Belfast restaurant provided not just haven from gales whipping around the city, but fine Asian food too
11 Wellington Place, Belfast
Tel: 02890 311101
In Thai, phad means ‘stir-fried’, Krapow means ‘holy basil’, so my meal at the weekend literally translates as ‘stir-fried holy basil chicken’.
The dish is a nod to the stir-frying cooking process which was adapted from the Chinese and fits in perfectly to the menu at Gong.
This pan-Asian restaurant at Belfast’s Wellington Place claims to mix the cooking traditions from Thailand to India, China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
The menu certainly reflects that with a selection of noodle, stir-fried and teppanyaki dishes to choose from.
We dropped in recently not just because we were hungry, but we also wanted to escape a bitterly cold wind whipping around the City Hall which left us chilled to the bone.
Gong seats 140 people but at 6pm on a Sunday there was just my family and I and one other couple inside.
It has a modern, warm and welcoming decor and on the day had one of the friendliest waitresses I have ever met.
We opted for three starters — crispy chilli chicken, vegetable spring rolls and fried pork dumplings.
The chicken was wonderfully moist and packed full of flavour while the spring rolls were equally delicious.
The pork dumplings were slightly overcooked, however, and we all agreed that they were the weakest of the three choices.
My wife has been lucky enough to have visited Thailand several times with work so she is a tough critic when it comes to Thai dishes. But she absolutely raved about her pad kee mao with prawns.
It was wonderfully fresh, tasted magnificent and the noodles were cooked to perfection.
Pad kee mao is spicy and savoury while pad Thai is nutty and sweet. My mother-in-law’s pad Thai with tofu ticked those boxes and many more with the crunchy mix of spring onions, peppers and beansprouts combining perfectly with the soft noodles and tofu.
I absolutely loved my phad Krapow chicken too, although it has to be said it was slightly salty.
My son’s side order of stir-fried noodles with spring onions also went down a treat with the contents quickly disappearing from the bowl.
It’s hard to ask for more than great food in nice surroundings, but on this occasion the excellent service was definitely worthy of note.
The waitress was on her own that day but could not have been any more helpful or pleasant.
Pork dumplings £6.95
Vegetable spring rolls £6.95
Crispy chilli chicken £6.95
Phad Krapow chicken £15.95
Pad Thai with tofu £12.95
Pad kee mao with prawns £14.95
Stir-fried noodles £3.95