Parlez Moi D´Amour, Laguna Village, Estepona12-02-2010
“And if music be the food of love play on...”
For as long as I can remember, I have been an aficionado of Thai food; the harmonious balance of sweet, salty, spicy and sour in each dish, the fresh ingredients, aromatic flavours, array of vegetables and exotic taste sensations make it one of the most healthy and complete cuisines.
“The Health Benefits of Thai Cuisine: Several Thai dishes, such as Tom Yum Soup, are currently under scientific study for their incredible health benefits. Of course, it's already known that many of the fresh herbs and spices used in Thai cooking - such as turmeric, galangal, coriander, lemongrass, and fresh chillies - have immune-boosting and disease-fighting power.”
So with that in mind and a beautiful location to boot Parlez – Moi d´Amour seemed like a divine combination...
The heavens opened as we arrived in Laguna Village where the restaurant is located. It was cold, windy and torrential rains poured down on us as we ran from the parking to the restaurant. Bearing in mind that Parlez Moi d´Amour is more of an outside place it was probably not the best day to get full appreciation of the restaurant...I could easily imagine how beautiful it would be to dine on the terrace; my reverie of white curtains gently billowing in the wind, taking in the stunning backdrop of the calm blue sea while lazily reclining on comfortable lounge chairs momentarily interrupted my present reality of wind whipping up what looked more like the stormy Atlantic than the usually calm Med.
Due to the inclement weather we obviously had to eat inside. The white and silver, cool and contemporary surroundings had a Zen feel that bordered on looking unfinished (a few rugs would not have gone amiss to warm it up), however the soft drapes, interesting and very original light features, and ambient chill out music gently filtering through gave the restaurant a nice vibe.
The menu itself with its plastic inserts was cheap looking and a small detail that should certainly be addressed, however the content offered a well selected variety of the usual Thai staples and some house specialities such as Ped Rad Saued Makham (Roasted duck breast with tamarind sauce) and Plar Rad Prik (Deep fried gilthead sea bream with sweet chilli sauce) which sounded interesting.
We opted for a mixed platter which was composed of 6 different starters and four different accompanying sauces; The Chicken Sate was a little dry and in direct opposition to the prawn sate which was succulent with a whisper of curry flavour and so well seasoned that the dipping sauce became superfluous. The wantons were disappointing and a little oily and were saved by the deep fried “meaty” prawn rolls that were delicious and were wrapped in a delicate, light pastry. The Vegetable spring rolls and Nem were also good and had the finest of pastry wrappers.
The starters were served on a doily which would have been more at home in a Brighton cream tea shop than in a cool Thai restaurant in Laguna Village, there is a time and place for a doily and it is not in Thai cuisine! Hey, maybe I am being over critical, however when one considers that Thai culture is renowned for its presentation and workmanship, then probably not; one needs only to look at the care and attention that go into fruit and vegetable carvings to enhance the dishes to realize this.
We were invited to sample some Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, the rice wrappers were a little glutinous and in spite of their name, the rolls lacked freshness, I asked for some fresh mint and it changed the whole dish by adding that missing X factor.
We had chosen the Duck breast with the Tamarind sauce for our main course and the duck was delicious; crispy on the outside and perfectly tender, but unfortunately let down by the overly salty sauce. The Khaw Phad Gai Goong (Fried Rice with Chicken and prawns) was an aromatic perfumed rice dish; it had a dash of curry and was reminiscent of a sweet version of Singapore noodles that you find in Chinese restaurants. A tasty mix of cashews, raisins, carrots and pineapple made it a complete dish in itself; the Phad Thai however lacked a little refinement and the Chicken Panang was a tasty dish although again, a little over salty.
We chose to accompany the meal with a beautiful golden honey coloured Bracamonte Verdejo to cut through the richness of some the coconut, with a little Lychee on the nose and a hint citrus and tart apple and it wasn´t badly priced at 18€. All the wines on the list were Spanish and there were some nice selections with a 2005 Ribero de Duero, Pago de Capellanes, priced at 35€, however 14,90€ for a glass of champagne seemed a little steep. Aside from the Spanish wines there were a number of high end Champagnes on the list.
To finish on a sweet note there were a selection of decadent desserts from Crepes to typical Thai dishes. Leonardo, the charming and highly professional Manager, brought over a Gruy Thod for us to try; a tasty coconut, sesame crusted banana fritter served with Haagen Daaz ice cream, it was not overly sticky or sweet and was a nice ending to the meal and that, followed by a delicious and beautifully presented coffee complete with rose on the side and a design in the frothy milk, signalled the end of our afternoon´s sojourn in Thailand.
To be honest the chef was a little heavy handed on the seasoning and the food lacked a certain finesse at times, however in spite of this lack of elegance (I am incredibly discerning when it comes to Thai food), I would not hesitate to return, as it really is a beautiful place to dine, relax, enjoy a nice meal and soak up the surroundings.
Restaurant Review at a glance: (1 to 10 i´s of success)
Ambiance 8 i´s (in summer you cannot fault the surroundings) Service 9 i´s Portion Size 8 i´s Wine Selection 6 i´s Price vs. Quality 6 i´s Price 45€ +/- (price per person based on a three course meal for 2 people with a bottle of house wine) Overall 7 i´s (feel good factor after paying the bill)
Ambiance 8 i´s (in summer you cannot fault the surroundings)
Service 9 i´s
Portion Size 8 i´s
Wine Selection 6 i´s
Price vs. Quality 6 i´s
Price 45€ +/-
(price per person based on a three course meal for 2 people with a bottle of house wine)
Overall 7 i´s (feel good factor after paying the bill)
T: 952 81 83 96
M: 672 73 01 26
By: Nicola Vieira Rodrigues
Buy the entire gallery
William (Mr. Shakespeare I presume?!?!!!!), not sure if it is possible to improve on your fine works however one can always put a modern twist on things no? I had not realized you were so pedantic!
"You taught me language, and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!"
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