Le Banthai in Vieux Nice offers an authentic Thai experience, completely immersing its patrons in the spices and flavours of south-east Asia.
Good news for the numerous affficionados of food from the kingdom of Siam, as they can now find fulfilment and happiness right in the middle of Vieux Nice. Le Banthai, which opened in 2013, is owned and run by a friendly niçois who spent 20 years in Thailand. The chef, who is also his wife, is Thai, and together, they have created a ten-dish menu that covers everything from tourists favorites to local classics, with products that are fresh from the market.
The house specials include the Tom Yum kong, a bold and refreshing mix of ancient plants (ginger, lemongrass, and galangal) with mushrooms and prawns, the Gaeng Daeng, a mild red curry paste perfumed with coconut milk, the Moo Deng, a pork filet roasted filet roasted with spices, and the Lab, the traditional dish from Issan, which consists of a thinly sliced meat with a base of shallots, chives, coriander and mint.
Of course, no real Thai menu would be complete without some pad Thai, this stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food all over the country. Le Banthai also offers a few additional dishes that can include a curry to vegetable nems. Rice can be ordered on the side and for those who are still feeling peckish, the desert of the day is always a nice way to end the meal.
When all is said and done, it doesn’t really matter which dish you choose, you are sure to leave delighted from this culinary journey to Thailand. It is so rare nowadays to find a restaurant of such quality and at such reasonable prices (all the main dishes, whether on the menu or not, cost €12), so do not deny yourself the pleasure. Beware though: the place only has a few tables and is always crowded, so be sure to book early!
Le Banthai is open every day (except Wednesday) from 11 am to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 10:30 pm.
29 rue Droite
All images courtesy Le Banthai Facebook page