Saturday, April 26, 2008
Good thing we arrived early for dinner at Manora's Thai in SF, because it started to get really busy after 7PM. There were rave reviews on the internet for this place so we decided to step out and give this place a try. I believe I have been to this neighborhood on my last trip and tried this really bad restaurant that I still have yet to blog about. From the outside you can't really tell that the interior of this restaurant would be nice. They have this neon sign outside that looked kind of broken down, but once you step inside you would see the nice furnishing. I really liked the wood furnishings and gold finish. The fresh flowers really add a nice exotic touch.
To start off the night we both ordered Thai Iced Tea. I couldn't resist a nice refreshing glass that night. Their drink was good, but nothing special. We had to try the highly recommended appetizer, Pirate Treasure. It's a combination of shrimp, chicken, and bean thread sheet marinated in Thai herbs with a touch of lemon spicy sauce. This was definitely a different item from what I have seen at other Thai restaurants. It was very flavorful, tangy, sweet & sour with a touch of spice. I really liked the bean threads. Ms. Lin loved the sauce and kept it around so that she could mix it with the rest of the dishes. The presentation was on point and the taste was great even with the raw cabbage provided. I think this was the best dish of the night.
All the appetizers looked good and we debated for a long time before deciding on what to order. As a compromise, I got to choose the second appetizer and Ms. Lin will get to order a dish she really liked at her favorite Thai restaurant in Boston. As I have said before, I love anything fried. O=P We got the Katong Ton that was crispy batter cups filled with garlic shrimp, chicken, and vegetable mixed with curry served with chili garlic sauce. The presentation was very nice and cute. As for taste, it was good but nothing special. I think it's more about show than taste, but I did like the batter cups.
The Pad Thai here were suppose to be really good and highly recommended. It's pan-fried rice noodles with shrimp, tofu, egg, and bean sprouts. I thought it was only decent, I have definitely had better. It was a little bland for my taste and I didn't like the squishy texture of the tofu. Most of the Pad Thais I've had in the past were firmer tofu that packed more flavor. I don't think I would get this again or recommend it, try more appetizers instead! ^_-
One of my favorite Thai dishes is the Gang-Gari-Gai, Yellow Curry Chicken. Ms. Lin suggested that we get duck instead of chicken, so we ordered the Gang-Ped-Ped-Yang. It's roast duck cooked in curry with coconut milk & red chili sauce with pineapple and spinach. I thought it was yellow curry because I don't like red curry. The duck was good but I didn't like this dish because the pineapple taste was weird in my opinion. At first I though they were potatoes. Guess I didn't read the description before ordering. Ms. Lin ordered the Hoi-Tod because it's one of her favorite dishes. It's Thai style pan-fried mussels that's fried in crispy batter with spicy Thai herbs mixed with egg and bean sprout served with chili garlic sauce. The areas that were crispy tasted good only with the sauce. Overall it was quite disappointing and it wasn't what Ms. Lin imagined it to be. I definitely wouldn't get this dish again. It reminded me of the Chinese oyster omelette, Owah Jien. Trust me, skip this dish if you ever go there.To end the meal we ordered the dessert of the day, which was Fresh Mango with Sticky Rice. The presentation was nice, but the mango wasn't too ripe. It wasn't what I'd thought it to be, I like it when there's some custard on top of the sticky rice. The sticky rice with coconut milk was good, but nothing different from what you can get at other Thai restaurants. All in all this place was good, better than normal Thai restaurants but nothing spectacular. Overall the service and ambiance was nice. There's a lot of nice choices that differ from what you normally see in other Thai restaurants, but I think what stood out the most was the appetizers. If I lived up in SF, I would come back and try their other dish and appetizers.Manora's Thai
1600 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103