Resto Review: Pasadena’s Saladong Song
My dad’s birthday was yesterday, so my family took him out to Saladang Song, a Thai restaurant in Pasadena. I’ve tried the next door Saladang before, but Saladang Song is fancier on the outside, with modern outdoor seating and looks a lot more upscale. It looks so contemporary on the outside, with its stylishly carved walls and glass panel insides. Plus, the waiters are all Thai, so it’s legit Thai (I think Burmese folks have a keen eye when it comes to identifying Thais).
We decided to order one typical Thai dish, kao ga pao, which is fried chicken in basil and chili. It was mildly spicy but I loved the sauce, which was thicker than usual and not as oil-based. Made to perfection.
The second dish was kui tiao gai, which is your everyday Southeast Asian rice noodle soup. ‘Kui tiao’ in Hokkien means flat rice noodles, and ‘gai’ in Thai is chicken. This dish was less than perfect for two main reasons, all stemming from the soup: too salty and too rich/meaty. Maybe they skimped on the soup because they expected us to add water into it.
My dad decided to give some new dishes a try, and they were NOT worth it. The nam prik Saladong Song, as fancy as its menu description was, is basically a small salmon fillet, with a turnip cut in the shape of a flower and steamed vegetables and cucumber slices (tozaya in Burmese) for dipping in a fermented fish sauce (ngapi ye in Burmese).* Aside from the salmon and fancy decoration, this is a poor man’s meal and totally disappointing.
Lastly, the khanom jeen sao nam arrived at the table. Its presentation was absolutely beautiful but it wasn’t much. Just pineapples, vermicelli noodles, minced lettuce and fish balls in coconut sauce mixed like a salad. It tasted more like dessert than a main course dish. Not my thing…
At the end, the waiter gave us individually wrapped mints with a fruity surprise in the middle.
It’s seriously better to stick to the traditional and cheaper Thai dishes you know, rather than try something new at this place, because it can end up being a hit or a miss. From experience, I like their pan fried noodles.
Score: 3.5/5 (for this meal…)
* I don’t know what these things are called in Thai. 😦