Thai Ladies, Thai Lunch: Thai Square, St Albans

During half term, my mum, Annabelle and I went to visit two close family friends in St Albans. Together we were five Thai ladies, three generations and two families at one place, Thai Square.

Group Shot

The restaurant is a beautiful mix of Thai and English, modern and traditional. The owner, although not Thai, upholds and respects the Buddhas and Ganesha (Ganesh) on display by leaving offerings of milk, orange juice, banana and food.

Art

You may notice that Ganesh is a Hindu God. My mum, like some Thais pay their respects and pray to many religious deities from around the world. In addition to Ganesh my mum also prays to the Chinese goddess, Guanyin (Phra Mae Kuan Im in Thailand) and Luang Por Khong (a Chinese Monk who helps you find things that you have misplaced). Followers of Guanyin, like my mum do not eat beef. I’m told that this is because cows and buffalo used to work hard on the paddy fields in Asia and it would be unkind to slaughter them after their service for the people.

Art Two

We chose a selection of dishes from the lunch specials and à la carte menus. We ordered duck spring rolls, Thai ice tea, and Gai Yang (barbecued chicken) with Som Tum salad (papaya salad) and sticky rice.

Food1

Below left is the Pad Thai prawn with an egg net placed on top. Pictured next to it is tapioca balls with a minced pork filling. It is similar to the Japanese Mochi I wrote about in a previous post, however this is a savoury dish. You don’t need cutlery to eat these, you take one of the little balls, place it in the middle of a lettuce leaf and pop into your mouth.

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The lunchtime set meal resembled a Japanese Bento Box with Tom Yum prawn soup, a spring roll, satay chicken, a vegetable ‘golden bag’, steamed rice, stir-fried mixed vegetables and a main dish. We had stir-fried mince pork with basil and chilli.

The service at Thai Square was first class. Friendly, welcoming and never too busy to assist. A great atmosphere to eat authentic Thai food. What’s your favourite Thai meal and have you tried the pork tapioca dish I mentioned?

Bx

Japanese Mochi

Mochi Packet

In January, my husband and I received two gifts from Japan. These were from two people who have no connection to each other, so it was a bit of a coincidence! My husband received a quirky massager and my cousin, Finola, bought me Ichigo Mochi.

Unwrapped

This is a Japanese sweet and glutinous in texture. It is made from rice and often contains a filling. The brand I received was strawberry flavour. I have never had Japanese mochi before. I have only eaten ones from Chinese supermarkets with red or yellow bean paste in the centre.

Mochi Half

The mochi cut in half.

It tasted a bit like a jelly sweet but softer in consistency. The strawberry flavour was quite light, not artificial, too sugary or overpowering. I would say I prefer mochi with a bean paste in the centre but I think that is related to my liking of a variety or contrast of textures in desserts. For example, I love Crème Brûlée because of the crisp sugar shell and soft custard cream.

Let me know if you have tried Mochi.

Thanks for the treats, Finola.

Bx