DD is just that, simple traditional Thai. Not fusion, not Royal Thai and certainly not what is often passed off as Thai cuisine at so many restaurants all across Indonesia
A few years back DD had a small warung, it was classified as our Best Cheap Eat of the year, then sadly it disappeared. Now DD is back with a real restaurant in central Sanur, so all lovers of Thai cuisine are happy again!
DD cooks Thai, Thai! The food served here is what Thais eat at home, simple, no fancy serving and no inflated prices.
Those not conversant with Thai cuisine often believe that it is all hot with much chilli, a misconception as not all Thai dishes use chilli, and only a very few use much chilli. The balanced Thai meal should be a selection of totally different dishes some hot, some sweet, some sour, etc. and a soup. All are eaten, in turn, a spoonful at a time interspersed with the same of rice.
Kra Pao Moo is Thailand’s most common all-day, any day, snack. Supposedly what any Thai grandmother offers her visiting grandchildren on arrival. Krao Pao means basil, and it can be with minced pork [moo] or chicken [gai], stir-fried with fresh basil….and chillies! Whilst I love this dish I admit I often had to hide my quickly sweating brow, next time I will meekly ask for medium. However the Kra Pao at DD is amongst the best I have ever tasted, even though mine was laced with chillies the first time. Even the mandatory fried egg is ‘flash-fried’ Thai style, the white crisp and crunchy whilst the yolk is still with a soft centre. The egg sits on a serve of rice.
Yum Pla Duk Foo is another very common traditional Thai dish that is rarely found in Bali. Fresh water catfish [in Indonesia, ‘Lele’] is steamed then cooled. Just before serving the pieces of fish are dropped into a very hot wok, the result is that the fish explodes! The fish on the plate now is almost crunchy and looks as if it has been minced [pictured]. As with all Thai dishes, balance is the key. The crumbly sweet fish is topped with green mango salad, slightly hot and sour, a perfect match. Again, at DD, 100%! This time with mangoes out of season papaya had been substituted, still very good.
Pad Thai is probably one of Thailand’s best known dishes. It just means noodles that are cooked Thai style. Whilst normally just a vegetarian dish [egg noodles], Pad Thai Gai is with chicken added, and there is also a seafood version available here. This is probably the simplest dish in Thai cuisine, but still one of the best. Another simple dish and one that I often enjoy for a light lunch, or as an accompanying dish, is the Thai Omelette. Kai Jiew Moo Saap is minced pork [or chicken] beaten with egg, fish sauce and a little soy, the result a light fluffy omelette.
Pad Prik Bung Nam Man Hoy has earned itself the strange title of Morning Glory, no doubt during R&R leave for the American forces during the Korean and Vietnam wars. A stir-fried vegetarian dish with garlic, chilli and oyster sauce it was no doubt eaten for breakfast after a heavy night’s drinking, although the title in reality often refers to something else.
Curries are an integral part of any Thai menu. Probably the only problem at DD Thai is that not all curries are available every day. But if that is the price to pay for total traditional preparation then I am all for it. Most are just available for the dinner service only.
However you can enjoy a green curry, any day, for lunch or dinner, Gaeng Keow Wan Gai, chicken with eggplant, Bamboo shoots and coriander sprigs. Also a Red Curry with chicken, prawn, pork or just vegetarian. Sadly no duck & lychee red curry, one of my favourites.
All of the special curries are made on different days but a telephone inquiry before coming is also advised. Penang Curry with beef on Fridays and the wonderful aromatic Massaman, from the South of Thailand, on Wednesdays.Pad Pet is a very mild but flavoursome dish. The base of seafood, pork or chicken is cooked with basil, lime, thyme and a little chilli. Another fresh stir-fry with only a little chilli is Gai Pad King, chicken with much grated ginger, tossed with onions, mushrooms and oyster sauce.
Traditional cuisines are very regional and often have varying ‘authentic’ recipes. Such was the case with their Kai Med Ma Muang [Chicken Cashew], no burnt chilli or any chilli at all but many healthy vegetables [broccoli, tomato, baby corn, onion and fungus] as well as the chicken strips and cashew nuts. Those classic Thai soups, the hot and sour Tom Yum Goong and the under-rated ambrosial Tom Kha Gai [chicken with galangal and lemongrass in coconut milk] are there,
Thais do not order what we call entrees as a part of a restaurant meal. Rather they are the world’s ultimate ‘snackers’, rarely able to pass through a street food area without stopping for a minute or two to select and eat something.
Such entrees here at DD are possibly the least attractive items on the menu. Perhaps they are for farangs only. The Chicken Wings are OK but hardly Thai fare, the Spring Rolls, far more Indonesian Lumpia style with their crisp but thick wonton wrapping, were for me the sole failure on the menu. But if 19 out of 20 is not good enough I do not know what is?
Not only are the dishes served here at DD Warung very traditional Thai, they are also very inexpensive, most items are around Rp.60,000. For added value the serves are quite large, certainly large enough to share between 2-3 people when ordering a selection of different dishes, which after all the ultimate way to enjoy Thai cuisine.
DD Thai serves great traditional Thai for the lovers of that wonderful complex cuisine.
Restaurant : DD Thai
Address : Jln. Danau Poso 26B, Sanur.
Telephone : 270.530
Open : 11.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. [closed Mondays]
Non-smoking Area : Yes.
Smoking Area : Yes.
Parking : Street only.
Air Conditioned : No
Price : Rp. 200,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards : Visa, Mastercard.
Food : Traditional Thai.
Wine : Beer only, BYO Wine.
Service : Friendly, knowledgeable
Atmosphere : An eating house.
Overall : Incredible value!
Copyright © 2018 Gerry Williams
Reviews that appear in Bali Advertiser are based on actual visits to the establishments listed, without the knowledge of the restaurants, and are not paid for by the individual restaurants.
Opinions expressed here are those of Gerry Williams and not necessarily those of Bali Advertiser. Gerry Williams attempts to write from a ‘typical’ diner’s perspective and, whilst quality of food is the most important criteria overall, value for money is the real measuring stick.