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Since moving back to HK, I have been more open to different types of cuisines like Thai. Expanding my palette is a good thing for me but it would also be boring for my readers to read about the same things over and over again.
As someone who is a huge fan of Asian cuisine, I was excited to try Sweet Basil Thai inside the mall Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.
I’ve passed by Sweet Basil Thai a few times before and it was on my restaurant bucket list for quite some time now. Now, I can finally say that I’ve eaten here.
Getting to Harbour City is easy. Different public transportation including the ferry, minibus, double-decker bus, and MTR are all within walking distance.
Also, you never have to worry about not having enough choices inside the mall. There are many restaurants and bakeries to choose from like The Cheesecake Factory and Dominique Ansel.
There are also hundreds of stores to keep you busy. The shops range from luxury brands like Tiffany and Co and Chanel to gift shops to even, a book store.
Sweet Basil Thai – First Impression
Sweet Basil Thai is a bit out of the way inside Harbour City so you might have trouble looking for it unless you’re like me and frequently visit this mall.
It’s almost near the end of the hall. When you see Lady M, continue to walk straight and you’ll soon see the restaurant.
We came for an early dinner at 5:30 pm, which is what we usually do anyway. Some restaurants in HK don’t open until 6 pm for dinner but if you can go early, you can generally escape the crowd, especially if you’re going during the weekend.
At 5:30 pm, Sweet Basil Thai was already decently busy so it was a solid first impression. Oh, there are tables filled already at this hour? The restaurant must not be too bad then.
Food at Sweet Basil Thai
We got two appetizers – garlic bread and a plate platter. The garlic bread came out first and it looked fantastic off the bat.
There are four pieces in total for one serving.
The bread was somewhat crisp and chewy. It was good but I’ve had better at other restaurants. At some food spots, if the garlic bread was delicious, it would make me want to order more because one serving wasn’t enough. Sweet Basil Thai didn’t. That’s not to say it was bad though.
Sweet Basil Thai could improve on their garlic bread by adding the garlic butter spread on the other side of the bread as well. The restaurant only did it on one side and it wasn’t enough.
When it comes to garlic bread, don’t most of us prefer garlic and butter?
This platter had four different types of appetizers. There were fish cakes, shrimp cakes, spring rolls, and leaf-wrapped chicken.
The fried shrimp cakes were the best out of the bunch. They were crispy, fresh, and warm. It reminds me of those shrimp balls at dim sum. It’s not hard to go wrong with fried stuff though.
The fish cake was not my thing. I took one bite of it and did not finish the rest. The flavour had too much lemon on it. Some people might prefer more sour-tasting food but that’s not my cup of tea.
At Thai restaurants, chicken wrapped in leaves is usually what I always get. At Sweet Basil Thai, the chicken was tender.
It’s similar to their garlic bread.
It’s alright but I’ve had better ones at other Thai restaurants in Hong Kong. There was no eagerness to take another one. With this dish, maybe it’s better with smaller chicken bites or that’s what my preference is anyway.
Last but not least are the spring rolls. I’m going to be straight up with you, I didn’t eat any. There were so many other foods to try and I was already starting to get full.
But the main dishes didn’t even come out yet! So, I held back and had to choose wisely how I wanted to fill my stomach. I was eyeing the other three things on the platter rather than the spring roll.
Since I didn’t try the spring roll, I can’t make any comments.
I absolutely adore their satay chicken with peanut sauce. There were 6 satay chicken skewers in one dish and they were gone pretty early on during the meal.
The chicken was tender, juicy, and big. They didn’t skimp out on the meat.
And the sauce, the sauce was great. I was such a fan of the sauce to the point that I had to ask for another one.
If you order both the satay chicken and garlic bread, try dipping your garlic bread in the peanut sauce. It’s even better!
Seafood Egg Rice
With dozens of rice and noodle dishes options, we had no idea what to get.
The seafood egg fried rice attracted my attention because it’s one of the first choices under the rice category on the menu. There was also a picture of it on the menu.
Generally, when the menus are large, isn’t a photo of a particular dish sometimes an indicator of what’s good?
The picture of the seafood fried egg rice dish reminded me a bit of Banchan and Cook. Banchan and Cook is famously known for their fried rice wrapped inside an omelet and the seafood egg rice at Sweet Basil Thai looked extremely similar. From the picture anyway.
We asked our server for her opinion and she suggested the pineapple fried rice or the seafood fried egg rice. That’s when I knew that ordering the seafood fried egg rice was probably the correct decision.
This is one of the times when the picture doesn’t match reality. When the fried rice came out, it looked pretty flat. You could barely tell there was a lot of rice underneath.
It also wasn’t the case where the rice might not look that good but you’ll change your mind when you taste it.
The taste wasn’t impressive either. The restaurant put in a bunch of fresh seafood like shrimp, crab sticks, and squid but the dish was pretty bland even when you mix everything together. They served the rice with a sweet chili sauce (what I think that was) on the side.
Maybe adding sauce to the rice would enhance the flavours but I didn’t. If anything, the dish should be delicious by itself, and adding sauce to it would bring it to the next level. The base wasn’t even that good so I doubted adding sweet chili sauce would have made a huge difference.
Don’t even bother to order this.
However, if you’re a fan of rice dishes, maybe try their pineapple fried rice. A lot of nearby tables got this so there must be a good reason for that.
Tung Choi with Shrimp Paste
This vegetable dish came out as the last dish. I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a picture, which I’m annoyed at myself for not doing because I should be used to this by now. It’s been years since I started my blog!
Tung Choi is water spinach, also known as morning glory. Sweet Basil Thai offers tung choi with shrimp paste or salted fish. We went with shrimp paste because it reminded me of Tai O Fishing Village (they’re known to make shrimp paste there).
The tung choi was a bit salty but fresh. It makes sense because shrimp paste is known to be salty. It’s not too bad though.
The food came out fast and around the same time, which we were happy about. I prefer it when restaurants bring a bunch of things together at once so we can sample everything at the same time like a buffet. What do you think? Let me know in the comment section down below.
Final Thoughts – Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine Restaurant
The menu at Sweet Basil Thai was extensive. For example, noodles and rice dishes each had their own page. There’s so much to choose from that I didn’t get to try everything I wanted.
That’s why I have to come back.
The next time, I would order the smaller appetizer platter version since I want to save stomach space for their boneless Hainan chicken, cod fish, and short ribs. These were on the chef’s recommendation list so it should be pretty good! I would also get the satay chicken again and maybe the garlic bread.
You might be able to get away with not booking a reservation if you go for an early dinner like us. As it got later, even more people came in. Some HK people eat very late.
A tip I would recommend is to bring a sweater. It gets pretty chilly in the restaurant. Those who get cold easily would appreciate having an extra layer.
I’m glad I came to Sweet Basil Thai because the food overall is decent so it’s definitely a place I’ll come back to. Also, the restaurant being inside Harbour City makes it extremely convenient to visit. You can go shopping before and after eating here!
Now to You – Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine Restaurant
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