|In living colour: The vibrant atmosphere is comfortable for both kids and adults, andthere's even a children's play area.
Thai Express in HCM City might not serve the most exciting food, but Thu Anh finds that it's the perfect restaurant for kids who can't sit still.
It's not easy to find a HCM City restaurant suitable for children. The parents' favourite restaurant is often not the best place for kids, who like to run and play around rather than sit in their chairs.
But at the Thai Express in Vincom Centre B, one of HCM City's biggest shopping malls, kids can play dominoes, chess or legos to their heart's content in a big entertainment area with comfortable seats. Before or after dining, it's a great safe spot to distract energetic kids.
The menu offers dishes in traditional Thai style served to suit children's palates as well as the more mature tastes of their parents.
It includes more than 30 dishes like Thai fried noodle and noodle soup, fried rice with curry, and shrimp with fresh shredded mango and peanuts.
|Corny: Ta Kor, fragrant pandan jelly with coconut custard and fresh corn. — VNS Photos Thu Anh
Massaman chicken curry with Thai-style pancake and Tom Yum mushroom soup are diners' favourite choices. They are priced at VND105,000 (US$5) and 65,000 ($3), respectively.
I chose a Massaman chicken curry to share with my eight-year-old daughter, who also had a cup of freshly blended avocado mixed with milk and sugar for VND45,000.
She slurped it up quickly through the large straw. The speed at which it was gone indicated how good it was.
I also asked her to quiet down as she was rambunctious and noisy while eating, but she replied with a smile: Me oi, ngon lam (Mum, it's so tasty!).
I then ordered a more classic Thai recipe for myself.
The VND59,000 Tom Yum fried noodle with vegetable was enough for two and my daughter helped me finish. The dish was like a picture with red, green and white colours from the fresh vegetables.
I found that children like visiting Thai Express because its dishes are not too hot and spicy, but colourful.
|Taste the rainbow: Children love the colourful food at Thai Express, which leave out the hot chilis typical of many Thai dishes.
After the big meal, my daughter ran around the restaurant to play on the brightly coloured chairs. She quickly made friends with two other youngsters.
As she talked with her new buddies, I tried the famous Ta Kor, a Thai fragrant pandan jelly with coconut custard for VND38,000. The dish was served with yellow fresh maize on the top.
Although there was enough to share, I ate it all because my daughter does not like coconut.
Add: B3-16B-72 Le Thanh Ton Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCM City
Hours: 9.30am - 9.30pm
Comment: Anice spot for children, with food that parents can also enjoy.
I'm sure that teenagers would also want to stop to sample the restaurant's Kuluay Kang Tod (banana fritters with coconut ice cream and sesame), which includes four fritters served with two scoops of ice cream for VND65,000.
The dish's flavour is mixed with sweet and salty flavours. While the fritters are hot, the ice cream is cold, making you feel extraordinary.
The Thai Express prices are not cheap but you will have a good meal and lots of fun. My daughter had such a great time that it was hard to take her away from her new friends so we could resume shopping. — VNS