Galanga Thai

Reviewed by: Eston Dunn , Rhonda L. Hollowell, Greg Nguyen

Name: Eston Dunn
Occupation:  Actor/Playwright
Lives In:  Miami Beach
Restaurant Pick:  Galanga Thai
Reviewed Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita: January 6th, 2009

Seen from the outside, this converted Wolf Camera store fools the patron into thinking this Thai and sushi eatery is typical of all others. Oh, how so not true. From the moment we walked into the very stylish restaurant to the time we left, we had an enjoyable experience. We were greeted by a friendly and warm maitre d that took us to a nicely-positioned table in the front of the restaurant with a window-view of Wilton Drive. We were surrounded by all the pleasant décor from the exotic fish tank over the sushi bar to the precisely-positioned pin-spot lighting hitting each table with just the right lumen count.

Our waiter introduced himself as Robert and was quick to get us our drink service and explain the menu in great detail. I ordered a Sashimi salmon dish called “Pretty In Pink” for an appetizer that was not intended to be an appetizer, but Robert assured me it was fine, and changed it from Sashimi to Sushi without a problem, as per my request. My entrée was called “Three Best Friends” and consisted of a steak, chicken, and shrimp (tails removed!!) combination over brown rice and lightly covered in peanut sauce – WONDERFUL! For dessert, we shared the “White Russian” … a delicious white chocolate mousse/dark chocolate cake with raspberry glaze/sauce decoratively accenting the plate.

Speaking of dishes, Galanga’s has a most impressive display of dinnerware. The atmosphere was very urban – great lighting, furniture, background noise, and, not too mention a very attractive crowd, and wait staff. The restaurant appealed to all the senses from sight to taste; the only thing needing improvement were the acoustics – high vaulted ceilings without soundproofing/acoustic tiles to help absorb the noise of dishes, cutlery, patron conversations.

With a friendly “Thank you for coming, and hope to see you here again,” from Robert, we left smiling and completely satiated. I’d highly recommend Galanga to anyone seeking their connection with an metropolitan-styled restaurant with great food and service, not to mention a wait staff filled with personality and is service-oriented.

A thumbs-up!

Name:  Rhonda L. Hollowell
Occupation:  : Marketing Professional
Lives In:  Miami
Restaurant Pick:  Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita

Reviewed Galanga Thai: January 7th, 2009

Parking was a breeze as the restaurant stands on its own lot. I pulled right up to the door and walked in. I approached the hostess stand and stood for a moment before the woman looked up (speechless, half-smile) into my eyes. I told her “table for one.” As I walked to the table, I admired the dark wood tables and bamboo chairs, the open A-shape of the restaurant, the remarkable range of artwork, and the gentle zenish music that played softly in the background, but there was a smell of warm fish that halted my visual senses and the thick air caused me to pause my inhale and regroup. With the good and the not-so-good, I’d give the ambiance a 3 out of 5. After being seated, I was partially helped by two waiters for the remainder of my dining experience. I took one sip of my cloudy glass of water with the old lemon on the brim of the glass and decided to try hot tea instead. Obviously, the water for the tea came out of the same stale fountain and the tea bag was not strong enough to conquer the flavor. I ordered soup and California rolls for an appetizer and was pretty much done eating all of it before I was able to place my lunch order. The soup was bland, however the California roll was very fresh and good. As I finished my appetizer, I started to notice several gnats swarming around my table, which added to my already wavering experience. At this point, I am praying for a good lunch experience. I ordered the Chicken and vegetable tempura. I should have stopped while I was ahead. Although the teriyaki sauce was yummy, the chicken was bland and overcooked. The vegetables were fresh and tasty, but were also overcooked. I spent so much time trying to figure out what was going on around me, that it was hard to enjoy the meal. Staff members walked briskly back and forth to the back and kitchen area as if they were extremely busy, but there were very few patrons in the restaurant. My two waiters spent most of their time trying to place basic table settings on 10-12 tables assumingly for dinner service. From where I sat I could see staff eating in a back room. Dessert was never offered and I didn’t inquire. I never knew which server was mine or either of their names. I’m going to rate the service a 2 out of 5. The portions were respectable, but the value vs. price proposition was a little out of whack. I rate this experience, overall 2 out of 5: Unremarkable.

Name:  Greg Nguyen
Occupation:  Teacher
Lives In:  Miami
Restaurant Pick:  Icebox Cafe
Reviewed Galanga Thai: December 28th, 2008

The restaurant provides convenient valet service, and the lot seemed pretty full for a Sunday night. The décor was very nice, although I would prefer a more toned down style. Service was very good; our server was very attentive, but not intrusive. Portions were generous; I ordered too much food and ended up taking food home. The food is not cheap, but it is not particularly expensive; the overall value is good. Having sampled many of the dishes, none of them disappointed. The spicy octopus appetizer and soft shell crab appetizer were standouts. The other dishes were good, but not necessarily standouts. If this restaurant weren’t so far away for me, I would love to come back and try many of the intriguing menu items.