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Thai Style Beef Salad & Elvis Presley

What does Elvis have to do with Thai food I hear you say? Well I’m about to tell you of our eating experience on Friday evening in Kumeu, North of Auckland. Bear with me, there are a few things to tell before Elvis!

During the summer I try to slink out early from work in order to get back to our local golf course for the twilight tournament held once a week which means teeing off before 6pm. It’s a very sociable affair and would be even more so if our club house offered decent food to enjoy with a well deserved beer after hacking our way around the course, unfortunately it doesn’t so we made alternate plans this week. We had decided to head to our local pizzeria which is famous for its authentic pizzas but as we arrived there we were told that they were no longer serving even though they had another 30 minutes till closing. The reason behind this was they had run out of dough, for me understanding what goes into making dough I was happy to accept the reason. Unfortunately the female owner decided to give us an ear bashing on the reasons why they had run out, from them being the best in NZ, the only pizzeria with the official Italian ra..ra..ra and how many magazine they had featured in who were singing their praise. We already know how good their dough is, that’s why we where there but we didn’t need salt rubbing in our wounds, just an empathetic reason would have done fine. So I have struck them off my list of places to visit, great pizza or not. I have refrained from mentioning the name of the place as the pizza chef himself is a very likable chap.

So, four very hungry people after two hours of golf, we needed an alternative plan quick. We decided on the Thai restaurant directly opposite the pizza place and hoped they were still serving since it was fast approaching 9pm. Of course they were, they understood customer service and welcomed us with open arms. The food was delicious but I was far too hungry to take any pictures but I did get some others. Our friends had been there before and told us that the young Thai man behind the bar was a big Elvis fan and she was going to ask him to sing for us, I thought she was kidding, no one just gets up and sings in the middle of a restaurant! By this stage there was only the four of us and another two couples in the restaurant, everyone had eaten and were winding up there evening…..or was it only just beginning?

So Elvis reincarnated, after very little persuasion, put on his karaoke machine, brought out Elvis wigs & classes and insisted that we join in. I, being the shy retiring person that I am grabbed the glasses, wig and microphone and joined in. That’s me, the sexy one with the full head of hair with our very entertaining restauranture behind me!

What a spectacular way to turn a potentially disasterous evening with no food in to a very entertaining night. What was even funnier was that the owner of the pizzeria came in to order take away as we were in full swing singing an Elvis song enjoying ourselves. She beat a hasty retreat when we started singing about ‘no dough’ at the pizza shop…oops!

We will certainly go back to The Thai restaurant, great food, hospitality and entertainment, I do recommend you dropping in and asking for Elvis. The restaurant in Kumeu is called Thai Taste.

This recipe isn’t what we ate at the restaurant but one I made this weekend which is a really fresh tasting salad based on Waterfall Beef Salad from North Eastern Thailand.


  • 2 sirloin or rump steaks
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3½ tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 handful of mixed leaf salad
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • ½ tsp chili powder


  1. Fry the steak, ideally to medium-rare on a heavy based pan with a drop of oil.
  2. Slice carefully into thin strips.
  3. Mix the fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar together in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved then add the beef strips.
  4. Add the coriander, spring onions, shallots, mint leaves, salad leave, cucumber and chili powder and mix well.
  5. To serve, assemble the salad on a plate and serve .
  6. You can also serve topped with crispy noodles.
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love love love Thai salads – I used to make them a lot when I lived there, and now too. Another thing I love, and miss desperately is karaoke – in Japan we used to go every week but Austrians, alas alack, are not fans.
    Your is very pretty and I’m glad you found something to eat – I hope there was no hanger (angry hunger) before the meal! ;P

    March 9, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Not too much Hanger….just dumb stuck! Although we had our revenge when the owner came into the Thai restaurant!

      March 10, 2010
  2. What a beautiful salad – wow! I wish I could have it for lunch today! I’m certainly keeping this recipe – thanks!

    March 12, 2010
  3. Love the salad….

    March 13, 2010

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