The husband and I are believers in giving second chances. Some times it works out ok, sometimes not. Unfortunately Garlic Bistro disappointed us the second time around. =( We first dined at Garlic Bistro about 2 years back and our whole dining experience wasn’t that great. Hence, it took us 2 years (or more) later to gain courage and revisit the restaurant; mainly coz the 3 other Thai places we called were closed.
When we first ate at the restaurant, I remember that it was one hot summer. The restaurant did not turn on its AC, had it’s door wide open. We were sweating while eating our not very great Thai food. Everything was overly sweet and with bead of sweats flowing down the forehead, we weren’t enjoying ourselves.
This time around, the restaurant was empty when we arrived there at dinner time. A waitress and presumably the owner/manager were the only ones in there. We decided to do take out and asked for the menu to browse. The owner kept insisting us to dine in and to take a sit, etc . The owner was a bit over friendly, it got a bit intimidating. We decided to just stand, look at the menu, order, leave and come back later. We already knew what we wanted to order. We picked up the food in 10 minutes, went back home and was quite disappointed.
Here’s what we ordered:
1) Duck Green Curry – Green Curry in coconut milk with sliced bamboo shoot, eggplant, zucchini, green pepper, string beans @ $13.95 (Bottom Left). The portion was significantly small compared to our favorite Thai place; Rostip. The knife skill seem to be missing, with all the vegetables cut up into large slices. The little and thinly sliced duck meat look liked it was steamed; hence the lack of flavor. The green curry did not have much flavor and at $14 for this entree that does not come with free rice, it was SO NOT WORTH IT! The dinner portion was like Rostip’s lunch portion (maybe even less).
2) Crazy Noodle (Pad Kee Mao) – Rice noodle dish; stir fried with chicken in hot chili sauce with string beans, onions, red pepper and hot basil leaves @ $10.95 (Bottom Right). This one was also a let down with knife skills missing. Everything was large, and it seem to me not much love was put into cooking this noodle dish. The noodle again for about $11 was very little for the amount we paid and compared to other restaurants. Noodle was a little on the hard side. There were more chicken and vegetables than the noodle. Flavors were again missing from this dish.
3) Golden Bags – Ground shrimp, water chestnut, mushrooms, Thai spices; wrapped with tofu skin and served with sweet plum sauce @ $6.95 (Bottom). I thought this was the best dish of them all. The “bags” were filled with shrimp (and perhaps meat). The husband however thought this was also a little on the bland side.
Unfortunately, this place does not deserve the phrase third time’s a charm! With small portions, expensive prices, bland dishes……I doubt we’ll be going back to Garlic Bistro. It’s sad, coz this place is so much nearer to our place. The portions were so small that we did not have leftovers unlike when we get takeout at Rostip where dinner entrees are worth 2 meals! And I’m not a fan of Asian restaurants charging extra for plain white rice!
If you want to give Garlic Bistro a try; check out their menu HERE. Maybe it’s just us not liking the food there. They have a big dining area and there’s plenty of parking in the plaza area!
121 Drum Hill Rd
Chelmsford, MA 01824