The exterior of Irawaddy, a treasure trove of all things Thai
Irawaddy Royal Thai Cuisine, a real treasure trove for any self-respecting Thai foodie. (Photo Credit: Charlie Taylor)

My memories of Thai Cuisine, have been, in the past, enjoyed in warm, balmy, tropical conditions, after a day of sightseeing or having relaxed on the beach. When I was asked to do a review on Irawaddy Royal Thai Cuisine, I was intrigued how the experience would be, on a wet November afternoon in The Hague/Den Haag, half a world away from the tropical paradise of Thailand.

My first challenge was to find the restaurant, having done my research beforehand, I was aware that this was a takeaway only. Therefore, I had cunning plan to test the cuisine on two of my unsuspecting, closest friends.

Irawaddy Royal Thai Cuisine is located on Spui and the corner of Ammunitiehaven. From the outside, this does not really look like an establishment well known for it’s delicious culinary creations. I can assure you, that as soon as you step inside, your mind will be instantly changed.

There are no menus at this restaurant, the choice is quite easy, in so far as the standard is a dagschotel (daily dish), with rice or noodles. Okay, I thought, that’s easy. However, I then had to choose what I wanted to have with my rice or noodles. Two different dishes could be chosen, this is when the difficulty started – what to choose? It all looked so good, I didn’t know where to start. I should not have worried, as very quickly I was offered a small white saucer and a spoon. Time to put the shopping bags down, this was going to be an experience, I thought to myself. Sure enough, as every dish that was laid out before me, was explained by the very polite and friendly staff, I received a small spoonful of each one on my saucer to try. It was a taste sensation and not making the decision process any easier, each dish was an explosion of Thai flavours, all distinctly different, all delicious. Mostly chicken or beef dishes there are two daily specials and the regular choices including things such as; chicken and cashews, chicken and mango, curried eggs, beef simmered in coconut milk, curried pumpkin.

Selection of freshly prepared daily specials at Irawaddy
A selection of freshly prepared daily specials on offer at Irawaddy. (Photo Credit: Charlie Taylor)

After tasting almost everything that was on offer I decided to go for one dagschotel with egg fried rice, and the other with Pad Thai noodles. I chose a chicken and okra (ladies fingers), and a beef massaman red curry. The other dish was beef with cashew nuts and chicken with pumpkin. I was still enjoying my little saucer of mixed delights as they set about preparing my takeaway feast.

Meticulously prepared, each portion of curry was put in a little plastic bag to avoid it contaminating the rice on its journey home. The portions were generous and I couldn’t wait to find out what my two friends thought. They were both provided with a piece of paper and pen and I asked them to write one word, at least, about each dish. The words which evoked their taste buds ranged from perfect, real Thai, taste explosion to smooth and tasty and sweety-spicey. A resounding confirmation that this was no ordinary Thai food.

Dagschotel with noodles
You won’t go hungry with the dagschotel (daily dish) with Pad Thai Noodles. (Photo Credit: Charlie Taylor)

Whilst waiting for the dishes to be prepared, the staff also explained that they made a special kind of noodle, created from soya beans, especially for diabetics.

Although tiny, Irawaddy was immaculately clean and a steady stream of clientele coming and going made me realise, this was a haunt for regular Thai foodies. You can ask for your food to be warmed for you, or as I did, take it cold and warm it up at home. At the very reasonable price of 11.50 EUR per daily dish, I think you will find me visiting there more than one more time.

Irawaddy also offers cooking courses for those of us who wish to create their own dishes at home. Half a day learning how to cook some of the classic dishes will cost 60 Euros (EUR); you then get to take your day’s efforts home with you to enjoy with your family. They also sell Thai produce (imported from Thailand) so that when you have mastered the art of cooking Thai style yourself, you won’t be hunting around searching for somewhere to buy all the unusual and necessary ingredients.

Three minutes in the microwave is all the time you need to wait. The result, steaming, tasty Thai food, which as the article title suggests, is certainly fit for a royal feast.

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About Charlie Taylor

Originally from the UK and having travelled extensively professionally and personally, Charlie lives in Voorburg, Zuid Holland and speaks Dutch fluently. A keen Photographer and Writer she plans to visit, photograph, and write about European Cities; and believes that life is full of surprises. . . . .

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