Deception is a shape-changer. It can take any form or shape and give you a wrong perception about a thing. A thing, being an understated looking plate of food or a restaurant having simplistic and inexpensive interiors. That is how deception almost grabbed me by my lapels and tried shaking me out of my decision to enter the driveway into Bandex Thai & Restaurant Massage parlour. Thankfully, I won the mind battle.
A few metres from MJ Grand Hotel, tucked into one of the residential lanes is where Bandex Restaurant shyly sits, away from the hustle and bustle of the main East Legon streets. It’s homey look ushers a diner into a no-fuss dining area. A straw-covered hut is also one’s choice for a more natural outdoor ambiance.
Less than a year old, it wasn’t surprising to find serenity for a typical Saturday afternoon where many Ghanaians choose to eat out. A hidden gem.
Asha, daughter of the restaurant owner who’s also the chef was quick on bringing menus and being a first-degree holder of Most Adventurous Palate I chose the Fresh Spring Rolls instead of the traditional fried spring rolls we all know. The fresh spring rolls is actually healthier than it’s deep-fried counterpart. Getting through a Thai menu can be a bit daunting especially with the pronunciations which have been translated into English. Google the names to see what to expect before your meal arrives. The menu however is simplistic with varieties of soups, starters and main courses.
I am drawn into meals presented with love, care and balanced colours. The Fresh Spring Rolls appeared and looked so well put together, fresh and sating even just by looking at it. Translucent rice paper enfolds delicately put together vegetable fillings and touches of rice noodles which balanced well with the restaurant-made sweet dipping sauce.
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Conversations dip in and out as we finish up the rolls and looked expectantly towards the entrance for the main course.
Sticky Rice with Fried Fish Herbs was one of those meals that as a foodie you can’t help but gawk at. Not overstated but gorgeously presented.
Thai Sticky Rice is authentic Thai rice which is well…sticky. It’s actual name is glutinous rice ( but doesn’t contain gluten) and the stickiness comes from the presence of low amylose and high amylopectin .
It’s glue-like texture and the fried fish herbs was an excellent expensive choice which I don’t regret. At GHC40, the fish was excellent in flavour and was bathed gloriously in lemongrass, scallions, ginger, garlic and cashew sauce. Whew! Hearty and piquant was the sauce which made me question why we don’t cook much with lemongrass in Ghana.
The fish had a delightful crunch on the outside with a soft but fresh meat on the inside. Sticky rice is eaten with the hands by the Thai and it’s easy to see why. The rice was easy to bundle up and dip into a sauce. No it wasn’t plastic rice.
The use of traditional serving utensils always succeed at warming my heart and this perfectly woven Bamboo sticky rice basket was no exception. This is what many international cuisine restaurants in Ghana fail to do; give an authentic traditional culinary experience.
I usually prefer teas after a main meal and the Iced Green Thai Tea which although was a first for me, cleansed and soothed my slightly burning palate. I tasted star anise The Red Thai Iced Tea will be for another time.
Reasonably priced between GHC10-GHC45, Bandex Thai is recommended for enjoying confidently flavoured without being overwhelming Thai cuisine.
The Kumodzi Restaurant Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
* ⭐️ is a restaurant which is averagely clean, very affordable, basic amenities in place, food is just okay, service is average.
*⭐️⭐️ – Above average hygiene conditions, polite and reliable service, staff are responsive, basic amenities, food is exciting and tasty with wider variety, affordable, mobile money payment options, family and group friendly.
*⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Worth driving to and trying everything on the menu. Reliable and responsive service from staff, family and group friendly environment, online payment options available, parking services, easy access to location.
*⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Exceptional and well presented food, outstanding and flawless service from staff, executive space for VIP services, seamless online payment options.
*⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Flawless and outstanding food and service offerings. Diner focused and awareness of allergies and wine preferences. Menu offers vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian offerings.
Find Bandex here.