My Tai Tai, the second of Harlan Goldstein’s restaurants at 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, has finally opened. I’d been looking forward to trying it after seeing a glimpse of the stunning decor following a meal at sister restaurant Ee Da Le. Located on the second floor, My Tai Tai is colourful yet tasteful. Traditional Thai patterned fabrics and motifs pop against a turquoise background. Of course, I was also curious to sample the food cooked by the team of all-Thai chefs, including head chef Amphon Phoomphookieo, who – with stints at Aberdeen Marina Club and Hotel ICON – certainly knows what hungry Hong Kongers want.
We started our meal with som tam Thai ($128), Thailand's famous green papaya salad. It was spicy and very fresh, not overly pungent. The dried shrimp, peanut, garlic, chilli and tamarind sauce all worked well together.
The khor moo yang ($110), or pork neck salad, came with ingredients perfect for creating lettuce wraps. The meat was moist and tender, and the coriander, mint and secret mix of Thai herbs resulted in a refreshing combination that had us wanting more even while our tongues craved sips of Thai iced tea to cool off. The satay gai ($24 per piece) was absolutely, for lack of a better word, moreish. Cooked on charcoal, the organic chicken skewers were sizeable, flavourful and moist. They came with a peanut miso dipping sauce, but I thought the glazed skewers were tasty enough to be eaten on their own.
Each bowl of the tom yam goong mae nam ($148 per person) came chock full of ingredients. The prawn flavour was saturated through the broth, which was both spicy and creamy. The lime leaves and chilli kept the dish from feeling too heavy.
Moving onto the mains, the pla pae sa ($268), or steamed black cod, was a wonderful break from the spicy flavours we’d tasted so far. The dish was mild but tangy, with flavours of spring onion, coriander and sour plum. The texture of the cod was deliciously fatty. The goong yai ob woon sen mor din ($248), seafood glass noodles served in a clay pot, was also nice and mild but definitely not boring. The noodles were packed with tasty ingredients like pork belly, roasted garlic and baked king prawns. This was Thai comfort food at its best, though unfortunately the prawns in our dish were overcooked.
The Panang neua Wagyu ($198), a red curry, had wonderfully tender meat. The gaeng khiaw waan gai ($138), a green curry with chicken, was actually the spicier of the two and hearty with peas, aubergine and a generous amount of chicken. The rotis at My Tai Tai are light and crisp and went perfectly with the creamy curries.
We were in for a real treat with the gai yang khao niew ($328, feeds 2–3 people), a slow-roasted chicken. We’d had a lot of chicken throughout the meal but couldn’t resist tasting this dish once the smells permeated the room. The recipe is from Chef Amphon’s home town and has been perfected over the years. The chicken was incredibly fragrant and tender and was served alongside an Isaan-style sweet chilli sauce and sticky rice. (If this dish is too much for you and your party, the satay gai is a good alternative with a similar flavour.)
While absolutely full at this point, no Thai meal is complete without some mango sticky rice ($98), and this version was satisfying. Staying true to the concept of the restaurant, nothing but authentic Thai mangoes were used for the dish.
The food at My Tai Tai is of high quality, and you’ll pay accordingly. You'll find many familiar dishes on the menu, but the unique mix of spices used sets them apart from those at your neighbourhood Thai spot. Given the high prices, the plating of the dishes could be more innovative.
2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2896 6018