Recommended by a fellow foodie, Galangal proved to be one of the best Thai dining experiences I have had in Perth. This compact restaurant nestled in the back streets of Vic Park is a real find. Unpretentious and with efficient service and top notch Thai food presented in a contemporary way, Galangal was a huge hit with our table of six.
We decided on a few entrees to get the party started. Staff kindly adjusted the serves so we could each have one of our two chosen starters. The fish cakes had a modern twist, while maintaining the traditional taste of white-fleshed fish and red curry paste. They were juicy and soft – not rubbery which is often how they are served – and came with a sweet chilli sauce, crushed cashew nuts and cucumber relish. Yummo.
The familiar favourite fried spring rolls were filled with minced chicken, vermicelli and cabbage. Pleasant and mild, they were also served with a chilli sauce, but everyone tucked in before I managed to get a photo. Oh well, you know what spring rolls look like!
I normally like to share plates of Thai food, but on this occasion I had eyes only for the roast duck red curry and was quite happy to have this all to myself. As it happened, everyone else felt the same and wanted to order their own dishes. We did share a plate of veggies though. The plate of wok fried greens, capsicum and bean shoots was so fresh we felt absolutely virtuous after demolishing our two fried entrees.
Galangal has several daily specials, and the slow cooked pork belly on papaya salad was the choice of a few of my friends. They declared the pork to be succulent and tasty, although the papaya salad was a tad spicy for John. Thais adore papaya salad, and the spicier the better. They just love those old red chillies dancing along their palates, whereas we usually need to temper the heat a bit. This dish was bursting with fresh herbs and flavour, and just feast your eyes on that crispy pork. A winning combination.
The ever popular green chicken curry was ordered by one of our diners, and whilst I can’t vouch for the delicious factor, she assured me it was. And I guess the proof of that was in her empty plate.
And now – drum roll please – the roast duck red curry. I had been thinking about this dish for the entire week before we dined, and I was expecting big things. Roast duck red curry is probably my favourite Thai dish, and I have tried many versions of it over the years. This version – oh my. I ate and ate till my plate was bare and my belly was bursting. The crispy skinned duck was sublimely tender, and was bathed in a dreamy creamy coconut red curry sauce. Just look at that photo. I’m salivating all over again.
Galangal’s version of this dish is ensconced on my favourites list. An absolute standout.
The fact that there are two sittings at Galangal every night is testament to its popularity. On the Wednesday night we went, the place was packed to the gills by 6.30, almost empty by 8.15, and full again at 8.30. Galangal is obviously doing everything right. Our meal cost us $38 each, a bargain considering the quality and portions.
This little place is truly a find. From the amazing cuisine to the unobtrusive but efficient service, from the cosy atmosphere to the sleek modern presentation of the food, Galangal is a winner. Book a table and order the roast duck red curry. Please. You will thank me.