Monday, August 23, 2010

Galanga Thai Kitchen & Sushi Bar (Wilton Manors, FL)

"Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.... and such small portions"
- Woody Allen, Annie Hall

I am always wary whenever I see a "sushi and thai" place. China and Thailand are distinctive countries with different cuisines and if you aren't good enough at one to make a go at a restaurant, adding the other never seems to help. Galanga is no exception.

To be fair, I did not try the sushi. And after this experience, I never, ever will.

At the moment, I am on a serious and focused hunt for both a new good high-end sushi joint and a good Thai place in eastern/central Broward area. I read many good reviews of Galanga and was excited to finally try it. We came early, about a half an hour into diner service. The restaurant was completely empty. The place was nicely decorated, but it couldn't quite hide that it was a reclaimed IHOP. It had exposed air piping in it's steeple shaped ceiling, a look that worked. Unfortunately, the piping and vents were dirty and in need of a thorough dusting.

Appetizer - Money Bags

We ordered for an app the Money Bags ($6). The menu states: chicken, crabmeat, corn, sweet potato in a golden bag (crispy rice paper) and peach chutney. My dining partner recalls these little dumplings from his childhood on Staten Island. Arriving at our table were 5 gumball sized slightly over fried wantons stuffed with sweet potato and a small shred of chicken next to a small cup of sweet rice wine vinegar with a few scant cubes of floating red onion and cucumber. They were tasty, but small and not as advertised. There was no peach chutney anywhere to be found, and I'm only 25% sure I encountered one kernel of corn. They were very much like the ones in Staten Island, however. And while they weren't exactly as advertised and a tiny portion, they were tasty.

Main Course - Pad Thai & Delightful Duck

I ordered the Pad Thai ($14) and my dining partner had the "Delightful Duck"($23). His was a crispy, lightly southern fried 1/4 duck next to a molded cup of white rice, green beans, sloppily chopped zucchini and carrot sitting in a shallow, watery pool of orangish brown tamarind sauce. It was okay.

My Pad Thai was drowning in watery peanut oil, thickened slightly with a pinch of cornstarch. The noodles were tiny shreds of broken rice noodles. The peanut shavings gave it a muddy and gravely consistency. It contained 2 shrimp(!) and an entire poorly fabricated dried chicken breast.

The portion was huge. I got about half way through and started feeling notsogood. I figured it was all of the oil, so I asked the waiter to wrap it up for me and I'd take it home, drain the oil and try to eat some more. After all, I spent $14 on it. I guess I didn't say it loud enough because the waiter threw it away. When I asked him about it he seemed really surprised and sorry, but didn't offer anything to remedy the situation. I was really pissed off about having $7 worth of Pad Thai tossed away but I guess he did me a favor because about 25 minutes after the meal, I found myself doubled over in stomach pain. He would have done me more of a favor by never having served me in the first place.

Quick Summary

Ambiance: Modernly decorated, dirty ceilings, suspicious that it was a former IHOP. The music was cheesy, mindless, mid-90s and modern vocorder driven techno club pop.

The service: It was hard to get their attention sometimes, even when we were the only customers in the place. The waiter threw away my left overs, half my plate.

The price: Pretty darn high, App was a rip off.

The food: Not as advertised and I'm darn near certain it made me ill.

I really regret having to give a local business such a poor review but:

* (1) Never, ever again!

Galanga Thai Kitchen & Sushi on Urbanspoon

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