While shopping in Antwerp, a growling stomach started a craving for Thai food. In stead of gravitating towards my usual haunts in the Asian neighborhood, I remembered a suggestion by my friend Guido who runs Thai-Flemish cultural society Thaivlac. Recently a new restaurant opened on Tabakvest, which is about a 10 minute walk from where I was on the Meir: Baan Yuuna. Update 24/07/2017: Baan Yuuna no longer exists as a restaurant and is now a foodtruck and catering service.
Baan Yuuna means Home of Yuuna (probably the chef), overlooks the Oude Vaartplaats and is in essence a take-away restaurant that also offers indoor and outdoor seating. Not that you’d notice, as the indoor area is nicely decorated and spotless. Not too many references to Thai Culture, though. The decor would equally suit a French restaurant, which slightly diminishes the overall experience.
The menu is rather large and offers the possibility to choose both the recipe and the type of meat, in a matrix layout … I did like that a lot and opted for one of my favorite (Isaan) dishes: Laap Nua, which is spiced ground beef marinated in lime juice. To my surprise, no sticky rice was available, which is remarkable for a Thai restaurant.
The portion size was generous and the dish delicious, which brings me to my usual question: is this an authentic Thai or farang Thai restaurant? I would say it is a compromise between both. The spices were definitely authentic, the dish was spicy to a degree most local people could bare, but the recipe was slightly tweaked to suit the Belgian palette. This makes it the ideal balance between both, for the majority of their target audience.
The check bin (total bill) was EUR 15.30 for the dish and a coke, which is fair value. I would recommend Baan Yuuna.