Busarin Sangsuwan (L) and Supaporn Sukul - two of the polite, charming and graceful waitstaff.
The staff in Erawan Thai restaurant are the factor that really make this place work. There are other things too, but the service levels and warmth, friendliness and hospitality of the staff is outstanding.
It’s not suprising really, as they are Thai, and literally a month or two off the plane.
They are also hotel trained in Bangkok, which is a formidable set of characteristics.
If you’ve been to Thailand and know the people a little you’ll know that they are simply the best in the world at what they do.
Service, for them, is a sense of anticipation. Knowing exactly when to interrupt at a table, to bring something, to take something away.
Erawan, only open a few weeks and already a hit.
When this is done with a warm smile and a sense of grace and elegance it really elevates the dining out experience to a new level.
Now the food is ok, it’s not authentic Thai cuisine, but it’s a pretty good South African version. All the classics are there; good dim sum, a good range of starters, soups, five curries (green, red, massaman, penang and Duck), a full selection of stir fries, and a vegetarian selection.
The duck is good, they do variations of it well; from the curry to crispy deboned, sweet and sour and a really good crispy duck with pancakes where you make up your own rolls with crispy vegetables and hoi sin sauce.
Erawan means elephant in Thai, a symbol of good luck.
The chefs specials are worth a look, and I recommend the basil crispy pork or the Par Nueng Sam Rod, which is a steamed fish on a bed of vegetables and a choice of sauces. You can have the same dish fried.
They are packed out every night, which is quite and achievement given that this location has been the death of a few restaurants previously.
Another good thing about Erawan is that the winelist is, well, short and unimaginative. This has persuaded the locals (from both sides of the M3) to bring plenty of their own wine (and they certainly do) and pay a reasonable corkage fee of 25-30 rand.
In a few short weeks Erawan has become a favourite local, tapping into the success factors that mean good stable business throughout the year; reliability, consistency, good service, value for money and a nice atmosphere.
Starters R32-R44. Mains R69-R89.
15 Wolfe Street
Wynberg, Cape Town