With Amsterdam guidebook stalwarts like Thai Snack Bar Bird, the question is always: is the restaurant actually good or has it attracted a following as a result of the listing?
It was time to find out. I visited early, before the evening rush. Trying to get one of Thai Snack Bar Bird’s four or five tables between 6 and 9pm at weekends is virtually impossible. Even on the average night, the queue often spills onto the street outside. Be prepared to wait.
I ordered Panang curry, a thicker curry than red or green as it is made from coconut cream rather than milk. It had the silkiness and heat of a good Thai curry, but seemed hastily put together. The chicken was almost obliterated by an oversupply of green beans. I had hoped for something a little more refined.
In contrast, a family could have fed on the pad thai. Nestled in a mountain of rice noodles were strips of beef, cubes of tofu, bean sprouts, egg and fresh coriander. Oddly, the chopped peanuts had been dumped in a pile on one side of the plate. No matter; the dish was fragrant, filling and a bargain at €11.50.
My conclusion? Thai Snack Bar Bird attracts a steady stream of tourists, but it's not a tourist trap. I'm not sure it will lure me away from Little Thai Prince, still my favourite Thai restaurant on Zeedijk. But if I’m passing and the queue is not too long, Thai Snack Bar Bird will be high on my list, at least for pad thai.
Thai Snack Bar Bird’s sister establishment is directly across the street (Zeedijk 72-74). A sit-down restaurant, it has more space and a wider choice of dishes for slightly higher prices.
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