Sophisticated Thai at Spice Den
Venue: Spice Den, 9 Dianella Drive, Casuarina Date visited: Sunday 11th August 2013
Located off the foyer of the Grand Mercure at Casuarina, Spice Den boasts stunning food with a dark, romantic atmosphere overlooking the resort’s central pool. We had previously tried the Early Bird Special at the gorgeous Spice Den in June; consisting of their signature Massaman curry with rice and a glass of house wine for $25. While we didn’t receive the roti bread (listed as included on their website), the curry was exquisite and we couldn’t wait to come back to try the Sunday night banquet consisting of the chef’s selection of four dishes to share for $29 (excluding drinks).
Restaurant Manager Scott asked if there was anything in particular we wanted to try. As I’m a huge fan of squid when it’s done well, this was our only request. First up was the Sashimi tuna; tender strips served with ice berg, sunflower sprouts, soy and yellow bean dressing which provided a great palette cleanser and worked well with the glass of sparkling I’d ordered.
We expected the squid next, but out came a mini wok of Pat Thai consisting of rice noodles, chunky pieces of chicken, chives and the traditional dried shrimp with a splash of fresh coriander; with ground chilli, nuts and a wedge of lime on the side ready to add ourselves. It was an authentic take on a traditional Thai dish – very tasty.
Without much delay, we were served Pat Prik King – a dry curry with wagyu beef, crunchy green beans and capsicum flavoured with ginger and lime leaf. It was anything but dry, with luscious red curry flavours tenderising the mouth-watering beef. I would have liked to order a glass of pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon to accompany this but I was still finishing off the champers.
It seemed the chef had forgotten our squid, so our friendly waiter took immediate action. Without much delay, we received our final dish: the aptly named salty, crunchy, sesame squid with nouc cham and Vietnamese mint which exceeded our expectations. The squid was tender, light and full of flavour; and disappeared too quickly from our plate to get a photo (sorry).
While it was a tad disappointing the order of the meals was a little skewed, the food was full of flavour and more than enough to satiate our appetites. We’ll definitely be back again.