Authentic and Healthy Thai Cuisine in the 2nd City, Montego Bay!

Suga finally got to visit Mystic Thai in Montego Bay with her cousin a little over a month ago. The Restaurant has gotten rave reviews since it opened its doors about summer last year.

It was a rainy Saturday night on May 6th at about 9pm. My cousin, Tina Davis, who is no stranger to their Lunch Specials walked into familiar territory, while I was instantly impressed by the modern décor consisting of elegant Thai silk lanterns and comfortable seating. The heavy rains probably kept away most diners but a few were still there and I appreciated the spacious environment and ambience.

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Photo credit: Christina Simonitsch

Our host and waitress were extremely polite and we were also greeted by the owner, Mrs. Kareena Mahbubani. She offered suggestions according to the pairings of the Curry with various meats and told us that their Green Thai Curry is a favourite amongst her diners. So of course I decided to have it.

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Shrimp and Scallion Dumplings ($10USD)

We started off with Shrimp and Scallion Dumplings ($10USD) and Mushroom Basil Dumplings ($8USD). They take a little while because they are steamed and they came out steaming indeed. They were delicious with the accompanying sauces to add flavour of your liking, whether spicy, salty or sweet.

We then had Crispy Fried Okra infused with Lemongrass, which was surprisingly and absolutely delightful.

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Crispy Fried Okra infused with Lemongrass

We moved on to our Mains of Chicken in Green Thai Curry ($12USD) and Duck in Red Thai Curry ($18USD), along with Rice and Stir Fried Veggies. I cannot forget to mention our Johnny Walker Mojitos from the Bar that were deliciously refreshing.

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A. Chicken in Green Thai Curry ($12USD); B. Duck in Red Thai Curry ($18USD)

Note that I mentioned the Rice, because diners at Mystic Thai and some other Indian Restaurants may notice and wonder why they are charged for Rice separately. Other than wondering what else are you to eat with the meats, there is the comparison to Chinese Restaurants where you get Rice in abundance. Mystic Thai uses Jasmine rice that soaks up the flavour of the gravies and the quality of local rice which is less expensive and used by the Chinese Restaurants is totally different.

Diners at Mystic Thai also like to mix and match their sides, not necessarily ordering Rice. Quinoa for about $6USD is a healthy option as well as Steamed Vegetables. For now, a serving of Jasmine rice is an additional $3USD, but Mystic Thai will give diners the option to decide on their own soon by offering local rice with their Lunch Specials.

With regards to the Curries we chose, the popular Green Thai Curry is a blend of fresh Green Chillies, Galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Lemongrass and Thai herbs. While the Red Thai Curry is the most versatile of the Thai Curries and is a blend of dried Red Chillies, Kaffir Lime Rind, Coriander Root and Cumin.

We enjoyed the exquisite blend of infused flavours that complemented each other so well. The good thing about dining at Mystic Thai is that they encourage Family style dining so the portion/serving sizes are appropriate for sharing and of course treats your tastebuds to so many different flavours. None of the flavours are overpowering either, as they balance each other out.

I was impressed with the attentiveness of the staff and overall commendable service. The owner, Kareena had such a warm and regal presence in the Restaurant, that I was propelled to give her a call for a follow up discussion about my intriguing experience.

Most of you may know that Kareena is no stranger to the business. She is also the owner of Mystic India in Whitter Village, Ironshore, Montego Bay. She studied Hotel Management in Mumbai, India and knew that she wanted to own a Restaurant from a very young age.

Kareena enjoys Thai cuisine so decided to open Mystic Thai in addition to Mystic India.

Indian cuisine is considered to be fattening so as a fitness enthusiast that endures the struggle of being a foodie, I came to understand that Thai Cuisine is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. This must explain why instead of feeling heavy and full as I often do after indulging in Indian cuisine, I felt satisfied but still light after our dinner at Mystic Thai.

What makes Thai Cuisine healthy?

Natural and fresh ingredients are paired with a variety of spices, herbs and vegetables. Examples of such are turmeric, galangal, coriander, lemongrass and fresh chillies that have immune-boosting and disease-fighting power.

At Mystic Thai, everything is made to order and all the spices, herbs and vegetables are prepped fresh every morning. Their gravies are made daily. Note that at least 16 different ingredients are used in every dish so there is a lot that goes into their preparation and she has quite an efficient team. Indian cuisine on the other hand uses five basic gravies that are made and stored.

The meats are usually grilled or put on the wok, which is the pot used for various methods of cooking Asian cuisine, whether it may be stir frying, boiling, steaming, roasting etc. The temperature on the wok is so high that the meats or vegetables only need a minute or two on it, resulting in all the nutrients being preserved.

With all healthiness aside, note that we still had dessert!

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Chocolate Mousse

We closed dinner with a tasty Chocolate Mousse. I didn’t get the chance to have the Fruit and Nut Chocolate Naan from the Restaurant’s Indian dessert menu, so I will definitely be returning for that one, which seems to a favourite as well.

A few weeks ago, Mystic Thai received the award for ‘Best Ethnic Restaurant’ at The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards along with a favourite of mine in Kingston, Nirvanna Indian Cuisine.

Congratulations to Kareena and her staff at Mystic Thai! Well deserved. It is definitely the place in Jamaica to get Authentic Thai and Asian cuisine. #sugaendorsed

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Happy Diners at Mystic Thai: Tina Davis of the soon to be opened Cafe at the Martha Brae Bamboo Rafting attraction in Trelawny and cousin, Gabby from Suga Lifestyle

Mystic Thai (Asian & Thai Cuisine)

Location: B11 – Fairview Towne Centre Unit, Montego Bay

Ph: 876-633-6535

Website: http://www.mysticthaijamaica.com

Opening Hours: Mondays – Sundays @ 11:30am – 10pm

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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