Feeling like Laos/Thai but not Green Peppercorn OR Holy Basil? Don’t worry…here’s another alternative!
Almost randomly placed in the middle of a neighbourhood in a very obscure block of closed shops, you’ll find the street packed with cars regardless. Probably all to visit this particular restaurant. And for a good reason too. The restaurant is a bit of a distance away from everything else, but then again so is everything in Canley Heights. About a 5 minute drive from Holy Basil will land you here (without the parking nightmare).
When we arrived, the restaurant was packed! We had a wait of about 15 minutes (at around 6:30pm) but it wasn’t too bad as the host kept the situation very well organised (+1 for service!). Inside felt very…familiar, it seems most Thai and Laos restaurants give off the same vibe, but it’s the kind I like, simple, but fitting.
To start off the meal we got a few drinks and a their Curry Puff entrees. This was followed by grilled Sour Pork with jaew som, Rice Ball salad (Nam Khao) and Duck Choo Chee Curry all served with rice, and mind you service was blazing fast and great…so lets get started shall we?
Drinks were nothing out of the ordinary, served in a jar and giving off that super sweet Thai milk tea flavour, always a winner for me, especially with that salty/spicy flavour of this cuisine
Maybe it’s me but there’s something soothing about biting into something delicious but also being so fresh it burns your tongue, it’s like you want it, but you don’t. These curry puffs did exactly that. Fresh out of the kitchen, one bite almost set my mouth on fire but the flavours from that curry were just great. Together with that sweet chilli sauce they serve with it, top started to a great meal (get it, you won’t regret it)
This was my second favourite dish of the night. I love sour stuff. And this dish had it all. The salad itself is mixed with some herbs, fried rice balls and sour pork and just blended so well together. It wasn’t too strong but it had enough to give you that kick at the back of your tongue. Along with the softness of the pork and crunchy fried rice balls, if you have to pick a salad, I can’t recommend this enough. Plus I haven’t had it anywhere else so +1 for uniqueness?
To have with rice, this dish is a very simple yet very nice. Unlike the salad, the sourness of the pork was not as obvious, instead it had a very subtle hint of sourness (the kind that would take you 2 or 3 chews before you noticed it). On top of this, the meat was cooked to perfection. Extremely tender and with that soft pork fat, a very tasty way to eat your rice. I’d recommend, but sour and Lao sausages also caught my attention (choosing either won’t mean you lose too much!)
Now this was my favourite dish of the evening. The Choo Chee curry. Although it did get an unfair advantage that I do really like duck and curry, I can confidently say, it did an outstanding job…of being a curry. Unlike other curries I’ve had, this one was super creamy and super rich in flavour. The coconut flavour really absorbed itself in and with every spoonful on your rice kept you wanting more and more. The roasted duck was also to perfection, so soft and tender for the meat yet still having that crunch on the skin. It’s a mild curry and the coconut milk will cool any burning. So good with chilli or not, this is a winner, definitely try this!
Unfortunately the desserts were sold out for the evening so I didn’t get to try that either but as a conclusion, Twelve Spices was a winner. It had the service right and the food right. If you’re at Holy Basil and can’t really be bothered waiting that 30 minute line (that’s ALWAYS outside), take a 5 minute drive and visit Twelve Spices, it’s tasty, affordable and up there with Holy Basil and Green Peppercorn, if not better!