Monday, February 7, 2011

Menam no Hotori (Thai Cuisine)

Before heading off to the Tokyo Tower, hubby and I had dinner at Menam no Hotori in Jinbocho, right across the street from the Used Books District. I read online that the place serves authentic and spicy dishes at reasonable prices, so I was really excited thinking we have finally found some decent Thai food.

Well, boo, hiss, but it turned out to be a ho-hum meal with an expensive tab. Even the average Thai food I've had in the states was better than the Thai food at this place, but may be I think this because I'm homesick and therefore biased. The most disappointing aspect of the meal was that when we asked one of the waitress for Thai ice tea, she looked as us as if we were from Mars and said she doesn't know what Thai ice tea is. When we clarified we meant milk tea, she said they don't have any milk tea. Why is this disappointing? Because even the so-called "quick service" places like Tinun has Thai ice tea that they call "milk tea." Although it wasn't listed on the menu, they readily served it to us when we requested it. And no, it wasn't just your run of the mill milk tea, it was Thai ice tea, the sweetened red tea with evaporated milk and it tasted just like it does every where I've had it!

Anyway, we ordered a few dishes, all of which were terribly disappointing. First was the pork omelette, which turned out to be nothing but a thin and bland egg omelette with scattered bits of ground pork and nothing else. And it cost 900yen - $10.80! At that price you'd think that omelette had gold in it! On a side note though this rip-off version of the pork omelette made me miss the fluffy and perfectly flavored ones my mum used to make, and a day or two afterwards I made my own, which hubby inhaled all in one meal so I take it mine weren't too bad xD Take that, Menam no Hotori! To hell with your 900yen bland omelette since for that amount I can make several to my own liking!

Then we tried the "Shrimp" Pad Thai, which had no actual fresh shrimps and instead had only several itty bitty dried salted shrimps that are usually used for soup stock in Southeast Asian cuisines. And this Pad Thai too was tasteless. Not. Happy.

Next we had Thai Basil Chicken, one of the more common Thai dishes and still they managed to screw that one up. It was spicy, so I'll give them that, but they cooked it with soy sauce instead of both fish and soy sauce, the mixture of which is supposed to give the dish its unique taste to begin with! If it wasn't for the basil leaves they sprinkled in, this dish would have been unrecognizable for me. Grr...

This is my least favorite dish of the whole meal - their so-called "Thai ramen," which tasted more like a mistake. Yeah, a mistake as in, oops, someone dropped a freakin' bottle of vinegar in that bowl of noodles and then tried to "fix" the tartness with lots and lots of sugar. Now that I think about it, those noodles were utterly disgusting. They were vinegary sour and oddly sweet at the same time. They were just very wrong.

To sum it all up, hubby and I walked away from this place thinking, damn, that was an expensive mistake. The meal cost us around 6,000yen ($72) without any tips (they don't do tips here in Japan). Yes, $72 for a thin bland omelette, a small plate of stir fry, a small plate of bland Pad Thai, and a bowl of yucky noodles. Sorry, while we understand food is expensive here, we still have standards. We will never eat there again.

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