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“Must have been an off-night”
Review of Traditional Thai

Traditional Thai
Ranked #74 of 210 Restaurants in Byron Bay
Price range: $5 - $26
Cuisines: Thai
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed October 14, 2013

All the reviews suggested this was the place to be for great tasting authentic Thai food. Unfortunately I think we picked them on an off-night, which was disappointing given that we love thai food.
We were greeted on arrival for our reservation and seated quite promptly. It was a busy night and a few customers without bookings had to be turned away or told to leave their phone number and hope to be called for an availability in 20-30min. The maître d' told us about the menu and took our drink order before our main waitress came by to take the food order.
We placed our order and waited for our drinks to arrive, which took a considerable amount of time, even for some chilled tap water.
At least 30min had passed since we placed our order and we still hadn't received our order, not even the duck spring roll.
I asked a passing waitress if our order had been sent through and she said she didn't know but would check; she never came back to tell us the result.
Another 10min passed then the maitre d' came over with a small appetiser and said "welcome, this is compliments of the chef". I had to stop her and explain that we had ordered 40min ago. This surprised her, which was odd given that she sat us at our table and took our drink order.
Our original waitress came back to the table 5min later and examined that there had been a mix up with the order (which is interesting given that looking and listening around the restaurant we weren't the only ones waiting a long time for our meals...and I mean a long time!).
About 5min later (now 50min since we ordered) our papaya salad arrived and you could it was rushing as the papaya had not been completely shredded, and there was so much chilli that it took away any sense of flavour in the dish. This was a disappointing start and the intense chilli ruined the duck spring roll that arrived shortly after. I couldn't taste any of the intended great flavour of the roll. This was very disappointing.
So the food arrived out of order (mains before entree), and the chilli was completely over-powering, but I was hopeful for the next dish, which was a salmon salad. We also had ordered some more drinks (to cool the chilli taste) that took what seemed like 10min to arrive.

The salad arrived and it was actually a great dish.
Getting the bill was the next hassle, which took forever. Our drinks were provided complimentary, which is a nice gesture but what would have been appreciated is an apology from the maitre d' but that was never going to happen. On our departure the maitre d' was extremely rude to use yelling across the room "see you next time" in a very condescending way.
If the service had been better (at least with an apology) I would consider going back again, but with such rudeness from the maitre d' and the slap-dash cooking we experienced once they realised our order was never out through, means that I will not return. I say best of luck to those going in the future, hopefully you get them on a good night.

Thank DSA_84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Traditional Tha... B, Owner at Traditional Thai, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2013

Dear DSA_84,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about us.

I will reply to your review step by step. Let's start from the beginning.

Our menu is not divided in starters and mains, rather it flows from light dishes (such as roils, skewers, etc.) to medium-size dishes (salads, soups, etc) and ends with substantial dishes (stir-fries, curries). When an order is placed, unless a guest specifies the order in which they would like their food to be served, the chefs send the dishes as they are ready (a roll can be served after a salad).

We make all of our sauces using fresh ingredients and from scratch. The main ingredients of the red nahm jim (the dressing for the papaya salad) are lime juice and red chilli, ponded coriander root, etc. Traditionally the green papaya salad is among the spiciest Thai salads. When they order it, guests familiar with Thai food know it is spicy. We could make it milder upon request, but generally our staff would presume that our customers expect spicy food at a Thai restaurant, so they do not specify that the dishes are spicy, as most, if not all the dishes on our menu have plenty of chilli.

As you would have read in the reviews, we cook every single individual dish to order. The various ingredients of the green papaya salad (papaya, cherry tomatoes, snake beans, etc.) are pounded to order, but the papaya itself is shredded prior to starting service. The tool for shredding papaya is similar to a wavy peeler. So when you stroke the fruit, strips of the flesh are shaved off. If occasionally more pressure is applied, then the strips of flesh shaved off the fruit might not be completely separated (something you mistook for rushing the preparation of the salad).

I am very happy you enjoyed the salmon salad! I think it's a wonderful dish and the fried dried chillies, spicier than any of the chillies we use in other dishes, are easy to avoid if you do not like spicy food.

The canapes we serve as a greeting from our chef are sent to the gusts within 10 minutes of taking an order. We then proceed with serving the ordered dishes as soon as they're prepared by the chefs. The canapes are a complimentary nibble, which does not take time to cook, so the timing you mentioned (40 minutes) would not be correct. When one is not enjoying themselves a minute could seem like an hour, and in a busy restaurant, where every single individual dish is cooked to order, it does take some minutes to prepare dishes. Fast food outlets who apply "slap-dash cooking" techniques do not take time to prepare food to order. Not being one of those outlets means that on a night when there are over 50 guests the wait might be longer than when there are 20 guests at the restaurant. But still we would not compromise quality for speed.

I am sorry if there was a mix up with your order and it took longer than usual for us to serve your food, but no matter how hard we try we do make mistakes. The complimentary drinks were an apology on behalf of our whole team - chefs, waitresses, maitre d' but unfortunately you didn't take it as such. So I would like to apologise publicly for making a mistake.

And lastly our farewell. As tradition has it in Japanese restaurants, for example, everyone from chefs to waitresses, to bartenders, would shout out "thank you and goodbye, see you next time" from wherever they're standing in the restaurant. This is something we have adopted at our restaurant. So all of our staff make it a point to acknowledge the guests when they are leaving the restaurant. If our kitchen were facing the entrance, our chefs would be saying goodbye to the customers as well. Remember this is our livelihood and it is our customers who keep us in business and feed our families, so we would never be condescending or rude to a customer. I am sorry if you have interpreted our farewell as such.

I hope my explanation was thorough and has met your expectations. If there is anything else I could be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail on tellmemore@traditionalthai.com.au

Best regards
Mariana Pavlova

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190 - 194 of 237 reviews

Reviewed October 13, 2013 via mobile

Chicken skewers, duck spring rolls, crispy duck salad, massaman brisket curry. Oh, and rice. Service was really good, we didn't drink but that meant more room for food - which was really super.

Thank Spazcore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Traditional Tha... B, Owner at Traditional Thai, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2013

Dear Spazcore,

Thank you for sharing your trip with us! We are so happy you enjoyed your meal! Hoping to see you next time you're in Byron.

Enjoy the rest of your travels
Best regards
Mariana Pavlova

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Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

This is Thai food as it should be, fresh ingredients, cooked to order. Duck salad starter was amazing and I could eat this every day of the week, also the chilli squid and main courses were great. Nice to be able to order steamed vegetables along side the rice. Will definitely come back next time we visit Byron.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank VixSkipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Traditional Tha... B, Owner at Traditional Thai, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2013

Dear VixSkipper,

Thank you ever so much for the great feedback! It sounds like you had a good culinary tour around our menu.

The duck salad is a popular dish and is a recipe we've chosen to publish in the Byron Bay Cookbook. It is a dish, I think, we can never take off the menu as it is such a favourite!

We'll be waiting to see you again soon with more food and smiles.

Best regards
Mariana Pavlova

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Reviewed September 16, 2013

Thank you for a great meal - perfect in every way. The tea smoked salmon salad was the best I've had and my husband thought the same about the coconut custard.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Luule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Traditional Tha... B, Owner at Traditional Thai, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2013

Dear Luule,

Wow! 5 stars for every aspect of the restaurant is what we always hope to achieve and knowing that in this instance we have gives us so much joy! It gives us pleasure knowing that you have enjoyed your meals so much and renewed desire to keep seeking perfection.

Thank you so much!

Best regards
Mariana Pavlova

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Reviewed September 14, 2013

Two locals separately recommended we eat at Traditional Thai and that we book ahead - great advice because we noticed many people without bookings, missed out that night. We ate outside and although a cool night the gas heaters kept us cosy. We both love and eat a lot of Thai food and thought both our meals were first class. Service was cheerful, helpful and friendly. Highly recommended.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank Ozmatilda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Traditional Tha... B, Owner at Traditional Thai, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2013

Dear Ozmatilda,

Thank you for recommending our restaurant.

It is great to be able to sit outside on a cold night, especially when there's a heater going and fluffy covers to throw around the shoulders.

We are so happy you enjoyed your whole experience with us - atmosphere, food and service. We hope to see you again for another evening full of spice and smiles.

Best regards
Mariana Pavlova

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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