Thai Basil has been a stalwart over the years. It’s menu changes little but sometimes there is much to be said for that; you know what you are going to get and, especially as a coeliac, having the certainty that you won’t suffer after a meal out is worth a great deal. Especially after a bad experience, Thai Basil is one of the places we go to when we lose courage to try somewhere new.
It is in the basement level of Pacific Place shopping mall so may not be the best place to go for a romantic meal, but it is conveniently located being close to the access to the MTR – ideal after returning from a morning’s shopping in Shenzhen or a foray into Mongkok.
Even at other times, the ease of parking is a definite plus and, if you are feeling practical, it can be combined with a visit to Great, one of the main HK supermarkets. Pacific Place also offers more glamorous shopping with a clutch of high end international designer boutiques such as Chanel and local brand Joyce alongside high street staples such as Zara and Ted Baker. It also houses the marvellous Kelly and Walsh, one of the best bookshops in Hong Kong; if you have time to browse, their selection of classic novels in particular is outstanding. If you want to catch a meal before or after seeing a film, there is a cinema a couple of floors up.
If you call in advance Thai Basil may not have a table free – they seem to have a policy of only keeping a few for advance reservation. Their turnover is fast though so even if it looks full when you arrive it usually isn’t long before the busy staff are able to seat you. Service is normally admirably quick which can be a plus when you simply don’t have time to linger over a meal.
I must admit that our order varies little from our tried and tested favourites. We have gone off piste from time to time but normally head back to our chosen few. We usually start with the refreshing Pomelo Salad with a garnish of shallots, lime, chilli and fish sauce.Sometimes we substitute green papaya salad. When we do, we often ask for the nuts on the side.
Our main course choices are normally either the duck curry or the New Zealand green lipped mussels in green curry.
They are both good but we always find ourselves asking for the mussels first. The mussels are delivered on a Friday so you can usually order them on Saturday and sometimes on Sunday or even Monday, but it is more normal to find they have sold out by the end of the weekend.
We have tried the King Prawns in green curry but found it a little dry although the curry was as good as ever.
Portions are reasonably generous so we normally order just one starter, one main course with a single portion of rice and, to follow, the ubiquitous mango and sticky rice, which has the honour of a separate post of its own elsewhere on this website. It is so good though that here it is again:
For us, the fare offered by Thai Basil is comfort food of the highest order. It is even more of an accolade that we have always found that we have been able to trust the tried and tested dishes we have listed here to be safe for us to eat.
P. S. If you eat here and park, don’t forget to redeem your parking just at the top of the escalator.
Thai Basil, Shop LG 001, Pacific Place, Admiralty,Hong Kong –Tel: 2537 4882