Home CULTURE Thai Café: “New kid on the block” is flying the flag for the environment and health – and people’s pockets!

Thai Café: “New kid on the block” is flying the flag for the environment and health – and people’s pockets!

by Staff Reporter
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Thai Café
There’s “a new kid on the block” on Brussels’ culinary landscape – Thai Café – and it’s one that puts environmental and health issues at the very top of its menu.

Thai Café is a “chain” of restos, spread all over Belgium, that’s just unveiled the latest addition to its fast-growing family.

The newcomer is located at the popular Woluwe shopping centre, timely as the place is usually packed with Christmas shoppers at this time of the year.

The Asian eatery opened only in September and brings the total so far to no less than 17. The difference with the Thai Café chain though is that it is constantly evolving in order to meet the changing demands of consumers and also other issues.

These very much include environmental and health matters. For example, it has abandoned single-use plastic in all its packaging and, since the start of the year, uses KioBox packaging (for takeaways).

This is far more environmental-friendly than, say, cardboard, as it is reusable and recyclable (all that is required for the scheme to work is that the customer pays a meagre €1, €2 or €3 per bowl/dish).

The owners have also taken steps to minimise the risk of cross-contamination in its operations and its chefs do not use any flavour enhances. Instead of using conventional sugar, they use Tagatose, a 100percent natural product suitable for diabetics and whose calorific content is equal to just half of regular sugar.

The owners here are also very mindful of the economically-testing times we live in right now and are doing their bit to help out there as well.

This has led them to reconsider the minimum you need spend on a takeaway order in order to benefit from free home delivery. The minimum spend has come down from €50 to €40.

So as to encourage customers to collect their own orders (good for the city’s traffic-choked streets) they are also offering a free drink for every €25 spent.

The new Thai Café at Woluwe could not be situated any better. It is directly at the front of this sprawling shopping centre and access is via the mall’s main park. The owners have also just installed a lift from the car park to the resto so as to make it easier for elderly and/or disabled customers.

The new place must be one of the biggest and most luxuriantly decorated members of the Thai Café family. It seats up to 130 people, including on the outside terrace, and is adorned with exotic palm and banana trees, some floor-to-ceiling, plus huge,wrap-round windows which provide loads of natural light.

The idea is to create something that is both exotic and relaxing at the same time and, on that, the owners succeed brilliantly.

If the setting is impressive the food is even more so. The menu (the same at all restaurants in the chain) is packed with some great Thai dishes, ranging from “street soups” and curries to wok dishes, salads, grilled or fried offerings and fish and seafood.

Any lover of Thai or Asian cuisine is sure to be more than happy with the choice and, with waiters like the very friendly and knowledgeable Ousman and Fati around you can be sure of expert guidance on what to select.

A typical Thai meal will consist of rice, fish, soup, veg, spicy salad and sometimes a dish of pork, beef or chicken. All (and more) are very well represented here.

The mostly-all Thai staff in the kitchen really know their stuff and you cannot but be impressed by the quality of the food.

With an eye on the local economy, the socially responsible owners also ensure that, wherever possible, all ingredients are sourced from local producers and suppliers.

For example, the meat and veg is mostly organic and comes largely from small producers.

It is especially busy at lunchtime with shoppers and office workers and there’s also a lunch menu, served daily to 3.30pm, consisting of a starter and main of your choice (with some exceptions) for just €19.80. The kitchen is open from noon to 10pm each day.

It is said that the art of Thai cuisine is a combination of sweet, salty and spice with stunning aromas and presentation. The good news is that Thai Café ticks all of the above boxes.

This is the only resto in the centre (other places to eat are cafes or snack bars) so if you’re planning a visit for some last minute Christmas presents make a beeline for a place that’s flying the flag for other things than just food.

Thai Café, Woluwe shopping centre
Rue St Lambert 200, Woluwe St Lambert
02 888 8080
www.thai.cafe

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