Have you ever been to Thailand? Neither! But I imagine that dining at The Oriental Thai Restaurant is pretty much the same thing. Given, there are still some clear betrayals of a Wellington location - one cannot block out the visuals outside the window (hey there Vivian Street) or the distinct Kiwi accent peppering the air - or the simple logical fact that you have just casually sauntered through a door not hopped on a 12-hour-and-33-minute plane to get to the restaurant. Yet besides these minor fallacies, The Oriental Thai is about as authentic as you're going to get in Wellington city. So please, leave your cynicism at the door for just a minute as I take you through a typical experience at The Oriental Thai.
Now, imagine a nice circular traditional-style room equipped with orchids, wooden beams and silk table cloths which gives off a very near-authentic Koh Pha Ngan vibe. Add in a few pink fluorescent lights from Patpong, and you have your scene. Grab a seat and unfold your red Bishop's Hat serviette onto your lap. A little waitress from Thailand will shuffle over and take your order. You will not know how to pronounce many of the dishes on the menu and will resort to pointing at the numbers next to the articles. Pointing at 'V2' (The 'Tom Hou Tod' - fried tofu served with peanut sauce) is a decision yours truly fully endorses. It's everything a peanut sauced stir fry could wish to be.
Add a bottle of your own wine (Oriental Thai is a BYO), a possy of friends, and you have yourself a great night out in Thailand (without customs, thousand dollar tickets or food poisoning).