Restaurant Reviews Jack Tree – Reviewed

Jack Tree – Reviewed

2016 Sep 23

Open Time:

11 am – 11 pm

Address

No. 200, Park Road, Colombo 05

directions

Contact No

0117620620

A Beautiful Concoction of Thai and Chinese


 

For an authentic Thai fix, you’ve got to check out The Jack Tree, situated down Park Road. The place isn’t hard to find and the quirky artwork on their logo surely cannot be missed. We weren’t particularly happy with our experience, our rating speaks for it, but the place isn’t all that bad either.  For one of the few restaurants that offer Thai food in Colombo, we felt like the food lived up to its authenticity, although some dishes had a bit of a Sri Lankan Spices and flavor infusion into it, which we thought, was a good thing.

Ambience

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This isn’t a fine dining restaurant, so the vibe of luxury is not predominant. But for a dine-in Thai fix, this is a pretty good place. I think we liked the seating upstairs rather than down because it felt less clustered and overall proved to be more comfortable and enjoyable.

For one, I didn’t find anything unique or striking about the place per se, but as a family restaurant and as a affordable dining option, Jack Tree did not let us down.

The management of Mango Tree runs Jack Tree as well, their names intrigue me. I think they have an actual Jack Tree in the middle of the car park behind the restaurant. But this is what my very limited knowledge and ability to differentiate trees tell me so I’m not quite sure if the tree was a jack tree or not.

Like when at Mango Tree, you are greeted with smiles and warm welcomes. They make you feel very comfortable and at home. The waiters are usually very friendly and would be glad to recommend some good dishes when you tell them what kind of dish you are looking for.

The waiter who served us suggested that we stick to their Thai food options as he said that the food from their Thai menu tastes better than the Chinese.

Food and Drinks

So they’ve got a two part menu, both Chinese and Thai. Since the place specializes in Thai food, that’s what we tried.

Drinks: Shirley Temple

To be completely honest, the Shirley Temple didn’t really do much. So usually, we find that Shirley Temple is made with Sprite but at Jack Tree, the base of the drink was ginger ale. Not that amazing of a change, but I have to say it was pretty refreshing. For Rs.350, it wasn’t all that bad.

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Appetizers: Hot Butter Cuttlefish and Crab Meatballs

As appetizers we tried out their Hot Butter Cuttlefish and the Crab Meatballs. Both dishes were priced at Rs.925 and the portions were enough for 3. The Hot Butter Cuttlefish was pretty yummy. It wasn’t dry like your average hot butter cuttlefish. There was the right amount of gravy and was strikingly different from the Chinese version of out typical hot butter cuttlefish. A little more on the stew-y side of an appetizer, but the gravy did not sog the crispy around it.

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Our next option, the Crab Meatballs, did not live up to any expectation. Quite honestly, I don’t think it’s a recommendable appetizer. There was less meat and it felt like the meat was overpowered with flour or something that felt very lumpy and was definitely not the crab meat. The portion again, was big enough, but not worth the money. It wasn’t crispy and the taste of the meat was lost in all the confusion that was happening in the meatball.

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Mains: Ginger Chicken, Sweet Chili Snapper, Sizzling mushrooms, Thai herb fried rice and Chicken Phad Thai.

Can our choices have gotten any more Thai? The mains I must say, lived up to expectation and it was a good change after the appetizers.

The Ginger Chicken at Rs.875, was a show stopper. The chicken was marinated right and the meat wasn’t too dry or undercooked. The gravy was the right amount of thick and the complemented the rice and the phad thai.

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Our choice of Sizzling Mushrooms at Rs.825 was once again recommended by the waiter. The sizzling pan and the theatrical entrance of it was quite the show. It added a different texture to our meal. The sauce was not too heavy nor too light, the authentic taste of mushroom was maintained unlike in most cases where it’s overpowered by the taste of the sauce over it.

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Our choice of carbohydrates were their Thai Herb Fried Rice and their Chicken Phad Thai.  The former at Rs.995 (a small) and Rs.1295 (a large) and the latter at Rs.1125 (a small) and Rs.1395 (a large). Given the tiny price difference between a small and a large, I’d suggest you buy the large. It’s enough for about 3 people, but if there’s left over, you can always ask them to pack it up for you to take it home with you.

The Herb Fried Rice was not stellar for me, maybe that’s because the overpowering taste of herb in my food doesn’t excite me. But hey, if you are up for trying something different to your otherwise everyday fried rice, this is a good alternative. The taste of herb wasn’t as strong, and if your palette likes the taste of Asian herbs, then this dish is something you must try.

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Ah, their Chicken Phad Thai was heavenly. It was much better than most other Phad Thai dishes I’ve had around Colombo for sure. But one let down was the rarity of actual chicken shreds or pieces in the dish. Although the noodle was cooked well and the spices were just the right amount, the dish lacked the chicken. It was almost as if tofu overpowered meat in the dish. For us, finding a piece of chicken in our serving was a celebration.

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Desserts

To top the cusinie off, we indulged in two desserts; Coconut Homemade Gelato priced at Rs.350 and Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce and Nuts which was Rs. 450.

The Coconut Gelato, we thought, was quite amazing. It was distinct and an absolute delight for our taste buds. The taste of coconut was quite ardent and if you are a coconut lover, this dessert is definitely the one for you. The dish appeared very simple; but simple is elegance and elegance is key.

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The second dessert we had the pleasure of tasting was ice cream with chocolate sauce and nuts. It is a delicacy that is admitedly not uncommon, but we’ll give you this; unlike many places that keep the toppings scarce, the ice cream, in this case, was completely buried under all the cashews and the sauce, which they were very generous with, too.

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So they’ve got a two part menu, both Chinese and Thai. Since the place specializes in Thai food, that’s what we tried.

All in all, it wasn’t a great place, and neither was it a letdown. The food isn’t in the fine dining range nor the affordable restaurant range. It somewhat falls into the middle, and for the price, I personally don’t think the dishes are worth it.

But be sure to ask the waiters what they think the better options are given what sort of dishes you are looking to eat.

 

Let us know what you think of Jack tree in the comments below! Is there anything we’ve missed?

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