Monday, May 17, 2021

Eating out in Gabs: A grand taste of Asia

If you are a foodie who enjoys dining out, Gaborone offers a limited pool of choices. However, in the past few months several restaurants have cropped up across the city to offer residents a unique experience.

Asian food usually tops the cuisine favourite list. With three popular Chinese eateries, one in African Mall, the other two in Block 6 and Kgale, there’s another joint that’s bound to be a favourite for foodies who not only enjoy great dishes but also want to watch their waist size. Simply Asia is easily one of the best culinary offerings in the city at the moment. Their menu offers an assortment of mouthwatering dishes without the grease and carbs that can leave one salivating before they have even bitten into the portion bits.

Although the establishment is still fairly new, it has received mixed rave review.

One diner, Laone Makwati said she loved the meals, especially the firm Asian favourite meal, chicken noodle, and would be coming back again many times. “This is one of the best restaurants around town and I like the cultural exchange we experience here. Although I have always been curious about Asian food and culture, I found that there were more Chinese places. This is something unique ÔÇô I love Thai culture now,” she gushed.

Bakadzi Leemang wasn’t too impressed. Although she found the concept interesting, she wasn’t happy with the pricing and portions. “The portions were too small. The prices are low so you can sometimes be deceived into thinking you will get something bigger. The food is however tasty and I would suggest an outing to the place as a treat,” she explained.

You might want to learn how to eat with chopsticks if you are not familiar with them. This is because Thai eat with chopsticks. For a left-handed person like me, mastering the use of chopsticks was a funny experience but with practice, one gets the hang of it.

The menu at Simply Asia may seem overwhelming because it offers a wide variety of dishes, and for one who is a newbie to Asian cuisine, you can get confused. While the waiters can offer assistance, it’s best to go with your gut and perhaps try something out of the ordinary just for once. I appreciated cashew nut noodles, which offer a unique taste and are filling without leaving you feeling bloated. The roasted chili paste was also something to write home about ÔÇô it’s a recipe that hasn’t made its mark in the city and although it’s a bit hot, it will awaken your senses and leave you appreciating the flavours of Asia. The chicken tom yam and chicken roti are other popular dishes worth a try.
For someone with a sweet tooth, I found myself gravitating towards the decadent chocolate filled spring rolls ÔÇô the wholesome unique taste tantalises the buds and fills that sugar-craving fix without the additives and fat.
I noticed three predominant flavours in the meals: sweet, sour and spicy, which are infused in the dishes in a very exceptional manner.

Thai people combine meals of various meats with vegetables and herbs, which makes the meals healthy.

The formal presentation of food is another important aspect of Thai culture, which is what strikes you when you visit Simply Asia ÔÇô you admire the food for a while before eating it because it’s laid out in an artistic but simple manner ÔÇô no spills or mess.

You might want to learn interesting tid bits about Thai culture. For instance there’s no such thing as a ‘starter’ as is the norm in Western dining etiquette. In the West, a “normal” restaurant meal consists of a starter followed by the main course and dessert, with each individual ordering only for themselves. Thai culture encourages sharing, and so food is presented in large platters and all the diners eat from there together. I discovered that in Thailand it’s often considered bad luck to eat alone.

Eating is a shared experience and Simply Asia offers that environment where you can let go, relax and indulge healthily. If you’ve been wondering where to hang out with your friends and family, or celebrate a birthday, perhaps make your way to Riverwalk and enjoy a Thai experience right here in Botswana.

After the meal is over, there is no such thing as dispensing with leftovers. According to Thai superstition, bad luck or famine may ensue if food is thrown away. So it might be good to eat up all your food, which won’t be a problem considering how tasty the food is.

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