focus on a specific cuisine. However, once you have perused the menu, you’ll see that the focus is primarily on authentic Thai food. As is the case with many Asian eateries, Padbok has expanded their menu to include sushi, but it remains very traditionally Japanese in style and there is no fashion sandwich in sight. Instead, expect expertly prepared hand rolls, a vast selection of sashimi and Chirashi (rice bowls), presented with a selection of fish on sushi rice with shredded seaweed and sesame seeds. Still, it is the delicious Thai dishes that should be the reason for your visit. Thai dumplings, crispy prawn cakes and chicken satay are all excellent (if slightly under-seasoned) appetizers. The green papaya salad with prawns, chilli and roasted peanuts is refreshing and spicy and perfectly offsets the richness of the Thai curries. The red duck curry is rich and deeply fragrant with a touch of sweetness thanks to the lychee, red grapes and pineapple it contains. The Penang curry (pork, beef, chicken or vegetarian) is intensely flavoursome and will leave you longing for a Thai holiday. Alongside your curry, try the steamed glutinous rice, which comes served in a bamboo basket.

    Drinks
    The wine list (and bar in general) is extensive and well stocked. Every style is well represented and their range of local wines is excellent. They also offer champagne and imported spirits.

    Ambience
    The restaurant is well designed, with lots of open space. Beautiful Thai trinkets and statues are dotted all around the dining area and the open kitchen allows a glimpse of the fresh, delicious food that is being prepared.

    Service
    The staff are friendly and efficient, but lack a bit of energy. Still, service is good – drinks are topped up regularly and plates speedily removed from the table.

    And …
    Be sure to leave space for dessert. The banana fritters drenched in sticky honey and served with homemade coconut ice cream is the thing food dreams are made of and will have you yearning for more. – Alida Ryder

  • Diane de Beer

    Food 

    This restaurant really aims to provide cuisine as authentically Thai as possible. Not for nothing are they the recipients of the Thai Select symbol, which stands for authenticity.

    The selection starts with dumplings, dim sum and an excellent sushi offering. But this is Thai heaven, so ask for their famous green papaya salad (som tam) with prawns, chilli, garlic, limes juice and roasted peanuts, or opt for spicy glass noodles with prawns, shredded pork, tomato and onion.

    The open kitchen allows you to observe the preparation of your meal, so you can see them using the freshest ingredients. Try one of their red or green curries to experience a taste of the real thing (not the diminished version we’ve come to know), but if you really want a measure of their competence, sample one of the vegetable-dominated dishes, like the fried broccoli with prawns, which sparkles with subtle flavours. Think ginger, lemongrass, coconut and chilli and you will experience the essence of Thai terroir.

    Drinks

    They have a comprehensive, affordable and well-chosen wine list which includes unfamiliar brands like the Ayama Sauvignon Blanc, as well as the Philip Jonker Brut Entheos.

    Service 

    Service is sweet and swift, helped on by the open-plan feel of the restaurant and the fact that diners and waiting staff are easily visible to one another.

    Ambience 

    This is laid-back, easy dining. The space (situated somewhat oddly on the periphery of a busy traffic circle) is reminiscent of a high-end canteen, with polished cement floors and practical seating. The clientele probably find their way by word of mouth, which is a good measure of a restaurant’s mettle.

    And… 

    Have a word with the owner for some recommendations if you want to try some of the more unusual items on the extensive menu.

    (Diane de Beer, July 2014) 

  • Lovely dim sum and authentic Thai. Stand-out dishes: fruity, delicious duck curry and banana fritters with homemade coconut ice cream. (EO mag 2014)

User reviews

  • Great service and very good Thai food. A great find in Pretoria.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Great food but quite pricey. Food is very spicy, so be prepared! Very friendly service.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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