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Setsara - 278s Thai Tongue Tingler

By: totallyrandomman Posted: October-11-2011 in

In recent years, the stretch of street 278 lying between 51 and 63 has become something of an expat haven; a tightly packed corridor of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, cafés, craft shops and music stores. Not as only-child-in-a-strop, hey-look-at-me-look-at-me brash as the riverfront, it has a slightly more low key charm all of its own.

A keystone of the 278 scene is Setsara, the Thai restaurant sister to Equinox’s bolshy, rock'n'roll tavern, older brother.

Providing mid price-range Thai food in a laid back environment, replete with greenery, bamboo details, wooden roof and even a raised-seating platform with low, Asiatic tables and big, comfy, floor cushions to chill out on.

We open our Setsara dining experience with a fresh and refreshing, but a tad over sugary, watermelon shake and a coconut shake, served in a full coconut, which, although not cold, is full of flavour. It is early evening, the first few diners are just beginning to saunter in and the initial service is as sluggish as a tuk-tuk driver who hasn’t had a grain of rice pass his lips all day.

For starters, we opt for fresh spring rolls with a garlic, onion, carrot and taro filling, laced with a subtle, almost mustardy, throat tickle and a tangy beef Yum Nua salad, all tongue-tingling spiciness

Clearly, the sluggish initial service was just a blip, as the gap between finishing of our entrée and the arrival of the main lasts but the quantum blink of a nanobot's eye.

For mains, we have Gaeng Kua Saparod, a Thai red Curry with chicken and beef Pad Gra Prow. Although the beef in the Pad Gra Prow is a little chewy, the sweet basil, chilli and oyster sauce soaks satisfyingly into the rice The Gaeng Kua Saparod is perhaps a little less spicy than you’d expect from a red curry, but the chicken comes tender and succulent and the overall taste is very pleasant to the pallete.

We finish off with a Nutella and Banana Crêpe which is just as rich and sugar-rush inducing as it sounds and a coconut ice cream that has the wonderful crumbly texture of fresh coconut.

Full to the brim and thoroughly relaxed, we linger in the restaurant for several hours, allowing our food plentiful time to digest while we put the world to rights with words.


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