We’re all about following that urge to Thai something new…

Thai restaurant, Silk and Spice at the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche has recently reemerged after a five year hibernation. Prior to its temporary closure, it had been a popular pick for those that appreciate bold Bangkok flavours.

And now its back now, having gone under the knife and strolled out with a fresh new look and a menu reassignment. But has it retained those authentic Thai bones? We had to come and check it out.

In we march on a Tuesday lunchtime, the muffled lorem ipsum chatter of suited local executives enjoying their gourmet business lunches provides a busy background hum. It’s an unpretentious restaurant caught somewhere between East and West, but, in our opinion falls just shy of the elegance it aspires to.

Now at just after midday, the restaurant is filled with natural light from the panoramic windows and after gracelessly accessing our sunken table — on select seating sections, legs slide into a recess on the floor here — we are immediately enamoured by the novelty of it. The setting feels intimate, transportive.

As we scroll through our QR code-sprung eMenus we are genuinely impressed with the selection of strong value set menus and promotions. They’re a great way to explore a restaurant’s craft but our host has kindly agreed to lead us through some of the a la carte highlights, and we never refuse an expert invitation.

We start with tom kha gai, a chicken and coconut soup (Dhs50), it’s intensely aromatic and full of that signature Thai taste trinity — acid, fat and spice.

A huge portion of phad Thai goong (traditional noodle dish sevred with prawns and egg) follows along with por pia pak (vegetable spring rolls, Dhs55). It’s South East Asian carb fest, and a well crafted recreation of flavour combinations from the land of smiles. We adore the subtle nuttiness of the phad Thai, and the electric perfumes of the por pia pak dipping sauce. Bangkok has us now, and we’re with OK that.

The waitress brings a collection of sharing-portion-sized main courses that includes som tum goong (green papaya salad with prawns, Dhs65), yum talay (spicy seafood salad, Dhs60), nua yang rad gaeng kiew waan (beef with green curry sauce, Dhs105).

Sometimes you’ll find an excess of oil, salt or fish sauce in Thai food that will commandeer your tastebuds. Not here, the meals are clean, they taste fresh, they taste Thai. The salads are light and razor sharp with citrus tang, the green curry tastes fierce and exotic, as it should (but rarely does in some other Thai restaurants here). Big lemongrass flavours slip into the corriander, tumble onto chilli and snuggle up with lime, it’s all a very fragrant and satsifying affair.

We’re told their mango rice is a thing poor and equisite beauty. But that will have to remain a pleasure for another day. We’ve eaten way beyond our means already.

Verdict: There aren’t many places where you can get good Thai food in Abu Dhabi, but this is good Thai food. The set menus (from Dhs195) and business lunch (from Dhs120) represent particularly good value. Rating: B+

Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, Corniche Road East Capital Plaza Complex. Tel: (02) 813 7777, sofitelabudhabicorniche.com

Images: Provided