(Prai)ing for more: a restaurant review


For this month’s review, I decided to do something different and go to a restaurant of the same cuisinal genre as another I have already done and compare the two.

So this week, I went to Prai Kitchen located at 23 LaSalle Rd in West Hartford Center.

Prai is a Thai cuisine based restaurant and has a more welcoming ambiance than the Blue Elephant Trail.

There is less seating and parking at Prai than there is at Blue Elephant, but what they lack in size they make up for in flavor.

For appetizers, we started with the Shumai Ball, a deep fried shrimp ball served with sweet chilli sauce.

This dish was a good simple appetizer. It was heavier than the other appetizers we ordered, but pleasing.

We then moved onto Crab Rangoons, which are crabmeat and cream cheese in fried wonton wraps.

These were nice, simple, and light, with a noticeable infusion of seafood flavor, but the taste of the crab did not overpower the dish. The rangoons were light and tasteful.

We also ordered the vegetable dumplings, which is one of their very delicious vegetarian options that the restaurant serves.

The dough and vegetables were light and not over or undercooked, but just right.

After our appetizers, we still had room for our main courses. None of them were too filling, even though we ordered a lot.

So we ordered a yellow curry meal, which is yellow curry paste with broiled coconut milk, red onion and potatoes and we added in sauteed chicken and white rice.

If you are more sensitive to spice, but still like curry, this is the perfect meal to order.

The dish has the right amount of kick but is easily balanced out and cooled down with the chicken and rice.

The meal was very pleasing to the palette, and I rather enjoyed it.

The dish presentation was simple yet tasteful.

It came in a porcelain white bowl, so the yellow would pop with a side of rice to place and proportion evenly into the dish.

That was also nice because it made sure that the rice wouldn’t be soggy by the time it had reached our table.

We also ordered the Drunken Noodles, which were sauteed flat noodles with basil, chili, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and an egg and decided to add duck to the course to give it a meat base.

This was a more spicy dish, and it had a good amount of heat where you could taste it in the dish, but it didn’t leave your mouth burning from the heat.

The presentation was very appealing as it came in another  white bowl and had pops of color that were heightened due to the brightness of the bowl and the darkness in the dish.

It made the dish look quite sophisticated and very appealing.

Next, we ordered Ramen noodles with a Thai twist, rather than your everyday Japanese noodles.

These ramen noodles were made out of egg, with chicken and vegetable broth with vegetable and roast pork toppings.

The well-balanced presentation of this dish was quite visually appealing and made a real impression.

It came in a black cast iron pot and the mix of colors of the different vegetables stood out.

It was very satisfying. The taste was excellent, exceeding your everyday $0.25 ramen. This dish had actual flavor but was mixed, so nothing was overpowering but rather balanced.

Our final meal was the Prai Rib Eye, and this was by far my favorite meal of the day.

It was a stewed short rib with coconut milk, curry, pineapple, tomatoes, basil leaves and a side of sticky rice.

The steak was cooked perfectly and had a nice sweet flavor and caused the steak to taste light so the portion was a nice amount.

The presentation was beautiful: the servers brought the food out on a cutting board type of plate, and they gave a large steak knife, similar to one you would receive from a steakhouse.

What I enjoyed most about Prai was that it was high quality cuisine but you didn’t have to pay a bunch of money or get all dressed up for it.

This classic and comfortable restaurant can be reached at (860) 232-1817, and they take reservations.