I recently had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Thai Chi by Wasabi in Y Block Defence. Now I’m not a huge fan of Wasabi’s food, but being the youngest sibling truly has many perks- I didn’t have much of a choice to begin with, so it’s safe to say I had my reservations about the place.
Walking in, the ambiance was quite nice. No gauche red and dated Chinese dragon prints here (phew!). The place had a basic minimalist feel, muted grays and blacks, with booths lining the far wall, and tables at the front. We chose to sit in a booth, and the comfortable seats merit a mention. My tired behind certainly was thankful.
To start with, we ordered two soups: old favorite Hot and Sour soup and Tom Yum Goong. Now with your average family-size servings at Chinese restaurants, one expects the dish to serve 4-5 people- at least. These soups though, were enough for about 2 people; 2-and-a-half if one person is incredibly full already. The Tom Yum Goong tasted fantastic. Tart and spicy, it had a lovely thin consistency that did not feel icky at all. The Hot n Sour was your standard soup, the kind seen at all winter weddings held at the Garrison Golf and Country Club: soggy carrots, no flavor in the base, and a watered down consistency. This was a solid NAH from our whole party.
We also ended up ordering Chicken Dumplings, given the small portions. This was my first experience with dumplings, and I must say that I will not be repeating it. Doughy and floury sacks filled with what tasted like boiled cat food may be SOMEONE’S cup of tea, I just don’t think it’s mine. 2/10
Disappointed but not deterred, we decided to order a huge variety of entrees. We chose Thai Green Curry, Schzeuan Chicken, Beef Chilli Dry, Prawns in Garlic Butter, Vegetable Fried Rice and Garlic Rice. At this point, the manager decided that we were worthy customers and turned on their decorative ‘fountain’, which was basically a stream of water falling from one stone tub to another. We appreciated the effort, but it sounded a lot like someone filling up a lota to be perfectly honest, and took away from our overall dining experience.
Our mains arrived promptly, and all were served to us by the servers in a pretty efficient manner.
The Schezuan Chicken was brilliant, chock full of vegetables and chicken, and not loaded with spices as it often is at other Chinese eateries. 8/10
Prawns in Garlic Butter Sauce were perhaps the best I’ve eaten in Lahore, far superior to the ones served at Avari or Yum. The sauce was thick and bright, and the prawns were perfectly cooked, juicy and retaining a bite. 8/10
Beef Chilli Dry was next, and having been the most enthusiastic supporter of this particular order, I had to have the biggest helping. I say ‘had to have’ because nobody else wanted it much. The beef was pale, and toxic looking, and the sauce was spicy in the most ‘aloo gosht’ way possible. If you’re in the mood for Chinese food which tastes like lunch time at roadside dhaba, then order this dish. Otherwise, hard pass. 2/10
The Vegetable Fried Rice however, was the real star of the lunch. Each grain was separate and perfectly cooked, the vegetables used were obviously of high quality and the rice was made with incredible care. I’ve never had rice in Lahore with broccoli and corn thrown in, and somehow they didn’t interrupt the flavor of any gravy I ate them with; rather, it enhanced it, like any good side dish should. 10/10 over and over and over and over.
Not being a big fan of coconut flavored food, I didn’t eat more than one bite of the Green Curry but my friends told me it was incredibly tasty and they would definitely return for the curry. A tentative 8/10.
At the end of our lunch, the bill was quite a shock to my senses considering the serving sizes. On par with prices at Yum and more expensive than ChinaTown, this restaurant can be counted among one of the higher end Thai/Chinese restaurants without the value for money. However, they gave us a 1000 rupee cash voucher for our next trip which was a considerably generous offer.
TL;DR Chinese and Thai restaurant with a minimalist approach to both decor and serving sizes, with good Thai and passable Chinese food. Go for the Tom Yum Goong, rice and seafood. Overall score: 7/10
Editor’s Note: Osheen did not take adequate pictures for this post. Maybe she was too hungry to care; maybe she doesn’t like taking pictures in public; maybe she’s a forgetful goof. We’ll never know. We reached out to the restaurant management via Facebook and they asked us to use the pictures we had on hand. We’ll be updating the pictures once we visit again!