You can be in a room full of people and feel like you are the only ones there. Such was the case when my travel companion treated me to Wangthai at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg. I was a bit reluctant because I had recently been to a Thai restaurant and enjoyed a crunchy duck pancake (amongst others), so I did not want to risk downgrading the fresh memory of my Thai food experience.

To make matters worse, we got lost and could not find the place. We just knew that it was a well reputable Thai restaurant in the vicinity and the mall security did not seem to have a clue what this Thai restaurant was. At the verge of giving up and after resorting to a Google search; we found it on the first floor (we were probably about 15 metres from it).

The first thing that stands out about Wangthai at Nelson Mandela Square has to be the blue sign. It stands out and dispels the dark night sky. Just outside its doors was a deserted sitting area (probably the overflow area). Not sure if we could sit here or go in, we headed towards the entrance, entered and everything changed.

Absolutely breathtaking...

It is absolutely breathtaking. The ambiance inside felt so different. There were even what we thought were “cricket sounds” to make it seem like one is outdoors and far away from the economic hub and busy city. Perhaps the most prominent feature about this place has to be the giant statue of Buddha.  

The warm candle light and wine glasses on the table set the atmosphere for a romantic, laid back setting. It is all so beautiful! Fortunately my travel companion is a world traveler with a skillful palate for Thai food. From having personally tasted this food in its motherland; I had the privilege of having somewhat expert recommendations of which dishes to order.

We ordered a lot of food. I was tempted to jot down the names of the starters and main course dishes that we ate, but I did not want to ruin the spirit of the time. As a foodie and blogger, one has to first do this for passion; well at least that is what I believe. Rather than opting for meaningless eloquence, I choose to write from my heart.

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Fishcakes, chicken skewers, soup, noodles and more...

There were fishcakes with a peanut butter sauce, chicken skewers, noodle dishes, little diced cucumbers and so much more. I experienced taste sensations I never knew existed. There were combinations that snuggled up safely in my tummy and other scents and textures that excited me because I was not used to them.

I absolutely enjoyed the entire experience. Even the carrot was garnished in such a way that it felt special. There were a lot of sauces that went with the food. I appreciated the fact that the sauces and dips were served as side dishes and one could taste and nibble at leisure.

I could not believe how many different dishes we ordered. Armed with passion fruit and lemonade drinks, I tucked into a "meaty soup" (for lack of a better word). Just the texture and look of it did not resemble the “typical soup” I had anticipated. 

I felt so happy to live in South Africa, a beautiful land where we can enjoy the multicultural aspects that unite us. I was happy to walk on the most beautiful nation which strives for religious freedom and where different tastes are celebrated.

Even though the food was not something I am used to, I really enjoyed the experience, textures, smells and taste of most of the food. I could barely pronounce some dishes, but appreciated the delicious taste sensations. I am so grateful I got to experience this. It was wonderful.

Phindiwe Nkosi at Wangthai, Sandton. Photo by GCPhindiwe Nkosi at Wangthai, Sandton. Photo by GC

Wangthai at Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton. Photo by GCWangthai at Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton. Photo by GC

An assortment of Wangthai dishes. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiAn assortment of Wangthai dishes. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

Phindiwe Nkosi at Wangthai, Sandton. Photo by GCPhindiwe Nkosi at Wangthai, Sandton. Photo by GC

Wangthai fish and chicken starters. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiWangthai fish and chicken starters. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

 

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