When M, N, and I go out for dinner, we have a tendency to go to Japanese restaurants or little hole-in-the-wall sushi places. Perhaps each of the three of us has our own role to play in that constant decision, but I’m pretty sure that it is mostly due to the fact that I take any opportunity to eat Japanese that I can… M and N are both more compliant than Emme is, when it comes to eating Japanese. The reason for that is obvious: I drag Emme out to eat Japanese food with me at least twice a month – sometimes more, if I can – and M and N don’t go out to eat it as often. That being said, however, M and N do get tired of my tendency to always suggest Japanese for dinner, and so one evening we set up a dinner at a Thai restaurant: Wimaan Thai. I any case, I wanted to retry going out for Thai food, since my last experience (at SalaThai) wasn’t exactly a positive one.
I think M and N probably drew different conclusions about Wimaan Thai, since they’re not as nitpicky and selective as I am when it comes to restaurants and food quality, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with Wimaan Thai, either. M started off with some spring roll creation, called Paw Pia Wimaan, which were stuffed with vegetables and vermicelli. M thought they were great, although the sauce was really the selling point. The rolls were nice and crispy, but a little bit greasier than necessary.
As is my undying habit, I got a salad – the Wimaan Salad. It is what it is. The vegetables were nice and crisp and fresh. I think the sauce was what really was supposed to make or break the dish… Unfortunately I wasn’t all that fond of it, and ended up putting some of the chili sauce (that came with my main dish) – or sambal oelek, I think it’s called? – on the salad to kick up the flavour.
Speaking of my dish… I got Tom-Yum-Goong, which I’ve been wanting to try for a while, since I am an avid lover of seafood and have only recently come to like spicy things. I was sorely disappointed with what I got, unfortunately. There was nary a prawn in sight in my far-too-oily bowl of tasteless grease. Loads of mushrooms, a skimpy amount of cilantro, and two prawns were what I found… in addition to a boatload of oil. It was neither hot nor sour, which is what I heard tom yum goong should taste like – since it is often just called “Hot & Sour Soup” at restaurants. You can bet I added some of that chili paste stuff (in the little pot behind the soup bowl, in the photo) to attempt to make it more appealing. No such luck.
M, on the other hand, went with a chicken curry, which was probably a safer choice (well, for individuals not allergic to coconut, at least). Her Gaen Kiaw Waan looked and smelled far more appetizing than my dish, although I could detect the distinct scent of coconut. M said it was good, and had plenty of flavour despite the fact that she had asked for it to only be mildly spiced. Also, as is her personal preference, there were far more chicken pieces than vegetables, although the chicken was tough and chewy. (Still… She got all those chicken pieces and I got TWO prawns! Come on! I was definitely a bit sore about that…)
N ordered off of the menu of specials: Gaeng Phed Gai and chose spinach out of an option between spinach and some other vegetable that I can’t recall, but one that N and M both agreed that they dislike. (Chances are that I like it, haha.) In all honesty, N’s dish looked the tastiest, and in my opinion she looked the most pleased upon eating it. I refrained from trying both of their curry-like dishes since they both had coconut (and, of course, I’m allergic). She would’ve rather had a bit more chicken, as the bowl was stuffed with plenty of [overcooked] spinach, but the sauce was very good. Not too heavy, nor oily at all. The coconut flavour was most pronounced in this curry, and complemented the curry flavour beautifully. For some reason, her chicken was not overcooked and tough like Marie’s — although there was less of it — but the veggies in her dish were soggy, sad-looking, and limp.
If I were to give my best guess, it would be that Wimaan Thai has really great curries – and perhaps some other types of dishes that we didn’t try, like the famous Thai dish, pad thai – but not-so-great other dishes. It’s completely hit-and-miss. I like consistency in the quality of food at a restaurant, so I probably won’t be revisiting Wimaan Thai to taste-test their other dishes.
Aside from the food, the service wasn’t particularly good. The restaurant was completely empty when we went, and there were two waitresses… but they mostly hung out at the back of the restaurant, chatting to each other and ignoring us. After we had our orders taken, we didn’t get top-ups for our water glasses until the food was delivered. Then after that, never again — which was tough for me to accept, since I was trying to give my food more flavour with chili and simultaneously trying to cool off my mouth with cold water. (Yes yes, I’ve heard that’s supposedly not how you’re supposed to cool off your mouth, and that you’re supposed to do it with milk or some dairy sort of food of some sort…) Our waitress spoke very poor English as well, and was very hesitant to answer questions or alter dishes according to our preferences. Communicating their spice levels of preference was a bit frustrating for M and N, I think… just because the waitress didn’t seem to approve of the fact that both M and N were asking that typically spicy dishes be made milder. She wasn’t exactly friendly or cheerful, either… and the other waitress didn’t even want to come anywhere near our table, even if we were asking for service when we couldn’t catch the attention of her colleague.
The ambiance was nothing special. It was a bit depressing, if anything. The restaurant was unexpectedly large, but was dank, dark, and a bit musty. Décor is minimal, and some of the few decorations are a bit tacky. It just felt like there had been, at best, a half-hearted and lazy attempt to make you feel as though you were in a Thai restaurant, what with a couple of random Thai decorations on the wall. That was about it, though. There was no ambient music, and the lighting was poor. Like I said: dark and kind of depressing.
Perhaps with a bit more colour and some upgrades, the idea of eating at Wimaan Thai would be a bit more appealing. As it stands, though, it’s not a place where I want to dine again, given its hit-and-miss dishes, unimpressive service, and general lack of a “nice” ambiance.