This is the Asian restaurant that replaced Fok Luc Sau Asian Delight a few months ago. I was hesitant to try the new menu, but I was jones-ing for some spicy noodles.
Fok Luc Sau, in its defence, gave this corner in The Beach a little variety. Yes, it served a motley of standardized Asian dishes and nothing terribly exciting or innovative, but it's situated at the same intersection as a Subway, KFC and Coffee Time (as well as a Money Mart and a neon-pink porn depot). When I got a craving for radioactive red sweet and sour sauce and fried rice, Fok Luc Sau was there.
I was hoping for better from Pachira, but it fell flat.
The decor is a needed improvement from Fok Luc Sau, which was plastered with Asian tackiness. Instead of bamboo wall treatments, waterfalls and paper fans, it's now sleek and cool with low lights and dark woods (except for the kitchen area, which is downright ugly and doesn't blend with the rest of the interior design - too bad the area is not concealed).
The Pad Thai ($8.50 for chicken and shrimp, $7.50 for tofu and vegetables) is gummy and is lacking a sufficient amount of chicken and shrimp. The vegetables are slightly overcooked and the entire dish is not well-seasoned. In a word, BLAND. Boring. The spring rolls (2 for $2) fare not much better, being mushy and bland. The accompanying Thai dipping sauce is sour from too much rice vinegar and it's not spicy. The hot and sour soup, though, is decent, but it would benefit from more mushrooms and less tofu. It's flavoured well and priced at $3.50.
I will investigate the dumplings and Mandarin pancakes, which I am happy to see on the menu. I am hoping they'll be Pachira's redemption.
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