Part of the charm of Bua Khao is when you call ahead for directions and the owner answers the phone in her cheerful Thai sing-song accent. Located off of the busy Horreya Square in Maadi, the location is a bit confusing; but look out for the Bank of Abu Dhabi, Cellardoor Bistro and Cavalli Corner. Bua Khao is next door.

Up the steps and into the restaurant we go, where photocopied signs tacked to the wall alert us that WE DON'T USE MSG, or merely state menu items, such as SHRIMPS AND YELLOW CURRY LE 38.

What gives this restaurant a true edge is the fact that its ingredients are flown in from the motherland, and you can truly taste the authenticity.

Whether or not you are a fan of Thai food, the vegetable spring rolls (also available in chicken) are highly recommended; as the accompanying sweet plum sauce is to die for. Chicken satay is another favourite appetiser, served with peanut sauce.

Entrées are not consistent; the pad Thai sometimes has more bean curds than noodles, and the peanuts overpower the beef in the beef and peanut sauté, while most prawns are served whole; tails, scales and all.